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Competitive Krenko (EDH / Commander)

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>Why Krenko?

Throughout Magic's history, goblins would win battles by recklessly attacking in large numbers, often involving many of them dying in stupid ways (see the flavor texts for Goblin Grenade and Goblin Bombardment). This deck is an attempt at playing the numbers game a little bit smarter. Krenko was my first deck. The first thing that attracted me to him is that... building the deck was easy. Just throw in a bunch of goblins together and you have a semi-functional commander deck. I built my first Krenko deck with $50, and I've never stopped upgrading it. Goblins have always been popular to build around, and Krenko, Mob Boss is easily the best commander for this strategy. Goblin-tribal revolves around the numbers game; many goblin cards will assume that you have a lot of goblins. Krenko gets you there. You'll want to play this deck if:

  • You like to have lots of creatures at once.
  • You like being able to win with both combat damage and combo.
  • You enjoy sacrifice themes.
  • You like easy to pilot decks.
  • You like being able to stop other creature-based strategies.

The build that I'm showcasing is by far the strongest Krenko deck you can make. I've spent years fine-tuning this deck, figuring out everything from mana ramp to win-conditions. All of the combo cards can combo with multiple cards in the deck and not a single one of them is useless on it's own (so no dead cards!). It's not quite at the strength of a competitive commander deck (cEDH) but it can absolutely wreck most casual pods. So... is this what a 75% deck is supposed to be?

>Starting Hands

In most cases, a good starting hand will have 3 mana sources. Ideally this would include lands and mana ramp. 2 mana sources is fine on the condition that there is a source of low-cost card advantage that can get you more mana (like Sensei’s Divining Top). You also want to keep an eye out for haste enablers in your starting hand. The difference between Krenko entering with haste and without haste is staggering.

>The setup phase

This is the first 3 turns. You’re looking to get Krenko out quickly. Usually he will come out either turn 3 or turn 4 with haste. It is also common to play him on turn 2 or turn 3 with haste. There are also ways to get Krenko out on turn 2 with haste, but don’t count on it (Mass Hysteria, Mountain, Goblin Lackey, and Command Beacon, as an example).
Turn 1: You’re looking for a small play here. Either some mana ramp (Sol Ring, Ancient Tomb, Jeweled Amulet), some card advantage (Skullclamp, Sensei’s Divining Top), a haste enabler (Mass Hysteria, Goblin Motivator), or some other useful goblin (Goblin Lackey, Goblin Chirurgeon, Goblin Welder).
Turn 2: If you didn’t play mana ramp on the previous turn, this is the turn that you do it (Cheering Fanatic, Ruby Medallion, Arcane Signet). If you did play mana ramp, then now is the time to either play a haste enabler (Ashling’s Prerogative, Lightning Greaves, Generator Servant) or build up the board with goblins (Mogg War Marshal, Warren Instigator). Possibly both. If your mana ramp is something like Brightstone Ritual or Infernal Plunge, save it to cast Krenko, and focus on building up the boardstate.
A note on lands: There are two lands in this deck that enter tapped: Hall of the Bandit Lord and Path of Ancestry. Both of these lands have upsides that make them well worth entering tapped. If you have a starting hand with one of these lands, you need to play that land on either turn 1 or 2. Usually turn 1 unless you have another really good turn 1 play (like Goblin Lackey).
Turn 3: This is the turn that Krenko comes out. If you spent the last 2 turns playing goblins then Brightstone Ritual or Dockside Extortionist can give you that last little bit of mana to cast Krenko. If you can’t play Krenko, then you need to setup to have him out on turn 4 with haste.

>After playing Krenko

Now that Krenko is on the battlefield, you’re going to try to win the game in the next few turns. Krenko typically wins somewhere between turn 4 and 6. All of the win-conditions require at least a few goblin tokens, so build up that army if you can. You also may have to slow your opponent’s down a bit. Krenko is very capable of stalling artifact and creature-based strategies. Besides just single-target removal (which should be conserved for real threats) Goblin Welder and Goblin Trashmaster can mess with artifact decks. Creature-based strategies (especially elves) can be locked down with Goblin Assassin, Goblin Bombardment, and Goblin Sharpshooter. If ever you have a tutor like Goblin Recruiter or Goblin Matron, don’t be scared to look for one of these cards if it means shutting out the table. Krenko can always fall back on a combat-based win if nothing else.
You’re also going to want to have some source of card advantage. It can be big draw stuff like Skullclamp and Dark-Dweller Oracle, or just an Imperial Recruiter to get that Skirk Prospector you need for the combo.

