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[PRIMER] - Ib Halfheart, Goblin Sac-tician

Commander / EDH Aggro Goblins Mono-Red Primer Stax Tribal




Everybody but me--CHARGE!

I've always wanted to build a deck around Ib since I started playing Magic, but had no idea how to properly do it for a long time. Now that I really got this deck running well I can't stop thinking about how to make it as strong as I possibly can.

This deck is a lot of fun to play, and there's a ton of unique interactions in this deck that wouldn't work in many others, so if you are curious why an awkward card was included, just ask! If you have an awkward card you think needs to be included, just scream!

Leave a comment if you have any ideas/criticisms. If you like the deck, or simply just love Ib, slap your little Goblin hand across this upvote button like it just insulted your Auntie Wort, but didn't do a good job of it!


I'm Already Tired Of Reading!

Ain't Nobody Got Time For That! - Sweet Brown

Does this sound like you? Did you skip to the end of the big books in gradeschool to see if you even want to read it all the way to the end? Did you thumb through them just to look at the pictures (we've got them things!)? This book has lots of pages, and several of them smell for some reason, so here is the abridged version for those Goblins among us who need to get back to testing the cannons for splattery-ness sooner rather than later:

Reasons You Might Enjoy This Deck

  • Look At It
  • Seriously, Just Look At It
  • You've Never Seen A Serious Ib Deck
  • Don't Lie, You Haven't
  • It's Incredibly Fun To Play
  • It's Deceptively Powerful
  • It's Hilarious To Pilot
  • Other Commanders Aren't Really Sure How To Go To War Against Ib

Reasons You Might Not Enjoy This Deck

  • You Didn't Look At It
  • You Don't Know Any Better
  • You Have A Fever
  • You're Drunk
  • You're Not Drunk
  • You Can't Read (Who can?!)
  • You Don't Like Sacrificing Your Land Or Creatures ("Shameful." - Ib Halfheart)

If this summary was enough for you, click the button below to go back to your pirated copy of Troll 2:

[Definitely NOT An Upvote Button, Probably]

Now for those of the us that know that you can't just read the Cliff Notes of Sun Tzu's Art of War (a favorite student of Ib's) and become a great commander, here's the mutton and potaters of it...

"Everybody but me--CHARGE!"

Li'l Ibert!

At first glance, Ib looks like an awkward commander with some distinct drawbacks... and that's absolutely right! But we Goblins are known for our stubbornness, so let's turn those negatives into positives!

First up, let's fix those mechanics.

Goblin Ingenuity

Ib's triggered ability sits in a unique spot in the combat phase. It only procs at the end of the Declare Blockers step, and acts as a replacement effect. Being Instant speed, saccing can be done at any time you have priority, which includes between when blockers are declared, and Ib would sac the Goblins.

It also does not count as combat damage.

This means that with our numerous sac outlets, you can either let Ib turn your Goblin into a bomb, or sacrifice that Goblin for an entirely different reason (mana, damage, buffs, etc). Additionally, lots of fogs only affect combat damage, so the Ibsplosions still sneak through.

Maximizing the effectiveness of this ability means a few things, but predominantly it is making opponents block when they don't want to, and be unable to block when they do. We can accomplish this through cards such as Nemesis Mask, Invasion Plans, and the Goblin King + Blood Moon combo.

Crucible of Worlds: Possibly the most important card in here, regardless of when you cast it. Suddenly half of Ib's negatives don't matter anymore.

We want as many lands as we can get, so we are going to use:

Burnished Hart: Great extra land effect for fairly low cost. I bring him back from the graveyard frequently.

Myriad Landscape: This card really benefits from Crucible of Worlds.

Surveyor's Scope: The Scope works really well, as long as someone like Ib is using it. Sac a few lands until you have 2 less than the rest of the table, create some Goblins, and then crack the Scope to get back to where you started, or even a little ahead! The best part is the lands come into play untapped. A fetchland can be cracked to sit at the bottom of the stack so that your land count shows up as -1 already. Combos well with Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle triggers, and can also be doubled with Rings of Brighthearth.

Sword of the Animist: Great card to throw on a token just to guarantee another consistent land drop.

These cards could allow as few as 6 Mountains to come to the battlefield in a single turn. With Rings of Brighthearth/Illusionist's Bracers/Recursion of the Pretty Elk and several opponents you could easily coordinate a dozen land drops at once.

Now that we can see that Ib is only crazy instead of crazy bad, we get to have some fun at everyone else's expense!

Goblin Shenanigans


Sometimes we just need to slow the game down as much as possible to give us an opportunity to get the deck rolling, or punish people for trying to outpace us. To do this, we are going to bring in:

Acidic Soil: Great card to backup Price of Progress. Depending on your life total, either leave all your lands out and cast it anyway, or cast it and sac all your mountains in response. A really punishing way to start your final combat, especially at such a low CMC.

