Goblins! Goblins Everywhere.

There are many kinds of Magic players, all with their own preferred play style and strategy. Some people love to play the biggest creatures they can, as quickly as they can. Others want to control all aspects of the game, preventing opponents from interacting with them. And then there are people like me, who are only happy when reducing life totals faster than a speeding bullet. As an aggro afishionado, my happy place is swinging in for lethal on turn 3 or 4, and I don’t really mind how I do it. Although I have been pretty much on the Naya Burn train for the last year, I still have a lot love for any aggressive deck I can get my hands on. Whether it be G/W beat down, tribal shenanigans, or classic RDW, aggro is my favourite way to play this fine game.

Recently, in between preparing for GP Birmingham and working out a new Standard deck, I have been working on my next deck for the Modern format. Unsurprisingly, it’s another aggro deck. Blending my love of red and tribal decks, I have been having a ton of fun working on a 8 Whack brew. For the uninitiated among you 8 Whack is a super fast Goblin deck built around Goblin Bushwhacker and Reckless Bushwhacker. The idea is pretty straight forward. Play a ton of cheap but efficient goblins in the early game, pump them with one or more of our Bushwhackers, then hit for lethal damage. It may sound like a simple strategy, but the deck has seen a non-zero amount of success in both online play and in the paper world. What’s more, the deck is super cheap for Modern, averaging in at around 65tix on MTGO and $175 in the real world. Since I had most of the cards I needed in paper and online, it wasn’t long until I was terrorising players at my local LGS and digital world. Below is the first incarnation of the deck I built.

Lands (19)
19x Mountain
Creatures (32)
4x Foundry Street Denizen
4x Goblin Bushwhacker
2x Goblin Chieftain
4x Mogg War Marshal
4x Goblin Guide
3x Goblin Piledriver
4x Legion Loyalist
3x Mogg Fanatic
4x Reckless Bushwhacker
Non-Creature Spells (9)
1x Devastating Summons
4x Goblin Grenade
4x Lightning Bolt
Sideboard (15)

1x Krenko, Mob Boss

2x Frenzied Goblin
2x Dragon’s Claw
4x Smash to Smithereens
2x Reality Hemorrhage
2x Molten Rain
2x Tormod’s Crypt

The deck was super sweet, and even put in a good showing against some of the best decks in the format. To this date I’m undefeated against Affinity, and only lost once against Death’s Shadow in competitive play. However, I have come across a few issues with the deck that have lead to some bad beats. First and foremost is that I have no way of interacting with enchantments. During one match against Bant Company, I found myself facing down a Voice of Resurgence, a Kitchen Finks, and 3 Birds of Paradise. Even with all these creatures, my opponent was very close to death, with me being only a turn away from victory. And then they cast Worship. Now the deck can fight through most things, but enchantments such as Worship, Ghostly Prison, and the new Phyrexian Unlife/Solemnity combo pretty much result in immediate concession on my part. Secondly, Goblins is super weak against most blockers in the format. While we can pump up our team with the 8 ‘Whackers’ we are sporting, our opponent can see exactly where the damage is coming from, and is able to make the best blocks possible. Yeah we can get our Goblin Piledriver up to a health 5-9 power, but if we don’t have a Legion Loyalist handy then that damage is unlikely to be getting through. So how do we address these two problems? Easy, we go green.

Atarka’s Command and Ghor-Clan Rampager are both great additions to the deck, that allow us to really pile on the damage. As one of the best aggressive spells of recent years Atarka’s Command gifts us a wealth of options for only two mana. At instant speed we can surprise pump our entire team, ‘bolt’ our opponent, prevent them gaining life or even play more lands if the need should arise. We also get to pick two of the above options, adding to the spells versatility. The Ghor-Clan Rampager also provides some great opportunities in our games. With Bloodrush for a single red and green, we can give one of our attacking creatures +4/+4 and trample. The obvious target for this ability is our Goblin Piledriver. We can go for an all out attack with our army of green meanies, and when our Piledriver gets chump blocked, give it a boost and make our opponent sorry they underestimated us. If all else fails the Rampager is still a 4/4 with trample for four mana, and that is not too shabby. Finally, we can take care of those pesky enchantments by adding a full playset of Destructive Revelry to our sideboard. As for the mana base, we simply replace ten Mountains with a playset of Wooded Foothills and Copperline Gorge, as well as a couple of Stomping Ground.

Lands (19)
9x Mountain
4x Wooded Foothills
2x Stomping Ground
4x Copperline Gorge
Creatures (31)
4x Foundry Street Denizen
4x Goblin Bushwhacker
2x Ghor-Clan Rampager
2x Mogg War Marshal
4x Goblin Guide
3x Goblin Piledriver
4x Legion Loyalist
3x Mogg Fanatic
4x Reckless Bushwhacker

1x Frenzied Goblin
Non-Creature Spells (10)
4x Atarka’s Command
2x Goblin Grenade
4x Lightning Bolt
Sideboard (15)
1x Krenko, Mob Boss
2x Skullcrack
2x Dragon’s Claw
4x Destructive Revelry
2x Reality Hemorrhage
2x Molten Rain
2x Tormod’s Crypt

And there you have it, my new and improved 8 Whack for Modern. But is it any good? If you want to find out for yourself, why not like and share this article. If we get enough interest, I might just have to stream some ‘Artaka Whack’ for you guys. We have been talking about maybe getting some streams and videos up on the site for a while now, so if that is something you want to see let us know. But until next time, wherever you play your Magic, we say good look and have fun!

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