Goblin invasion

15 posts / 0 new
Last post
I'm playing something like this at our tournament on Sunday.

Commander: Snig the Axe

Creature cards (12)
2x Goblin Archer
4x Goblin Cutter
2x Hobgoblin Sorcerer
2x Goblin Champion
2x Goblin Wolf Rider

Initial deployment should be a Sorcerer or Wolf Rider plus as many small goblins as available. Odds are 93% you get one of those in your starting hand and odds are 12% you get less than two level 1s (the odds of ideal hand are a bit trickier to calculate but should be quite good). Wolf Rider is a Goblin Champion delivery system. You really want to refrain from deploying a Champion at your start area unless you are forced to. Of course, in a pinch you can drop a level 1 with it. Thankfully the Wolf Rider has CHA so you basically have a CHA unit that needs to be killed twice. Take advantage.

With Snig's ability to deploy during the Refresh phase, I would suggest to play the odds if you only have Champion(s) and level 1s: play two or three level 1s on the initial deployment then see the replacement cards on your first turn. You're quite likely to draw a Sorcerer or Wolf Rider (85% to draw either if you play two level 1s, 80% to draw Sorcerer if you play three level 1s... I suggest playing two, unless you think the Sorcerer is the most important piece in the band).

You should take advantage of Snig's ability also in other cases to increase your virtual creature card hand size at initial deployment. Initial deployment is the one time where it makes sense not to wait until Refresh to deploy, since what you put in play cannot be attacked right away (careful about War Wizard and magic circles). Deploy the stuff you really want on the board and use the extra cards to refine your strategy. You basically have access to 7 or 8 of your initial creature cards for your first deployment. Use that advantage.

Order cards (30)

(Engine)
2x Reinforcements
3x Arcane Ritual

(Aggro)
4x Goblin War Cry
4x Quick Jab
3x Shattered Weapon
3x Feint

(Mobility)
2x Nimble Strike
3x Forward the Horde

(Defense)
4x Shield
2x Leap Away

The Order cards are still in flux (not sure about Feint but I want to maximize the effect of those Cutters without Wolf or Horned Devil in the band). I also wish I had a third Reinforcements, because I believe it really needs to be drawn so I don't run out of steam. That's why I also added Arcane Ritual. There's another zillion cards I would have liked to fit in too but no luck there. The obvious ones are Strength in Numbers (to shore up Snig's Leadership weakness), Rally (for all the Shattered Weapons and Leap Away... ideally you snag two cards with it), Death Sentence (I thought in this band it's a lot less impressive than in one with the Horned Devil), Mirror Image (added protection to the Sorcerer) and Grovel. I decided to make the band focus mostly on aggressive cards and have only minimal defenses. Shattered Weapon is for spike damage, put it on a Cutter if you can, otherwise there might be times when you have to do melee with an Archer or Sorcerer so take that opportunity, as you probably won't melee with it again, cancelling the drawback of the card. Shield gets to randomly protect some other goblin without tapping the target of the attack, which gives him the extra -10 damage from Hobgoblin Sorcerer to work with. Leap Away is kind of awesome with melee units once they're already engaged.

You're playing this warband because of Goblin Warcry. If you have an army on board, that card can be devastating. Level 1s that attack for 10 are efficient attackers, so if they get to do 20 (Archers, Cutters on tapped creatures) they're above curve. The Goblin Champion with flanking is similarly very efficient. Goblin Warcry makes your guys even more efficient, and certainly gets better the more guys you have on the field.

I think you probably will very rarely cower with this band, since the level 1s are expendable and so is the Wolf Rider. Be careful about AOE attacks! The mobility cards are precisely because your guys are so fragile, you want to be able to be out of range of enemies while having the ability to position yourself for a strike right after.

Strangely, I think you want to hold off before attacking with this warband. Having -1 Leadership compared to most commanders means a 17% on board disadvantage at start (and a whopping 50% against Leadership 9), but as Leadership increases the difference becomes proportionally lower.

