Cute, Clever, Mischievous, Intelligent, Dangerous.

Don’t feed them after midnight.

Don’t get them wet.

Don’t expose them to sunlight.

When Wizards announced the red aligned race on Kalidesh was going to be Gremlins, most people weren’t that bothered, or just didn’t get that interested.


One of my favourite films of the 80’s, Gremlins terrified me the first time I saw it, but the more you see it, the more you love it. The idea of small monsters causing havoc in a rural town, launching people out of their homes on stair lifts and wrecking the local bar, is too comical to resist.

So, whilst most of you out there get to work building your Green/Black Delirium and Blue/White Flash decks ready for the PPTQ season, I have been hard at work finding a way to bring my love for Magic and Gremlins together. At first, I thought it would be a fun and silly tribe deck for FNM, but as I began to work on the deck, to my surprise, the deck began to look not only fun, but perhaps competitive. So, with no time to waste, let’s see the fruits of my labours.

Nightmare at 20,000 Feet

Firstly, lets address the elephant in the room. This list will not have any “Terror of the Fairgrounds”. Yes, it’s a Gremlin, however a 5/2 with no other ability’s, just doesn’t have enough of an impact outside of limited to be useful in our deck. That being said, we will be including all other standard legal Gremlins.

Let’s start at the bottom of our curve with a play set of Ruinous Gremlin. It maybe a 1/1 for one red, but with Vehicles and Gearhulks being all the rage, the ability to pay three and sacrifice to destroy any artifact is very relevant in this standard format. Next we move on to our two drops and a play set of Thriving Grubs. This little guy not only produces Energy (which will be relevant) but can become larger with said Energy, providing an early hitter for turn three. We will also be adding a playset of Smugglers Copter. One of the best cards in the format, it also fits nicely into our theme, (if you don’t believe me, go watch the original Twilight Zone and you will see what I mean). Ruinous Gremlin into Smugglers Copter, allows us to put on early game pressure, and filter our deck to find more threats. Let’s add more creatures, with playsets of Brazen Scourge and Salivating Gremlins. With scourge being a 3/3 for three with haste, it keeps us on the aggro train, and the Salivating Gremlins combo well with our vehicles, gaining +2/+0 and trample when we play any artifact. Lastly, Territorial Gorger adds even more Gremlin synergy. If we play any of our Energy creators, such as Thriving Grubs, we give our trampling Gouger +2/+2 until the end of the turn, allowing us to get in for even more damage.

With the base of our deck sorted, we can see that the deck is an aggro shell with both Artifact and Energy synergy’s. So, first things first, we need some more artifacts. Keeping on the aggro band wagon, lets add some Fleetwheel Cruisers. Not only can this fuel our Salivating Gremlins, but helps get in for even more damage, as it crews it’s self when it enters the battlefield. Next, our Gorger needs more energy to power up for his rampage. Even though we are pretty much mono red, we will add a playset Aether Hub, and we would be crazy if we didn’t add removal in the form of Harnessed Lighting. Add in some more removal, and a few combat tricks, and we are left with the following.

Creatures (20)
Ruinous Gremlin
Thriving Grubs
Brazen Scourge
Salivating Gremlins
Territorial Gorger

Artifacts (7)
Smuggler’s Copter
Fleetwheel Cruiser

Instants (11)
Harnessed Lightning
Galvanic Blast
Built to Smash
Lands (22)
18 Mountain
Aether Hub


Sideboard (15)
Deadlock Trap
Incendiary Flow
Stoneforge Masterwork
Magmatic Chasm

The deck itself plays like a love child of the Boros Vehicle and Gruul Energy decks, currently proving their worth in standard. You want to be attacking quickly, and often, putting the pressure on your opponent from as early as turn two. The ideal start for the deck is turn 1; Ruinous Gremlin, turn 2; Smugglers Copter, turn 3; Brazen Scourge or Salivating Gremlins, turn 4; Fleetwheel Cruiser. Taking your opponent’s life down by up to 18 points maybe living the dream, but it just goes to show how quick this deck can be.

But is the deck any good? Well why not try it or your own brew at your local store. And maybe if your deck doesn’t go off on turn one, who knows, there may be a gremlin in your deck.

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