Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Day in the Life of the Goblin Balloon Brigade

Scoffers get stitches! Look out folks, here comes the…
At a recent EDH game, the effectiveness of 1 Goblin Balloon Brigade was called into question. He's a 1/1 for 1 and that used to be all you needed to know. Now, people give this gem a skewed view. A skewed view, readers. So, that leaves me to sit down and invent all the awesome reasons I put this guy in my deck.

1. This is the F#$% Goblin Balloon Brigade. You're not behind a plow anymore, son.

2. Goblin Balloon Brigade has evasion. 1 red mana…BAM…you are flying. 1 red mana is easily accessible in most EDH games. No sweat. The only less painful mana cost would be something like Living Wall. And get ready to see more of that card, by the way.

3. Goblin Balloon Brigade has evasion, but only if you want it to. You can send these guys in on foot, if there's some reason you want your opponent to block.  Grappling Hook + Gorgon Flail? Yes, please.

4. Goblin Balloon Brigade is largely comprised of Goblins. Goblin Grenade? Fodder Launch? Sounds good, let's blow 'em up.

5. Goblin Balloon Brigade is deliciously expendable. When the Brigade makes an appearance, you know it is strictly on a temporary at-will basis. There is no long-term contract. There is no pension. When you need to sacrifice a creature to bring Necrosavant back into play…you know who to look for.

6. Sometimes, all you want is a good chump-blocker. Scion of the Ur-Dragon (a common EDH nemesis) attacks…he changes himself into Nicol Bolas. Who is he going to attack? Not the dork with the Goblin Balloon Brigade. When the Final Hour approaches, the Brigade doesn't hesitate. They inflate the bladder, hit the gas and take the horrible, horrible damage instead of their planewalker overlord.

7. Goblin Balloon Brigade dodges removal. Hurricane? Not going to happen. Earthquake? Not going to happen. Try again! It's classic Balloon Brigade "rope-a-dope"…you just can't catch 'em no matter how hard you try!

8. Goblin Balloon Brigade comes out of the gates FAST. If they are in your opening hand, your opponent is getting a face full of goblin turn 2, tops. Your foes are going on the clock. And if they have some piddly creature they are slamming into you with…Goblin Balloon Brigade is a "rattlesnake" to tell them as plainly as possible "look elsewhere for your cheap hits".

9. Goblin Balloon Brigade is hilarious.

10. The best reason, and I saved this one for last, is their unimposing nature. The very reason they came into question in the first place! No one EVER expects Goblin Balloon Brigade. After a number of turns on the battlefield, they gently fade away from the perception of your fellow players. In a typical 5 or 6 person EDH game, there are always going to be far greater concerns for your opponents to be worrying about. The Brigade chill out, hide in plain sight, and then STRIKE when least expected. I don't want to reveal all my secrets, but I do have Howl from Beyond in the same deck. Insidious.

This all brings us back to an important point in EDH. To strengthen your deck, put some of your cards through a little questioning. You are never going to have the "optimal" configuration for your EDH deck. And if you do…you've already lost, unfortunately. Instead, if you can list 10 reasons why your card is awesome, it probably deserves to be in your deck. If not…might be time to trade up.

Look for more lightning analysis for future cards…if you can handle it.

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