Future play : I'm tempted once I get a third Reinforcement and possibly a third Champion (we're opening a Tyranny of Goblins pack for prizes this weekend) to cut the INT stuff and the Hobgoblin Sorcerers for the third Champion and a Horned Devil + some good CON cards. You should be able to always get to your Horned Devil in this band, and he'd make for an awesome mid to late game figure, especially if he's Tough as Nails. Right now, though, I think Reinforcement is so important you need to have access to Arcane Ritual in a pinch.
Very interesting take on this set.  I'll preface by saying I don't have alot of experience, and have only played a few times so far as time is limited with life and my two little girls. 

I played my wife the other night with Goblins vs Drow, both sets stock.  I played the Goblins and although it was a long game I felt it was an uphill battle against the drow.  They just seemed to have better order cards and an answer to almost every one of my attacks.  Drow ended up beating me pretty handily.  Even a Troll with Tough as Nails stood no chance.  I'd be curious as to your impression of the two sets in their stock form.  
I think Drow is probably much better in stock form, though I have limited experience with the stock decks (I'm basically your opposite, I bought two of each as soon as they were out and made new warbands right away ). The synergies in this are very thin and tend to benefit strongly from cards that are in other sets, however it does provide some really awesome new cards and commanders to the game. In a way it suffers from the same problem as Cormyr: it tries to do too many things at once and can either be really bad or really good depending on whether you draw the cards that work together or not. The Drow are better at this because they're very DEX focused and the few INT cards they have are either Affinity Spiders or Affinity Drow, so pretty much all their creatures can use pretty much all their cards. As you can see, the Goblins band improves dramatically when you can add in cards from other sets. Feint is a must. So are Shield and Arcane Ritual (my experience tonight shows the Sorcerer is key and he needs to be built around). Quick Jab seemed awesome to me as well but is possibly one of the cards from out of other sets that is the least dramatically useful.

So I played this tonight and another player had a different take on Tyranny of Goblins centering around Feral Troll and Horned Devil with Death Sentence and lots of improvements for their big bruisers, like Tough as Nail and another similar card that gives +10 damage and removes attached cards, and cards that have negative effects that attach to the creature, like Mortal Strike. I thought his warband was unfocused but it definitely seemed viable. It was using the second commander because of 8 Leadership and his ability to punish cowering.

My impression is that Hobgoblin Sorcerer is basically the centerpiece of the warband. Contrary to what I thought it is MUCH more useful than the Wolf Rider/Champion combo, though you do need those as meatshields to attract aggro and hopefully leave a couple of Cutters and Archers intact for your big Goblin Warcry turn. His defensive ability is much better than I thought and basically makes your swarm better than the other low level creatures in the game. You need the Sorcerer if the opponent is fielding Elf Archers or Demonweb Spiders (especially if he's got the +2 speed to drow and spiders commander). Wolf Rider is actually better for your second wave, as it acts as reinforcements. Otherwise you are sort of incentivized to use him as treasure collector, which is expensive at 4 levels. I'm not even sure the Champion is that critical to drop for Ride. A few times he actually died right after spawning because the opponent killed the Wolf Rider early in his turn. I might have been better dropping a level 1 then or just not using Ride. Flanking on him was very useful in some occasions though, so I think he's still got a place in the band. He's just not the best guy for the job unlike what I thought. Instead of cutting a Hobgoblin Sorcerer for Horned Devil, I would suggest cutting one Champion. At the speed you're emptying your creatures deck, you should almost always draw the Champion, and certainly dropping a Cutter with the Wolf Rider isn't bad per say. If you cut a Champion, using Reinforcements to dump bad cards like an extra Wolf Rider from your hand becomes even more crucial.

The other reason for loving the Sorcerer is that a Sorcerer with active Arcane Ritual is the best sort of bait to force your opponent to come into the tile next to your start zone, which you can punish by spawning an army at your Refresh phase. In fact the 6 Leadership of Snig the Axe is misleading. Spawning during your Refresh phase means your creatures get one full extra turn, as whatever casualties you take during your opponent's turn can be replenished immediately instead of at the Deploy phase. So while you can't have as many levels worth of creatures in play at once, you can often have more of them in a useful position on the field, especially in the late game where your Leadership deficit can easily be less than the amount of levels of creatures your opponent has over you that is stuck in his start zone or some other completely irrelevant location.

ALWAYS have an arcane circle next to your start zone. This is where you're likely going to stick your Sorcerer, with a giant "Come get me" sign over his head. This means that you can do something as awesome as send a quasi-dead Sorcerer and 2 Goblin Archers + 2 Goblin Cutters you've just spawned after a fresh Horned Devil, on a turn where you have both Goblin Warcry and Feint.

