MtG Tribal Decks: Of Merfolk, Goblins and Mono-Red Dragons…

Hello everyone!

Although I just posted a Magic deck & strategy article yesterday – and likewise the day before yesterday – I still got a ton of ideas and new decks in store which I can’t help but present to you in even more MtG deck showcase posts. This time around, I will be presenting to you 3 very different decks, all of them being Tribal Decks more or less – firstly, Green-Blue Merfolk ,secondly Red-Black Budget Goblins and thirdly and lastly Mono-Red Dragons!  So let’s get started with the first deck on our list, which I’d like to call…



4 x Birds of Paradise G

4 x Stoneybrook Banneret 1U

4 x Lord of Atlantis UU

4 x Master of the Pearl Trident UU

4 x Cold-Eyed Selkie 1 G/U G/U

2 x Merrow Reejerey 2U

2  x Lorescale Coatl 1GU


4 x Mutagenic Growth


4 x Aquitect’s Will U


4 x Rancor G

4 x Spreading Seas 1U


4 x Yavimaya Coast

9 x Forest

7 x Island

About the Deck:

This deck is not strictly a Tribal Merfolk Deck, yet it revolves mostly around Merfolk Creatures, almost all of which, quite notably, have the Islandwalk ability or even give it to other Merfolk Creatures. Furthermore, no less than 10 Creatures total in the deck give all Merfolk +1/+1, namely Lord of Atlantis (UU), its identical counterpart Master of the Pearl Trident (UU) and the two Merfolk Reejereys (2U) and what’s more is that the deck features temporary and permanent stats boosting cards that are highly cost-efficient, namely Rancor and Mutagenic Growth. So as to make all my Merfolk Islandwalkers unblockable I am running 8 “Islandwalk-Enabler” Spells – 4 Aquitects Will, which draw you a card in addition to their base effect if you control at least one Merfolk Creature and 4 Spreading Seas, a card which I hold in high renown. It is in fact pseudo-land destruction combined with card draw at the affordable cost of just 1U. Spreading Seas turns any land into a plain, basic Island AND draws you a card on top of that. As if the multiple-boosted Islandwalkers in conjunction with said “Islandwalk-Enablers” woudln’t spell enough trouble for your opponent already, the deck features an awesome and highly potent Draw Engine. Take a gander at this awesome Merfolk card:

Just imagine Cold-Eyed Selkie unblockable as your opponent will most likely control at least 1 Island and boosted mutliple times by Lord of Atlantis and his ilk. Add a Rancor and you got one hell of a draw engine that dishes out major damage as well while it is at it. In the likely case that you only got the unblockable Selkie and slam a Rancor onto it, it will draw you 3 cards each time it launches an attack on your opponent. This is why I could not resist adding a card that is not a Merfolk but which has a special place in my dark, magic-infested heart:

Just times that with a boosted, unblockable draw engine like Cold-Eyed Selkie and go figure! 😀 Hence, I called this deck “Powerdraw”.

But now let us proceed without much further ado to the next deck, which is my very own remix of the popular Goblin Deck archtype, with quite some black added to the mix and somewhat built on a budget (since I am not prepared to invest in a very costly playset of the totally awesome Goblin Piledriver):

Red-Black Goblin Fun on a Budget (Casual/Legacy):


4 x Mogg Fanatic R

3 x Knucklebone Witch B

4 x Frogtosser Banneret 1B

4 x Goblin Matron 2B

3 x Goblin Warchief 1RR

3 x Goblin Chieftain 1RR

3 x Mad Auntie 2B

4 x Goblin Ringleader 3R

1 x Krenko, Mob Boss 3R

2 x Siege-Gang Commander 3RR


1 x Tarfire R


4 x  Goblin Grenade R

1 x Boggart Birth Rite B

3 x Warrren Weirding 1B


4 x Dragonskull Summit

4 x Sulfurous Springs

2 x Teetering Peeks

8 x Mountain

2 x Swamp

About the Deck:

I decided to divert from the usual route of buidling my Goblin deck mono-red, partially because I was not willing and able to invest in Goblin Piledrivers (they cost about 30 bucks a copy nowadays!!) and other expensive, red Goblin staples and partially because I think some of the black Goblins they released predominantely in the Lorwyn and Shadowmoor cycles are actually quite awesome as well. So a Red-Black Goblin deck it woul be. I decided against going for a Modern Format legal build for the simple reason that I woudln’t want to miss out on Goblin Matron and, even more vital, Goblin Ringleader. The thing that makes this deck so very special in my eyes and that makes Matron and Ringleader something I woudln’t want to miss out on is that, curiously, ALL cards in this build are Goblin cards, save for the lands of course. Indeed, besides the Creatures, which are all Goblins, and I got no less than 31 total of those, all Instants and Sorceries the Deck features are Goblin Tribal Instants and Sorceries too! This means if need be, your Matron could fetch any Instant or Sorcery you’d currently need from the deck and, even more and totally awesome, Goblin Ringleader will fill your hand with up to 4 Goblin cards reliably as, and I need to emphasize it again, all 40 non-land cards in this deck belong to the Goblin Tribe!

