New to MTG

Standard Deck Help forum

Posted on Nov. 8, 2018, 8:57 a.m. by dduck13

I am new to MTG and building my first deck and need help getting the deck size down. If you have suggestions either to narrow or changes that could be made please help.

4 Lightning Strike 2 Goblin Trashmaster 4 Goblin Instigator 4 Goblin Chainwhirler 4 Goblin Barrage 4 Guttersnipe 4 Shock 4 Fanatical Firebrand 4 Goblin Warchief 2 Siege-Gang Commander 4 Risk Factor 4 Doublecast 2 Runaway Steam-Kin 4 Lava Coil 2 The Flame of Keld 4 Legion Warboss 2 Electrify 4 Electrostatic Field 4 Radiating Lightning 22 Mountain

SynergyBuild says... #2

So this is a standard goblin-burn deck? I would really hope you decide goblins or burn, not both, Doublecast, Radiating Lightning, and Electrify can just be dropped, but you have to decide on using the Electrostatic Fields, Guttersnipes, or if you want to stay goblins.

November 8, 2018 9:08 a.m.

Ryjo says... #3

Based on the cards you provided, and since all those cards would seem to indicate Standard as the targeted format, you could probably try something like this:

November 8, 2018 10:13 a.m.

SynergyBuild says... #4

Ryjo really risking it without any sideboard against the pheonix/drake lists with some graveyard hate or artifact removal of any kind...

November 8, 2018 10:54 a.m.

dduck13 says... #5

I want a super fast deck...I would love to burn the face off my opponent as quick as possible. What do you all not like about Doublecast, Electrify and Radiating Lightning

November 8, 2018 10:59 a.m.

SynergyBuild says... #6

You put 4 cmc spells and 'fast' in the same question, that is what my problem is.

Similarly '2 mana spell that needs another spell on the same turn to have any semblance to value, preferably another 2 cmc spells if it is worth its mana cost, so effectively a 4 cmc spell, and fast deck' in the same sentence is a problem.

November 8, 2018 11:03 a.m.

dduck13 says... #7

SynergyBuilder...this is why I am here to try to learn where my mistakes are. I agree with you...thanks for your advice.

November 8, 2018 11:09 a.m.

cdkime says... #8

Others asked you what format you were playing in, and it occured to me you, as a new player, might not know exactly what this means. In case you do not, here's a brief summary of some of Magic's formats--you can ignore this message if you already know this information. If you could let us know what format you intend to play in, that would be really helpful for feedback purposes.

  1. Kitchen Table - this is just casual play with your friends. There are no specific banlists or other card restrictions, other than gentlemen's agreements between friends.

  2. Standard - Standard is a format comprised of the most recent sets. Periodically, the set "rotates" and some sets are no longer Standard legal.

  3. Modern - Comprised of cards that were released in Standard-legal sets since 8th Edition.

  4. Legacy/Vintage - Two similar formats that take cards from all Magic sets ever printed. They differ in terms of what cards are banned--Legacy has an extensive banlist, whereas Vintage prefers to restrict (limit to one of a particular card in a deck) cards.

There's also Commander, Limited (draft or sealed), and others, but those are not really relevant to what you got here.

I would predict you are trying to build for either Standard or Kitchen Table. However, given the nuances of the different formats, it's pretty difficult to offer deck suggestions and feedback without knowledge of the format at issue.

I can try to provide some more useful feedback once I know a bit more about the deckbuilding limitations.

November 8, 2018 11:10 a.m.

dduck13 says... #9

I am trying to build a Standard deck...I appreciate any help you can give.

November 8, 2018 11:14 a.m.

cdkime says... #10

This thread was moved to a more appropriate forum (auto-generated comment)

November 8, 2018 11:18 a.m.

Ryjo says... #11

Electrify and Radiating Lightning are too slow for constructed play. Doublecast, as SynergyBuild stated, needs another spell to be usable, and requires you to have 4 mana open. It might be playable in an Izzet spells deck with Goblin Electromancer when you can basically get two 2 CMC spells for a total of 3 mana.

As for my proposed sideboard, Silent Gravestone and Smelt would be worth considering, probably replacing Jaya Ballard, Experimental Frenzy, and Mountain.

November 8, 2018 11:24 a.m.

cdkime says... #12

I moved your thread from the "Deck Help" (which is primarily designed for Kitchen Table or uncommon formats) to "Standard Deck Help", just to make sure it's clear what type of advice you're looking for, as well as draw the attention of those who keep an eye on the Standard sections of this site.


Moving on to actual deck advice, I'll start with a disclaimer: Standard is not my forte, so feel free to defer to others' opinions.

For some general deckbuilding advice, when you're trying to make a burn deck, you want to focus on highly efficient attacking creatures and burn spells (low mana cost, high payoff). Ideally, you are casting something painful every single turn. Burn is a glass canon deck--you have a bit of interaction and removal with your burn spells, but generally you want to be hitting your opponent with direct damage. Since your spells are all low-cost, Burn struggles in the late game, when opponents have a more established position--so, you just need to make sure you can win before then.

Here are some cards that you should consider:

  • Ghitu Lavarunner - Often this will be a 2/2 with haste, which is fantastic for one mana. Consider running four copies of this.

  • Experimental Frenzy is a super neat card for burn. While it doesn't advance your victory the turn it is played, Burn's biggest problem is having spells to cast. Since your spells are cheap, you usually empty your hand quickly--Experimental Frenzy effectively always gives you 1 card in hand. You do not need four copies of this, as you don't want to draw it early, but 2-3 would be fine.

  • Viashino Pyromancer burns for 2 the second it enters the battlefield, and sometimes can swing for 2 more. Not bad.

