Did you know that, following his obsession with explosives, Mekgineer Thermaplugg took up knitting? It was probably difficult since he was, at that point, missing his left arm; but I imagine these things can be replaced easily enough.

Whether or not you ever ran Gnomeregan in WoW (one of my favorite lower level dungeons), you’re probably aware that Hearthstone just had its big expansion, and the theme is Goblins vs Gnomes. People are inordinately excited. I’m really not much of a Hearthstone player these days, but I do think an expansion was overdue and I hope that we’ll see a more interesting and diverse metagame emerge with all the new cards.

If you want to tell me all about why Hearthstone is amazeballs, by all means, do so in the comments. But we’re not really talking about Hearthstone in this article, we’re just using the expansion as an excuse to talk about Goblins vs Gnomes in Magic, and to look at some lists from days-gone-by. And since they’re competing, we’re going to turn this into a contest. Here are the rules.

Goblins and Gnomes will each get three lists covering different formats. For each format, you guys can vote on whether goblins or gnomes are the winner. The overall champion will be the creature that takes at least two formats. First up, Legacy!



Copper Combo – Gnomes (Legacy)

This list from 2011 uses Kuldotha Forgemaster to cheat out game finishers like Blightsteel Colossus. Copper Gnomes also work well as a 2-card combo to cheat giant artifact creatures onto the table.

Land (19)
Great Furnace
Ancient Tomb
City of Traitors
Grove of the Burnwillows

Creatures (22)
Blightsteel Colossus
Copper Gnomes
Kuldotha Forgemaster
Sundering Titan
Wurmcoil Engine

Spells (19)
Chalice of the Void
Grim Monolith
Lightning Greaves
Mox Diamond
Staff of Domination
Tangle Wire
Mox Opal
Sideboard (15)
Crucible of Worlds
Tormod’s Crypt
Phyrexian Metamorph
Punishing Fire
Karn Liberated


Belcher Combo – Goblins (Legacy)

Hey, if we’re going combo gnomes, we have to go combo goblins too. This one-land list wants to win on turn one or two.

Creatures (12)
Elvish Spirit Guide
Simian Spirit Guide
Tinder Wall
Lands (1)

Spells (47)
Chrome Mox
Goblin Charbelcher
Lion’s Eye Diamond
Lotus Petal
Desperate Ritual
Pyretic Ritual
Seething Song
Burning Wish
Empty the Warrens
Land Grant
Rite of Flame

Sideboard (15)
Xantid Swarm
Red Elemental Blast
Diminishing Returns
Empty the Warrens
Infernal Tutor
Reverent Silence
Shattering Spree
Tendrils of Agony



BW Sanguine Gnomes – Gnomes (Modern)

This build-around-me Bottle Gnomes list comes from a fun challenge over on MTG Salvation. Every card (but four) had to interact with Bottle Gnome in some way. I’m impressed with the result!

Deck Centerpiece (4)
Bottle Gnomes

Support (15)
Soul Warden
Soul’s Attendant
Blood Artist
Grave Pact

Recurring (6)
Trading Post
Skeleton Shard

Removal (4)
Path to Exile

Win Cons (8)
Ajani’s Pridemate
Sanguine Bond
Sun Titan
Lands (23)
Fetid Heath
Godless Shrine


I Call Shenanigans! – Goblins (Modern???)

Let’s be fair. There are so many more Goblins than Gnomes in Magic that they have an obvious advantage. To alleviate that, I had to find some interesting, non-tier lists to highlight. This list is from Abe Sargent’s “100 Combo Decks in 20 Weeks” series. It’s #79 on the list.

Creatures (27)
Goblin Marshal
Goblin Warchief
Siege-Gang Commander
Goblin Recruiter
Goblin Ringleader
Rage Thrower
Goblin Dynamo
Tar Pitcher
Goblin Arsonist
Goblin Assassin
Tuktuk the Explorer

Spells (8)
Dragon Fodder
Goblin Grenade
Boggart Shenanigans
Lands (25)
25 Mountain

PDH: Pauper Deck Highlander


Wait, Kithkin? – Gnomes (PDH)

Kithkin are sort of like gnomes, even if they are really more like hobbits. Give me a break, Clockwork Gnomes is the only Pauper-legal gnome card, and no one is playing with it. This list is commanded by Gaddock Teeg and runs a bunch of short people. Close enough for me!

