MTGGoldfish is supported by its audience. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission.
Browse > Home / Strategy / Articles / Much Abrew: Goblin Prison (Modern)

Much Abrew: Goblin Prison (Modern)

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Last week during out Instant Deck Techs, one of our Modern options—Goblin Prison—came out on top. As such, we're heading to Modern today to do one of my favorite things: lock opponents out of the game with Blood Moon! The basic plan of the deck is simple: we're Goblin Tribal, but rather than being a pure aggro deck and flooding the board with one-drops, we're looking to play a Blood Moon or Chalice of the Void as early as Turn 1 and then close out the game with cards like Goblin Rabblemaster, Legion Warboss, Goblin lords like Goblin King and Goblin Chieftain, and Krenko, Mob Boss! Is Goblins the right way to play a prison deck in Modern? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

Just a quick reminder: if you enjoy the Much Abrew About Nothing series and the other video content on MTGGoldfish, make sure to subscribe to the MTGGoldfish YouTube channel to keep up on all the latest and greatest.

Much Abrew: Goblin Prison (Modern)


  • We played a league with Goblin Prison and ended up with a 2-3, which is a bit disappointing. 
  • While the deck did incredibly explosive and powerful things in some games, it can also be maddeningly inconsistent. Things go well if we have a Turn 1 lock piece followed by a Turn 2 threat, but things can go wrong quickly if we're missing either part of the equation. Then, things get worse as the game progresses since we don't really have many ways to filter our draws or generate card advantage, so we're prone to drawing a string of bad cards in a row and falling behind. 
  • This is the second time we've played a deck with Chancellor of the Tangle as an additional Simian Spirit Guide, and it's been frustrating both times. It's often good to great in our opening hand, but it's literally a dead card if we draw it at any other point in the game—worse than a basic land. While this might just be the cost of explosive Turn 1 plays, it's also one of the big reasons why the deck can be inconsistent. It might be less problematic if we had something like Faithless Looting, but it's hard to make Faithless Looting work with Chalice of the Void
  • The two best cards in our deck are Legion Warboss and Goblin Rabblemaster. Rabblemaster has long been a staple of prison decks, and having eight copies (almost) with the addition of Legion Warboss adds a lot of consistency. Our best games are ones when we have a Blood Moon on Turn 1 or 2 and follow it up with one of our powerful three-drops the next turn.
  • Goblin King is surprisingly effective at forcing damage through blockers. The combo with Blood Moon is pretty strong and probably worth exploring more in the future. 
  • Goblin Cratermaker was interesting. It works well with our lords and offers a nice main-deck out to things like Ensnaring Bridge that would otherwise lock us out of the game. 
  • The other downside to Goblin Prison is that the deck is greatly lacking in terms of interaction. While our plan is to win the game quickly, it's hard to recover if things go wrong, since—apart from Goblin Cratermaker—we don't really have any removal or other ways to deal with our opponent's board. 
  • So where does all of this leave us in terms of Goblin Prison? Honestly, throughout most of our matches, I found myself wishing we were playing 8 Whack or Free-Win Red. Mashing the two decks together seemed to give us a worse version of both, lacking the consistent fast damage of 8 Whack and the card advantage and creature removal (like Anger of the Gods and Ensnaring Bridge) of Free-Win Red. While there might be a way to make Goblin Prison function, in general, it's probably better to stick to Free-Win Red for prison and 8 Whack for Goblins.
  • So, should you play Goblin Prison in Modern? While the deck is functional and occasionally explosive, it's also inconsistent, so I'm going to go with no. Since we already have a good Goblins deck and a good Prison deck, it's hard to find a reason to play Goblin Prison over 8 Whack or Free-Win Red. While it's probably fine to play for fun, and it's possible we ran into some variance issues (which will happen with an inconsistent deck), in our experience, Goblin Prison didn't feel like a super-competitive option.


Anyway, that's all for today. Don't forget to vote for next week's deck by liking, commenting on, and subscribing to Instant Deck Tech videos! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at

More in this Series

Show more ...

More on MTGGoldfish ...

Image for Pro Tour Murders at Karlov Manor Top 8 Decklists decklists
Pro Tour Murders at Karlov Manor Top 8 Decklists

The Top 8 Pioneer decklists from Pro Tour Murders at Karlov Manor.

Feb 25 | by mtggoldfish
Image for Single Scoop:  Jaya's Fiery Negotiator's Time is Now! (Prowess) single scoop
Single Scoop: Jaya's Fiery Negotiator's Time is Now! (Prowess)

Jaya, Fiery Negotiator deserves some respect and hopefully this Prowess shell can help. Especially when we've got a few new cards from MKM :)

Feb 24 | by TheAsianAvenger
Image for Fallout Spoilers — February 23 | Science Deck and full set reveal! daily spoilers
Fallout Spoilers — February 23 | Science Deck and full set reveal!

The last full deck for Fallout as well as the rest of the collector booster cards.

Feb 23 | by mtggoldfish
Image for Future Sets Spoilers — February 23 | Modern Horizons 3, Thunder Junction, Bloomburrow and Assassin's Creed! daily spoilers
Future Sets Spoilers — February 23 | Modern Horizons 3, Thunder Junction, Bloomburrow and Assassin's Creed!

Spoilers from the Preview Panel at Magiccon Chicago for FOUR upcoming sets!

Feb 23 | by mtggoldfish

Layout Footer

Never miss important MTG news again!

All emails include an unsubscribe link. You may opt-out at any time. See our privacy policy.

Follow Us

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Twitch
  • Instagram
  • Tumblr
  • RSS
  • Email
  • Discord
  • YouTube

Price Preference

Default Price Switcher