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Creature — Goblin Pirate
Raid - Rigging Runner enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it if you attacked with a creature this turn.
Rigging Runner Discussion
2 weeks ago
First off, congrats on your 2-1 finish! That’s an excellent showing! I’m thrilled to hear you decided to take the deck for a spin, and did so well with it! I also really, really enjoyed your tournament report — thank you so much for posting it. Seriously, it made my day. Well-written and fun to read. I really got a kick out of it. Keep them coming!!
I’m also glad that your second opponent enjoyed the deck! I humbly thank him for his compliments.
Now, let’s talk strategy. I agree with you that generally it is more correct to mainboard the full playset of Duress and to keep Fiery Cannonade on the sideboard. The general metagame simply has too many rich targets for the card, and too many cards that can wreck your game unless you snag them. Also, I’d note, too, that without Duress , control decks are extremely tough to beat in Game 1. I think Duress is the way to go for now.
First, let me try to answer your questions.
1) “First, when you sideboard, what cards do you tend to pull to make room?”
Generally, my matchups tend to fall into one of three broad categories: control, midrange, or aggro. What follows are my general sideboard approaches to the three, and reasons why. Keep in mind that all decks are different, though, so tweak your plans based on your observations and instincts in the moment.
- Aggro: -4x Ruin Raider , -4x Duress , -1x Dire Fleet Daredevil ; +4x Fiery Cannonade , +3x Price of Fame , +2x Cast Down (or just five additional pieces of whatever targeted removal you are playing on the sideboard; Bedevil is good too if you have it)
Aggro is about keeping your opponent’s creatures at bay while attacking with your own. These matchups are often a race, so your life total is precious. Hence, Ruin Raider is out. Since aggro usually runs lots of low-toughness creatures, Cannonade does big work here. Most aggro lists run comparatively few spells, so you can leave Duress behind here most of the time. Adding in lots of removal helps make sure you will stay alive. If your opponent does the same thing, you can consider sneaking in some March of the Drowned for Game 3.
- Midrange: -4x Rigging Runner , everything else depends; bring in various cards that “seem good” against what the opponent is doing
It’s hard to neatly categorize midrange decks because there’s so much diversity in this broad group. Basically, these decks all share one aspect — they all want to grind. They tend to have lots of removal, lots of creatures that double as spells and provide incidental value ( Ravenous Chupacabra is a great example), and piles of late-game threats like Doom Whisperer and Carnage Tyrant that can win the game if unanswered. In general, Rigging Runner is weak against decks that want to grind because it is such a poor draw late in the game. So almost always, he comes out. What do you put in? Almost always some number of March of the Drowned because these decks are so grindy and removal-heavy, usually at least a couple of hard removal spells like Cast Down to deal with any game-winning creatures they resolve late in the game, and maybe even Fiery Cannonade if they have a substantial suite of creatures that lie lower on the mana curve (mana dorks like Llanowar Elves ramp decks are good fodder for Fiery Cannonade ). Sorcerous Spyglass is great against midrange decks using lots of planeswalkers. You’ll have to often tweak things and use your judgment here.
- Control: I’ll make it easy here, just do this exact sideboard.
-4x Rigging Runner , -4x Lava Coil , -1x Dire Fleet Poisoner ; +4x March of the Drowned , +2x Sorcerous Spyglass , +3x Price of Fame . You want as much card draw ( Ruin Raider ) and recursion as you can get here, and you want as many Duress effects as possible. Price of Fame will kill their finishers apart from hexproof threats (especially good against Lyra Dawnbringer ) and help fix the top of your deck so you can close out the game (surveil also works pretty well with March of the Drowned ). Note that if they’re on the Rekindling Phoenix plan that you’ll want to hang onto some Lava Coil s, too. If you do this sideboard, you’ll stop them cold almost every time. You just have too many ways to disrupt their plan, and either to prevent or recover from their sweepers. There’s a certain skill of playing against control, too, so you will need to get the hang of it. It’s not easy, and it’s a different approach to the game. Avoiding overcommitment to the board if you fear a sweeper, playing around a Settle the Wreckage , deciding which cards to cast into countermagic — all of these are decisions you must make correctly if you want to defeat the control player.
2) what plans do you have to include cards from Allegiance?
Well, aside from the obvious upgrades of the shock lands ( Blood Crypt ) being inserted in place of 4 basic lands, I opted to put in 3 Bedevil in place of three of the targeted removal spells I previously used on the sideboard (one Cast Down , and two Price of Fame ). Bedevil hits so many things. Now I can hit either Lyra or Teferi against control, and we even have an option against artifacts.
