Have you ever wanted to attack for 150 damage on as early as turn 4? Does the idea of literally vomiting out goblin after goblin after goblin get your heart racing? Then do I have the deck for you!
Krenko, Mob Boss is one of the most powerful tribal generals in the Commander format. The arsenal of synergies is practically endless when discussing various builds of the popular goblin tribe. This makes the deck-building process fun and the structure of each strategy different depending upon the play style of each pilot. For example, my build contains a land destruction package as well as an artifact suite that compliments the goblin strategy. I could have filled those slots with more Goblins, pump spells, draw effects, enchantments, equipment, etc. Let’s take a look at the auto-inclusions for this deck before looking at various lists.
Auto-Includes (In the 99)
What is not to love about cost reduction and haste? This deck thrives off of the haste mechanic. Goblin Warchief means that a Krenko activation becomes increasingly deadly. This card is required in any list or build. If the pilot manages to “live the dream” and cast Krenko on turn two off of a Sol Ring, a follow up of Goblin Warchief can be the difference between having a good game and having an unbeatable game. If you are building this deck, you must have Goblin Warchief.
Other Goblins you control get +1/+1 and have haste. This is probably the best card in the deck aside from Krenko. Chieftain is the best goblin “lord” as well as another haste enabler for the deck. As I explained previously, this deck has a voracious hunger for haste. Goblin Chieftain is required in any build, ever.
This is when the deck gets spicy. Goblin Recruiter lets you (legally) stack your deck full of all the best goblins for the appropriate situation. You can cast Recruiter, tutor up 4 Goblins you want with a Goblin Ringleader on top. Next turn, you can cast Goblin Ringleader and reveal 4 goblin creature cards that you might be able to cast if Warchief is in play. This card is one of the best cards in the entire deck because it allows you to cheat legally. Beware! This card has the potential to lock you out of mana draws if you are low on lands. Be sure to only tutor up the goblins you need. Being greedy with this card can come with a deadly cost.
Rabblemaster is a house in this deck. He proved his worth to the standard community during Khans block and continues his legacy in Krenko commander strategies. Late game, Rabblemaster can one-shot a player without a blocker. Early game, Rabblemaster has the potential to become a “block or die” card. The only potential downside to him is that you must alpha strike every turn, if able. Be sure to activate all your abilities you may want to before combat with Rabblemaster in play. You will be forced to attack.
Rabblemaster is the king of “trading up.” He gets blocked by the biggest creature in play if you have trample off of Legion Loyalist, making the combat steps a lot more profitable. Furthermore, Rabblemaster is the king of value. You can activate Krenko before attackers after his trigger has resolved. If you still have haste, all of those Goblins you just created can attack and pump up Rabblemaster. He has to be in the 99.
This card is the infinite combo machine, so I’ll leave a disclaimer: If your playgroup frowns upon infinite combos and “win the game” cards, do not include this card.
Thornbite Staff + sacrifice outlet + Krenko, Mob Boss = infinite goblins. This means infinite damage. Ever heard of Splinter Twin combo? This is the Goblin version, in a sense. You can also pair Thornbite Staff with Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker for some very fun value plays. Put Thornbite Staff in your deck if your playgroup is competitive.
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
This card can also achieve an infinite damage combination. Disclaimer: If your playgroup frowns upon infinite combos and “win the game” cards, do not include this card.
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker + Lightning Crafter + Skirk Prospector = infinite damage and infinite red mana. Kiki-Jiki creates a copy of Lightning Crafter, which champions Kiki-Jiki. Tap the copy of Lightning Crafter to activate its ability and bolt an opponent. Then, sacrifice the copy of Lightning Crafter to Skirk Prospector, generating one red mana. Kiki-Jiki enters the battlefield untapped. Rinse and repeat.
Kiki-Jiki is very good, but I would only play him in a deck that revolves around this “combo.” The easiest way to get this entire combination started is to cast Goblin Recruiter, stack up Goblin Ringleader, Kiki-Jiki, Lightning Crafter, Skirk Prospector, and another goblin. Cast Ringleader, get all the goblins to your hand and start working on building the combination.
These cards are not goblin cards, but auto-inclusions in any Goblin deck. I’m going to go over them very briefly because they typically do not require any more explanation than a sentence or two.
Your goblins are 1/1s most of the time. This card lets you draw exponentially more cards than you normally would be able to draw.
Vial is very good in this deck. We typically curve out at around 3 or 4 with a couple exceptions (Like Lightning Crafter). Casting goblins for free is really good, especially on your opponent’s turns.
This deck is hellbent. Expect to have around 1 to no cards in your hand after turn 3. Ensnaring Bridge can draw a lot of hate, but it also ensures you don’t just get destroyed on the backswing after an alpha strike.
Shared Animosity and Coat of Arms
These cards give attacking creatures buffs for all other creatures you control that share creature types. These cards can make each goblin have 50+ power. Must haves!
Punish those multicolored EDH decks that run zero basic lands! Blood Moon can draw immediate hate, but if it sticks for more than a single turn, you are probably winning that game.
A tutor on a stick that puts the goblin into play! This card ensures your combo can fire off without any problems or can just get some valuable protection into play.
Competitive EDH Goblins
Casual EDH Goblins
As you can see, the differences between both of the lists really isn’t much other than a few cards. Take out some more of the more expensive artifacts, enchantments, and lands, and this deck turns into a budget build. I really would like to stress that the competitive build of this deck can and will continually dominate a playgroup that does not stress competitive interaction. Infinite combinations are only fun for the ones achieving them/those who appreciate a well refined combination. Please be cautious when building this deck. Commander is a “casual” format, after all.
The casual build of this deck that I have provided is still as fun as all the other lists you may see. You are playing multiple goblins each turn and increasing your board-state and presence in the game far more than other players will typically be doing on turns 1-5. Your deck goes extremely wide in terms of combat interaction. Decks that only have one or two blockers will really get destroyed by the excess of creatures you will have at your disposal. Token decks can suffer as well because of Legion Loyalist interactions. All in all, your deck is still going to be exponentially powerful in almost every game.
What makes the competitive build of this deck so good is that your deck is powerful in every game. Tutors like Moggcatcher and Gamble can ensure that you have access to your combo in each match. What also makes this so good is that you can abandon the all-in combat damage plan and go for a slow, sneaky win out of nowhere with your two combos.
This deck struggles against certain generals. One of the most terrible matchups is against Oloro, Ageless Ascetic. They can cycle a decree of pain very early, draw a bunch of cards, and always have an answer to whatever you do. This matchup can be excessively painful due to all the life gain and removal. You will also struggle against any removal heavy deck that runs cards like Pernicious Deed, Wrath of God, Day of Judgement, Supreme Verdict, Drown in Sorrow, etc. This deck is also really weak to combo. Karador, Ghost Chieftain and other strategies that have access to a potential infinite life gain combo will put the game far out of reach for your squad, especially since the only removal you typically include is Lightning Bolt and Chaos Warp.
Expect to have a very good game against any other tribal strategy or creature build. Combat can be very hard for these decks, especially those that run lots of heavy creatures. This deck also tends to absolutely stomp the storm strategies and land builds.
I hope this primer/deck tech has been of some help to you. If you would like any more information regarding these lists and card choices, leave a comment down below!
Remember to purchase all your gaming needs at your local game store. You can’t play magic at Target or Walmart! And last but not least, have fun casting endless amounts of fun but deadly goblins!
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