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Very few people can make every Friday Night Magic tournament, so they hold
tournaments at my local store every Saturday as well. This Saturday was Vintage.
I found out about this the night before hand, and had nothing to play and very
few things to build a deck with. I considered all kinds of ideas, none of which
could get me anything but last place. A friend of mine asked me if I wanted a
deck to play. I said "Sure, any agro would be good, Fish or Goblins would be
great, but I'll play anything." He replied with a simple "Okay."
I woke up 10 minutes before the tournament, and live 20 min away. I told them I
would be there soon. As I rushed over to my local game store, I was secretly
hoping beyond hope to play goblins. A little back story...
Almost four years ago I wanted to play Vial Goblins in extended. It used Aether
Vial, which I had, and the usual compliment of goblins: Goblin Pile Driver,
Seige Gang Commander, Goblin Ring Leader, Goblain War chief etc. I ran around my
sleepy little town, trying to get everything I needed to build Vial Goblins...
then Aether Vial was banned! My world was crushed and I went on a 9 month long
crusade to find a better deck...
After building a deck over 9 months I hit the Pro Tour Qualifier with
excitement. I knew my match ups, and they were all favorable. Dredge being the
hardest, around 50/50. Bad luck was my constant friend. I played Doran Rock,
complete with Pernicious Deed, Vindicate, Fetchlands and even Man Lands. I lost
every round 2/1.
...
Finally I have a chance to play the deck I had dreamed of for years. These were
pretty big hopes, considering it was Legacy in a pool of around 10 people. Not
like it was a huge pro tour qualifier or anything.
So, I arrived and my friend put the deck in my hands. I promptly looked through
it, making considerations, wondering about this or that. I concluded, this was
the deck that I wanted to play, the deck that I thought had the best chances of
winning. It had Wastelands, it had Goblin Lackey, Goblin Piledriver, and
Seigegang Commander. It also had Warren Instigator which I thought was a bit
interesting. It costs one more than Goblin Lackey, but turn one lackey, into a
turn two siege gang and play warrant instigator is pretty potent.
The side had some grave hate with Relic of Progenitus, Goblin Sharpshooter for
tokens (which were present) Magus of the Moon, well for anything really, and
Null Rod for anything using artifacts (there were a few Red/Artifact control
deck).
First round was against Sligh, I won 2/0, the guy had very little idea of how to
play the deck. Next I faced Black White Red Land destruction. He made several
play mistakes. First was spending a dark ritual on a turn two Damnation to deal
with my turn one Goblin Lackey. While a second turn Seigegang Commander is
rough, taking 1 damage, getting a Seigegang AND Goblin Lackey AND my turn two
drop, a Goblin Piledriver, would have hurt much much worse. So, next turn,
Goblin Piledriver... ANOTHER Dark Ritual into Damnation. Goblins LOVE 2/1. If
you are more cards than Goblins... You have an issue. Turn 3 I play Warren
Instigator and put down Wasteland... He gets mana screwed, I win game 1. Game 2,
I get a slow start, actually having to pay for my goblins. He puts out
Tabernacle, after blowing up my second turn wasteland. He proceeds to glut,
about how good tabernacle is, and I play a strip mine, the only one in the deck,
blow up tabernacle, and play Goblin Lackey... he misses the next land drop and I
put in siege gang and play goblin pile driver... Scoop...
I played the man who built my deck, after asking if he would allow me to
concede, on the grounds that this was his deck, he promptly said no. I won the
roll, started with a mulligan, and another, down to 5. The hand was stellar,
Goblin Lackey, two lands, Seigegang, and Goblin Piledriver. Turn one... Goblin
Lackey... FORCE OF WILL ANY ONE! No worries. Turn two draw a Goblin Recruiter ,
play Goblin Piledriver. He sits on his land... Turn 3... Goblin Chieftain...
Swing for 6. Next, Warren Instigator, swing for 12, put in Goblin Recruiter and
Seigegang ftw. Next game, I died to a blue creature with Eldrazi Conscription
turn 3... I would list the card, but I couldn't recall ever seeing it before.
Last game, My first 2 plays, Goblin Lackey DAZED!!! Turn 2 Warren Instigator
DAZED!!! But opponent was stuck on only one land. Daze requires you to either
pay the mana cost or return a land to your hand. So, turn 3 I pulled out Goblin
Warchief , next turn was Goblin Piledriver, then Goblin Ringleader, into Warren
Instigator, Goblin Piledriver and Seigegang Commander. Next turn I swung ftw, my
opponent only ever hit 3 land, I hit 4 over the course of the longest game I had
played all day, I think it had been 7 turns.
I would like to point out, that I had lost one game so far, and there was only
one other undefeated guy, he was playing Dredge. I know dredge better than most
people. I spent 9 months in preparation playing against it, earlier in the
story. This was finally my chance to show off my anti-dredge skills. Ok, what do
I have against Dredge??? Skirk Prospector mostly, I had Magus of the Moon in the
side, as well as Relic of Progenitus.
Game one, went soundly to me, just when he played the creature to help him pitch
him library, I swung for the win turn 4. Game two he comboed off turn two as I
waited to play a Magus of the Moon from my Side Board. Something Occurred to me.
After Siding in the Magus, I still needed to stop him prior to turn 3. I had to
mulligan aggresively to win. I needed Skirk Prospector early, and often. I
decided that Relic of Progenitus needed to go in, so I boarded 3 Magus out, so I
had 1 Magus from the side, and 3 Relics.
I pulled my 7, we both kept. I I had a Skirk Prospector, and a Warren
Instigator, It didn't look super great for my opponent. I was playing 1st again,
turn one Prospector, my opponent laughed and said, "alright". I passed. He puts
down Deranged Hermit, pitching an Elven Spirit Guide. Next I top deck a Gempalm
Incinerator. I cycle it getting a Warren Instigator. My had was not strong, a
few land, a Seigegang Commaner and a Goblin Ringleader. But I had the Deranged
Hermit off the board, and a Warren Instigator. So what do I draw next but the
one of Magus of the Moon. I played my third land, then played him. I pass.
Opponent plays Painters Servant, declaring everything White. He explained "Just
in case it gets to the point where I have to hard cast Iona."
I play Warren Instigator, and pass. Opponent draws, then passes again. I attack,
foolishly, with Warren Instigator, and Magus of the Moon... my Instigator dies.
He asks,"I'm not sure why you did that" So I continue trying to play my
beaters... Eventually, I hard cast a Goblin Warcheif, then cast Goblin Pile
driver and next turn Seigegang, My opponent had no outs at that point, He
blocked my Piledriver lost the Painters Servant, and couldn't find his way out.
For a 10 player tournament, I was the happiest I had ever been, it was a very
small dream come true because I had never won in the sleepy little town I had
learned Magic in. Despite several 1st places during my two year stint in Las
Vegas, this was my crowning Achievement. Even after respectable PTQ finishes,
finishing above everyone from my little town, this was the greatest feeling of
winning I had ever had. Strange? Yes, but only marginally. Well I hope you
enjoyed this story, Good Luck and Perfect Play friends.