>Winning the Game

Most cards that are 4 mana or more in this deck are designed to win you the game. There are two general ways to win with Krenko: incremental damage and combo. I'll be going over both of them.

>Damage-based wins

This section includes both combat damage and effect damage. In order to win with combat damage, you're going to need a lot of goblins. Then you will (usually) need a permanent that gives the goblins a significant boost in power. The strongest options are by far Shared Animosity and Coat of Arms. Other good buffs include Eldrazi Monument, Obelisk of Urd, Goblin Chieftain, and Goblin Trashmaster. If you’re going for a combat-based win, it also helps to have a global haste enabler (Ashling's Prerogative, Crashing Drawbridge, Goblin Chieftain, Goblin Warchief, or Mass Hysteria). When trying to win with combat damage, prioritize taking out players that might be able to combo off next turn, then players that are most able to threaten your boardstate.

It also helps to add effect damage on top of combat damage. The go-to choices are Impact Tremors and Purphoros, God of the Forge. These deal massive exponential damage. I used to also use Goblin War Strike and Mob Justice, but I got rid of them in favor of streamlining the combo-based wins. Skirk Fire Marshal is another card that can close out the game. While it’s ability is on the stack you can tap another 5 goblins to deal 20 or even 30 damage to each player. Pair him with either Eldrazi Monument or Coat of Arms and you’ve got yourself a repeatable one-sided boardwipe.

Something else that is important with the damage-based wins: you need to be really good at math. If you’re trying to win with Skirk Fire Marshal by dealing 30 damage, you also need to calculate how much combat damage you can do to get everyone to 30 life. With purely combat-damaged based wins you need to be able to figure out which opponents you can eliminate in one turn. Figuring out how much damage you can deal to each player can be math-intensive.

>Combo wins

This deck has a surprising amount of card advantage and functional tutors. Goblin Recruiter, Imperial Recruiter, Goblin Matron, Goblin Engineer, and Gamble will help find whatever combo piece is missing. Each of the combos I’m about to describe have one combo card as the center-piece and a bunch of other cards it can combo with. The deck has lots of useful redundancies.

Thornbite Staff
This card is responsible for most of this deck’s wins, because all it requires to combo is a sacrifice outlet. With Thornbite Staff equipped to Krenko, he can untap whenever a goblin token dies. Assuming you have at least one other goblin, that means you make infinite goblin tokens. With a haste enabler, you can win with an all-out attack. Depending on your sacrifice outlet you might also win. If it’s Skirk Prospector, Phyrexian Altar, or Ashnod’s Altar, you make infinite mana as well, and then you can use Thornbite Staff’s damage dealing ability to deal infinite damage to your opponents directly. Alternatively, Goblin Bombardment and Goblin Sharpshooter can be used to deal infinite damage.

Staff of Domination
Another combo option, this one requires a mana source like Skirk Prospector, Phyrexian Altar, Ashnod’s Altar, or Mana Echoes. It lets you make infinite goblin tokens, infinite mana, and then infinite draw. With all of those, you'll effortlessly be able to find a way to win.

Breath of Fury
This combo needs a global haste enabler (Mass Hysteria, Crashing Drawbridge, Ashling’s Prerogative, Goblin Chieftain, Goblin Warchief) and an opponent with no blockers. Including this combo will be a meta call more than anything. Enchant a goblin token with Breath of Fury and then use it to attack the player that can’t block (all other tokens will attack other players). When it deals damage there will be an extra combat phase, all creatures you control untap (more importantly, Krenko untaps), and then Breath of Fury snaps on to a different token. Tap Krenko to get more goblins before starting the next combat phase. Because the new tokens have haste, this continues until all opponents are dead.

Without a haste enabler Breath of Fury can still be used to get a massive amount of goblin tokens if you have an opponent that can't block, but that means you’ll have to wait a turn to attack with all the goblins you acquire.

