We close out this week with what may be one of
the strangest hits to happen this time around:
Upstart Goblin, which is now Limited to 1.
By this point, everybody should know what Upstart
Goblin does. Almost as old as the game itself, and
popularized by Patrick Hoban, it let you do one very
simple thing; draw 1 card, at the cost of giving
your opponent 1000 Life Points. Effectively, this
meant you could slim your Deck down to 37 cards, if
you were willing to give your opponent a little bit
of health in exchange for the consistency boost.
This hit came as a bit of a surprise, as Upstart
Goblin has gone without a hit for many years now
(having only been Limited and Semi-Limited at the
earliest points in the game), so it’s a wonder as to
why now all of a sudden it warranted Limiting. It’s
likely that Upstart finally got a hit because the
big three Decks of the previous format, all of which
had some issue with consistency, ran triple Upstart
Goblin as compensation. Another possible factor was
the Monarch FTK Deck that was mildly popular.
Regardless, Upstart Goblin is now Limited, meaning
you can only slim your Deck down to 39.
Was this a necessary hit? Not really. Upstart Goblin
is overall a fair card that gives you a consistency
boost with a fair trade-off (especially in today’s
game where Life Points are a very valuable
resource). However, it will cause people to be more
creative with the last three slots in their Deck
(or, if you didn’t run Upstart, it may convince you
to find that one weak link that you could replace
with a single Upstart).
This is another usual suspect of the ban list, and
now it's at 1 again (since however long). This
card's effectiveness varies on the meta.
Slower formats emphasize defensive play and many
players find that the speed increase from Upstart
Goblin does not provide enough benefit relative to
the life point gain which makes the opponent harder
to defeat. In faster formats, however, such as
Magician/Pepe, it was becoming what game theorists
called a dominating strategy. Everyone used it
because if you didn't, you'd be the slow player.
For now, limiting it makes sense, although it's not
really appealing to just have one Upstart Goblin.
People tend to see it as a 3 or 0 card. But I
think it will be back to 3 in a couple formats and
people will go back to using it again.
Hello Pojo Fans,
We knew this was going to happen sometime. Draws
that have very little drawback to the player using
the card(s) in question rarely miss getting hit at
one point or another by the ban list.
Upstart Goblin is easy to use, any deck in the game
can use it if they want to, and its able to be used
9 times out of 10. Draw a card, your opponent gains
1000 Life Points, not much of a drawback, especially
if you are setting up/have set up your field. It was
a card that you could run 3 of and slam any of the
copies down the moment you drew them. It needed to
be limited to lessen the draw pool for other decks
and even the playing field to be more towards
archetype support and other draw power that is more
Back when Spell Ruler was still called Magic
Ruler, Upstart Goblin was MRL-033. This Normal Spell
was reviewed first of 3 previous times on 9/23/2002.
It makes me wonder if anyone reading this hadn't
been born yet. Anyway, it scored a 2.13/5. This
isn't surprising because there were much, MUCH,
better drawing options that only provided advantage
to you and got you more cards. Upstart Goblin only
gives you one draw and your opponent 1000 Life
Points. But then all those other options got banned
and their replacements cost too much, weren't good
enough, or themselves got banned. Upstart Goblin
became the only reliable option that could work in
any deck. And now it's limited too. I am not sure
why there is such universal hatred for generic draw
power, but there is. Life points are somewhat
meaningless since game ending fields deal like
10,000 damage per turn. I bet they end up increasing
the starting point to 10,000. In any case, this card
is good, and since it can be run in any deck, it
will score well. Happy Friday!
P.S. I'm opening up a case of Shining Victories
today for my sad little YouTube Channel. Watch that
later if you feel like laughing at my luck.
Art: 4/5 Pitiful Human!
Upstart should never have been
made. It serves no purpose except to minimize deck
counts. 1000 lifepoints means nothing and is a small
price to pay for percentage points gained. If a deck
count is still necessary, this card should be
banned. I don’t know what the purpose was to limit
the card to 1, when the plight is still the same.
Players use it to lower their decks from 40 to 39,
and that’s it. There’s no way to rate this card
besides for that purpose.
Future Potential: 5/5
Limited (One per deck)
Part of the fun of
having a banned and restricted list, is that it
makes players think outside the box; instead of
everybody playing the same overpowered cards, we
have to get a bit more creative. Upstart Goblin,
though an oldie, helped with that. It only gives you
one card with the drawback of giving your opponent
1000 Life Points (Yup, I'm so familiar with this
card that I didn't even have to look it up), that
one card can make a big difference. And, for better
or worse, it fills the void left behind by better
cards like Pot of Greed and Graceful Charity. But
now, even this card is feeling the burn; now you
only get to play one in your deck. That might not be
such a bad thing nowadays, since most deck themes
come with their own card-fetchers, but consider
those poor players who are either new to this game
or are playing on a budget: this card, played in
threes or even tows, is solid gold for them. I
personally don't feel the need to throw this card in
my decks, but extra drawing power never hurt
anybody. And like I said, one card can make all the
difference in a game.
3/5 for card, 3/5 for the restriction (Yeah, I'm on
the fence on both topics)
Tune in next week
when we reveal even crazier changes to the
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