Blood Moon/Magus of the Moon: Hurts our nonbasics as well, but does make them saccable to Ib, so it isn't that bad. Definitely hurts opponents more than us. Magus is also tutorable with Imperial Recruiter.

Crawlspace: Welcome to Ib's Ark, where nasty animals are only allowed to attack 2-by-2!

Grip of Chaos: Now if this card doesn't have "Ib" written all over it, I don't know what does! This is actually used as a deterrent for people casting spells at me, or period. While it effects a few of my spells, and an ability or two, the amount of doubt it puts into opponent's minds is worth well more than the drawbacks.

Mana Web: Just a great stax card. Forces the whole table to play at sorcery speed. This is especially good when someone plays an Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, as all opponents will have to tap every land. Still doesn't draw the hate that land destruction does, even though this is a lot stronger.

Price of Glory: The bigger, meaner brother to Defense Grid. This doesn't really hurt us as we aren't going to be tapping lands during other player's turns anyway. If we do decide to, those lands can still be sac'd in response.

Price of Progress: Really hurts everyone a lot more than it does us. Does damage even when Blood Moon is out, as those lands are now considered Non-Basic Mountains. If you are Mooning everyone, just sac your non-basics in response to your own PoP, and you will take no damage.

Urabrask the Hidden: Stax on a stix! Plus it gives haste to our few non-Goblin creatures.

In order to double down on some of our ETB/LTB effects, tapped and triggered abilities, and combat, we are going to run:

Insult / Injury: Double damage that pairs very well with Ib's explodability ability. With Repercussion out and a single opposing creature, casting Insult and then casting Injury from the graveyard is 12 player damage! Turning off Fogs is also great for our Alpha Strike to end the game.

Repercussion: Double down on that hurt. Ib bomb for 4 each, and then just carry that bomb right over on to the opponent while you're at it. Worried about it being used against you? Just sac the Goblin after blocking with it you so you won't take any damage! Pairs very, very well with Nemesis Mask.

Rings of Brighthearth/Illusionist's Bracers: These will double up on a lot of stuff in this deck. Ib's mountain sac ability, Krenko, Mob Boss, Solemn Simulacrum, Goblin Welder, Burnished Hart, Moggcatcher, and lots of our sac outlets, just to name a few.

--Click Here For All Rings/Bracers Interactions-- Show

We love the snow, so we are going to be fighting on snow-capped mountain tops! This allows us to run:

Glacial Crevasses: A great instant speed fog, with less of a drawback because we get so many landdrops and have Crucible of Worlds. Can even be used politically to protect another player until you have time to kill them.

Gravity Sphere - (SIDEBOARDED): An oldschool card that not a lot of people know about. This is a great way to level the playing field against the creature type we have the hardest time against - flyers.

Invasion Plans: Nemesis Mask is kind of a powerhouse in this deck, so why not invite all our Goblins to the masquerade?! Could eventually be used to hurt us in return, like most of the things in this deck, so putting it down as late as possible is definitely important.

Raid Bombardment: This is just ridiculous damage. Shared Animosity doesn't interfere with it either, because when Raid Bombardment goes on the stack Animosity hasn't resolved yet. At worst you have Goblin King and Goblin Chieftain out at the same time, in which case you can sac one before declaring attackers to get maximum benefit.


Removal Like Only A Goblin Can

Goblin Assassin - (SIDEBOARDED): This card is capable of doing some serious work. Gets around Indestructible, Hexproof, and even Shroud. I try to use this before tapping Krenko, Mob Boss so that, at the worst, my boardstate only goes back to what it used to be.

Mogg Infestation: This is a great multi-use card. Your opponent has an army of 5/5 flyers ready to beat your face in next turn? Turn them all into wingless 1/1 Goblins and breathe easier. What else can it do? You can cast it on yourself and double your Goblins. This works best when your battlefield is either primarily or entirely composed of tokens, or when you have Purphoros, God of the Forge/Impact Tremors/Goblin Bombardment out.

Combo this with Goblin Chirurgeon to regenerate the important Goblins, or to just keep half of the destroyed Goblins alive.

We have an odd bunch of fodde...friends..in our army, so let's get to know them.

Meet The Famn Damily

Goblin Family Values

Goblin Chieftain: Provides a great anthem effect to our army, at a low cost.

Goblin Chirurgeon: Taught Dr. Spaceman everything he knows.

Goblin King: This sneaky bastard is a bad influence on our impressionable army, turning them all into sneaky bastards too.