>Good vs. bad matchups

The good matchups for Krenko is any deck that depends heavily on creatures. Marwyn, the Nurturer, Chulane, Teller of Tales, Meren of Clan Nel Toth, and pretty much all casual decks. Cards like Goblin Assassin and Goblin Sharpshooter can easily keep these decks down. Artifact decks also have some trouble against Krenko, thanks to Goblin Trashmaster, Goblin Welder, and Mogg Salvage. Also, don’t worry about pillowfort decks; you can and should primarily be going for a combo-win anyway.

Bad matchups include fast combo decks like storm decks. When facing those kinds of decks, put high priority on either damaging their mana base with something like Blood Moon or Goblin Trashmaster, or take out their commander to deny them at least some card advantage. Another bad matchup is against stax decks. If they hit your mana base with something like a Winter Orb before Krenko is out there is not much you can do except try and remove the stax piece. If it’s after Krenko is out you don’t have to worry too much, as you can just focus on making goblin tokens and dealing combat damage. Stax pieces like Cursed Totem and Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite are devastating. You have to get rid of them as soon as you can (Note that Elesh Norn can be mitigated with Obelisk of Urd or Coat of Arms).

Then there are Darksteel Mutation effects. As mono-red only has Chaos Warp to deal with enchantments, I had to get creative. Sacrificing Krenko will get him back into the command zone so you can re-cast him. It’s not a perfect solution, but it works. Alternatively, some of the combat-based win-cons (Shared Animosity) will still work without Krenko on the battlefield, so you can remove the player to get Krenko back.

>Single card discussion

>Mana ramp

Ancient Tomb: Auto-include. The damage is totally worth getting 2 mana from 1 land.
Arcane Signet: Finally, an upgrade to Fire Diamond.
Brightstone Ritual: Massive mana in the late game, but it’s typically not useful that late (unless you have Staff of Domination). You should use this to cast the bigger spells like Krenko, Mob Boss and Coat of Arms earlier, or use it to play and equip Thornbite Staff in the same turn.
Chandra, Torch of Defiance: This planeswalker is amazing. She gives mana ramp (which is usually the first ability you will use), she provides card advantage, and she can remove creatures. She also has an emblem, but you’ll never use it.
Cheering Fanatic: Not as useful as Arcane Signet, but still has it’s uses. It’s worth noting that you declare the card on attack, and even if Cheering Fanatic dies in combat you still get the cost reduction. And it’s a goblin, which is always a nice addition.
Chrome Mox: Considering that 50% of the cards in this deck are non-artifact non-lands, it’s pretty easy to get this out.
Dockside Extortionist: Possibly the best commander card to come out in 2019. This guy can get you massive mana that doesn’t go away at end of turn (unlike Brightstone Ritual). Even if there are only 2 artifacts/enchantments on the battlefield, this guy is worth playing, but the more the better. And for the cherry on top, this card is a goblin.
Infernal Plunge: Most ritual effects aren’t good for Krenko. This one is the exception, because it can give you a turn 2 Krenko assuming you played a goblin turn 1.
Jeska's Will: Gives mana and card draw. I'm testing it out so we'll see how it goes.
Jeweled Lotus: Amazing in the early game for a turn 1 Krenko. Late game it can be used to replay Krenko, or to synergize with some of the artifact themes this deck has.
Liquimetal Torque: Simple mana ramp, but the ability to turn permanents into artifacts is super useful, especially when you've got Goblin Trashmaster or Goblin Welder out.
Mana Crypt: The only reason why you wouldn’t use this is because it’s outside your budget.
Mana Echoes: This card will make more mana than you will ever need (good thing mana burn isn’t a thing anymore). Keep in mind that the creature(s) entering the battlefield also count towards the mana. As an example, if you tap Krenko while you control 4 other goblins, 5 goblin tokens enter the battlefield. With 10 total goblins on the battlefield, each goblin gives 10 mana, for a total of 50 colorless mana.
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx: Auto-include for most mono-colored decks.
Phyrexian Altar: Not as good as Skirk Prospector but is still an excellence choice. Being able to turn your goblins into mana is a key component of this deck. Unfortunately, with it being 3 mana, it comes out some time after Krenko. It functions as a combo piece and for getting the big stuff out once you have a draw engine, but it isn’t the best for mana ramp.
Ruby Medallion: Very useful for getting Krenko out. Stops being useful around turn 5 if you don’t have any card draw.
Skirk Prospector: The single best goblin in this deck (Goblin Lackey is a close second). It ramps you up, it enables combos. This is the goblin that you will usually search for with Imperial Recruiter, Goblin Matron, and Goblin Recruiter.
Sol Ring: Auto-include.