Re: Theater of Horrors and Light Up the Stage ...I feel that we have plenty of card advantage in Ruin Raider and Dire Fleet Daredevil (the Daredevil does provide free cards quite often). And they are on-theme as a creatures and as Pirates. The Theater though, is a really good card and worth a try. It provides damage and cards, both very good against control. I’m not a huge fan of exiling cards face-up because it robs Dire Fleet Poisoner of its surprise factor and therefore much of its power. Still, if the Theater lands against control, it could be very, very good. However, I feel we are already strong against control, so I’m not sure we need it. I think these cards are good though, and you could very well be onto something. If you do incorporate them into your build, I’d love to hear how they perform.
Remember you can always read my updates posted to this deck page for my tournament reports. I give some info about how matches and sideboard decisions turn out, if a bit choppily put at times. We are Pirates, after all!
Thanks again for the comment — I’m super happy and flattered to hear you are enjoying the deck. I’m looking forward to hearing about your further successes!
2 weeks ago
Nice list! Personally, I prefer Fanatical Firebrand over Rigging Runner in burn setups. It can do a guaranteed 1 damage with haste, and the runner really isn't suitable for a first turn play (because then its just a 1/1 that can't attack).
2 weeks ago
Tonight I played in my first FNM since returning to the game. I have assembled some decks of my own and played a few casual games, but for my first constructed competition, I wanted something that I felt would not lead to abject failure. I ran a clone of your deck. Wow.
There were only six people so we played a causal structure with just three matches. Your beautiful deck went 2 and 1.
The first opponent was a very experienced player (it was his card shop) using a Dimir control/midrange that relied heavily on surveil for card advantage and to fuel some 2nd and 3rd turn Dimir Spybug s in the first game. Unfortunately I had to mulligan having drawn only one land. The next hand had two but I failed to draw another until the fifth turn. By then, one of the bugs was 4/4, the other was 3/3, and we had traded blows with the smaller pirates I had been able cast. Luckily, my third land let me launch a Fiery Cannonade that took out the smaller bug (alas, the heroic Rigging Runner it had blocked didn't make it) as well as the two Nightveil Sprite s that had pumped the bugs. Next turn I was able to cast a Kitesail Freebooter and when I sent a full charge the next turn, he blocked with his big (now 6/6) bug only to find a flash-cast Dire Fleet Poisoner helping out the Freebooter. Hurrah. I was able to drop in a Dire Fleet Neckbreaker and the game was quickly over. For the second game, I sideboarded in the Duress package as well as the Cast Down s and Price of Fame s. I used two of the Duress to great effect snagging countermagic both times, and the Cast Down s were useful against a wide variety of Dimir nasties like Dream Eater , Nightveil Predator , and Thief of Sanity . It took a bit of time, but I finally defeated my opponent after dropping two Neckbreakers for a big charge.
My second opponent was another recent returnee to Magic--we both tend to play with out land in front on the battlefield as was illustrated in the original MTG instruction pamphlet. He was playing an unmodified Ral Planeswalker deck. The speed of the pirate deck made short work of him in about ten minutes. For the remaining time, we swapped decks and played again. He wasn't familiar with the cards or mechanics so it was drawn out, but he was winning when the other matches ended. He also sends you compliments on the pirates...Arg.
Third match was against the winner from the other bracket. The player is the local judge, and she lives and breathes the game. She was playing a Teferi control deck. The deck was four colors (no green) and the manabase cost enough to feed a small goblin tribe for a decade--there were no basic lands. The first game I was able to get a decent start and was able to do significant damage before she cleared the board with a Deafening Clarion . She then dropped a Lyra which I was unable to answer and that game was soon over.
I almost swapped in the entire sideboard, leaving out only one of the March of the Drowned . I had a decent draw, but unfortunately, the three lands--two swamps and an Unclaimed Territory were the only land cards I drew for at least six turns. I was able to cast some pirates and did draw both Sorcerous Spyglass s and used them both against Teferi (the first was destroyed). Unfortunately, she cast a Rekindling Phoenix and without any regular red mana sources, the only way I could get rid of it was to use two Cast Down s, first during her turn, then during mine. The next turn, she cast another. After finally dropping a mountain, I was able to Lava Coil the buzzard and got in a few decent hits before the bitch Lyra hit the board again. Luckily, I drew into a Price of Fame and got rid of it, only to have her cast another. I did try to use a Dire Fleet Daredevil to borrow one of her creature kills, but she counterspelled him. My demise was as quick as it was inevitable.
