Goblin Dark-Dwellers in Modern and Beyond!

Goblin Dark-Dwellers
Goblin Dark-Dwellers… Standard standout and now cross-format All-Star!

Goblin Dark-Dwellers has been a solid Standard performer almost since its first appearance in Oath of the Gatewatch. But with the recent adjustments to the Modern metagame — away from Eldrazi and loosening the fetters on Ancestral Vision — the menacing five drop has come front and center in that larger format, too.

So… Patrick didn’t play any kind of The Gitrog Monster deck at Grand Prix LA… But he did open up 8-0 with the first of this week’s Goblin Dark-Dwellers decks:

Michael Majors-esque Grixis by Patrick Chapin

2 Goblin Dark-Dwellers
2 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
4 Snapcaster Mage
2 Tasigur, the Golden Fang

3 Ancestral Vision
2 Dreadbore
3 Inquisition of Kozilek
3 Kolaghan’s Command
4 Lightning Bolt
3 Mana Leak
4 Serum Visions
2 Spell Snare
2 Terminate
1 Thought Scour

2 Blackcleave Cliffs
1 Blood Crypt
2 Bloodstained Mire
2 Creeping Tar Pit
2 Darkslick Shores
2 Island
1 Mountain
4 Polluted Delta
3 Scalding Tarn
2 Steam Vents
1 Swamp
1 Watery Grave

2 Anger of the Gods
3 Boom // Bust
1 Countersquall
2 Dispel
1 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
1 Negate
2 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Terminate
2 Thoughtseize

This deck contains two pieces of cool technology that you will Will WILL want to understand for any go-forward Modern melees…

Ancestral Vision

Goblin Dark-Dwellers + Ancestral Vision

If Ancestral Vision is in your graveyard, you can play it immediately and “for free” by playing Goblin Dark-Dwellers. Ancestral Vision was not great in and of itself for Patrick, but it is very powerful with our centerpiece five drop (and great in the mirror).

One of the things that makes this deck cool is that Serum Visions can put Ancestral Vision on top of your deck… So you can mill it away with Thought Scour (and then re-buy it with Goblin Dark-Dwellers).

Boom // Bust

Goblin Dark-Dwellers + Boom // Bust

If Boom // Bust is in the graveyard Goblin Dark-Dwellers can look down and say “Ooh, I see there is this card ‘Boom’ that costs two mana; I can certainly cast that for free” … But then when it comes time to resolve the card, you can choose the “Bust” side and make the whole Erhnam-Geddon deck in one (okay, arguably two, cards)

One card that would have made this deck better is another Standard standout… Koziliek’s Return!

Patrick lost to Master of Waves twice, and Etched Champion once; Kozilek’s Return looks red but is colorless rules-wise… So much for Protection from Red (or other colors).

Check out this Goblin Dark-Dwellers take:

Skred Red by Chris Wallace

4 Boros Reckoner
3 Goblin Dark-Dwellers
3 Simian Spirit Guide
4 Stormbreath Dragon

4 Koth of the Hammer

2 Anger of the Gods
1 Blasphemous Act
4 Blood Moon
4 Lightning Bolt
1 Mizzium Mortars
2 Pyroclasm
4 Skred
1 Volcanic Fallout

2 Scrying Sheets
21 Snow-Covered Mountain

1 Anger of the Gods
2 Crumble to Dust
2 Ensnaring Bridge
3 Goblin Rabblemaster
2 Pithing Needle
2 Relic of Progenitus
2 Spellskite
1 Surgical Extraction

Patrick and Michael riff on the Boros Reckoner / Skred angle, talk about how Countersquall is sometimes a Time Walk, debate the best ways to beat Nahiri, the Harbinger / Emrakul decks, killing the opponent on the third turn with Knight of the Reliquary, and shout out to now-qualified good friend Lan D. Ho. Also how Mike is a ghost.

All these decks are belong to us (and now you too) in “Goblin Dark-Dwellers in Modern and Beyond!”

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P.S. In this episode we state Grand Prix Charlotte winner Andreas Ganz played 62 cards; this was a result of a typo online. Ganz played only two copies of Temple of Enlightenment and 60 cards overall. Our apologies — and congratulations! — to Andreas.

Eternal Masters Exclusive Preview: Toxic Deluge

Toxic Deluge
Toxic Deluge is our exclusive Eternal Masters preview card!

“Toxic Deluge. Two and a black. OWN your opponent.”
-Patrick Chapin

Toxic Deluge is a card that has never been legal in regular packs for regular [Standard] play. This is a card that was originally printed in the 2013 Commander product; but like Scavenging Ooze and True-Name Nemesis has found multiple homes in multiple competitive Constructed decks. Doing one better than even the storied Scavenging Ooze, Toxic Deluge has seen heavy play in both Legacy and Vintage, often as a sideboard bullet.