Notable exclusions
Ashnod’s Altar: Admittedly this card is pretty good for Krenko, but Phyrexian Altar already has issues with it at 3 mana, and Ashnod’s only gives colorless. If you can’t use Breath of Fury, consider using Ashnod’s Altar as a substitute.
Battle Hymn: Not a bad choice, there are just better ritual effects that are already being used.
Extraplanar Lens: Extraplanar Lens only really starts to pay off if you can guarantee your fourth land drop. While this deck does that frequently enough, the 3 mana part of Extraplanar Lens means it delays the turn Krenko comes out.
Gauntlet of Might: Similar to Extraplanar Lens. CMC 4 mana ramp isn't all that useful, unless it's really good (Chandra, Torch of Defiance, Mana Echoes).
Jeweled Amulet: A nice 0 mana artifact. This is what you get when you don’t have green’s access to mana dorks. It’s not terrible, but I would usually only get one use out of it. There is better mana ramp.
Koth of the Hammer: The second ability is most important. Sadly the surprisingly high density of non-mountains in the deck harm Koth's effectiveness, and it being a minus ability hampers it's usability.
Mox Diamond: With so little card draw and lands in this deck, Mox Diamond just ends up being a dead card.
Thermopod: Phyrexian Altar at 3 mana causes trouble already. A 5 mana Phyrexian Altar is not worth it at all.
Treasonous Ogre: This guy is pretty good, but if you can get the 4 mana to play Treasonous Ogre, then you also have the 4 mana to play Krenko, and you don’t need much mana ramp after that.
Treasure Nabber: Doesn’t work as well as you would expect. You occasionally get an artifact, but at 3 mana it’s hard to justify Treasure Nabber when 2 CMC mana ramp exists.
Wily Goblin: Not a terrible choice. It gives ramp one time, it gives good devotion to Nykthos, and it's also a goblin. The downside is that the no generic mana in it's cost is surprisingly irritating. If you don't like Mogg War Marshal, this is a good substitute.

>Haste enablers

Ashling’s Prerogative: Always name “even” with this card. The only exception is if you’re trying to do something with Goblin Sharpshooter or Goblin Welder. Outside of those specific circumstances, it’s nice to have a 2 mana haste enabler that can also be a minor hate piece.
Crashing Drawbridge: 2 mana one-sided haste enabler is great. It’s also great when you use it to give your Goblin Engineer haste, then sacrifice Crashing Drawbridge to get your Thornbite Staff.
Generator Servant: Amazing card. It can single-handedly get you a turn 3 Krenko with haste. And because it gives 2 mana, there are rare cases where you can give Krenko and another creature haste (like Goblin Sharpshooter).
Goblin Chieftain: It gives haste and a stats buff. Very useful if you’re going for a combat-based win.
Goblin Motivator: A good turn 1 play. And it’s a goblin, giving it a slight edge over Bloodlust Inciter.
Goblin Warchief: Giving a discount to goblins is a nice little bonus on top of giving haste.
Hall of the Bandit Lord: It’s a good thing that life is just seen as another resource. Giving haste without any additional mana investment is superb, and well worth the downsides of entering tapped and only giving colorless mana.
Lightning Greaves: Removing Krenko is a good way of keeping the goblin horde in check. Lightning Greaves gives shroud, allowing some level of protection while also giving haste. The downside is that you’ll have to unequip it if you’re going for the Thornbite Staff combo.
Mass Hysteria: 1 mana global haste is about as good as it gets. Be careful when using this card. It gives all creatures haste, so it may benefit your opponent’s decks in other ways. If you’re going up against an elf-tribal deck, do not play this card turn 1.
Thousand-Year Elixir: It gives “haste” and can also be used to untap Krenko. Awesome.

