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Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North
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Modern Vial Goblins

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Everyone knows how upset I was when Goblin Ringleader wasn't in Modern Horizons. It felt like the perfect card for Modern; everyone loves tribal decks, great nostalgia, and realistically a 4 mana spell that draws cards is never going to be broken. Yet Modern Horizons came and went, and while we got Goblin Matron we didn't get her favorite target.

Enter Core Set 2020.

Goblin Ringleader

While it's true we don't have the mana denial element present in Legacy with Wasteland and Rishadan Port, for the most part all the tools are here. Recent reprints of Skirk Prospector and Goblin Warchief join the party, giving us the entire lineup minus Gempalm Incinerator and Goblin Lackey. Goblin Lackey is a relic of the past power level anyway, and in lieu of Gempalm Incinerator we have the new Munitions Expert doesn't do as well for card advantage but can pick off planeswalkers.

So let's do it!

Time Stamps:

Match 1 - 00:09:39

Match 2 - 00:27: 45

Match 3 - 01:04:21

Match 4 - 01:41:12

Match 5 - 02:30:25


Wow, that was impressive!

Full disclosure, I expected to have a fun time with some old friends in this video. I didn't expect that we would 5-0 through a gauntlet that represented a good portion of the Modern metagame. The truth is that Modern is in a pretty fair place right now and Goblins slots into that metagame very well. Goblin Ringleader gives Goblins one of the best card draw engines in the format, while the deck still has the speed to deal with linear decks when necessary. Remember this very important fact:

Goblins is not an aggro deck!

Goblins can kill quickly, but you're better off thinking of it as a synergy-based board control deck that's ready to strike but always geared up for a long game.

Munitions Expert
Sling-Gang Lieutenant

The new cards impressed, with Munitions Expert's ability to hit planewalkers making it live in almost every matchup. More maindeck are probably wanted. Sling-Gang Lieutenant felt gimmicky going in, but gives the deck the very unique effects of both fireballing your opponent as well as gaining life when needed. Pashalik Mons was fine but unexciting.

The most important advice I can give is look for your path into the long game, and don't be too cute with your one-ofs! There are tons of Goblins that are good a small percentage of the time, but you see a lot of your cards every game and you can't afford to draw Stingscourger or Lightning Crafter at the wrong time.

Otherwise may your top four cards always contain four goblins!