Post Rotation Extended - Goblin Bidding

Once upon a time, Goblin beats was a good deck. Goblin mages would deploy fast men, use Sparksmiths to control the board, and employ Goblin Piledrivers to smash face. This was a respectable deck at the time, although it tended to underperform. Then along came Scourge. Goblin Warchief and Siege-Gang Commander literally exploded into the metagame, and the Japanese innovation of adding Patriarch's Bidding propelled the deck to new heights. Almost overnight, Goblin Bidding was THE defining aggro deck of the format, a title it would hold until the rise of Ravager Affinity.

With the post-rotation Extended format shaping up as a collection of old Standard decks, it's time to give the little red men a chance at the Extended spotlight. When we last bid our Bidding decks farewell, this is what they looked like:

Goblin Bidding, by Mihara MakihitoMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
4 Bloodstained Mire
3 City of Brass
3 Swamp
12 Mountain

4 Skirk Prospector
4 Goblin Sledder
4 Goblin Piledriver
4 Gempalm Incinerator
4 Goblin Warchief
4 Goblin Sharpshooter
4 Siege-Gang Commander

Other Stuff
4 Skullclamp
3 Patriarch's Bidding
2 Detonate
1 Shatter

So, what happens when you move the deck into the Extended realm? Lots. Firstly, you have to remove the Skullclamps... not because they're bad, but because they're banned. Goblin Matron makes a great addition to the deck. She fetches critical Goblins when she comes into play, and then again a second time when she comes back after a Patriarch's Bidding. Another strong comes-into-play ability can be found on Goblin Ringleader. The CIP ability is really what makes him tick, although a hasted 2/2 body leaves you with more play around an Engineered Plague as well.

Burning Wish can act as extra copies of Patriarch's Bidding, while also allowing you to find key hosers such as Echoing Ruin or Decompose that you would prefer not to maindeck. Aether Vial provides Siege-Gang Commanders for no mana, and is generally played even in preference to Skirk Prospector on the first turn. Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker is very strong, espescially in conjunction with Sharpshooter, Ringleader, Siege-Gang, and Matron.

Here's the post-rotation Extended decklist I've been using:

Post Rotation Goblin Bidding, by HKKIDMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
4 Bloodstained Mire
4 Sulfurous Springs
2 Shadowblood Ridge
3 Swamp
9 Mountain

4 Skirk Prospector
4 Goblin Piledriver
2 Hearth Kami
4 Goblin Warchief
3 Goblin Matron
2 Goblin Sharpshooter
4 Goblin Ringleader
4 Siege-Gang Commander
2 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker

2 Patriarch's Bidding
3 Burning Wish
4 Aether Vial

The Firebolts are mostly for targeted Meddling Mage removal. Goblin King is janky and annoying, but he's the only thing that keeps you from auto-scooping to double Engineered Plagues. Frankly, I don't think more than two kings are needed, if any at all.

Important Matchups

Make no mistake about it. Affinity is THE most important matchup of post-rotation extended. The advent of Pithing Needle has turned an already strong deck into a strong deck that's virtually immune to Pernicious Deed, laughs at the thought of Grim Lavamancer, and is still fast enough to kill you on turn 4.

It's depressing that there isn't a single Goblin in extended who can destroy artifacts with any regularity. The closest to a Goblin Matron target you can find is Goblin Archaeologist, and he's unreliable at best. Goblins may be fast, but Affinity is faster, which means you want to take a more controlling strategy to knock your opponent off his game. Echoing Ruin works wonders, eliminating key threats like
Arcbound Ravager or Cranial Plating. Your Goblin Sharpshooters and Siege-Gangs can provide excellent coverage, while the rest of your army comes in to smash face.

Post sideboard, you take the control strategy a step further. I reccomend removing 3 Burning Wish, 1 Aether Vial and all 4 Goblin Piledrivers. Bring in the full set of Echoing Ruins and Terminates, as well as that solo Goblin Sharpshooter. This will leave you with a much better ability to play the board control game, and will allow your slower, more steady tempo to take charge.

The Rock
Considered by many to be the best foil for Affinity, rock takes the old BG decks of T2 and combines them with Pernicious Deed and Engineered Plague. In an Affinity heavy environment, you can expect to find rock decks packing the likes of Viridian Shaman as well as Oxidize, to ensure that those Pernicious Deeds don't get Pithing Needled into oblivion. The good news is that Oxidize and Shaman are both horrible against Goblins.