Notable exclusions
Akroma’s Memorial: 7 mana. This would be the most mana intensive card in the deck, and it still doesn’t win the game like Coat of Arms.
Anger: I would need a way to consistently discard this before Krenko comes out for this to be good.
Bloodlust Inciter: A good choice if you're in a meta that doesn’t favor Mass Hysteria.
Fervor: It’s not bad, there are just better 2 mana and 3 mana options for haste enablers.
Hammer of Purphoros: Same as Fervor. The golems never come into play.
Hanweir Battlements: Because you have to tap this land and have 1 other red mana, it effectively costs 2 mana to give 1 creature haste. That means you would need 6 mana to cast Krenko and give him haste with this card. Not worth the downside of it also only tapping for colorless.
Hellraiser Goblin: It gives haste, and it’s a goblin, which are all good things. The downside is that the “attack each combat” part makes it unsurprisingly difficult to keep certain important goblins alive (Skirk Prospector, Dark-Dweller Oracle).
Need for Speed: You can’t really afford to sacrifice a land in a deck that needs to be really careful with it’s mana.
Obsidian Battle-Axe: Krenko is a warrior, so this is a cool inclusion if you want to take advantage of other tribal aspects. But if you’re not using Fervor or Hammer of Purphoros, you’re not using the battle-axe.
Ogre Battledriver: 4 mana haste enabler is not worth it. You want your haste enablers to come out some time before Krenko. 4 mana slows down this plan.
Swiftfoot Boots: While hexproof instead of shroud is nice, it suffers from a similar problem as Hanweir Battlements; you have to invest additional mana when Krenko is played.
Torch Courier: Oddly enough, I often wouldn't use this for haste. It would only be a good haste enabler if there was a third goblin on the battlefield. Otherwise, I'd sacrifice it and then tap Krenko... for one goblin. So I'd net the same number of goblins as not sacrificing Torch Courier.

>Card draw

Dark-Dweller Oracle: “Card draw”. Always remember to leave some mana open so that you’ll be able to cast something good that you exile.
Idol of Oblivion: One extra card each turn? Yes please. P.S. Never, ever, sacrifice Idol of Oblivion to get an Eldrazi. Just… don’t.
Path of Ancestry: Not card draw, but still card advantage. The occasional scry is useful enough in mono-red.
Reforge the Soul: With cards like Mana Echoes and Skirk Prospector, it is very easy to blow through your hand and go into top-deck mode. Wheel effects are perfect for refilling that hand so you can keep casting things.
Sensei’s Divining Top: An obviously good form of selective drawing and the reason that the fetch-lands are in this deck. Don’t like the top 3 cards? Activate a fetch-land to reshuffle your library.
Skullclamp: This will draw you so many cards. Be warned though: if you have some sort of static buff from something like Goblin Chieftain or Obelisk of Urd you’ll also need a sacrifice outlet to be able to use Skullclamp.
Subira, Tulzidi Caravanner: Massive card draw in this deck, and she doesn't even require a haste enabler. Of course, it always helps to attack with more goblins. Just keep in mind that Subira gets turned off by buff effects like Obelisk of Urd and Coat of Arms.
Wheel of Fortune: Quite possibly the best card draw spell in red.
Wheel of Misfortune: Quite possibly the second best draw spell in red.

Notable exclusions
Faithless Looting: Doesn't actually give more cards, it just filters the ones you have. Better draw spells have been released.
Grenzo, Havoc Raiser: While it does give you a lot of different cards to cast, you have to rely on your opponents having stuff that you’ll want to cast, which isn’t very often.
Hazoret’s Monument: The 1 less mana to red creature spells is alright, but the discard then draw part doesn’t happen very often. At 3 mana, this just isn’t a good card.
Herald’s Horn: 1 less mana to goblins and you occasionally (25% chance) get another card. Not worth the 3 mana.
Rummaging Goblin: It's nice that it's a goblin, but it has the same downsides as Hazoret's Monument.
Spinerock Knoll: Dealing 7 damage in one turn is easy to do around turn 4 or 5, but because this land enters tapped it slows down the early game. You may want to substitute this for Path of Ancestry.
Thrill of Possibility: Cards like this don't actually increase the number of cards in your hand, they just change which ones are in your hand. This one has the downsides of being 2 mana, and not being recurrable.
Vanquisher’s Banner: You occasionally draw an additional card, but 5 mana is way too much.


