This entry is part 5 of 12 in the series Let's Kill

HayesGoblins are incredible. They can attack and block effectively, and also have access to a ton of utility creatures. Using the red/black goblin leader Wort, Boggart Auntie gives access to all the prevalent threats you need to defeat your opponents. Here’s what’s going on with Wort and how to beat… her?



Wort, Boggart Auntie

Besides being able to play a variety of black goblins from lorwyn block, Wort’s ability to bring a goblin card back from the graveyard on each of your turns is critical. It allows you to play your threats without worrying too much about counterspells. If they do counter your stuff without ‘put it on the bottom’ clauses then you can grab it back with Wort the next turn and try again.

Wort is really a secondary gameplan with Goblins. Usually the goblin deck can generate a lot of early game action and start capitalizing by turn four. Wort’s there in case that fails. This usually happens in the blue deck matchups or ones where multiple opponents are firing off disruption spells at goblins. She’s especially good when you draw cards like tarfire or Warren Weirding because she can attack control commanders like Nin, the pain artist with with these spells and set them way behind.


Usually goblins win through natural combat steps. This involves gathering a group of goblins and casting something that makes them more dangerous. Goblin decks include a lot of small low costing goblins not because they are individually dangerous but because the goblin deck needs goblins to synergize with one another.

Krenko, Mob BossBoggart MobSiege-Gang Commander

Krenko is the most famous here, but all these goblins accomplish the communal goal of getting goblin tokens onto the field. Boggart Mob might seem poor at first glance, but he really is like a second Krenko. He’s a meaty 5/5 who can champion away a utility creature so they can have a second go at a enter-the-battlefield trigger. Goblin Marshal is also in this family, although less efficient because of the high mana cost.

Once you have goblins you need to find a way to capitalize on them. This can be done through lords, Goblin Piledriver, or Reckless One. The more goblins, the better these cards become. The lords can effectively double the amount of attack power available to your forces. While each of them provide their own benefits, the +1 attack stat bonus is usually the most potent. Goblin Warchief and Frogtosser Banneret are especially potent because it allows you to access lines of play where you dump your whole and out and win.


Goblin Chieftain

Goblin Warchief

Mad Auntie

Goblin King

Frogtosser Banneret

At a tipping point cards like Skirk Fire Marshal and goblin pyromancer can end the game immediately. Some decks use Ib Halfheart, Goblin Tactician as a means to create an army late in the game to go all in with.



Alternatively goblins can play defense. Messing up stuff is their forte, and their prowess knows almost no end.

Goblin Sharpshooter

Goblin Sharpshooter  

Sharpshooter is possibly the most dangerous goblin in the entire deck. He can turn goblins into pure points of damage, even after a big attack. He also triggers after any creature dies, which is very common in EDH. In creature-centric decks like Prossh he can excel in hammering out damage to your opponent’s faces. Some decks like to play Basilisk Collar just to make this guy better.

Goblin Chirurgeon

Great card to protect your key goblins and provide a sac outlet. Being able to sac goblins before your turn starts to replay them for value is another option.


This is a cheat card. Usually he’s only good if you can cheat him into play at instant speed (discussed later) but Stingscourger is also great against other decks that value tempo. If you play him naturally and bounce a expensive commander (or one like Omnath, Locus of Mana) it can buy you time to pump out tokens with Krenko, draw additional cards, etc.

Murderous Redcap

This is one of my favorite goblins. Not only can you cheat him in at instant speed to assassinate a combo creature, but you can also buff him with the various lord affects to deal additional damage. Persist is just icing on the cake for him.


Tuktuk Scrapper                                       Darksteel Forge

Tuktuk Scrapper

Some artifacts are really annoying, Tuktuk agrees. Once I saw someone who ran Nim Deathmantle and used Skirk Prospector in combination with Goblin War Marshal to create infinite red mana and recur Tuktuk Scrapper a million times with all his triggers hitting an indestructible Darksteel Forge

Earwig Squad

Great against combo, neuters most decks of threats. Great when recast. Easy to cast for 3 due to the amount of goblins that are low cost.

Goblin Assassin

Removal, removal, removal. If you can create a lot of goblin tokens then you can ignore your tokens dying for an easy exchange with everything your opponents have.

Mogg Maniac

Great at blocking. Funny with Skirk Fire Marshal. Seriously makes your opponents question attacking you and can buy you time to rebuild.

Sensation Gorger

Good at card draw. Care not to wheel your opponents too much, sometimes they want to wheel out and draw new hands. This card is really there for when you need a new hand or when someone has drawn their entire deck.

