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Battle Cry Goblin Art by April Prime

Standard Goblins Deck Guide: There’s More Than One Mono Red Deck

Hello planeswalkers! Am I the only one that thinks standard has grown a bit stale? With the addition of Forgotten Realms there are plenty of great cards no one has really been experimenting with. While I understand not every deck can be tier 1, no one is experimenting or trying to find a tier 2.

Let me just say, that a deck being tier 2 DOES NOT MEAN IT IS BAD. It just means it might not be AS powerful or AS well positioned in the current meta. But these decks can win in the hands of a player comfortable with it that understands the matchups, and so on.

When everyone is only playing the predicted metagame, that is the best time for rogue decks to come in and steal some wins. This is largely done to decks only attacking at a single angle and other decks preparing to fight on that axis. It is when other decks come in and do something different and attack on a new axis that we see random rogue decks steal tournaments.

It is no secret that I love me some mono red decks. As a result, I test and tune them on the regular and experiment to find new builds for red. So, for this article I figured I would show off one of my pet decks that I just love to play.

The Deck

Without further ado, allow me to introduce you to my standard goblins list!

[sd_deck deck=”gkMaHAj1X”]

Mono Red and Boros Goblins have seen some success in the 2022 meta. But it has a lot going for it in current Standard and I think the deck has what it takes to contend with the top decks. Sure, it might not be tier 1, but it is a strong tier 2 in my opinion.

This deck is powerful because it is extremely low to the ground playing a respectable twelve 1-drops. This makes hands incredibly explosive and swarming the opponent an easy task. The downside is most of our goblins only have 1 power.

This is taken care of by goblins having access to a lord in Hobgoblin Bandit Lord and an anthem effect in Battle Cry Goblin”]. This makes curves into lords very powerful and hard for most decks to deal with without a sweeper.

Conspicuous Snoop

Even if they have a sweeper, goblins have access to Conspicuous Snoop. While not as powerful as it is in historic, this little guy allows us to rebuild after a sweeper or just play from the top of our deck to apply pressure without really overextending. While we don’t have too many activated abilities for it to take advantage of, Battle Cry Goblin is powerful enough on top of our deck.

What makes the deck is the card You See a Pair of Goblins. On the surface it is just a slightly more flexible Dragon Fodder. Sure, making some 1/1s when you control a lord at instant speed when we are behind is fantastic, but the pump ability on a swarm of goblins against an opponent that doesn’t block well when we are ahead is game ending.


A solid back up bomb that pairs well with You See a Pair of Goblins and powerful on its own is Torbran, Thane of Red Fell. Sure, he isn’t a goblin, but resolving him on curve with a swarm of 1-drops is game ending as well. Dare I say he is better here than in the Mono Red we all know due to the higher density of fast creatures.

Cards Not in the Deck

Goblin Trashmaster

Goblin Trashmaster: This card would be good if Torbran didn’t exist. Torbran is superior in every way and basically gives our stuff +2/+0 while buffing all our removal. Plus, there aren’t any artifacts that I care about destroying besides Embercleave.


Bonecrusher Giant: I want to play this card bad. There just isn’t room for the big guy in this list in my opinion and it is possible that it could be better than Tin Street Cadet, but I don’t want to go below 12 1-drops.

Goblin Arsonist

Goblin Arsonist: It just isn’t good and just worse than Fireblade Charger since it can’t do more than 1 damage and I want other effects for other situations.


Weaselback Redcap; This is better than Arsonist, but we must invest mana to make it “decent at best” and I would rather be developing my board. Replace it with Tin Street Cadet in best of three.

Hobgoblin Captain: This card was originally in the deck but was cut due to it needing support to be effective. Without other creatures it was just a 3/1 that died to any chump blocker which isn’t something I want. Maybe in 2022.


Rally the Ranks: This is a powerful effect when we are winning, but it doesn’t help us in our worst matchups. Who cares if our board gets +1/+1 if we just got swept with no resources in hand, then top deck it? We lose that game 99% of the time. Be proactive.

Matchups and Sideboard Guide

Goblin Javelineer Art by Mike Jordana
Gallia of the Endless Dance Art by Johannes Voss

Naya Winota

+2 Scorching Dragonfire-4 Conspicuous Snoop
+2 Soul Sear-3 Torbran, Thane of Red Fell
+3 Redcap Melee

In this matchup the board can get clogged up quickly. We might have to take on a control role early on taking care of mana dorks like Sentinel and Lotus Cobra. Even though breaking through can be hard I leave in You See a Pair of Goblins since we can surprise them with it or make blockers if needed.