Abrade: Removes both creatures and artifacts at instant-speed. Amazing.
Chaos Warp: The only good way to get rid of enchantments in red.
Gempalm Incinerator: It costs 1 mana more than outnumber, but it also draws you a card, which is kinda nice. This should go without saying, but never play this card as a creature.
Goblin Assassin: One-sided mass creature removal, every turn. It checks for each goblin entering, so worst-case scenario you have to sacrifice the tokens that just entered. It also just gets rid of all your opponents creatures, leaving them open for attack. Because flipping 10 coins for each person will take a long time, I recommend using a coin-flipping app.
Goblin Bombardment: Very useful for taking out creatures and planeswalkers. When you have a surplus of goblin tokens, it's well worth using them to get rid of mana dorks or Dark Confidant.
Goblin Cratermaker: It can remove some creatures, most artifacts, and even Kozilek, Butcher of Truth, all at instant speed. Also, it’s a goblin.
Goblin Sharpshooter: Absolutely demolishes all of your opponent’s mana dorks and creatures with 1 toughness. Pair it with a sacrifice outlet to take out the bigger creatures. Ironically, this card is also good against tribal-goblins.
Goblin Trashmaster: I called it “mono-red Collector Ouphe” one time and it stuck. Super good against artifact decks. Don’t be afraid to sacrifice a goblin if it means getting rid of someone’s mana rock, just make sure that you have enough goblins to fall back on.
Goblin Welder: I put this card in the removal section, but it also works as good recursion. Use this to really mess up your opponent’s plays, always getting rid of the strongest artifact.
Mogg Salvage: In multiplayer, you’re very likely to be against at least 1 blue player. You can’t go wrong with 0 mana artifact removal.
Pashalik Mons: You can use her with some other sacrifice outlet and she can function as a pseudo Goblin Bombardment. More than likely though, she’ll just be dealing damage as a by-product of some sacrifice outlet like Skirk Prospector. Very useful against creature-based decks.
Skirk Fire Marshal: Player removal is a form of removal. Okay, maybe I should have put this in the win-condition section, but it does function as an instant-speed boardwipe. Plus he has protection from red, so he can survive to do it again.

Notable exclusions
Arms Dealer: Not a bad option, but there is better stuff. The up-front 3 mana causes issues.
Blasphemous Act: Because this is the creature-based deck, and it already has one-sided mass creature removal, Blasphemous Act isn’t needed.
Furystoke Giant: Makes a good late game one-sided boardwipe for when you have lots of goblins (and preferably a haste enabler). Sadly, with the deck getting faster and more combo-like, this card saw less and less play.
Goblin Grenade: If this was an instant instead of a sorcery, it would go in. Reckless Rage is a slightly different option, but the deck has enough creature removal as-is.
Lightning Bolt: Just not a staple in commander.
Massive Raid: Being able to hit all targets is nice, but hard to justify at 3 mana.
Outnumber: Unfortunately red creature removal deals damage instead of outright destroying/exiling the targets. But at 1 mana and instant-speed, Outnumber can be worth it.
Pyrokinesis: With so little card draw in the deck it’s hard to justify this card.
Shattering Spree: If you frequently face artifact decks, I recommend slotting this card in more than Vandalblast.
Siege-Gang Commander: While this is good creature removal, it’s a 5 mana investment up-front, and then you need 2 mana to use it.
Smelt: Mogg Salvage is already in the deck.
Vandalblast: The overload cost rarely gets paid, and in many cases Shattering Spree is still the better choice.


Gamble: Assuming you have at least 1 other card in hand, you’ll always have at least a 50% chance of winning the gamble. Don’t be worried about using this to find a win-condition. This deck has a lot of redundancies and artifact-recursion, so loosing the gamble isn’t that bad.
Goblin Engineer: Works best with haste, or if your opponents don’t figure out that Thornbite Staff is a win-con. Can also be used as recursion.
Goblin Matron: Gets you that last goblin you’re missing. Usually Skirk Prospector, but Dark-Dweller Oracle, Goblin Sharpshooter, Goblin Trashmaster, and Goblin Chieftain are also common search targets.
Goblin Recruiter: A common pattern for me is Goblin Warchief, Skirk Prospector, and Dark-Dweller Oracle/Goblin Engineer, in that order. Only do this on turn 2 if you have a third land in hand. Otherwise, use this card like a Goblin Matron that gets you more than one goblin.
Imperial Recruiter: May as well be a strictly worse version of Goblin Matron, because you are not using this guy to search for Generator Servant or Crashing Drawbridge, and it can’t get Goblin Trashmaster. Also, not a goblin. He still gets damn near every goblin in the deck though, so he’s useful.
Urza's Saga: If you played this on turn 1 you'll likely be getting Sol Ring or Mana Crypt for that extra mana ramp to get Krenko out. Or you'll be grabbing Skullclamp if you instead need the card draw.

