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Much Abrew: Goblin Storm (Modern)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Dominaria is here, which means we are heading to Modern this week for a deck built around two of the most exciting reprints from the set: Skirk Prospector and Goblin Warchief. That's right, it's finally Goblin Storm time! Last week during our Instant Deck Techs, it was the crazy Modern combo deck from Fishbowl Thursday that was the most popular, which means today we're seeing if we can sacrifice some Goblins to Fecundity, draw our entire deck, and eventually Storm off with Goblins to win the game with Grapeshot, Zulaport Cutthroat, or Goblin Bushwhacker pumping Empty the Warrens tokens. Can the Goblin Storm plan actually work in Modern? Let's get to the video and find out!

Oh yeah, one last thing: I made a couple of small changes to the deck. I tried the Instant Deck Tech build and found that the biggest problem was that it didn't have any cantrips or filtering to find Fecundity, and without Fecundity, we're basically playing a very bad version of 8 Whack. As a result, I ended up cutting some of the rituals for Faithless Looting and Manamorphose while also adding Goblin Bushwhacker as a backup finisher instead of Goblin Piledriver. Otherwise, I tried my best to take a light touch and not stray too far from the Fishbowl Thursday build.

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Much Abrew: Goblin Storm

Discussion

  • As far as the record, it wasn't great. All in all, we went 1-4, which actually felt about right for the deck. While the deck is amazingly powerful when we happen to assemble all of our pieces in a timely manner, it's also super inconsistent, even with the addition of Manamorphose and Faithless Looting to help churn through our deck.
  • The good news is that the combo kills are super fun and really unique. Over the course of our league, we managed to combo off four or five times, which isn't a horrible rate (maybe a touch over 30% of our games). If we can get a Skirk Prospector on the battlefield alongside Fecundity with even just a couple additional Goblins, it's pretty likely we will draw all (or, at least, most) of our deck and win the game. 
  • The biggest problem with the deck is we need Fecundity to do anything powerful, and with only four copies of Fecundity in our deck, we simply don't have it often enough for the deck to post a winning record. In some ways, this problem is similar to the Heartless Summoning problem: the deck is great when you have your key card but horrible in all the rest of your games. 
  • As such, there are two possibilities for improving the deck: we either find a way to have Fecundity more often (maybe with Commune with the Gods), or we make the deck less reliant on having Fecundity (perhaps by playing an 8 Whack-style deck that can win without Fecundity, with the Goblin Storm being a backup, backdoor plan for stealing games). 
  • As far as the rest of the deck, the mana was a bit frustrating. While the original deck had Auntie's Hovel and our build had Blood Crypt, the big problem was the lack of basics. Only having two basic lands made it too easy for our opponent to Strip Mine us out of the game with Ghost Quarter and often left us without a basic to tutor up when we got hit by Path to Exile. Cutting two of each shock land for four basic Mountains would likely fix the problem all by itself. 
  • Another big question for the deck is whether it actually needs black mana. Jim Davis from StarCityGames has been working on the archetype, and his current build is just straight red / green with Traverse the Ulvenwald to find Skirk Prospector and Commune with the Gods to find Fecundity. In general, it didn't feel like the black cards added much to the deck. Tutoring with Boggart Harbinger was fine but not as game breaking as you'd think most of the time, and Zulaport Cutthroat seemed unneeded with Grapeshot, Empty the Warrens, and Goblin Bushwhakcer as kill conditions. Not only would cutting black make the deck more consistent but it would also allow us to play Blood Moon in the sideboard, which is a great way of janking out games against unexpecting opponents. 
  • As far as our other Goblins, Skirk Prospector and Mogg War Marshal are the core of the deck. Goblin Bushwhacker is solid as a backup win condition. Meanwhile, Goblin Warchief felt underpowered. If we have Skirk Prospector and Fecundity, we don't really need our Goblins to cost one less to win the game, and only about half of our Goblins benefit from the cost reduction anyway. It's very likely not worth it in the deck.
  • Basically, the bottom line for Goblin Storm is that the combo felt great, but we didn't combo often enough to really make the deck work. That said, the power of the combo likely means it's worth continuing to explore the archetype—if we can figure out a way to get the combo rate up from 30% to 60% or 70%, Goblin Storm (probably better know as Dirty Kitty) would be a legitimate option. 
  • So, should you play Goblin Storm? The answer is pretty clearly no, at least in the deck's current format. The good news is that the archetype has captured the imagination of the community, and a lot of players are working on improving the deck. If I were going to play Goblin Storm tomorrow, I'd probably start with Jim Davis' Traverse Kitty list and then go from there:

Conclusion

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 SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.


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