Torbran is very slow, and unless we win when we slam him, he just doesn’t do enough, and they can have Redcap Melee out of the board. As a result, you want to cut him and bring in as much removal as you can to remove the non-human creatures to not die to a lucky Winota trigger.

Sulati Ultimatum

+4 Relic Robber-4 Frost Bite

This matchup is all about speed and ending it as fast as you can. Just be careful of sweepers. They spend a lot of time doing nothing until they hit sweeping mana, and this is when you need to capitalize. Frost Bite has no real targets, so we cut it.

Relic Robber can end the game on its own if it sticks and forces a sweeper by itself if it builds up enough tokens. Use this to your advantage if you can. I have won games after a Ultimatum because the tokens did so much to them when they took two turns back to back.


+2 Scorching Dragonfire-4 Conspicuous Snoop
+2 Soul Sear-3 Torbran, Thane of Red Fell
+2 Shredded Sails-1 Goblin Javelineer
+2 Phoenix of Ash

They are controlling but they struggle if we swarm them. We bring in more removal to take care of blockers and bash way while they try to trade 1-for-1 with us before we end them. Just board out the slower spells that are more likely to get countered or removed like Torbran. Be careful of Crippling Fear and you should be fine.

Mono Red

+3 Redcap Melee-4 Conspicuous Snoop
+2 Scorching Dragonfire-3 Torbran, Thane of Redfell
+2 Soul Sear

This match up is a slug fest. We are faster, but their cards are more independently powerful. They have a slight removal advantage since they have Bonecrusher Giant. But we have more threats, so it balances out (sort of). They can resolve a big Embercleave so be on the lookout for that.

We bring in all the removal we can and cut Snoop since it is just a bear most of the time and easily removed. Torbran is again easily removed by a Redcap Melee. You can bring in Shredded Sails to remove Embercleave but that is all it does and that makes it a dead card until they play it which I don’t like.

Our best weapon is You See a Pair of Goblins since it can surprise them. Just be careful if they have Anax in play and remove him ASAP as it makes all trades bad for us. Snoop just doesn’t do enough for his cost, so I cut it.

Izzet Dragons

+2 Soul Sear-4 Frost Bite
+2 Shredded Sails-3 Torbran, Thane of Red Fell
+3 Redcap Melee

They have a lot of single target removal that turns into a blocker making for a lot of 1-for-2s in their favor. I think this matchup is the hardest one we play against regularly. I bring in any removal that does 4 damage as that is the sweet spot to remove their dragons.

I cut Frost Bite since it is bad against the dragons and Torbran is taken out by opposing Redcap Melees which is a bad trade for us. We win by swarming then and resolving a big You See a Pair of Goblins but be careful of Cinderclasm. It isn’t a common spell for them to have, but I have seen it and been blown out by it.

Tips and Tricks

Fireblade Charger deals damage equal to its power when it dies. This means if you control a lord or cast You See a Pair of Goblins it does more damage.

Goblin Javelineer deals its effects damage before battle. This means that it can’t effectively be blocked by 1-toughness creatures and will trade with 2-toughness.

NEVER look to attack into Mono Red if they Control an Anax. Remove it first!

Relic Robber’s Tokens are removed if the opponent sweeps the board, so it is usually a better follow up to a sweeper.

Faceless Haven has vigilance and can be tapped after you declare it as an attacker.

If you trigger Battle Cry Goblin without its effect, attack first to get the goblin then activate it for more damage.

Wrapping Up

I think this deck is sweet and fun to play. Check it out if you are a red player wanting something new or looking for an outside the box aggro deck. This deck has a lot going for it and more complex play in it than than you would think on the surface. A lot of decks won’t be ready for the speed this deck brings to the table and that makes it dangerous.

Be sure to check out my YouTube and Twitch for more content and cool decks. Also, if you enjoy the content check out my Patreon with exclusive benefits for the patrons! Any contribution goes a long way and means a lot. You can also follow me on social media for memes, puns, and even more decks. All links will be listed below. Until next time Planeswalkers, Hero out!!!

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The MTG Hero
The MTG Hero

My name is The MTG Hero. I have played Magic for over 15 years. I am a consistent high Mythic ranked player. Follow me on Twitch and subscribe on YouTube!

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