Notable exclusions
Inventors’ Fair: Getting the 3 artifacts on the battlefield is difficult enough as is. But also needing 4 mana to find the artifact and then whatever mana it takes to cast the artifact is asking a lot.
Moggcatcher: It’s nice that the goblin goes straight to the battlefield, but it is a high mana investment. Tutors should be low mana when possible.
Pyre of Heroes: Sac fodder for this deck ends up being goblin tokens, which means that this will usually only get 1 mana goblins (so, Skirk Prospector) If you're lucky you can get a non-token goblin that's already served it's purpose, but not reliably enough for this to be a worthwhile tutor.


Breath of Fury: If you’re in a meta where your opponents will always have 1 blocker (less common than you think) then you want to drop this card. Otherwise it wins games with any haste enabler.
Coat of Arms: Mana-intensive, but easily wins games.
Eldrazi Monument: Superb board protection. The +1/+1 and flying is a nice bonus too that allows you to deal massive damage.
Impact Tremors: Not as good as Purphoros, but still very good.
Obelisk of Urd: You will never spend the full 6 mana on this card, unless Mana Echoes is involved.
Purphoros, God of the Forge: Paired with Thousand-Year Elixir, Purphoros does massive damage.
Shared Animosity: 2 less mana makes this better than Coat of Arms in most cases.
Staff of Domination + Thornbite Staff: The two main combo pieces. Must-haves.

Notable exclusions
Boggart Shenanigans: First off, this card does count as a goblin, which makes for some interesting moments. While it can do a little damage to players and planeswalkers, that’s not really worth it when Goblin Bombardment and Goblin Sharpshooter are already in the deck.
Conspicuous Snoop: Including the Snoop combo would require adding two other dead cards, and without the combo snoop isn't that good of a card.
Den of the Bugbear: It's an outlet for infinite mana, but all of my infinite mana combos already have an outlet built-in.
Goblin War Strike/Mob Justice/Burn at the Stake: To be fair, these cards are useful (at least the first 2 are). They are really good for taking out that one threatening player. I removed these cards to make combo wins more consistent but they are not terrible choices.
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker: This is another one that often surprises people. By testing this card I found out that there aren't too many creatures in this deck worth copying, making Kiki-Jiki a sort of dead card. For the other creatures, Zealous Conscripts is very much a dead card, and Combat Celebrant only providing an extra combat every two turns is not worth it, making it also a kinda dead card.
Quest for the Goblin Lord: This card actually works really well for combat-damaged based wins at 1 mana. I only took it out to make the combo wins easier.
Sword of the Paruns: This is a much more mana-intensive version of Umbral Mantle. Whereas Umbral Mantle takes 6 mana to use, Sword of the Paruns takes 10.
Throne of the God-Pharaoh: It’s an alright effect damage card, but it needs a haste enabler to be really effective, and Impact Tremors is just straight-up better.
Torbran, Thane of Red Fell: Quest for the Goblin Lord just makes a better choice. Seeing as how that’s not in the deck, neither is Torbran. What Torbran is good for is synergy with Goblin Sharpshooter and Impact Tremors, but it's hard to use at 4 mana.
Umbral Mantle: It's not a bad win-con (it was in this deck for a very long time) it's just annoying that it needs some other outlet to work with it, while Thornbite Staff and Staff of Domination are the outlets.


