– Alpha through 10th Edition
December 5, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 2.50
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Goblin King is very close to the record for most consecutive appearances in core sets – Alpha through Tenth Edition, spanning the rise and fall of formats, the Combo Winter of Urza’s Saga, and the first Ravnica block. He only left Standard because of the change in design philosophy where lords only affect their controller’s creatures. It’s understandable, as you can become reluctant to play your cool Goblin King when he’s going to cause a lethal strike to come your way. But even so, there are plenty of other matchups where you can just slap him down at any time you want, and he’s quite often the last card you need to win the game. Since goblins live in the mountains, I look to the same terrain and compare him to the loose pebble that causes an avalanche: they’re so good at attacking anyway that a global boost is just devastating (much less an evasive ability).
The original lord of the Goblins, the King is a bit of a weird lord in today’s Magic. +1/+1 is good, but mountainwalk is a bit of an awkward ability at times. Mountainwalk is a very binary ability (either useless or amazing), and while you do have some spells that give opponents mountains (Blood Moon, what up), relying on an opponent’s deck to make a card more useful is not ideal. The other issue is that Goblin King is symmetrical…to your detriment at times, because it gives all Goblins mountainwalk. So it’s possible for the King to blow up in your face if you are against either changelings or another Goblin deck!
That said, Goblin King isn’t useless; every Goblin deck likes having a critical mass of Goblin lords and pump effects. The King may be one of the weaker ones, but never underestimate the power of a +1/+1 boost to your entire army.
Hey Guys and welcome back to Pojo’s Card of the Day!
We got more Secret Lair cards and this one happens to be the leader of a punk-goblin pirate gang! Let’s take a look at Goblin King!
So back in the day ‘Lords’ were pretty specific, they pumped other creatures +1/+1 and offered a landwalk of their respective color. Goblin King was fine back in the day, a significant lord that would be run beside Goblin Warchief for the mono red goblin deck that always seemed to be viable at FNM Tournament Tables regardless of the changing Standard Sets.
Rose tinted glasses recall his posterity providing a slew of unblockable goblins of various forms, Piledrivers, Warchiefs, and Ringleaders, with a considerable buff as they crashed in for lethal against an overwhelmed opponent.
However his reign was abruptly ended when Magic 2010 came on the scene with Goblin Chieftain who not only had haste and an anthem for Goblins, but also gave them haste as well.
His time during Standard was great while he was around but nowadays his regal scepter is only suitable for the kitchen tables or as an additional goblin lord for the Krenko Decks.
Even in Limited his strength is heavily mitigated by the fact that you would be building a sub-par goblin deck without consistency to try and draw him and be able to go for a short clock, while the rest of your deck is just outpaced in strength most of the time.
Constructed: 1/5 – There are simply too many goblins that are better suited for a 3 drop spot, Rabblemaster and Chieftain for example.
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