Table of Contents

Over the course of its decades-long lifespan, Magic: the Gathering has introduced players to tons of creature types. That’s only natural with a game that has such a rich lore.

With so many planes of existence to explore, the Magic universe would seem a little empty if it weren’t populated with creatures. Among the legion of creatures familiar and unfamiliar, perhaps one of the most frequent types you’ll see is goblins.

Although they look small and non-threatening, goblin-themed decks are powerful and popular. To help you grow your own collection of them, we’ve pulled together this list of the best MTG sets for goblins.

That’s not all we’ll cover, though. We’ll discuss the following topics:

  • Basic information about this creature type
  • The Best MTG sets for goblins
  • A couple honorable mentions

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Goblins 101

Raging Goblin

When you hear the word “goblin,” you’re probably picturing a warty, humanoid-looking monster. And as far as MTG goes, you’d be…right, actually.

Goblins are small, vaguely humanoid beings scattered throughout the planes in Magic: the Gathering’s vast universe. There are only a few planes that don’t naturally have them: Amonkhet, Innistrad, Kaladesh, Theros, and Ulgrotha.

Lore aside, goblins can be a fantastic choice for beginning players. For one thing, there are tons to choose from, so you’re definitely not limited on options. Because there are so many options, you can go with an easy attack-based strategy or a more advanced combo-based one.

They also tend to be very low-cost, in terms of mana. You can pack a deck full of goblins without worrying about needing an expensive mana base. 

Pictured above is an example of one particularly famous goblin, the Raging Goblin. It’s been printed in 14 sets and the art for it is extremely iconic.

Best MTG Sets for Goblins

Champions of Kamigawa

Truth be told, Champions of Kamigawa only has eight total goblins in the set. But of those few goblins, at least one of them, Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, is considered especially prominent in terms of strength.

Beyond goblins, Champions of Kamigawa was a powerful set that added many cards to the game which still see play frequently today. These include cards such as Azusa, Lost But Seeking and the infamous Sensei’s Divining Top. 


  • Has good tribal support for several tribes (goblins, snakes, rats, samurai, and spirits).
  • Includes a few powerful and expensive cards.
  • Unique theme inspired by eastern cultures.


  • Some of the mechanics in it, such as splice, were very limiting and needed to be specifically built around.

Most Notable Goblin: Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker


If you’re looking to invest in the most goblin-dense set possible, Lorwyn is the set for you. You can view the full list of its whopping 27 goblins right here.

But it was also a historic for reasons other than its incredible goblin base. It was the very first to introduce the planeswalker card type, which continues to be immensely popular today. 

This Celtic-themed set pulled from ancient folklore and fairytales for its inspiration. For that reason, it centers around eight main creature types: elves, elementals, faeries, giants, goblins, merfolk, shapeshifters, and treefolk.


  • It was the very first set with planeswalkers, and holds a place of prestige in Magic’s history.
  • Contains some of the most powerful cards in the game.
  • Intriguing Celtic-themed art and lore.
  • Tons of support for several different tribes, including goblins.
  • Included hideaway lands, which allow you to play cards cheaply if you meet their conditions.


  • It can be incredibly difficult to find packs or boxes of Lorwyn anymore, given how old it is.
  • Although it introduced planeswalkers, many players felt the set did little to support them.

Most Notable Goblin: Mad Auntie


From all the sets on this list, Shadowmoor has the second highest number of goblins, with a total of 18. It came out shortly after Lorwyn, and did something particularly intriguing with its predecessor’s themes: it reversed them.

The storyline for this set took place in Shadowmoor, which is a plane that reflects Lorwyn. This is why it took many of Lorwyn’s themes, like +1/+1 counters, and flipped them around. In the case of counters, for example, +1/+1 counters became -1/-1 counters in Shadowmoor.

Interestingly, like its dark name, Shadowmoor introduced a new and creepy creature type: the scarecrow. 


  • Contains a lot of goblins to use, many of which are incredibly strong.
  • Great set for those who are fans of dark imagery and art.
  • Besides goblins, it has some famous cards, such as Painter’s Servant.


  • This set can also be hard to find packs or boxes for.

Most Notable Goblin: Murderous Redcap (Closely followed by Vexing Shusher)

Modern Masters

This set was the first of a series of Modern Masters sets. Like other “masters” sets, it reprints many of the strongest cards in the game, combining them into one convenient location for players.

It boasts a total of 14 goblins to add to your collection, which you can see in full here.

