Goblins have been a gripe as long as I’ve played. You have to debate them on two levels.
One level is “endgame play”. I don’t even see goblins, and when I do it’s an easy win. I have multiple teams that are capable of assassinating 1-2 goblins before they even fill their mana. When they beat me in the race, I can weather 5-6 of their free turns and usually kick their teeth in. I only lose if I’m slow enough they get 8-12 free turns. That happens about as infrequently as I lose to any other team with these setups. From this viewpoint, Goblins are “challenging” but in the same vein as any other looping team: deny their mana/turns and they are nothing.
The other level is “everyone else”. I remember facing Goblins a lot from 400-1000. They were tough for my Dragons team to beat because it tends to pass the turn a lot. I had a Queen Mab team set up for them but as you pointed out they were inconsistent. “Doing a lot of damage” is a good way to stop them, so is Silence. I could probably build 3 or 4 different teams that do “OK” vs. Goblins. Honestly until you’ve built an endgame team, “OK” is what you’re going to get.
In short, this is part of “GoW hazes new players.” It’s really unlikely Goblins will get changed. While there are always complaints about them, those threads don’t gain momentum because usually the answer is “wait a month and you’ll have troops that do even better.” There will always be (and should be) some kind of “boss” team at your PvP level that you have a much harder time beating and/or need a special team to face.
That’s why there is a lot of talk about Divines and Ubastet. There are roughly 3-5 viable endgame meta teams. 2/3 of them are some combination of Divine Ishbaala, Ubastet, Infernus, and a hero weapon. The other is Doomskulls, and the rest are Psion/Famine teams. If you rank them by win rate, the Divine teams are probably 10-15% more likely to win than any of the others.
But unlike Goblins, which wilt in the face of freeze/silence/mana drain/damage, the Divines teams don’t have a lot of natural counters. You can either “be faster with your own Divines” or focus intensely on Mana Drain. Endgame players can think of dozens of ways to attack Goblins. We can only think of 2 or 3 to attack Divines.
But even if I disagree that Goblins themselves can/will be fixed, I’ve wanted for ages to see a game mode without extra turns. I suspect it would be much closer to the game a lot of people want. A major downside is the game with extra turns is exactly what a lot of people want. That’s why I want it to be a mode, so people can choose which flavor of GoW they like.