Card Spotlight - Kobold Barracks

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Card Spotlight - Kobold Barracks

The Card Spotlight series reviews cards that we don’t typically see in competitive play. In the spotlight I’ll talk about each card’s strengths and what decks could use them. Be sure to check out the video where you can see the card in action!

Kobold Barracks

Seifer is hard at work overseeing his Kobold’s drills at the barracks. This intense combat training will push your creatures attack whenever they’re adjacent to the structure. Positional play is key to fully utilizing your Barracks. This structure has 4 Life which means it’s tough to destroy outside of creature combat.

The popular Flame Burst and Emperor’s Command can’t destroy this structure which makes the card very durable. Firebomb and Bomb Slinger can take it out in one hit but are very specific answers. This makes Kobold Barrack’s a threat when positioned correctly and your opponent will have to use an attack from a creature to answer it. This is a great aspect of the card because it could distract your opponent from challenging your creatures.

Kobold Barrack’s placement is important because it can sometimes be an obstacle. Playing a structure next to a Faeria well could obstruct your collection. In the example above I’ve played Barrack’s so I can move around it and still harvest Faeria.

When playing aggressively you can position your Barrack’s to maximize damage. You don’t necessarily need to play rush lands to get this kind of position. You can build lands in a Mid-Range or Control style and develop these lands in the late game.

Why play Kobold Barracks?

Kobold Barracks is a strong addition to any Red deck. Red doesn’t have access to many power ups and the beauty of Barrack’s is that it stays on the board. The +2 Attack is re-usable as long as a creature is adjacent.

Gift of Steel is the go-to power up card for Red. It provides +3 Attack but also +3 Life to a Combat creature. Combat creatures are very popular in Red decks. The Underground Brigand and Boss find their way into any archetype. Shedim Brute and Grim Guard are used for Burn strategies. Increasing a creatures Life by 3 is very powerful but this card can be situational. One advantage Barrack’s has over Gift of Steel is its flexibility. Any creature can maximize the card’s ability.

I’m surprised Barrack’s isn’t seeing more play. Gift of Steel’s power-level on a Combat creature is very enticing but when played on a non-Combat creature it’s a little underwhelming.


It’s uncommon to see Kobold Barrack’s outside of Mono Red. Any Red archetype can make use of this card which is one of many reasons why I like this card.

This is a Red Control deck that uses Kobold Barracks over Gift of Steel. Barracks are fantastic at helping control two Faeria wells.

This is Luuu90’s “Yak Party” deck and these fluffy animals make great use of the Barracks. Losing a Long-horned Yak next to a Barracks transfers the +2 attack buff to the next creature you draw.

This is a really cool interaction and has perfect synergy with Kobold Barracks.


Kobold Barracks doesn’t see a much love as it deserves. It is over-shadowed by Gift of Steel but the competitive community are starting to identify it’s competitors flaws. The biggest issue with Barracks is having the right land to play it on which might be the reason it isn’t seeing play. Give it a shot in your Red deck, you might come to love it!