Goblin Lackey: Cheat out our friends!

Goblin Matron: Mama Goblin makes sure we get our strongest Goblins out on the field to fight the enemy.

Goblin Recruiter: Great tutor with the little bit of extra draw effects the deck has. Could be stronger if I included a Goblin Ringleader to combo with, however.

Goblin Sledder: Sac a bunch of blocked Goblins (before Ib blows them up!) to buff the one that was mistakenly left through. Or sac a bunch of Goblins to buff an unblockable Ib for a ton of commander damage or to save his life. Can also be used across the table to buff another player's creatures so that a steamroll battle turns into deaths on both sides.

Goblin Welder: Turns your junk into sparkly new inventions, or turns their war machines into junk. Either way, he is awesome.

Grenzo, Havoc Raiser: Goad, freecast, or mill makes this guy hated on pretty hard, but even one round of swings can change the tide of the battle.

Krenko, Mob Boss: Our best source for tokens, and quite frankly why Cavern of Souls is in the deck. Just a powerhouse of pumping out fuel for our sac outlets.

Skirk Fire Marshal: One of the most dangerous Goblins in our army. In typical selfish Goblin fashion he doesn't hurt himself, just everyone else, including us! Ib has forgiven him though, for he rains down fire for the Grace of Gob.

Skirk Prospector: One of our strongest sac outlets. Turn those grunts into something useful, little bubbles of anger!

Siege-Gang Commander: More tokens, and a backup sac/damage outlet.

Warren Instigator: Cheat two friends into battle at a time!

Burnished Hart: Just a really cute Elk. It just so happens that he can bring you more land to turn into murder.

Feldon of the Third Path: Helps us temporarily reuse all those pristine Goblin chunks that went to the graveyard a little too soon.

Imperial Recruiter - (COMING SOON): Helps us recruit some of the more stubborn Goblins that didn't come out early to be on the front lines. Everyone joins in on the fighting! Except Ib... never Ib.

Magus of the Moon: No one who prays to the Blood Moon gets left out when Ib is in charge!

Moggcatcher: Slower than the professional Imperial Recruiter, but still a great creature to have in the ranks.

Purphoros, God of the Forge: Just a really strong play, regardless of when you cast it. Really, really hard for opponents to remove, and if they do get it to leave, you probably already did a ton of a damage with it already.

Urabrask the Hidden: We are the Goblins of the Forge, so of course we fight alongside the Praetor of the Forge!

Goblins That Didn't Get Invited To This (War)Party

Bloodmark Mentor/Legion Loyalist: Any goblin that attacks and is blocked while Ib is on the field never makes it to the First Strike/Double Strike Damage Phase, as they blow up at the end of the Declare Blockers Phase. Unfortunately that makes these two useless to me a lot of the time.

Goblin Marshal: Was in a previous version of this deck, but ultimately too expensive.

Goblin Piledriver/Battle Squadron/Horde of Boggarts/Reckless One: While very strong in other decks, these hulking Goblins are the first to be chump blocked, and could easily be reduced to 4 damage from 20+. I don't want creatures that are only good when my commander isn't out.

Goblin Pyromancer: While fun and chaotic (especially if you've Mogg Infestation'ed an opponent), really just too risky for me for +3/+0.

Goblin Rabblemaster: This one is always suggested as a good token generator. While it is okay at it, having to attack with all your Goblins whenever able is really, really bad in my opinion. I will never include this.

Mana Echoes: While this card gets really ridiculous in a Goblin tribal deck, this deck has no large mana sinks, so it doesn't matter if I get 200+ colorless mana during a single phase. What would be triggering the Mana Echoes in the first place is what is more likely to win me the game.

This deck is built off of using our Goblins exactly how we want to, in spite of our opponents. This means turning every form of damage or removal used against us (except "sacrifice X creatures") into something we can turn right back at them. So...

In Response I Sac For...

Goblin Grenade by Kev Walker

Skirk Prospector & Phyrexian Altar: These are especially good if you sac'd most of your mountains away and need to finish someone off.

Goblin Bombardment: Fling some poor bastard right at the enemy! Use this at almost any time, including when blocking and it is about to die anyway. Might as well have an honorable death as a streaking red comet plummeting to the earth. Siege-Gang Commander can also help you heave your friends, but he doesn't do any heavy lifting for free.

Goblin Chirurgeon: Homeopathic medicine doesn't work, but psychopathic ones do! Use half your Goblins to regenerate the other half.

Goblin Welder has various cards for fuel, including bouncing mana rocks back and forth to untap them.

Look At Me! Look At Me! I Am The Captain Now.

