August 22, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 4.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
You don’t often use the words “goblin”, “four mana” and “really, really good in constructed” in the same sentence, but you should here. He looks innocuous, but he’s basically the goblin nation’s answer to Bloodbraid Elf – and sometimes their answer to Jace the Mind Sculptor, considering that in a tribal deck he’ll almost always draw you one card and sometimes up to four. And while the tribe isn’t a major part of Ravnica in the sense of the traditional tribal deck, you never know what the future holds for Standard. I don’t know how you’d classify a lot of the characters from Grimm and Andersen, but I’d be shocked if some of them weren’t goblins . . .
Now this is a relevant Throwback Thursday card, because Goblin Ringleader made its return to Standard (and Modern debut) through Core Set 2020. And it’s better than it might look…even as a four-mana creature, it still can have a fairly big impact by getting you up to four cards. Goblins can be a deck with the issue of running out of gas in the later parts of the game, and this is a way to get the engines running again. This also has the ability to help you by getting you a removal spell in Tarfire…note that this says “Goblin” and not “Goblin creature”, so the Lorwyn-block Tribal cards (of which there are five, one of them being Tarfire) are eligible targets if they are Goblin cards.
Both Modern and Standard Goblins is a fan of this card, though I’m unsure of if there is presently a good Goblin deck for Standard. And even if you don’t get a massive hit off of the Ringleader, you’re likely to get at least one card out of it…and a 2/2 with haste is a solid place to be in terms of a body. It’s not going to be a multi-format staple, but it gives a popular tribal deck more late-game firepower, and sometimes that’s all you need.
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