The main intention behind the set was to create a group of powerful cards that could be used in the Modern format. Even if Modern as a format isn’t your cup of tea, though, the fact that this set brings together so many popular cards makes it a tempting choice.


  • Tons of reprinted and historically powerful cards.
  • Has a decent number of goblins – many of which are some of the best goblins in the game.


  • Like other older sets, it’s not easy to locate packs or boxes for the original Modern Masters.

Most Notable Goblin: Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker


Like Lorwyn and Shadowmoor, which would come years later, Onslaught had a heavy focus on creature tribes. This included goblins, of which it has 17 cards.

But it has more to offer you than just an abundance of goblins. Perhaps one of the greatest things about it is that it also has several valuable fetch lands, which let you pay one life to search your library for a basic land.

Not only are fetch lands monetarily valuable, but they’re coveted simply for their ability. They can make playing multi-colored decks much easier.


  • You have the possibility of pulling several different fetch lands in this set.
  • There’s a large number of goblins.
  • Because it’s old, the booster packs and boxes themselves have value.
  • Great synergy throughout the set.


  • It had some weaker mechanics, such as morph. 

Most Notable Goblin: Goblin Piledriver


Now, this is one well-loved set. Zendikar is named after the plane in which its story takes place, and it’s a great pick if you’re looking for something to really invest in.

It doesn’t have many goblins (in fact, it only has seven to speak of), but the ones it did bring to the game are good. Goblin Guide, for example, is arguably one of the most powerful cards that only costs one mana in all of MTG. 

However, like Onslaught, Zendikar contains several different fetch lands, which are sought after by tons of players. There’s no guarantee you’ll pull one any time you open a pack, but the possibility of getting one makes this set another particularly valuable choice.


  • You have the possibility of pulling five different fetch lands from Zendikar packs.
  • Has Goblin Guide, one of the strongest single-mana cards in the entire game.
  • Includes many other substantial cards, like Bloodghast.


  • If you prefer slow-paced games, you may not like how many of the cards in this set allow games to end quickly.

Most Notable Goblin: Goblin Guide

Honorable Mentions

We just had to include this section. The decks we’re about to discuss aren’t technically sets, so they couldn’t be incorporated into the list above.

However, if you’re a fan of goblins, it’s worth bringing up that there were actually two pre-constructed duel decks specifically made with them in mind: Merfolk vs Goblins and Elves vs Goblins.

Scroll down, and we’ll discuss both of these decks.

Duel Deck: Merfolk vs Goblins

As you might have guessed, this pair of decks matches two of Magic’s oldest tribes against each other: merfolk and goblins. 

When you get duel decks like this, you’re actually getting two pre-made decks. It’s perfect for playing with a friend.

Or, if you’re a beginner and you’re not ready to make decks of your own, you can use the two decks to get started right away. And if you happen to love goblins, it’s even better, because you’ll get a decent deck with over 20 of them packed in right from the start.

Our personal favorite goblin from this deck is Krenko, Mob Boss. We’ve played against it before, and in a goblin tribal deck, it’s absolutely ruthless.

Duel Decks: Elves vs Goblins

Unfortunately, the Elves vs Goblins duel deck isn’t so easy to track down anymore. That’s almost certainly because of its age – it came out in 2007, around the time of Lorwyn.

For that reason, we don’t currently have a link to it at this point in time. Nevertheless, we felt it was important to mention it here. 

You’ll find over 25 goblins in the goblin half of the duel deck. That’s a nice expansion to any collection of goblins, to say the least.

If you asked us to pick one from the deck that we liked most, we’d go with Siege-Gang Commander. Not only does it cost a measly two mana, but it turns every goblin on your battlefield into a ticking time bomb that can damage your opponents.

Wrap Up

In the beginning, Magic: the Gathering can be a highly intimidating game. There are so many rules, and these rules are changing almost constantly.

You can look at goblins as a sort of island of light in all that dark confusion. Goblin-themed decks are fantastic for newbies, with their low mana cost and abundance of tribal support.

But this doesn’t mean they’re boring or limited to beginners. Even time-tested veterans can concoct crazy combinations with goblins. (Take it from us – we’ve seen what this tribe can do on the battlefield, and it can be difficult to stop once it’s in action.)

If we had to pick one set over all the others to recommend to you here, our vote would go to Onslaught. We love the set’s synergy, and the Goblin Piledriver it introduced is an amazing card.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *