Do you like dealing huge amounts of burst damage? Do you enjoy paying no respect to your opponents and going for super aggressive kills with mini-swarms of goblins? Well you’ve come to the right place.
When I first showed this decklist to @EDHPanda his snap response was “This deck is just trying to kill people” and he’s not wrong. This deck generally has three trajectories: curve out, assemble burst damage, or tutor for a combo with the Imperial Recruiter or Goblin Matron effects.
The Main Strats
It’s nothing new or revolutionary; this is a goblin deck that is trying to sometimes curve out and kill your opponents.
A simple way to understand how to approach each game is to break down your plays into two mindsets. The first mind set is hyper aggressive and you are playing to get kills onto the players you suspect are most likely to kill you (or deny your strategy the most value). The second mindset is ultra conservative: because we are in the boros colors we have weak card advantage and are incredibly susceptible to Wrath of God effects. In the conservative mindset you usually want to commit as few creatures to the board as possible and develop you mana base. In the mid-late game you will try to assemble a huge damage turn where you burst your opponents for lethal damage out of nowhere.
What you starting hand has and what types of decks you are playing against should sculpt what mindset you should employ when making your early game plays. The best players will understand when you need to switch your mindset to match what is going on in a game.
Why Adriana, Captain of the Guard?
Adriana fits the top of our curve and because our deck is so good at creating a swarm we don’t really have a problem getting good melee triggers.
The key to using Adriana’s melee is understanding that you only have to throw a couple small creatures at your other opponents in order to dramatically increase the amount of damage that your whole crew of creatures are sending at your opponents. Focusing this damage onto a single player can result in quick kills that are difficult to block.
When games get grindy you can opt to your tutor effects to try to assemble combos around the famous Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker. With Zealous Conscripts and Kiki you can create infinite attackers via untaping Kiki over and over again with each new Conscript.
A slightly more complex combo you can do with Kiki is infinite damage with Lightning Crafter. In order to achieve this combo you will need: Kiki in play, a sac outlet creature in play, and Lightning Crafter. You can choose to resolve your champion trigger from Crafter or leave it on the stack and activate Kiki targeting Crafter. When the clone of Lightning Crafter resolves it has haste and it causes a new champion trigger to be placed on the stack. Use the hasty clone to deal 3 damage to an opponent. Then resolve the champion trigger exiling Kiki. Sac the hasty Crafter and Kiki comes back (untapped) and you can redo this an infinite amount of times.
This sounds difficult to set up but when your deck has Goblin Wizard, Aether Vial and Winding Canyons there are many ways you can slide in your combo pieces. You can also use Imperial Recruiter, Goblin Matron and Recruiter of the Guard to find these pieces.
If you have Moggcatcher on the field and untap with it with the ability to create 6 mana you can do this: at the end of turn before your next turn activate Moggcatcher finding Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker. Then use Kiki to create a hasty token copy of Moggcatcher. Use that token copy to tutor whatever part of the Kiki-Lightning Crafter combo you need. Note that because you make the Moggcatcher token at the end step you get to untap with it in play during your upkeep. Also note that Lightning Crafter has it’s champion trigger, so you usually want that to be the last piece of the combo to enter play to initiate the combo.
This deck archetype is super weak to Wrath of God effects that get rid of all creatures on the battlefield. It’s a structural flaw that you need to embrace to play this deck well. There are a few cards like Archangel Avacyn that can fight these effects but overall you just have to change up how you time your aggression to throw off opponents.
One way you can fight against Wrath effects is to not commit anything to the board and let someone cast a boardwipe before you start building up your swarm of goblins.
If your metagame is full of boardwipes this is probably not the right style of deck you want to play.