The U/R Gift deck was the latest hotness out of Grand Prix Seattle. While it was on the radar, most of the field had no idea just how powerful this deck was. With the release of Dominaria, you may no longer need to rely on blue or the combo to win. With Goblins, you have the opportunity to play an aggressive deck with a big-game combo finish.
The God-Pharaoh’s Gift plus Gate to the Afterlife engine is one Standard players know well by now. It requires a lot of creatures, as you’re going to need six in the graveyard to be able to activate the Gate. Luckily, Gate helps fuel itself by giving you life and loots when your creatures die. This means that you need to play lots of creatures and preferably ones you can send to the graveyard whenever you want. The rest of this deck comprises 23 basic Mountains and 31 creatures, so that’s a good start.
While you don’t have the same digging power without Minister of Inquiries or Champion of Wits, you do still have Combat Celebrant for a combo finish with Gift. An additional combat step means an additional Gift trigger and likely the end of the game. A 4-power attacker that can give you extra attacks is quite the aggressive threat and demands an immediate answer.
The biggest addition to this deck from Dominaria comes in an old reprint. Skirk Prospector seems to be exactly what the (deck) doctor ordered. It’s a 1-drop to start getting aggressive, but it also cashes in for mana. With a Gate in play, this can single-handedly change everything, and it allows you to go off earlier! No longer do you need to cast the Gate for 3 mana and then untap to be able to have 2 more mana to sacrifice it. Now you can sacrifice Prospector and other Goblins, get your loot triggers, and have the mana to use the Gate all in one turn. This means that this version of Gift is capable of going off as early as turn 3. This also means that you can combo with other Goblins to just hard cast a Gift and start getting Goblins back.
Another great enters-the-battlefield trigger comes from yet another Dominaria reprint. Siege-Gang Commander provides an army in a can as you’re going to get three tokens and four total creatures. You can sacrifice them to Siege-Gang’s ability for damage to clear the path, or you can sacrifice to Prospector to go off immediately.
Goblin Chainwhirler is yet another new addition that provides a nice enters-the-battlefield effect. Giving a bit of reach and clearing out opposing small creatures and tokens is nice, as well as finishing off planeswalkers that just minused, such as Chandra or Teferi.
Rowdy Crew is a nice one. A 3/3 trample for 4 is below the curve, but you already don’t mind discarding creatures or Gifts into the graveyard. Considering this deck is playing more than 50% creatures, you have a pretty high probability of having a 5/5 trampler that also loaded up your graveyard for Gift. Hazoret the Fervent provides yet another powerful threat for games where you’re just an aggro deck, and you can also discard creatures to its ability and Gift them back.
The rest of the deck are the cards you would expect from the U/R version that was in Standard before Dominaria. Bomat Courier has long been one of the best cards in Standard and it’s truly insane in this deck. Walking Ballista gives you another way to clear the path or get you lots of cheap/free Gate triggers. Fanatical Firebrand is yet another Goblin to use with Prospector/Siege-Gang and that can sacrifice on its own as needed.
God-Pharaoh’s Gift has been doing work in Standard since it was first printed, but the ways to use it are still being uncovered every day. Combining the powerful artifact with an aggressive Red Goblin deck isn’t what I would have thought of, but it works!