Despite a prohibitive RRR, Goblin Chainwhirler has been ubiquitous in one- two- or even three-color Red Decks
“Goblin Chainwhirler is the kind of card that gets me to play Unlicensed Disintegration.”
Goblin Chainwhirler + Soul-Scar Mage
Grand Prix Birmingham’s Top 8 was a wall of Rakdos decks!
While the decks had many cards in common, one could argue that there were two or more sub-archetypes represented, not just one. While most of the B/R decks played four copies of Unlicensed Disintegration, the GP champion himself played only three.
Superficially, we might all look at the Scrapheap Scroungers, vehicles, and burn cards and say “beatdown” … We might be wrong.
Case in point: Some folks played Bomat Courier, some didn’t.
Bomat Courier, a hasty one-drop, is the kind of card you might expect to see when pairing red cards with Unlicensed Disintegration. After all, though Bomat Courier is an artifact, it’s basically a red card… But being an artifact, turns on the enviable instant.
Bomat Courier’s haste lets you hustle out early. Its card advantage long-term has made it a favorite of aggressive red mages.
Why then did it get cut (in some Red Decks)?
There is no one, no one great, answer. But we do know that some Rakdos mages embraced Soul-Scar Mage at the one. This “one-two punch” [really one-three punch] makes the already great Goblin Chainwhirler even more messed up. The ability to spread -1/-1 counters across all the opponent’s creatures is potentially a really big deal.
Goblin Chainwhirler Rounds Out an Eclectic Removal Suite
The Rakdos decks of the Grand Prix Birmingham Top 8 played a wide variety of point removal cards. As we’ve already noted, not all of them even played four copies of Unlicensed Disintegration!
Some played Magma Spray; most “only” Abrade. There was a Cut // Ribbons hither or thither.
Sideboard cards included everything from Fatal Push to Doomfall. Four mana black removal was up for debate, with a split between Vraska’s Contempt and Hour of Glory. And at five? Get ready for The Eldest Reborn!
Point being, there is no consensus among B/R mages as to how they will kill creatures (other than, largely, Unlicensed Disintegration). But even more ubiquitous is Goblin Chainwhirler… a four-of top to bottom. And with good reason…
Goblin Chainwhirler Beats Up Llanowar Elves
Llanowar Elves may be the most important card to come out of Dominaria.
It was heralded as possibly the best card in Standard.
Llanowar Elves gets its butt absolutely kicked by Goblin Chainwhirler. Multiple Llanowar Elves draw? More butt kicking. Possible teammates like Glint-Sleeve Siphoner, and oftentimes Jadelight Ranger / Merfolk Branchwalker can all be swept up in the Chainwhirler’s sweep as well.
If anything limits the power and popularity of the Winding Constrictor decks, it may well be this mighty red three drop.
Not for Nothin’ but Goblin Chainwhirler Crews Heart of Kiran
Consequently, this is a powerful pairing of two cards that can both play offense, and both also play defense.