Toxic Deluge can go wide or tall. It is one mana cheaper than Languish when you need a Languish… and in fact one black mana cheaper than a Languish. It is a sweeper that can go way over Languish’s -4/-4. It is good against Mother of Runes, and in fact Mother of Runes-based strategies that can tax a defender’s speed.

It can go not just tall, but very, very tall. Facing down Emrakul, the Aeon’s Torn? If the opponent isn’t somehow smashing you with a Time Walk or a hasty attack (i.e. from a Show and Tell) Toxic Deluge can kill even a 15/15 creature! Do you have to pay fifteen life? Sure; but you would have had to pay fifteen life anyway, right?

Toxic Deluge can kill indestructible creatures! Blightsteel Colossus — or in some cases even a Marit Lage token — can be flooded out by this sorcery.

Toxic Deluge can kill lots of creatures… But can work with your own creatures sometimes! Give everyone -1/-1 and you can kill the opponent’s Snapcaster Mage and True-Name Nemesis… But leave your Tarmogoyf and Knight of the Reliquary!

Because it costs exactly three mana — and is a black card — Toxic Deluge is a good match to the popular Dark Petition… And especially perfect as a one-of for a strategy full of “Tutor” cards.

This is a card of great flexibility that has made a mark on both Vintage and Legacy. Top Level Podcast is proud to present it for Eternal Masters in this short bonus episode:

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Patrick’s The Gitrog Monster Combo

The Gitrog Monster
The Gitrog Monster allows you to win on turn five, immediately. Here’s how…

Dakmor Salvage + Seismic Assault + The Gitrog Monster

Dakmor Salvage Seismic Assault The Gitrog Monster

If you discard a land card to Seismic Assault with The Gitrog Monster in play, you can draw a card. If that land is Dakmor Salvage, you can dredge it back to start the cycle again! You can do this over and over (assuming you don’t run out of library) making 20 from a Seismic Assault on turn five require a trivial amount of materiel.

In fact, Dakmor Salvage has Dredge 2; that means that if you flip over another land while dredging, you will actually draw even more cards!

This configuration may be superior to previous versions of Assault-Loam because The Gitrog Monster allows you to win outright, instead of just grinding it out with card economy and a large positional advantage. That makes this version less vulnerable to instant kills from opposing combo decks.

At the same time — unlike other combo decks — all the cards are good, and synergistic with each other even when you don’t assemble an instant kill.

Seismic Assault + The Gitrog Monster

Seismic Assault The Gitrog Monster

Not an immediate, sure, kill… But still very card advantageous.

Seismic Assault + Life from the Loam

Seismic Assault Life from the Loam

The historical “combo” of these kinds of decks… Great generally, usually sure to win a long game, flexible, and of course advantageous.

The Gitrog Monster + Liliana of the Veil

The Gitrog Monster Liliana of the Veil

Cute — maybe even very “good” — that you can use Liliana, discard a land, and draw a card while the opponent only discards. Liliana of the Veil might be key if Bogles makes a Modern comeback.

The Gitrog Monster + Wooded Foothills

The Gitrog Monster Wooded Foothills

Fetchlands already define Modern in large part… Now they can draw cards, too! Score another synergy for The Gitrog Monster.

Patrick has a combo… But not quite a deck yet. He needs your help Top Level Podcast community to brew this one up before this weekend’s Grand Prix. Reach out to Patrick on social media and share your ideas:




Sweet brewing, plus great admiration for the Modern work of Gerry Thompson and Sam Black on:

“Patrick’s The Gitrog Monster Combo”:

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Eldrazi Displacer is the Boom Boom

Eldrazi Displacer
“Good luck killing me with a Profane Prince,” says Eldrazi Displacer

Eldrazi Displacer does an insane number of awesome things. Take note!

  1. It is a great hit off of Collected Company. Why? It costs three mana. End. It’s about the same size for about the same mana as Bounding Krassis, but has a stronger long-term impact.
    When combined with Brood Monitor and Zulaport Cutthroat, Eldrazi Displacer can win the game on the spot. The Brood Monitor puts three colorless Eldrazi Scions onto the battlefield, which you can sacrifice to activate the Eldrazi Displacer (to blink the Brood Monitor), which means the opponent will be drained for three life.
  2. If you have Catacomb Sifter instead, Brood Monitor and Eldrazi Displacer can help you cycle through your whole deck. Same deal — three tokens for three mana each cycle with the Displacer’s ability — but instead of killing the opponent on the spot you can scry over and over and over again.
  3. Other “187” creatures with “enters the battlefield” effects are good duos with Eldrazi Displacer as well (Elvish Visionary, Goblin Dark-Dwellers, take your pick)
  4. When the opponent invests a ton of creatures (and a ton of mana) to flip a Westvale Abbey… Eldrazi Displacer can easily punish the seemingly indestructible Profane Prince.
  5. Even when it is less flashy than blinking / tapping / even flipping a key threat, Eldrazi Displacer can just defend, Icy Manipulator-style.