As I thought, Reinforcement was crucial. I won all three of my matches but the one I came closest to losing (barring a misplay from my opponent) I actually ran out of Creature cards and had only 9 levels of creatures left in play out of an available 12 Leadership and no way to replenish my stock (I was also on 1 Morale). But then I drew Goblin Warcry so...

My spoils for the night is one more Goblin Archer (I'll try a 3/3 split with Cutter instead of 2/4, possibly cutting back one Feint), one Reinforcement (auto-include), one Rally (for future band design), one Leap Away (I think I'll cut one Shield for it, four was too many as I often got two clogging my hand that I could not use both in the same turn if my opponent tried a big turn) and a few more one-of cards from Tyranny that I didn't care much about.
So I played this tonight and another player had a different take on Tyranny of Goblins centering around Feral Troll and Horned Devil with Death Sentence and lots of improvements for their big bruisers, like Tough as Nail and another similar card that gives +10 damage and removes attached cards, and cards that have negative effects that attach to the creature, like Mortal Strike. I thought his warband was unfocused but it definitely seemed viable. It was using the second commander because of 8 Leadership and his ability to punish cowering.



Great explanation of your build/tactics.  I think I see more clearly now how that build is supposed to work.  I think I want to try a build like you mentioned the other player came up with though, focusing more on Con with the Troll beatdown.  I've always loved Trolls and would like to make that more of a centerpiece of play.  Right off the bat I would think I would drop the little level one guys like the Cutter and the Archer.  That would drop alot of the Level 1 Dex cards from the deck and make room for more heavy hitting Con cards.  Any other thoughts as to what my creature build/deck build should be?  Cormyr and Lolth seemed much more clear to me as far as builds go, but this one is giving me trouble.  Any help would be appreciated.
Well actually I want to build one myself after seeing it, but I'm not sure what I should put in as I haven't thought about it yet.
Maybe this for creatures...

2 - Wolf - treasure collector, cheap drop
2 - Hobgoblin Soldier
2 - Hobgoblin Sorcerer
1 - Goblin Champion
2 - Bugbear Berserker
2 - Feral Troll
1 - Horned Devil

I like the mix I think.  Focus is Con/Cha.  Not sure how it would play though.  I would drop the bulk of the Dex cards and focus mainly on Con.  Would Cha add a benefit to a build like this though?  Maybe I should drop the Champion and add another Sorcerer, so 3 Sorcerers and build the deck with Con/Int?  So hard to decide.  Anyone who can offer some advice, it would be much appreciated.  Thanks in advance.
CHA is awesome with Trolls and Devil, just play 4x Death Sentence (plus apparently the ruling is that Horned Devil can use Death Sentence on itself to do a second attack, as he is 'within 5 squares' of himself). Forward the Horde is also possibly good here to add speed to your big guys. I'm also tempted by Strength in Numbers so you can end up playing lots of bruisers on the field.

I think 2x Sorcerers are fine, for the Champion I'm tempted to cut him and go for a third Hobgoblin Soldier because he's just DEX, but if you're getting lots of CHA cards the Champion isn't that bad. Flanking makes him good if you play lots of melee attackers.

Wolf is DEX right? If he's CON he's good, if he's DEX I'd think about making them Goblin Archers. All your guys beside Sorcerer are melee and 20 damage is great for a level 1 guy, especially if you have Large creatures blocking access so your opponents can't get to the Archers.

I would limit the amount of INT you play to the bare minimum: Arcane Ritual (since you're already going to hang out around arcane circles) and either Mirror Image or Shield. Shield is more versatile but Mirror Image is best if you think you need your Sorcerer to live at all cost. Maybe a Fireball or two in case you meet my team.
Great points.  Yes, Wolf is Dex, so maybe the Goblin Archers are a better bet.  I just hate how weak they are!  You sneeze on them and they die.