  • Wizard's Lightning is fantastic with Viashino Pyromancer and Ghitu Lavarunner. Casting for three mana, it's not ideal, but one mana for three damage is fantastic--there's a reason the most commonly played card in Modern is Lightning Bolt.

Hope some of that helps!

November 8, 2018 11:31 a.m.

SynergyBuild says... #13

cdkime According to MTGGoldfish, Mountain, Forest, and Island (respectively) are played more than Lightning Bolt, but I doubt that was your point.

I fully think all of those could replace the goblin subtheme, and really improve the deck. the Full set of Runaway Steam-Kins will also help!

November 8, 2018 12:01 p.m.

dduck13 says... #14

Thank you all for the advice and help. I will work on it later today and hope to get it down close to 60

November 8, 2018 1:39 p.m.

Spazik008 says... #15

Seems like others are already helping with card selection, but I can give some general advice.

It's always worth it to make the cut. It might hurt to lose the cards you like, but the deck doesn't work as good if it's too big. You see the card you need less often when you need it because it's diluted by a bigger library.

This article shows the math behind it. Even if you used a deck that was nothing but Kalonian Tusker and Forest, the smaller deck wins out over the long run.

November 8, 2018 1:53 p.m.

multimedia says... #16

Hey, no one has suggested yet for you to make your deck on the site? The reason to be on the site, yes? Please make your deck on the site and then post a link to it here either by posting a new comment with a link or editing the original topic by including a link or both.

It can be much easier to help you to build your deck from the deck page of the actual deck so everyone can see the deck and what cards are already being played and cards that aren't. Viewers (users) can then give you card suggestions via comments making it easier for you update/improve your deck. This is a good process to get used to being a new player/user if you're wanting help with decks from other people on this site. Help us out by making it easier to help you.


November 9, 2018 8:20 a.m.

dduck13 says... #17



Here is the deck I am working on...I have made some adjustments from the original one in this post but want to trim down the Main Deck more and see what I can do on my Side to make this a better overall deck. I plan to play both MTGO and some local standard games.

November 9, 2018 8:33 a.m.

Spazik008 says... #18

This makes me hope they never bring back Goblin Grenade.

November 9, 2018 8:51 a.m.

dduck13 says... #19

Spazik008...when i was playing back in the early 2000s Goblin Grenade was my card...I loved taking a 1/1 goblin and sacrificing it to do 5 damage to my opponent's face. That is 25% of their starting life points and you only need 1 Red mana.

November 9, 2018 8:55 a.m.

Spazik008 says... #20

yea it's really good when you think about it, I still see Legacy Goblins every now and then and that's one of the key cards for beating the fast combo decks. Risk Factor only gets you either 8 damage or 3 cards for 3 mana and a discarded card, vs 5 damage for 1 mana and a token from Goblin Rabblemaster or Siege-Gang Commander.

Red is already good enough though, there's no way they'd bring it back today. I'd probably sleeve up Goblins myself if that were the case.

November 9, 2018 8:58 a.m.

dduck13 says... #21

ok...my deck is up...got it down to 65 main and 15 side. I plan to play this for a week or so and then make some adjustments if needed. I am still open to some suggestions but think this may work.

November 9, 2018 12:44 p.m.

dduck13 says... #22

I took the deck and played about 5 matches and need to make some changes...it is not working fast enough...I got a few games where my opponent was down to 4-5 but couldn't finish. What suggestions do you all have.

November 9, 2018 8 p.m.

Spazik008 says... #23

check the bar graph on the side and cut it so that the mana curve descends properly would be my advice. Often when I can't decide on a cut I look at the curve and figure out how to make it curve better. That's especially important in a red aggro deck.

November 9, 2018 9:35 p.m.

Spazik008 says... #24

I see you have a glut of 2 drops, so I'd look there.

November 9, 2018 9:39 p.m.

dduck13 says... #25

Ok...so if I reduce my 2 and 3 drops what do I replace them with?

November 9, 2018 10:07 p.m.

Spazik008 says... #26

I just meant for cutting down to 60. You generally want a slight drop from 1 to 2 and then a more significant drop from 2 to 3, which helps ensure that you can reliably cast a spell every turn. That's what they call "the mana curve". It's most important for fast aggressive decks and least relevant to combo decks, and since you're a red aggro deck it's critically important to get the curve right. If you aren't casting a 1 on turn 1, a 2 on turn 2, and a 3 on turn 3, you aren't maximizing the value of your early turns which is critical when you're trying to kill them as fast as possible through creature combat.

November 9, 2018 11:32 p.m.

cdkime says... #27

Spazik008 I take some issue with this statement:

“You generally want a slight drop from 1 to 2 and then a more significant drop from 2 to 3, which helps ensure that you can reliably cast a spell every turn.”

Specifically, the “generally” portion. Most decks want more two/three mana spells than one mana spells, so you’re going to want to increase from one to two, not “drop”. The reason is pretty simple - you want to be able to do something on turn one, but the effectiveness of one mana spells drops later on. This is particularly true in Standard, where you don’t have access to Lightning Bolt, Path to Exile.

This is why it’s called a mana curve - it should rise and fall, making a little bell chart when you look at mana costs.

Now, since we are talking about a hyper aggressive RDW (Red Deck Wins) deck, the curve should be very low - you want to maximise your chances of playing spells every turn, and multiple spells once you can.

November 10, 2018 1:34 p.m.

dduck13 says... #28

I am extremely frustrated...I don't know what to do but just start over. I have played about 20 matches with this deck and won just 1 match and less than 6 games

November 10, 2018 1:48 p.m.

Spazik008 says... #29

Try this, it's a list of the winning decks right now.

November 10, 2018 2:39 p.m.

HerOxD says... #30

there's a way to copy any deck to MTG Arena?

November 11, 2018 11:07 a.m.

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