Belcher by spacegoblin on MtGO

Creatures (12)
4 Elvish Spirit Guide
4 Simian Spirit Guide
4 Tinder Wall

Non-Creature Spells (47)
4 Burning Wish
4 Desperate Ritual
3 Empty the Warrens
4 Gitaxian Probe
4 Land Grant
3 Manamorphose
2 Pyretic Ritual
4 Rite of Flame
4 Seething Song
3 Chrome Mox
4 Goblin Charbelcher
4 Lion’s Eye Diamond
4 Lotus Petal

Lands (1)
1 Taiga

Sideboard (15)
1 Diminishing Returns
1 Empty the Warrens
1 Goblin War Strike
3 Pyroblast
1 Pyroclasm
1 Reverent Silence
1 Shattering Spree
1 Telemin Performance
1 Trash for Treasure
4 Xantid Swarm



Excuse me! Sorry I had one too many goblins for breakfast and ate way too fast.

Today we’re covering Belcher, a Legacy combo deck that uses free mana to cast Goblin Charbelcher and activate it with only 1 (or sometimes zero) lands in the deck. This immediately kills the opponent more times than not. Belcher is what is commonly known as a “Glass Cannon” combo deck, meaning it’s fast, explosive, but can also shatter with the slightest disruption and only gets to take one shot before the cannon explodes.

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Every single card in the deck (outside of Burning Wish, Empty the Warrens, and Goblin Charbelcher) draws a card for free or produces additional mana, including Land Grant which takes the one Taiga out of the deck, thus guaranteeing that a Goblin Charbelcher will kill the opponent. Burning Wish gives you access to a slew of cards in the sideboard that can help you find what you are missing from the combo.

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Diminishing Returns draws you 7 new cards to dig you towards Goblin Charblecher. It can be cast by cracking a Lion’s Eye Diamond in response to your own Burning Wish. Empty the Warrens offers an alternative win condition if you can’t find Goblin Charbelcher and 14-or-so goblins will get the job done. If you’ve cast Empty the Warrens for 10 and have a Burning Wish and the requisite mana, Goblin War Strike allows you to 1-shot your opponent. This is a the key line to pursue if you can’t find Goblin Charbelcher and your opponent has something preventing your goblins from attacking.

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Pyroclasm deals with pesky small creatures from decks like Death & Taxes, while Reverent Silence and Shattering Spree deal with enchantments and artifacts respectively. Telemin Performance is an alternate win condition against decks without any creatures (such as Storm) or decks aiming to cheat Emrakul, the Aeons Torn and friends into play (such as Sneak & Show). Trash for Treasure provides a way to return your Goblin Charbelcher to play should it get destroyed. The only “true” sideboard cards are Pyroblast and Xantid Swarm. Both are excellent against Force of Will decks, and Xantid Swarm is especially powerful if that deck has boarded out all of their removal.

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Belcher is a tested and tuned deck, so versions only vary by 1 or 2 cards. I think this list is close to optimal, but it’s missing a Burning Wish target that I think needs to be in the sideboard: Infernal Tutor. Tutor gives you access to Charbelcher with a Burning Wish and Lion’s Eye Diamond for only 2 mana, where Diminishing Returns doesn’t guarantee that you find the 4 mana artifact.

Belcher is kinda like the game Othello’s slogan, “easy to learn, hard to master.” Counting to 7 mana and casting Goblin Charbelcher is easy for everyone, but navigating around Force of Will and doing math on Diminishing Returns is challenging, and spending time and gaining experience with the deck helps much more than most people think. If you’re looking for a cheap Legacy deck that is supremely fun and has game against most of the format, I highly suggest you give Belcher a shot.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:


No changes.


-1 Xantid Swarm

+1 Infernal Tutor

This is day 46 of’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a different Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our eye. You can read day 45 here, where we covered a Modern combo deck that can’t cast spells until turn 3!

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