Commander (1)
Gaddock Teeg

Creatures (25)
Amrou Kithkin
Amrou Scout
Amrou Seekers
Apothecary Initiate
Ballynock Cohort
Ballynock Trapper
Ballyrush Banneret
Barrenton Medic
Burrenton Bombardier
Burrenton Shield-Bearers
Cenn’s Heir
Goldmeadow Dodger
Goldmeadow Harrier
Kinsbaile Balloonist
Kinsbaile Skirmisher
Kithkin Daggerdare
Kithkin Healer
Kithkin Shielddare
Kithkin Spellduster
Kithkin Zealot
Kithkin Zephyrnaut
Mosquito Guard
Order of the Golden Cricket
Plover Knights
Springjack Knight

Enchantments (12)
Armadillo Cloak
Empyrial Armor
Ethereal Armor
Faith’s Fetters
Flickering Ward
Journey to Nowhere
Oblivion Ring
Recumbent Bliss

Instants (8)
Celestial Flare
Glorious Charge
Guardians’ Pledge
Prismatic Strands
Repel the Darkness
Resounding Silence
Surge of Thoughtweft

Sorceries (4)
Cenn’s Enlistment
Dust to Dust
Iona’s Judgment

Land (43)
Command Tower
Evolving Wilds
10 Forest
Kabira Crossroads
25 Plains
Secluded Steppe
Sejiri Steppe
Selesnya Guildgate
Selesnya Sanctuary
Terramorphic Expanse

Artifacts (7)
Adventuring Gear
Darksteel Ingot
Selesnya Signet
Tumble Magnet
Vulshok Morningstar
Whispersilk Cloak


My Commander is a Lackey – Goblins (PDH)

Aside from the contradiction that your general is a lackey, this seems like a fun Goblins PDH list. Lackey actually makes a good commander in terms of his ability, but you have to wonder … who is really calling the shots?

Commander (1)
Goblin Lackey

Creatures (25)
Adder-Staff Boggart
Akki Avalanchers
Battle-Rattle Shaman
Bloodcrazed Goblin
Caterwauling Boggart
Emberwilde Augur
Fire Juggler
Firefright Mage
Flamewave Invoker
Foundry Street Denizen
Goblin Arsonist
Goblin Balloon Brigade
Goblin Battle Jester
Goblin Bushwhacker
Goblin Chirurgeon
Goblin Cohort
Goblin Fireslinger
Goblin Gardener
Goblin Gaveleer
Goblin Grappler
Goblin Lookout
Goblin Matron
Goblin Medics
Goblin Mountaineer
Goblin Patrol

More Creatures (38)
Goblin Rimerunner
Goblin Shortcutter
Goblin Skycutter
Goblin Sledder
Goblin Spelunkers
Goblin Striker
Goblin Swine-Rider
Goblin Taskmaster
Goblin Tinkerer
Goblin Tunneler
Goblin Vandal
Goblin War Buggy
Grotag Siege-Runner
Intimidator Initiate
Keeper of Kookus
Kyren Sniper
Lavafume Invoker
Lobber Crew
Mogg Conscripts
Mogg Fanatic
Mogg Flunkies
Mogg Raider
Mogg War Marshal
Mudbrawler Cohort
Mudbutton Clanger
Mudbutton Torchrunner
Raging Goblin
Riot Piker
Rummaging Goblin
Rustrazor Butcher
Skinbrand Goblin
Skirk Commando
Skirk Shaman
Spikeshot Goblin
Torch Slinger
Utvara Scalper
War-Torch Goblin

Artifacts (9)
Accorder’s Shield
Bladed Pinions
Flayer Husk
Leonin Scimitar
Spidersilk Net
Vulshok Morningstar
Whispersilk Cloak

Sorceries (7)
Flame Slash
Goblin Grenade
Goblin War Strike
Kaervek’s Torch
Rift Bolt

Instants (5)
Brightstone Ritual
Galvanic Blast
Lightning Bolt

Enchantments (2)
Goblin Caves
Goblin Shrine
Lands (32)
32 Mountain

Six decks. Three formats. Who wins?

Discuss your choices and winners in the comments. Have your own favorite gnomes or goblins lists? Share those too!

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