Overall, the deck did well. I don't know enough about the Teferi deck to figure out what else I could have done against it, but the second round would have been much closer if I had not been mana hosed.
Having successfully used the deck, I have two questions. First, when you sideboard, what cards do you tend to pull to make room? I figure it is rather situational based on what the opponent's deck looked like in the first game, but what are the most likely cards you pull. Against the Teferi, I stripped out the Rigging Runner s and the Fiery Cannonade s. I also dropped two Ruin Raider (which may have been a mistake because she quickly burned the one I was able to cast in game 2) and all four of the Dire Fleet Poisoner s--the Deathtouch would be worthless against Lyra and I don't think she would have fallen for the same attacking Freebooter trick I pulled against my first opponent to get rid of the phoenix.
Second, what plans do you have to include cards from Allegiance? The creature cards don't fit the pirate theme, but with the possibly diminishing payoff of the Fiery Cannonade (which may change if the is a resurgence of aggro from Rakdos or Orzhov via the Allegiance cards) would it be worth it to include some non pirate creatures?
Aside from creatures, I think both Light Up the Stage and Theater of Horrors could be viable ways to get additional card advantage. With Spectacle, Light Up the Stage is a cheap way to access two more cards and you have until the end of your next turn to use them.. I saw the card used to great effect in the prerelease.
Theater of Horrors ? Don't know..your opponents see all cards as they build up, but that could be to your advantage if they focus on the potentials of the exiled cards and may not anticipate cards in hand. Plus basically drawing two card every turn without worrying about hand size? Only fear is removal that kills your enchantment andthus permanently exiling everything.
Anyway, thanks again for your deck. I am more confident about trying my decks, but I may still the sirens call to go sailing some Friday night with those scurvy seadogs. :)
1 month ago
This article is one I have shared numerous times, learning to apply it to deckbuilding noticeably improves performance.
Now seeing another list in your playgroup I can see why you'd like an unblockable creature as that deck has many small blockers (more cannonade would help your odds) now of course vs that deck flying is also the same unblockable, a freebooter would not only be unblockable in most senses, but would also help keep your pressure up with holding an answer they'd have played against you. Now for them I'd almost recommend they run a few more removal (imagine getting your unblockable through if they ran a playset of Cast Down and had Ravenous Chupacabra).
My previous mentioned 1 drop pirates could be Daring Buccaneer or Rigging Runner but Fanatical Firebrand seems to be rather popular. if you picked two of those creatures and slapped in a playset of each in the 60 you'd find a lot of your pirate payoff cards functioning a lot better and your ability to close games become a lot more consistent on a faster clock.
1 month ago
No, that won't work. It's due to the specific way the rules for combat damage are written. In the "first strike" combat damage step, creatures with first strike and double strike deal damage. Then in the "regular" combat damage step, creatures with double strike and any other creatures that didn't have first strike or double strike for the "first strike" step will deal damage. Giving a creature first strike right before "normal" damage won't make it miss its chance to deal damage.
510.4 If at least one attacking or blocking creature has first strike (see rule 702.7) or double strike (see rule 702.4) as the combat damage step begins, the only creatures that assign combat damage in that step are those with first strike or double strike. After that step, instead of proceeding to the end of combat step, the phase gets a second combat damage step. The only creatures that assign combat damage in that step are the remaining attackers and blockers that had neither first strike nor double strike as the first combat damage step began, as well as the remaining attackers and blockers that currently have double strike. After that step, the phase proceeds to the end of combat step.
1 month ago
No, as Zetalpa, Primal Dawn cannot block two creatures. You block the Dire Fleet Neckbreaker and kill it, but using Sure Strike won’t affect the toughness of the Rigging Runner. Thus, you would take a lethal amount of damage (which depends on whether the Rigging Runner had a +1/+1 counter on it).
1 month ago
My opponent has a Dire Fleet Neckbreaker and Rigging Runner. I have Zetalpa, Primal Dawn and 2 life. If I block Neckbreaker, kill it with first strike, then Sure Strike the Rigging Runner, will it prevent all damage?
2 months ago
This looks good so far. Aggro creature decks are some of my favorites (looking at you, elves), and this looks like fun. However, there are still some tweaks I would recommend.
DISCLAIMER: I play modern mostly, not standard, but I still keep up with and watch the standard meta. Some of these choices may not be optimal, and they are all my opinion, so take what I say with a grain of salt.