Blood Moon: If you ran just basic mountains in this deck, it would only be marginally worse. The same cannot be said of most multicolored decks.
Buried Ruin: Simple artifact recursion if someone removes your Thornbite Staff. Because it’s on a land, people tend to forget about it.
Cavern of Souls: May as well stop your goblins from getting countered.
Command Beacon: Not only does it allow Krenko to evade commander tax one time, it can also be used with Goblin Lackey or Warren Instigator to get Krenko onto the battlefield for 0 mana.
Deflecting Swat: A very good card for protection. It can do more than just redirect a removal spell though. Don't forget that cards like Blue Sun's Zenith also say "target".
Fetch-lands: Literally just in here for when you need to reshuffle your deck after using Sensei’s Divining Top and seeing that the top 3 cards are crap. Deck thinning is irrelevant.
Goblin Chirurgeon: Protection that is also a sacrifice outlet.
Goblin Lackey + Warren Instigator: Most goblins are already 1 or 2 mana, but being able to play them for free is still useful, especially if it’s a Goblin Warchief.
Goblin Sledder + Mogg Raider: Can protect some of your boardstate from a Toxic Deluge (opponents will always pay 3 life against this deck), you can sacrifice your blocked goblins to buff up unblocked goblins, and you can stop a Mikaeus, the Unhallowed + Triskelion combo. It was one time but still awesome.
Great Furnace: Being an artifact means it can be used with Goblin Welder and Goblin Engineer. That's it. That is the only reason why this card is in the deck.
Pyroblast: Finally found way to fit this card in. There are a lot of blue decks out there so this card does work.
Tibalt's Trickery: I'm trying this out but I'm optimistic. It should work as a good protection spell.

Notable exclusions
Chancellor of the Forge: Starting the game with a goblin is useful, but otherwise this is a dead card.
Defense Grid: If you really need counterspell protection this can work. 3 mana means that you’ll be playing this instead of your haste enabler. You might want to consider using Red Elemental Blast and Pyroblast first.
Dragon Fodder/Krenko’s Command: Goblin Instigator and Mogg War Marshal just make better choices. Because they are creatures they get discounted by Goblin Warchief and give devotion for Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx.
Goblin Burrows: One goblin gets a buff at the cost of effectively 3 mana. And this land only gives colorless. Not good.
Goblin Guide: No. Just… no.
Goblin Instigator: A good choice if you want something to provide more goblins, but there just tends to be better stuff to play instead.
Goblin King: If it gave haste it would be worth using. There are already enough cards that give a +1/+1 buff, and mountainwalk is only really useful for the Breath of Fury combo.
Goblin Piledriver: A good choice if there is a mono-blue deck in your meta. Unfortunately the piledriver is only really useful for combat-based wins, and can only damage one player. See also: Foundry Street Denizen.
Goblin Rabblemaster: Same flaw as Hellraiser Goblin and it isn’t that good of a token producer. Pass.
Goblin Ringleader: It surprises a lot of people that I don’t use this card. It’s most common use is to have it as the first card in a Goblin Recruiter pile, so you can immediately draw the next 4 goblins on the following turn. The catch being that I don’t really feel like spending 4 mana (therefore wasting a turn) just to get the Goblin Warchief and Skirk Prospector that I was going to get anyway. And as a value cast you’ll maybe get 1 goblin, probably none. Not worth 4 mana. If this was a slower deck I could see this card being worth it, but it’s not a slow deck, so ringleader is out.
Illusionist’s Bracers: The hefty casting and equip cost makes it difficult to justify.
Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin: Gives a decent amount of goblin tokens, but he needs haste and ideally an initial buff effect. And he’s 3 mana to begin with.
Legion Loyalist: Slightly useful for combat-based wins. Fact of the matter is that there are better 1-drop goblins.
Legion Warboss: A slightly better choice than Goblin Rabblemaster for this deck, but with 2 mana goblin token producers existing, this card gets cut long before.
Magus of the Moon: If Blood Moon is very good at hurting the decks in your meta, then add Magus of the Moon in. Otherwise, the enchantment version of this effect should be enough.
Mogg War Marshal: Of all the cards where their only purpose is to make goblins (Hordeling Outburst, Krenko’s Command, Goblin Instigator) this one was the last one standing. Because it also makes a goblin when it dies, Skirk Prospector can actually get 3 mana from it. It’s a slight upside, but enough to put it in the deck before the others.
Red Elemental Blast: Good for stopping blue decks, but figuring out which card to swap out for these can be difficult. It’s a meta call really.
Rings of Brighthearth: Imagine having to pay Illusionist’s Bracers' casting cost every time you activate Krenko. Because that’s what this does.

This deck appears to be legal in EDH / Commander.

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