Goblin Ringleader

Better at card draw. This guy can get you back into the game. Even if you don’t hit any goblins on the flip you are accelerating towards goblins that you will draw.

Goblin Diplomats

Highly underrated, this goblin is great at forcing your opponents to tap their creatures and possibly lower their shields. Great at letting your goblin army move in for a big assault. He also has a baller alt-art promo edition.

Goblin Matron and Boggart Harbringer

Tutor tutor tutor. Boggart Harbringer might replace your draw but he can be situationally good, it allows you to get a goblin for the next turn in a way that your opponents cannot Thoughtseize away from you.

Kiki-jiki, Mirror Breaker

Do you like a goblin a lot? Then copy it. This guy is the best goblin in the deck because he can be protective, copy a tutor goblin, or go aggressive. There is also a infinite combo with him and Lightning Crafter where Kiki-Jiki uses his ability to create another Lightning Crafter while the champion trigger is on the stack. This creates a new Crafter with a new Champion trigger. Tuck Kiki away with the new trigger. If you have a sac outlet you can sacrifice the Crafter copy to trigger and bring Kiki back into play ready to go. While this is all happening you can use the haste token to shoot something for 3 damage. Rinse and repeat.


What’s EDH without a little cheating? Goblins have access to a small arsenal of cheat effects that allow you to play through counterspells and deploy goblins quickly. Cavern of souls is a land that says “you can’t counter my goblins”. Aether Vial, Goblin Lackey, and Goblin Wizard all give you access to make goblins at instant speed without your opponent being able to counter them. Lackey might not spit the goblins out at instant speed but does offer your opponent interesting blocking decisions. He looks bad, but he can actually be of use even later in the game when there are creatures out. Cryptic Gateway can also serve as a way to play against blue, but the five mana cost does tax the deck.

Moggcatcher is probably the best cheater in the whole deck. He’s a tutor that also ‘casts’ the goblin you are looking for. I’ve kept hands where I have removal, him, and nothing else and have come out on top.

The cheating effects that goblins can use are especially helpful if you are playing against lower powered decks. If you are the ‘evil’ deck at the table everyone is going to try to disrupt your stuff and counter your fun. These cheat effects actually allow you to play the game. In fringe scenarios where someone has Armageddoned or has stax effects out you can still be a player.


Other choices

Other cards usually thrown into the deck consist of :

Blood Moon, sometimes wins you the game on turn 3 against tri/5 color decks. You don’t care if your nonbasics are mountains.

“The Blood Moon Sets In”

Umezawa’s Jitte, often called the most versatile equipment ever printed, this card gives you access to removal. He’s sick with Warren Instigator.

Patriarch’s Bidding is an OK choice but I prefer not to run it. It doesn’t do much early in the game and there is usually enough graveyard hate that my yard is not going to be fully saturated. Also Wort brings back guys each turn, potentially causing anti synergy with this card.

Thornbite Staffis an OK choice, really what it does is make any creature with a tap ability into a Sharpshooter. The card can be OK but usually I think that it is overkill.

Reanimate. Reanimation hosts are really popular with Wort. Any cheap card that can bring back a giant guy in someone else’s graveyard is really potent. These cards can also be useful in bringing back a powerful goblin at a moment’s notice.

Goblin Bombardment, a way to prevent your goblins from being exiled while at the same time denying other decks of their combos.

Why not Krenko?

Lots of people go to Krenko as their goblin EDH Commander. I’m not a fan. I see him as being way too linear, extremely unpolitical, and only being red. Wort has the ability to rebuild, be interactive, and also play Krenko in the 99.


How do I play against Goblins?

This can be a difficult question. The Wort EDH decks don’t usually have concrete plans. There are lots of starting hands where their goal is to just survive and make goblins and hope that is enough to kill you. Dropping a Wrath of God early to kill all the goblins might seem rewarding but is sometimes not. Wort’s ability to bring back guys from the grave and rebuild prevents any Wrath effect from going too far.

Some people like to employ Engineered Plague. This is generally only effective, if at all, against the goblin tokens. There are enough lords in the deck that goblins can play through this card.

If you want to strike at the heart of goblins then attack their lands. If they don’t already have a way to cheat (like through Aether Vial or Lackey) then they will probably roll over and die. The only problem with land destruction is that in EDH the most efficient forms of land destruction take place after goblins have had enough time to build up their board.

Sudden Realization Ralph - If I destroy all his lands He can't Cast anything

Hope you enjoyed these hints on Goblins, I love playing them. They do everything I love in EDH; interaction, combat damage, and tribal. Feel free to comment on how you view goblins in EDH, how to play against them, and all other things goblin.


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