Furthermore, all my Goblins are highly supportive of each other: I got 6 Goblins that boost all other Goblins by +1/+1 (3 Goblin Chieftains and 3 Mad Aunties, the latter being able to regenerate a Goblin by simply tapping the Auntie on top of the stats boost), also I have 6 Goblins (Goblin Chieftain and Goblin Warchief) that give all Goblins Haste and lastly I got no less than 7 Goblins in the deck that reduce the costs of all Goblin Creatures and Goblin Tribal Sorceries and Instants by 1 – in the form of 4 Frogtosser Bannerets at the cost of just 1B and 3 of the classic Goblin Warchiefs that cost 1RR.

All in all that sounds like one hell of a synergetic deck and the prospect of having a Goblin Ringleader draw me 4 cards, which would not be all too unlikely, as I have to mention once again, boggles my mind.

Of course I added the tried and tested Siege-Gang Commander to the mix, which will blast your opponent’s Creatures and life points faster than you can say “Goblin Piledriver” thrice  – and so does Goblin Grenade, a great (possible finisher) card that lets you deal no less than 5 (!) damage to target Creature OR Player for the cost of 1 red mana and sacrificing a Goblin – a very much affordable price to pay with Goblins galore as seen in this build!

I am very much looking forward to see how the deck will perform as I put it together now, but I am confident it will be more than half decent, even without the costly but highly powerful Piledrivers. But let us now proceed to the last deck on our list for today:

Mono-Red Big Bad Dragons (Casual/Legacy):


4 x Dragonlord’s Servant 1R

4 x Dragonspeaker Shaman 1RR

2 x Rorix Bladewing 3RRR

4 x  Imperial Hellkite 5RR

4 x Kilnmouth Dragon 5RR

4 x Bogardan Hellkite 6RR


4 x Seething Song 2R


4 x Rites of Flame R

4 x Sudden Demise XR


2 x Claws of Valakut 1RR


2 x Belbe’s Portal 5


4 x Forgotten Cave

4 x Myriad Landscape

14 x Mountain

About the Deck:

Well, this deck is quite, how can I say… primitive. It is all about getting lots and lots of powerful, flying and firebreathing, red Dragons out on the battlefield fast to overwhelm your opponent through raw, draconian power!

The backbone of the deck are however, quite ironically, two non-Dragon Creatures that will enable you to get out your Dragons earlier, faster and in greater numbers. Take a look at exhibit A, the classic Dragonspeaker Shaman:

Reducing the costs of your Dragons, which start at 6 mana with legendary Rorix Bladewing and end at 8 with the mighty Bogardan Hellkite, by 2 is nothing to sneeze at. In the Khans of Tarkier Block however, another similar Dragon-Cost-Reducer joined in. Take a look at exhibit B, which is a third cheaper than Dragonspeaker, which is quite nice:

With the aid of cheap Mana generator Rite of Flame, you can drop Dragonlord’s Servant on turn 1 and follow up with Dragonspeaker Shaman soon after. This will ebable you to get out your terrible Dragons much earlier than usual, which will no doubt apply quite some pressure to your opponent. With one Servant and one Shaman out,  a single Seething Song can easily produce an 8 Mana Dragon, 8 Mana incidentally being the upper end of your Dragons mana-curve – in the form of mighty Bogardan Hellkite. Other notable dragons can be churned out equally fast and easily such as Imperial Hellkite, which calls for backup as he is summoned, letting you search your deck for any Dragon and putting him into your hand upon entering the battlefield. A Dragon I am particularly fond of is Kilnmouth Dragon, who is, in its most basic form a 5/5 Flyer with an useful tap ability, but most notably, he has “Amplify: 3”, meaning he will enter play with no less than three +1/+1 counters for each Dragon card you reveal from your hand at that point. With a deck featuring Dragons aplenty, Kilnmouth Dragon can easily enter play as an 8/8 or 11/11 Creature or even more…

Another way of getting even more dragons into play at an inexpensive cost is the 5 Mana Artifact Belbe’s Portal. Upon playing it, you name a Creature type and it will tap for 3 Mana each turn and put a Creature of the chosen type into play, no matter how costly that Creature would be. Naturally, one would chose the Creature Type “Dragon” in this kind of deck…

Lastly I want to mention the Aura (Enchant Creature) Claws of Valakut. At a cost of 1RR it will give one of your evasive, all by themselves highly powerful Dragons First Strike and +1/+0 FOR EACH MOUNTAIN you control. That can be very deadly for your opponent indeed.


Alright, dear readers, these were my three tribal deck ideas for you. Again, I hope you found the article to some degree insightful and interestinga and I would be mighty pleased if you subscribed to this my humble blog if you liked what you read. More to come soon. Big Promise! Until then,

Happy Gaming!




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