Goblins vs. Gnomes by Eduardo Garcia

Tips on how to pilot this [REDACTED] deck of [REDACTED] Goblins to success:

  1. Don't pull out your Ib too soon. (This applies to both MTG and dating)
  2. Wait as long as possible to sac lands. It is very hard to recover from saccing them all, unless you Mainboard Treasonous Ogre, or swap in a lot more mana rocks. Saccing single pairs is also viable, if the chump blockers are absolutely necessary.
  3. Don't underestimate the politics of EDH. I've won games from Glacial Crevasses and Goblin Sledder alone.
  4. Goblins are fuel, not friends.
  5. Save your equipment for the turn you want to use it, if possible. Don't give opponents multiple turns to plan around your Nemesis Mask, Basilisk Collar, or Thornbite Staff.
  6. ???
  7. Profit.

Mulligans are fairly straightforward.

Since we rely so heavily on basics, do not keep a hand with less than two Snow-Covered Mountains (two fetches is alright of course), even if you have all the other manarocks in the deck at the same time. Three is also good, but 4+ is too heavy in almost every situation unless it is accompanied by a good draw spell or wheel.

Mulligan hands that are full of the highest costed (4CMC+) creatures, or the non-Goblins, unless you also have the ability to T1/T2 a Goblin Lackey or Warren Instigator.

Removed for regular playgroup.

We have a few of these.

Infinite Goblins:

Krenko, Mob Boss + Thornbite Staff + (any creature sac outlet)

Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker + Thornbite Staff + (any creature sac outlet)

Infinite Damage:

Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker + Lightning Crafter + (any creature sac outlet)

Either infinite goblin combo with an ETB/LTB trigger, or sac damage dealers (why not both?!), on the battlefield.


Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker + Zealous Conscripts

Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker + Combat Celebrant

Non-Infinite Non-Zero Damage For Your Non-Friends:

Nemesis Mask + Repercussion + (a token) = Dead ex-friend

Blasphemous Act/Skirk Fire Marshal + Repercussion = Table wipes (and most often game ending sweeper) for as little as 4 mana. This is only really advisable if you have a sac outlet out so you can remove all of your creatures first. I try to Boseiju, Who Shelters All on the Blasphemous Act to make sure I don't sac my creatures for no reason.

Mogg Infestation (cast on yourself) + Impact Tremors/Purphoros, God of the Forge = Gobs of damage.

Krenko, Mob Boss + Impact Tremors/Purphoros, God of the Forge = Classic tablewide fireball.

Blood Moon + Goblin King: As long as each opponent has a regular mountain or at least one non-basic you can attack to your little goblin heart's content.

That's it! That's all he's willing to tell you! Ib won't disclose another war secret to anyone, even if they are a just as conniving and devious Goblin as himself!

Away with you, little squeaky Goblin!

PSSSSSSST! You there! Yes you, be quiet, don't let Ib hear you. Thank you for visiting. If you have any ideas, or just want to let me know what you think, leave a comment!

If you like the deck and want more people to see our Glorious Leader Ib, stab your creepy little Goblin finger into the upvote button below!

[Catch Me On Ibstagram]

Now, loud enough so that Ib can hear, let's give him an "all hail"...

-- All hail His Royal Slyness! --

Goblin Lord by Armandeo

Ib's Solo Accomplishments He Achieved All By Himself Without Any Help Whatsoever:

- Best of #13 in the list of TappedOut's Top 20 Commander Decks of All Time!

- Best Daily Rank: #1 Overall on November 25th, 2017!

- The #1 Ib Halfheart deck on TappedOut!

Make sure to check the more budget friendly version of this deck here:

Ib Halfheart, Goblin Sac-tician [BUDGET]

Commander / EDH* Liquidbeaver


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[Sign up for battle with the Goblin Tacticians: Fodder OPS (GTFO) here]


Updates Add

For Ib's birthday you all decided to pitch in and get him the #1 Most-Viewed & Most-Upvoted deck on TappedOut for November 25th!

He spent the day reveling in himself, and wondering why people even give thanks for each other on Thanksgiving when they could be giving thanks for him instead two days later.

17k+ views, 25th on the list of TappedOut's Top EDH Decks, and 240+ upvotes... Ib is very pleased, and in turn will shed a tear* for each one of you that is sacrificed on the battlefield.

*Limit one tear per battle.

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89% Competitive

Compare to inventory
Date added 1 year
Last updated 16 minutes

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.78
Tokens 1/1 Goblin
Folders Serious EDH Decks, Decks to obtain, Need more red decks, Reference, Tempted to try make!, Interesting Commander Decks, Welcome to Nilbog, Gebirge, EDH Decks, Just for fun, See all 102
Top rank #1 on 2017-11-25
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Revision 133 See all

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