MTG Deck Tech: Eight-Whack (Modern)

Artwork from the 'Magic: The Gathering' card Goblin Chainwhirler. Artwork from the 'Magic: The Gathering' card Goblin Chainwhirler. WOTC / SVETLIN VELINOV

Magic: The Gathering's Modern format is highly competitive. It can also be rather expensive. For those who don't want to risk missing a car payment for a deck they can take to their local game stores or higher-profile tournaments such as a grand prix, may we suggest this easy-to-build, easy-to-play goblin tribal deck?


A mono-red deck, this "Eight-Whack" style goblins deck can hit fast and hit often.  On turn one, you'll want to be sure to play a goblin (shocker, right?).  Our favorites are Goblin Guide to fast and efficient damage right off the bat and Foundry Street Denizen for a strong turn two, multi-creature attack assuming you can play a hasty creature on that second turn (which isn't hard to do).  It doesn't take long to go fairly wide fairly quickly with this deck.  And going wide is great when you can mix in one of the "whacky" goblin buffers that give this style of deck its name -- Goblin Bushwhacker and Reckless Bushwhacker.  For added consistency with the whack effects (and for a nice combat surprise), we've included two copies of Dynacharge.  Your opponent likely won't see it coming the first time around and will be concerned about it going forward.

It's also not hard to go big thanks to Goblin Piledriver for that nice hard hit directly against your opponent's face -- especially if they're playing blue (I'm looking at you, merfolk!).  The Goblin Grenades are a no-brainer in goblin decks and provide for a nice five-damage punch as a finisher as removal.  As for the Keldon Megaliths, well despite them risking slowing down the deck a tick, they can provide that final point of colorless damage when you're hand is empty so you don't have to pray to top deck that Lightning Bolt or Grenade to finish things off.

Sideboards are largely based upon local meta and ours answers a number of threats that we find most common.  Against Tron and other non-basic land dependent decks we have the tried-and-true Blood Moon (which pairs well with Goblin King -- sub Goblin Chieftains out for the Kings when you do).  Against other red decks, you've got both the Kings and Dragon's Claws.  Chalice of the Void can completely ruin this deck, so Smash to Smithereens is there almost specifically to answer it.  Boil can be a tad slow, but it can prove effective against the right breed of deck.  The Tormod's Crypts are pretty self-explanatory.  And as for the Goblin Chainwhirlers, they're plenty good enough to put into the main deck.  We just couldn't find the space, so into the sideboard they went.

We've taken this deck to our LGS many times and have made a number of tweaks to get it to this point.  We find it does quite well at out racing a number of the decks that have proven to be popular in our local scene.  Lose the race, however, and you're going to have a hard time.  Not impossible, mind you.  Just difficult.

Are you running this deck at your LGS?  If so, leave us a comment and tell us how you fared!

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