When I wrote the preliminary version of this Deck Guide last year, I called Goblins the best deck in Historic. Much has changed since then, including the release of the powerful Mystical Archive cards. It would be hard for me to make a similar blanket claim about Historic Goblins being the best deck today. That said, a diverse metagame can work in Goblins’ favor.
You see, Goblins can be held in check by players ruthlessly targeting it. For example, old Jund Sacrifice decks played the extremely potent Mayhem Devil, and sometimes still sideboarded three or four copies of Witch’s Vengeance. Midrange and control decks were packed with board sweepers, plus had dedicated answers to Muxus, Goblin Grandee in the form of Essence Scatter, Exclude, Tale’s End, Aether Gust, Grafdigger’s Cage and the like.
Today, we’re not seeing such hateful card choices, and that’s a world where good, old fashioned, Mono-Red Goblins can thrive. Plus, it’s picked up a number of new weapons of its own!