June 30, 2015

Mons Johnson's Goblin Raider Circus

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Today's deck belongs to Mons Johnson, the head designer of Duel Masters in R&D. While Mons mainly works on Duel Masters, he lends a hand to Magic R&D quite a bit. Mons loves Goblins. He loves then so much that back during Magic's early design period, Richard Garfield named a Goblin card after him. If you have ever played with Mons's Goblin Raiders, you've played with Mons's namesake card.

Mons has been working at Wizards for practically forever, but he did take a short hiatus back in the early 2000s. During that time he liked to pilot—you guessed it—Goblins! Mons played Goblins when no one else did. Goblins didn't really catch on as a deck until Scourge was released. With Goblin Warchief and Siege-Gang Commander not yet in existence, no one really wanted to pick up this deck.

Mons described Goblin Raider Circus as an "aggro-combo" deck. The main combo was using Goblin Recruiter to search for Goblin Ringleader and four other Goblins. Draw and cast the Ringleader, reveal the Goblins you just searched for, and you have just drawn four cards! During this time, the damage on the stack rule was in effect, which meant that your Goblins could deal damage to creatures in combat and before they died you could sacrifice them to your Goblin Bombardment.

Mons took his Goblin deck to local PTQs and made a few Top 8s with it. With the internet not being as prominent back then, his deck was still not really known. So when he went to the first PTQ in the new Extended season, no one was really prepared for this deck and he won the event easily.

Not only did Mons win a PTQ with his favorite deck, but he also had his best sideboarding moment with it. White players often played Absolute Law to combat mono-red strategies, but Mons one-upped those players by using Dralnu's Crusade. With all of his Goblins turning into black Zombies, Absolute Law was totally useless.

Mons Johnson's Goblin Raider Circus



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