Fan Favorite Friday #16: Rabble! Rabble! Rabble!


First off, I wanted to thank you all for your kind words last week. I had to leave suddenly for a family funeral which left me unable to get the column out in time. Thanks for wishing me well and being so understanding!

The vote this week was INTENSE. We had the classic Goblin Rabblemaster facing off against the soon to be released Legion Warboss (who has drawn many comparisons to the master of rabbling), and it was tied right up until the last minute! Legion Warboss started out strong, but over the past two weeks, ya’ll got the vote to stick at 50/50 up until the very end, when Rabblemaster crept forward to come out barely on top! Don’t worry though, Legion Warboss is going to get mentioned in this piece – because he’s cool. Just not Rabblemaster cool, apparently!

Before I get started reveling in Goblin-y goodness though, we still have to give away the Rakdos Guild Care Package from last week! Dave Shepherd, you’ve won yourself some Rakdos cards! I hear you’re a fan from up North, so get in to contact with us on Facebook and we’ll arrange shipping you your goodies. Congratulations, and thanks for your support!

True to form, we’ll be giving away something this week too! Be sure to check the Facebook post for a chance at winning a Goblin Rabblemaster from M15 plus the buy a box promo! Here’s how you win:

  • Like the ABU Games Facebook Page
  • Like the post announcing the giveaway
  • Comment on said post telling us what you love most about Rabblemaster!

Now, let us dive into the awesomeness that is Goblin Rabblemaster.

Two Rabblemaster Too Furious


Goblin Rabblemaster was first printed in the M15 core set, released on July 18, 2014, and immediately changed my life. (Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration – but only SLIGHT) The rabbliest of masters was printed with two arts, one being the buy-a-box promo, and has since seen one re-printing of the original art in the Goblins Vs. Merfolk duel decks.

Within days of his printing, Rabblemaster became a format-defining card. He had a whole deck named after him during his standard-legal days! You best believe I rocked the Rabble Red for most of that standard. One of my favorite moments with the deck happened at a side event during a Portland GP:

I had time to kill on day 2 after scrubbing out of the main event and asked if my crew had the cards to put Rabble Red together since I had left all of my standard stuff behind for the trip and wanted to play in one of the standard side events. We were able to throw together most of the normal main board but unfortunately couldn't get a sideboard together. I figured I was just killing time, so I entered anyway. Long story short, I ended up CRUSHING the event, only dropping a few games. My round 5 opponent, another undefeated player, was double-qued and asked to split for the final round. I wasn't happy with the way he and his friends had been treating the other players, and I didn't like the idea of double-queing in live events (which isn't possible anymore thankfully) so I declined and made him play it out. He insisted his deck would wipe the floor with Rabble Red and tried to tilt me before we started, but I 2-0ed him super quick off the back of my faithful Rabblemasters. With the tickets I won, I was able to get my first ever dual land (a Plateau) and some packs of Modern Masters, one of which had a Dark Confidant in it! Needless to say, I felt pretty good going undefeated at a big Standard side event and finally getting my hands on a dual.

Rabblemaster also made a huge splash in Frontier when that was still a thing (RIP to a format I loved, we’ll talk more about that in the formats section), and has been present in many Modern and Legacy decks ever since.

I’m going to take just a second to talk about the runner-up, Legion Warboss, because someone posted the coolest thing about him the other day:

A story in three cards!

I’m not sure if this counts as canonical history, but I thought it was awesome! I love seeing a small recurring character come back like that. Also, Legion Loyalist is another one of my favorite goblins, so I like to imagine he’s coming back to me for another Standard season.

What Makes This Card So Cool?

So let’s take a closer look at what exactly makes this crazy goblin so dang powerful.

The Rabbliest of Masters

At first glance, Rabblemaster might not seem that great. I mean, he’s a 2/2 for 3 mana, and the first of his abilities require you to attack with all of your available goblins each turn. Every seasoned goblin aficionado knows that sometimes swinging with your whole crew isn’t the best idea, so being forced into it can feel bad.

However, Rabblemaster definitely makes up for it with the next parts of his abilities. At the beginning of combat during your turn, you get to put a 1/1 hasty goblin token on to the battlefield, AND every time Goblin Rabblemaster attacks it gets +1/+0 until end of turn for every other attacking goblin! As it turns out, these two abilities in conjunction with each other ended up being pretty dang good.

Another quick aside about our runner-up:


Legion Warboss

Legion Warboss is being called the new Rabblemaster, and it’s easy to see why. At the beginning of combat on your turn, you create a 1/1 goblin token with haste that has to attack that turn if able. He doesn’t need to attack, but he also doesn’t get a buff for swinging with other goblins. What the card does have though, is Mentor (which lets you give another attacking creature with lesser power a +1/+1 counter) so you can give other, smaller creatures a permanent buff.

Is he better than Rabblemaster? I’m not sure, but I will definitely be testing him in Standard (speaking of, check out this community brew for the upcoming Standard season!)

What Formats is this Card Played In?

While Rabblemaster isn’t in Standard right now, it’s namesake deck was super fun to play! Here’s a list similar to what I ran (from what I can remember):

Take that, double-ers!

Modern sees several different lists with Rabblemaster in them, but I think my favorite is probably this sweet Mono-Red Prison list:

Don’t want to serve a life sentence…

Speaking of Mono-Red Prison, here is the SWEET Legacy version:

Or this prison…

Our very own Curtis Spivey has wrecked me with a list very similar to this one on MANY an occasion.

Now, you remember the ill-fated format Frontier that was almost a thing for awhile? Well, I was super in to it and crafted a deck featuring Rabblemaster , of course! It did well in some local tournaments, and Todd Stevens even mentioned it in an article! Yep, my claim to fame in the MTG world is getting called out by Todd Stevens for not running all four Stoke the Flames…

In Conclusion:

In conclusion, GOBLINS ARE AWESOME!!! I think I’ve actually ended one of these that way before… but ah well, it’s the truth! Few goblins are as awesome as Goblin Rabblemaster though.

What do you think? Do you have any fond memories of the rabbliest goblin? Are you excited to get a chance to play with the runner-up, Legion Warboss? Let me know in the comments; I’d love to hear your thoughts!

As an added bonus, here is the amazing progression of the very talented Svetlin Velinov’s Rabblemaster art!

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Joe Davidson is the Content Production Manager at ABU Games. When he's not playing Modern, Legacy, or following around Team ABU with a camera he's pursuing a BFA in Fiction at Boise State University. He loves Goblins, casting burn spells, and writing about Magic. You can find him on Twitter @MTGJoeD.