Have I ever mentioned that I love Goblins? Well, I do and when I heard Khans of Tarkir was going to have Goblins as one of the main races, I was very excited! …Then promptly was disappointed cause of the lack of viable goblin cards, except for the likes of Hordeling Outburst. However with the release of Fate Reforged just around the corner, there are some exciting cards to mess with, some of which we’ll talk about at a later date, but one card I’m most anticipating is this:

 

Behold it’s magnificence! Behold it’s three power! Behold it’s two converted mana cost that adds red devotion! Behold it’s quasi-haste! Behold the fact it’s a goblin! Behold everything about this card!

Now I know what you’re thinking: This card doesn’t seem THAT impressive, and the fact is you’re probably right. On it’s own this card really isn’t that fantastic. It has one toughness so it can theoretically die to nearly anything that isn’t Sylvan Caryatid. The ‘haste’ bounces it back to your hand so you have to pay it again to use it again. To permanently put it out requires two red so it’s not so easily splash-able. So what makes this card so fascinating?

If you haven’t guessed already, there are three good answers: Goblin Rabblemaster, Purphoros, and Foundry-Street Denizen.

The amount of synergy between these cards and Mardu Scout is astounding! Mardu Scout triggers all these cards which can lead to some powerful turns. The scout can turn Foundry-Street Denizen into a 2/1 minimum on turn two, make Rabblemaster into a 4/2 if there are no other goblins, potentially turn on Purphoros for a turn while triggering his 2 damage, and all this while still being three powered haste creature for two that is protected from sorcery speed board wipes.

 

Lets play out a sample hand with these four cards plus land.

Turn 1: Foundry-Street Denizen

Turn 2: Dash Mardu Scout. Swing for 5

Turn 3: Goblin Rabblemaster. Swing for 4

Turn 4: Purphoros, God of the Force. 2 from Purphoros trigger. Swing for 9

Turn 5: Dash Mardu Scout. Potential another Dash Mardu Scout. 6 damage from Purphoros. More than enough extra damage.

 

That’s just a sample hand. So much synergy! With such a powerful combination, it got me wondering: Why ISN’T there a goblin tribal deck in standard right now?

Fate Reforged Goblins

Creature (18)
Foundry Street Denizen
Frenzied Goblin
Goblin Rabblemaster
Mardu Scout
Purphoros, God of the Forge

Noncreature (20)
Hall of Triumph
Lightning Strike
Stoke the Flames
Titan’s Strength
Wild Slash
Hordeling Outburst

 Land (22)
Bloodstained Mire
14 Mountain
Wooded Foothills

Here’s a sample decklist with the goal to be as much goblin as possible! You use a combination of mass goblins to overrun the opponent, with select burst damage through Titan’s strength and Rabblemaster. You also have the ability to swarm the opponent by dropping a Hall of Triumph, with the standard burn staples, Lightning Strike and Stoke the Flames, along with newcomer Wild Slash to get through a wall of creatures as needed.

 

The synergy is of course very strong and Purphoros helps in cutting down your opponent’s life. Potential sideboard options include artifact destruction to fight against Whip decks or even Burn Away, Arc Lightning, Jeering Instigator or Harness by Force to take an opponent’s fatty for the kill. You can use a Trumpet Blast or two or to speed up the deck against control, and Magma Spray or Eidolon of the Great Revel or both to combat fellow aggro decks.

 

But lets not limit ourselves to goblins with Mardu Scout. There’s other decks where he fits in fine, such as Red Devotion, which might be making a big comeback. Lets look at William Jenson’s brew list for the build:

 

Mono Red by Huey Jensen

Lands (25)
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
21 Mountain

Creatures (25)
Mardu Scout
Eidolon of the Great Revel
Fanatic of Mogis
Stormbreath Dragon
Ashcloud Phoenix
Flamewake Phoenix
Prophetic Flamespeaker

Noncreature Spells (10)
Crater’s Claws
Sarkhan, Dragonspeaker
Lightning Strike
 Sideboard (15)
Purphoros, God of the Forge
Hammer of Purphoros
Sarkhan, Dragonspeaker
Wild Slash
Anger of the Gods
Chandra, Pyromaster

Definitely powerful and also packed with some great synergy. I personally am not too sold on the Prophetic Flamespeakers however, not without some sort of boost to get big value off of him. I firmly believe Purphoros is a main board kind of card that is difficult to get rid of his effect. With that in mind, I think this list would be a bit stronger:

Mono Red by Sean Fine

Lands (25)
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
21 Mountain

Creatures (27)
Mardu Scout
Eidolon of the Great Revel
Fanatic of Mogis
Stormbreath Dragon
Ashcloud Phoenix
Flamewake Phoenix
Prophetic Flamespeaker
Purphoros, God of the Forge

 Noncreature Spells (8)
Crater’s Claws
Lightning Strike

 

In this build, Flamespeaker gets the boost from Purphoros who in turn is more likely to be turned on by Flamespeaker’s two devotion, and Mardu Scout fits in great cause he activates Purphoros’ two damage and can turn him out for a turn of damage.

 

So there is my attempt at brewing for Fate Reforged. How will the format developed? Who knows? We went from Jeskai Tempo to Sidisi Whip being top dog in the last season, so who knows what will win out during this upcoming standard season. Either way, I don’t think red is leaving too soon.