Conspicuous Snoop: Ondrej Strasky’s Exclusive Core Set 2021 Preview

Conspicuous Snoop: Ondrej Strasky's Exclusive Core Set 2021 Preview

Throughout my career, I’ve had a lot of success with tribal decks. I qualified for my first PT playing Merfolk in Modern, and I wrote a 6000 word primer on Humans a couple years back. Most importantly, I restarted my career and won GP Stockholm with the help of some trusty Spirits. Therefore, I was incredibly happy to find out that my first ever preview card was a tribal card! Without further ado, let me introduce you to Conspicuous Snoop:

Conspicuous Snoop

Are Goblins making a comeback?? Well, maybe. If they do, it will certainly be on the back of this card. 2/2 for two by itself isn’t much, but Goblins have always been about flooding the board with creatures as quickly as possible and beating your opponent to death, and this one is pretty neat for that plan. The Snoop generates a lot of card advantage while picking up the nice bonus of a cool activated ability here and there; I think the third ability will rarely be relevant, but it’s a nice bonus.

Snooping Around Standard

With Snoop, we’re definitely looking to abuse it with 1 converted mana cost goblins, so we can chain multiples off the top of our library. Obviously we’ll play more expensive Goblins, but I’d like to start with looking at the cheapest options possible. Quick search shows that there are five options in the current Standard format. Goblin Banneret, Spear Spewer, Tin Street Dodger, Torch Courier, Weaselback Redcap. Not too shabby. We’re probably not looking to play Spear Spewer or Torch Courier, but the other cards have seen some play in the past.

In the two drop slots, the best options available are Ember Hauler, Goblin Cratermaker and Zhur-Taa Goblin. Although splashing green might be tough with current manabases. The double red cost of Snoop is also a bit prohibitive. Of course, you can also play another Snoop of the top, since they’re not legendary. On three, we have Legion Warboss and Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin. Also don’t forget that Goblin Ringleader is still a Standard legal card!

In the current Standard format, two-color aggro decks are in a bad position due to the lack of solid dual lands. Therefore, playing Mono Red makes a lot of sense and Conspicuous Snoop leans into that well. However, we might have to wait till fall for rotation for a couple of reasons: Deafening Clarion will leave Standard at that point, which is a big bonus, and we might also see some new Goblins come out in the upcoming set. Right now, the power level of other Goblins is a bit low, but if we see something like two solid one drops being printed, things might change quickly. We haven’t even seen all of M21 yet! Here’s hoping we get something good.

History’s Greatest Snoops

Historic might already have the tools it needs, as it looks as though Wizards are trying to subtly push Goblins there. Gempalm Incinerator and Goblin Matron were each added in through Historic Anthologies, and those cards were the deck’s staples back in Legacy when Goblins used to be on top of the metagame, though this dates back like 20 years, I assume. We’ve also got the cards that rotated out recently, such as Siege-Gang Commander, Goblin Chainwhirler, Goblin Warchief, and Skirk Prospector; those are a bunch of solid cards and if we can find a cheaper lord than Goblin Trashmaster, which is kind of trash, we might be looking at a solid deck. Definitely going to try that one in my Historic dive for the upcoming PT.

Snooping for all Eternity

As for other Eternal formats, I’d expect Snoop to get included in all types of Goblin decks, but I’m unsure if it can make any waves. Also, I wouldn’t be completely shocked if there was some cool combo with its third ability. Those things might get overlooked, because there are so many cards in Magic, but I can’t think of anything as of right now.

Overall, I think this card is super solid. As usual with tribal cards, the quality of it will mostly depend on how good the supporting cast ends up being. If we end up seeing a Goblin deck in Standard however, it’s hard to imagine this card won’t be a pillar of that strategy, and I’m certainly excited to play with it.

I’d like to thank Wizards of the Coast for giving me the chance to preview this card. It’s been a long time dream of mine to get this opportunity, and I’m looking forward to testing out Conspicuous Snoop. M21 looks awesome so far, can’t wait for its release!

Ondrej Strasky

Ondrej Strasky

Ondřej Stráský is a member of the 2020 Magic Pro League. Twitch / Twitter

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22 days ago

Seems pretty nuts with Kiki-jiki on top of your library!

22 days ago

You need some sort of outlet as they will all be tapped, but there’s lots of options for that!