Yesterday, the local wateringhole Outpost Gamecenters Antwerp hosted the Pro Tour Qualifier for San Diego, a x5 tournament multiplier with at the top stake a display of Gatcrash boosters, a 1000 Planeswalker Points... and the coveted invitation to the said Pro Tour tournament including air fare.
The format was Modern, meaning every card printed ever since 8th edition when the prints changed to a more 'modern' look, and even though I had build a deck for fun and casual about a year ago when I bought the goblins m13 set... I decided to jump in and take my gobbos for a spin. In hindsight, I might have gotten better off with my speedy standard deck, but heck, valuable fine tune lessons have been learned.
This is the deck I took along, dubbed 'Hasty Goblins'. Yes, I'm more and more tunring out to be an aggro player in whatever format I'm playing lately, and yes, if it has Haste, I'm game.
4x Goblin Arsonists
4x Goblin Balloon Brigade
4x Goblin Bushwhacker
4x Goblin Chieftain
3x Goblin Guide
3x Goblin Ruinblasters
1x Krenko, Mob Boss
2x Siege-gang Commander
1x Tuktuk the Explorer
4x Warren Instigator
2x Krenko's Command
2x Dragon Fodder
4x Quest for the Dragon Lord
2x Tectonic Edge
4x Lightning Bolt
4x Magmpa Spray
4x Lightning Bolt
The theorie was bloody simple, make an army asap and swamp. In case of needing to be speedier against, I can just cycle in the whole sideboard for creatures and burn those decks relying on 6 - 10 creatures only.
With 89 entrants, as GP Verona ineviatably took numbers down (thank the lord, it was already a busy affair) and a first dabble in the format, with a deck I have been reading the cards I was going to play on the tram to the venue, expectations where a 0-7, with 1-6 being a good result and 2-5 the goal to make it for myself a good tournament.
In the end, I managed to pilfer away the two victories, one against another gobbo like deck, but that also played black for Deathrite Shamans and had Vexing Devils. Even on the play, it was just that click slower and I outraced it two times, even though the particular deck went way better then me scoring 4 wins in the end, so I think I actually did well there.
The second game I lost against a blue control deck, every time putting the opponent down to one point and then started flooding like hell... I just didn't draw a creature or a burn anymore to hit that last point...
Third game was a cool deck to see in action, even though I stood on the carnival against it. By turn 3 or it went off, drew out his entire library, then scatterhotted me for a gazillion. Chanceless there.
Fourth game was sour, the opponent was one of the few in my career so far I wanted to smack around. He was rather arrogant, clearly disappointed that his artifact / infect deck was playing the bottom tiers, and I just wanted to get it over with that I didn't sack his 10 counter comming in animated land with my tectonic edge because I just had to play him longer then.
Fifth game was against a local mate and bartender, Costa, and he just got darn lucky. The moment we emptied our hands on a 1-1 score, he had nothing and was on 4 life, I had played my siege-commander and a gazillion gobbos and tokes, readying for saccing the next turn, he top-decked a snapcaster mage into Supreme Verdict, wiping the board, then a Batterskull... sour but a great game.
Second victory cama against another local, Sam, who played Bladesplicers. At 1-1 I sideboarded in all the burns and didn't flood like in game 2, firing and swarming him to high heaven in 5 turns with Quest for the Goblin Lord, Goblin Chieftains, tokens and Bolts. He funnily lost the first round to a 5/1 air balloon...
The last game could have been a second win against a Deathrite Shaman deck. I outraced him easily, but stalled two times again at the last few points.
All in all, I could have snatched perhaps two more wins, but I was satisfied with the results and now am going to tweak a few things in the deck.
First off, is replacing two Quest for the Goblin Lord with two Blood Moons. Why bother trying to destroy two or so splash colour lands with Ruinblasters and Edges, if I can just turn all non basic lands into Mountains instead.
Burnwise, I'm going to replace 2 Arsonisists and 2 Balloon Brigades with 4 Goblin Grenades. 5 Damage a token to the face is nice, and I should be able to get them in the threat zone swiftly.
Krenko will get dumped, as will one of the Ruinblasters as with the Blood Moons I'm aiming at mana disruption in another way, and the mob boss is just to slow for my deck. Instead I'm gonna put in two Goblin Kings. Mountainwalk is handy, seeing the format is mostly dominated with red / white / blue control these days anyways, so there will be mountains around aplenty.
Finally, I'm going to replace two Goblin Guides with 2 of the recent Legion Loyalists. The trample might be funny in batallion, the first strike could make the pumped up goblins just bloody lethal, even though I suspect him getting burned a lot though...
Those are the changes planned for the deck, probably next time it gets 'out' will be at the GP Antwerp in October, but I might be able to sneak in a few games as Modern is now part of FNM and I think those will start getting played around july in the local watering holes in preparation...
The net gain, 50 Planeswalker Points and a for the moment around 50th place seasonal within Belgium, best season ever for moi so far...
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