Firstly, the cards I really like:
Goblin Chainwhirler: Very good choice. Almost never bad, no matter the match-up, I really like the four-of here.
Siege-Gang Commander: I like this as well. Self-propelled burn, pressure, mentor targets: this just fits very well in this deck.
Legion Warboss: I think this card in underrated. Especially in this deck that has creatures to be pumped, this fits well. It's just good, immediate, self-propelled pressure. I like the four of.
Next, the choices I think you should modify:
Manabase: You do not need 24 lands in a deck with this low of a curve. I think 22 or even 21 would be sufficient, especially with the Skirk Prospector.
Goblin Cratermaker: While this is a good card in its own right, I think it's much better suited for the sideboard. Maybe a couple in the mainboard would be fine, but it is a very flexible sideboard card that is good to board in in many situations.
Volley Veteran: This card is definitely good enough to mainboard. If you drop Skirk Prospector on one, Goblin Instigator on two, Legion Warboss or another Goblin Instigator on three, and then Volley Veteran on four, that's six damage to face and a 4/2 body for a meager four mana! The thing about goblins is that it's fast enough to avoid most of the early removal other decks may have, and Volley Veteran can likely come down before a sweeper, if they're even running a sweeper game one. That being said, if they do get a sweeper or keep your minions under control, this does close to nothing. Very good when ahead, kind of bad when behind. Consider a couple in the mainboard, just don't get too crazy.
Next, the cards I think you should cut:
Squee, the Immortal: This one stands out immediately to me. I think it's just too slow to get by in such an otherwise fast deck. It just makes the deck more unfocused in my opinion, unless I'm missing something (Skirk Prospector combo I think is too slow, if that's what you were thinking.)
Goblin Barrage: Put simply, I just don't think this has enough of an effect. One body on the board is worth a lot, and because you have to use this pre-combat for it to be good, that means one less attacking body. Minions are recurring damage, while this is a one-shot four to the face and a creature. Also, it is a little high on the curve and there are cards that do effectively the same thing for a lower cost. Consider running Lava Spikes or other burn instead (I talk more about it below).
Rummaging Goblin: Too slow. The goal of this deck doesn't include card filtering, it's just jamming a ton of creatures and swinging face. While I appreciate that this could be good in control or other grindy match-ups, I don't think you need it. There are other, more impactful cards for this, like Experimental Frenzy (see below).
Rigging Runner: I don't think this is quite impactful enough to mainboard, and I don't think it's quite flexible enough to sideboard.
Finally, the cards I think you should consider:
Experimental Frenzy: One problem fast creature decks have is running out of gas too quickly. One of the reasons I love modern Elves is that you get to run cards like Collected Company, Lead the Stampede, and Chord of Calling so you have less of a chance of not getting in those last few points of damage. I don't know if this is good mainboard, but it could be a really fun (and useful) sideboard card. In games you know are going to go long, you can slap this down and just pop off, given the right opportunity.
Some burn/removal: Cards like Lightning Strike, Shock, and Lava Spike could be good additions to the sideboard. All are good in creature match-ups to clear the way for the alpha strike, and the Lightning Strikes and Shocks are good for pressuring planeswalkers or getting that last 5 or so damage.
Risk Factor: This card is good in decks that have a lot of early pressure. It offers both burn and gas, depending on the situation, and in a fast deck like goblins, both are almost always useful. While maybe too unfocused for the mainboard, this would be a good choice for sideboard, I think. It is good into control or grindy-er games.
Anthems: While slower, anthem effects like Vanquisher's Banner can be very powerful. Vanquisher's Banner is especially powerful because of the card draw effect. Like I said above about running out of gas, incidental card draw is great for keeping this from happening. Also, this very good for dropping on turn five and alpha striking for the win. I would consider maindecking up to four of these.
Fanatical Firebrand: It's almost necessary to run four of these in the mainboard. It's early damage and a ping if you need it. Also, one drops are very good for fast decks (every point of damage matters!).
Banefire: Good as maybe a one or two of in the sideboard, this will win you games against control. If you rush them down early but they have a sweeper, this will get you your last few points of uncounterable damage.
I hope what I've said is useful for you. All in all, I think you're doing fine with your deck. Just tweak a little (biggest thing is adding removal to the sideboard) and you're well on your way to winning an FNM!
Rigging Runner occurrence in decks from the last year
Commander / EDH:
All decks: 0.0%
All decks: 0.07%