So, you know, the boom boom.

Lots and lots of things going on this week.

What deck did Mike play at Grand Prix New York? Where did he get it? What card does “everybody” like but Mike thinks is horrible (or at least was horrible for him this weekend)?Pretty good story, this.

“Getting down” aka going ultimate with Nahiri to get an Elvish Visionary!

… When to side in Clip Wings

The number of Evolving Wilds you should play in your three-color Tireless Tracker deck

“Grixis with no blue” (or as Patrick calls it, “Jund”)

The clean living of Sam Black’s B/G Ramp / Control deck… Patrick doesn’t want to live in a world where this isn’t the deck to play.

And of course our first shout-out to Patreon backers. If you want to support Top Level Podcast on Patreon you can do so at http://patreon.com/toplevelpodcast

All this and tons and tons of deck analysis and discussion on “Eldrazi Displacer is the Boom Boom”:

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Referenced Podcast appearances:

Poor, Unappreciated, Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet

Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet is one of the best, most important creatures in Standard

… So why are we calling Kalitas poor and unappreciated?

Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet is everywhere — Esper Dragons, Grixis Control, Orzhov Control — but the prevailing narrative is still around G/W Tokens!

Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet in Esper Dragons:

Robert Lombardi

4 Dragonlord Ojutai
2 Dragonlord Silumgar
3 Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy
2 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet

1 Ob Nixilis Reignited

2 Clash of Wills
3 Foul-Tongue Invocation
2 Grasp of Darkness
3 Languish
2 Painful Truths
1 Read the Bones
4 Silumgar’s Scorn
2 Transgress the Mind
3 Ultimate Price

3 Caves of Koilos
4 Choked Estuary
4 Island
2 Port Town
3 Prairie Stream
2 Shambling Vent
4 Sunken Hollow
4 Swamp

1 Anguished Unmaking
1 Dark Petition
1 Dead Weight
1 Dragonlord’s Prerogative
2 Duress
1 Flaying Tendrils
1 Infinite Obliteration
2 Negate
1 Risen Executioner
1 Silumgar’s Command
1 Sorin, Grim Nemesis
2 Virulent Plague

Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet in Grixis Control:
(BTW Patrick and Michael are both in love with this deck)

Oliver Tiu

2 Dragonlord Silumgar
4 Goblin Dark-Dwellers
4 Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy
4 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet

1 Chandra, Flamecaller

3 Fiery Impulse
2 Grasp of Darkness
3 Kolaghan’s Command
1 Radiant Flames
3 Read the Bones
3 Ruinous Path
2 Transgress the Mind
2 Ultimate Price

3 Evolving Wilds
4 Foreboding Ruins
1 Island
1 Mountain
3 Shivan Reef
4 Smoldering Marsh
2 Sunken Hollow
5 Swamp
3 Wandering Fumarole

2 Dragonmaster Outcast
4 Duress
3 Fevered Visions
1 Ob Nixilis Reignited
3 Radiant Flames
1 Rending Volley
1 Silumgar’s Command

And loneliest… Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet in Orzhov Control:

Bret Tetley

3 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet

3 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
3 Ob Nixilis Reignited
2 Sorin, Grim Nemesis

3 Anguished Unmaking
4 Grasp of Darkness
3 Languish
2 Planar Outburst
4 Read the Bones
2 Ruinous Path
4 Secure the Wastes
2 Ultimate Price

4 Caves of Koilos
4 Forsaken Sanctuary
4 Plains
4 Shambling Vent
7 Swamp
3 Westvale Abbey

1 Anguished Unmaking
1 Dark Petition
3 Declaration in Stone
2 Duress
3 Hallowed Moonlight
2 Linvala, the Preserver
3 Transgress the Mind

Here’s the thing about Tetley’s deck… Since Kalitas is the only creature in this deck, it is really, really likely to die. The most popular removal — Ultimate Price, Grasp of Darkness — all kill Kalitas, and there is no one to draw off fire before it shows up.

Poor, dead-to-be, Kalitas 🙁

Patrick and Michael talk about even more Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet-featuring decks than these… As well as a new Dragons brew by MichaelJ!

All this and more in “Poor, Unappreciated, Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet”:

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