So maybe it is a Con/Cha build then.  I'll do the build in my spare time, very little spare time unfortunately, and keep you posted.  Thanks for the ideas/help.
If you play underground for example, a Troll on the frontline pretty much blocks an entire corridor. You can use the Troll to block LOS to your Archers and anything that melees the Troll will be in range of the extra 20 damage from the Archers. Even a mere Hogoblin Soldier would provide cover and stop most anything from attacking the Archers (except Scuttle, Flying or Burrowing creatures).
You definitely have a great point and I agree with you.  I'll do the build with the Archers.  Only drawback will be their slowness for getting to some treasure.
OK, so I put this together but have yet to play it.

2 - Goblin Archer
2 - Hobgoblin Soldier
2 - Hobgoblin Sorcerer
1 - Goblin Champion
2 - Bugbear Berserker
2 - Feral Troll
1 - Horned Devil

For order cards I only have two Tyranny sets, so I combined what I thought would be the best for this build.  What I have is...

4 - Patch up
2 - Tough as Nails
4 - Undaunted Surge
3 - Forward the Horde
4 - Goblin War Cry
4 - Death Sentence
1 - Reinforcements
2 - Feral Vitality
4 - Reckless Attack
4 - Strength in Numbers
2 - Mirror Image
2 - Ray of Frost

That is it so far.  I'll let you know how much better than stock it is once I get a chance to play.
The minimum number of cards is 30 so I would cut 6 more cards. I would remove Reinforcements first, as it's probably unneeded with the expensive guys you're fielding. After that I think the least useful card is probably Goblin Warcry, since you shouldn't have that many characters on the field and a quarter of them don't benefit from it. Imagine for instance a decent loadout of one Horned Devil and two level 3s somewhere around midgame when you have 12 Leadership. I think you'll often be in this situation of having around 3, maybe 4 guys on the board, and at least one being a non-Goblinoid since they're your upper end of your creature curve. The card would only be a paltry 20 damage worth in that situation. With my band it's a lot better, being worth 20 damage only in the most desperate situations and having been worth 40 or 50 damage at least twice yesterday (in general though it's worth about 30).

The sixth card I'd remove would be either one Strength in Numbers or (more likely) one Undaunted Surge, as you're not taking advantage of the 'remove all other cards attached to this creature' clause and it is therefore not as good in multiples, especially with Tough as Nails in the deck. If you were to pack a lot of Shattered Weapons for spike damage, I'd make sure to play the maximum amount of both these and Tough as Nails.
Great points.  I was thinking the same thing about Goblin Warcry after I posted this.  I'll take it out. 

Is there a reason to make the deck 30 cards instead of 36?  I guess like Magic it lets you focus more on the cards you want to get correct?

I originally took Shattered Weapon out because it requires Humanoid.  I can't remember but are the Troll and Devil Humanoid? 

I figured I would leave one Reinforcements in, in case I got a creature hand I totally didn't want.  I figured it would give me a chance to reshuffle and try another new hand.

I wish someone started selling singles of these cards!  For instance it would be nice to be able to buy more Fireballs or Tough as Nails.  I guess if the game is successful someone will.
Is there a reason to make the deck 30 cards instead of 36?  I guess like Magic it lets you focus more on the cards you want to get correct?



This is exactly why. Pick your strongest cards and maximize the chance that you will draw them.

New version as of the tournament I played on Sunday Oct. 9th 2012

Commander: Snig the Axe

Creature cards (12)
3x Goblin Archer
4x Goblin Cutter
2x Hobgoblin Sorcerer
1x Goblin Champion
2x Goblin Wolf Rider

Order cards (30)

(Engine)
3x Reinforcements
3x Arcane Ritual

(Aggro)
4x Goblin War Cry
4x Quick Jab
3x Shattered Weapon
3x Feint

(Mobility)
3x Nimble Strike
3x Forward the Horde

(Defense)
4x Shield

The third Reinforcements makes this warband tick and allows me to cut one Champion from the high end and add an Archer without running out of guys. With this many level 1s, you pretty much always can get a Champion in hand for your Wolf Riders. In this configuration I believe you will almost always prefer to get an Hobgoblin Sorcerer active ASAP, but you may like the Wolf Rider against bands that have a lot of range 10 attackers (that deal more than 10 damage).

Defense is light and should only be used to save a Sorcerer or set up for a huge Goblin War Cry turn. I'm pretty sure the next step is find a fourth Archer and put it in instead of the second Wolf Rider or one of the Cutters.