Former World champion Julien Nuijten and Pro Tour mainstay Robert van Medevoort could be seen today slinging some rather unusual spells, with Goblin Chieftain and even Boartusk Liege pumping up Goblin Guides and Warren Instigators. They were thought to be (and officially proclaimed) dead with the departure of Onslaught block, but Goblins always pop up again and again. So how does one come up with the idea to play Goblins?
"The general idea was very different," said Bram Snepvangers who created the deck. "It actually started out as a red-green deck with all of the red creatures with double strike and various pump spells like Colossal Might."
"This old version of the deck was really, really fast, with possible turn-three kills," Bram explained. "But it was rather inconsistent. For example, it was very bad against Punishing Fire which we knew would be everywhere, and often even against one single Lightning Bolt. Pumping your creature is not much fun when it's shot down in response."
"Two of the double strikers were Goblins anyway, Hearthfire Hobgoblin and Warren Instigator," he pointed out, "so the deck gradually morphed into a real tribal Goblin deck. Ironically, some of the Goblins didn't make the cut for the final deck, like Hearthfire Hobgoblin."
Pro Tour - Amsterdam 2010
"The deck is still pretty fast, and has a good game against the different combo decks too," Bram said. "Earwig Squad is especially good. Take Ad Nauseam for example. One hit by Earwig Squad and they lose all their winning options. Living End decks likewise lose all of their namesake cards, and Scapeshift loses three copies of Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle."
"But the match-up against Scapeshift is actually pretty bad," Bram added, and apparently encountered some awful memories. "That's what I mostly played against. That's why I'm standing here as opposed to sitting over there with the others," he said, indicating the day two play area."I expected more Ad Nauseam and less Scapeshift. That deck is just terrible—it cannot possibly beat Ad Nauseam."
The quirkiest card in the list by far is the one Fodder Launch in the sideboard. What's up with that?
"Well, it kills a five-toughness creature and deals five damage," he said, "which is good against Tarmogoyf and Doran, the Siege Tower and the likes. But mostly you bring it in against decks with Angels."
About the sideboard in general he had the following to say: "I don't like Thought Hemorrhage because it really interferes with Thorn of Amethyst, and I don't like Duress / Thoughtseize because it doesn't do that much against the combo decks out there. Living End has way too many cascade cards, and Ad Nauseam has Mystical Teachings to replace their combo pieces. I'd just rather hit them with Earwig Squad. Thorn of Amethyst, however, is a very strong card. It is best against cascade because it makes Living End cost two more."
The moral of the story is: you can take the Goblins out of Extended ... but there are always just more Goblins.