Your goal here is to simply win as fast as is possible. If you're not attacking, odds are you're not winning. Fast mana, fast beats, and finish the entire thing up before he manages to find an Engineered Plague. A solo Plague is merely annoying. However, if the BG player gets his hand on multiples, you're doomed. Patriarch's Bidding is very powerful here, and with a moderate-sized graveyard it's almost a surefire kill.

When sideboarding, two Goblin Kings replace two Hearth Kamis, to provide you with some shelter from Pernicious Deed. Depending on the way your opponent's deck is set up, you may also wish to replace a Siege-Gang Commander with a Goblin Sharpshooter, although this varies depending on the build.

UG Madness
Much like Goblins, UG madness was a format-defining T2 deck that had a rocky transition into Extended. The cardpool was simply bigger and faster, and a 6/6 flier on turn 4 just wasn't so impressive anymore. While Madness has seen more success than Goblins in Extended, when it loses Daze and Intuition in the rotation, Goblin decks will once again come out ahead.

The madness matchup often boils down to a single card: Wonder. If your opponent has a Wonder in his graveyard, he can attack with near impunity, and and there's not much you can do to stop him. If he doesn't draw Wonder, you will overpower him with sheer force of numbers, and even if you cannot swing for the win, Goblin Sharpshooter will finish him off. Because Wonder is so dangerous, I highly recommend using Burning Wish to fetch Decompose if your opponent has one in the graveyard. Otherwise, you want your opponent on the defensive, but don't be reckless. You're well equipped just to sit behind a creature stalemate until you can "combo out" on your opponent, if attacking would lead to unfavorable trades.

For sideboarding, I remove all copies of Burning Wish, and Hearth Kami. In come 3 Terminates, and the third copy of Patriarch's Bidding and Goblin Sharpshooter respectively. As with before, you want to play aggressive, attacking Magic. You lose the ability to safely deal with Wonder, but in exchange you have gained the ability to easily deal with 6/6 Wurms. The third Sharpshooter gives you a much better chance of comboing out of a deadlock before Wonder shows up, and the third Bidding means you can afford to trade creatures more than you might otherwise do.

Slide is one of the decks almost everyone agrees will make a comeback in the post-rotation Extended format. It's a control deck that eats fast aggro decks for lunch, and in a format expected to be mostly fast and aggro, Slide has the potential to be a real monster.

To beat Slide, you must constantly attack. Your opponent has no permission, and precious few blockers. However he also has access to tons of removal spells, and either Lightning Rift or Eternal Witness (or possibly both). A Patriarch's Bidding with a sizable graveyard will probably kill your opponent, but watch out for tricks, such as a Gilded Light in response, followed by some instant speed Goblin removal.

Against Red versions of Slide I reccomend removing the Hearth Kamis for Goblin King. The power improvement is nice, but it's the ability to Mountainwalk around an Exalted Angel that really clinches it. For green versions, that change is at your personal discretion, but aside from that, no sideboarding is recommended for either deck. As with game 1, your sideboarded strategy is to smash face until you run out of Goblins, and when that happens, to follow up with a Patriarch's Bidding.

The one-time supreme king of all things Standard. The mirror match for the World Championships. The former supreme control deck of all Extended. However you look at it, Tog just ain't what it used to be. In an aggro-heavy format defined by speed, Counterspell looks less impressive than Smother or even Wrath of God. The double whammy of losing both Energy Flux and Chill greatly reduces the effectiveness of the Tog sideboard, and with all the Ravager hate floating around, Isochron Scepter is almost definitely a bad idea.

Winning against Tog is a matter of trying to make your opponent have the plays. A quick Aether Vial is all but impossible to counter, and will ensure that your Goblins will be resolving for the rest of the game. Goblin Piledriver is exceptionally clutch in this matchup, since he has Protection from Blue. Bidding will probably never resolve (unless you modify your deck to include Therapies), but you shouldn't need it much, as you should literally just overrun your opponent.

I don't advise sideboarding for this matchup, since your board is mostly geared towards beating other aggro decks. If you must, you can replace Hearth Kami with Terminate to give you an extra answer to Togs.

Closing Advice
Goblin Bidding is one of the fastest decks in the post rotation metagame. It plays beatdown remarkably well with its collection of 29 creatures, and is largely immune to the highly anticipated anti-Affinity suite most decks will be playing. However, the deck is much more than a mere beatdown engine. In matchups where it is convenient, you can transform smoothly from pure aggro to an aggro-control based deck with a particularly nasty combo-kill. It's a very strong choice for the post-rotation format, and one I highly recommend you test.


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