Commander Class: Krenko, Mob Boss Deck Tech
Following up to my previous article on "How to build a Commander Deck" I've decided to delve deeper into the Krenko build and give some thoughts on strategy. Note this build is for competitive commander play, and the main goal is to kill your opponent(s) as quickly as possible. The deck is overwhelmingly better in a 1v1 commander game, but would fare fine in a 3-4 or more person commander game. We’ve already selected the commander and the all-star supporting team of goblins.
Here are the main ways to help this deck win quickly are as followed:
2) Buffs like +1+1, +2+0, and Sacrifice this creature to deal 2 damage to any target.
3) Mana Acceleration
5) Raw Massive Damage / Multiple Triggers Damage
When it comes to haste I think this deck could run both Lightning Greaves and Swiftfoot Boots, but I opted to just run Lightning Greaves due to the no-Equip cost. A few creatures in the deck have haste themselves, but we really want to be giving Krenko, Mob Boss haste. If we can give Krenko haste the first time he enters the battlefield we are one step closer to victory. Pumping out more goblins immediately with Krenko having haste is what you want to be doing with this deck. Prior to playing Krenko you want to be jamming out all the goblins you can. If possible try to get out 1 of the 2 Goblin All-Stars in Goblin Warchief, or Goblin Chieftain. We also have 2 other ways to give Krenko haste, but they are not goblin cards. Fervor is great because it gives all your creatures haste, and not just Krenko. We also have the ability to give a creature haste off of a non-basic land in Hanweir Battlements. Altogether we have 5 cards in the deck that can give krenko haste which is roughly 5% of the deck. I want this to be more, but just couldn't fit everything into the 99.
Next up we need buffs for the goblins and other creatures within the deck. There are several lords in the deck that give +1/+1, but I decided to run several crusade effects that are multi-faceted. I cannot tell you how many times a card like Coat of Arms has won me a game. Whether it be Slivers or Thallids, this card is one of the best tribal buff effects out there. We follow that up by also adding Icon of Ancestry and Vanquishers Banner for Buff + Card Advantage together in one. I also decided to run Caged Sun since this is a mono colored deck and it fits the overall theme. We hit 2 out of the 5 main ways to help the deck by adding a non-goblin in Ogre Battledriver. The last few buffs come in the form of Goblin Wardriver (situational), Goblin Pyromancer (high risk, but can be a game ender), Quest of the Goblin Lord, Goblin War Party (situational), and Castle Embereth, which is better in the late game.
Every commander deck needs good mana acceleration, this one included. I was trying to keep this deck within a budget of not having to order more than $150 worth of cards to complete. To accomplish this goal, this build is lacking cards like Jeweled Lotus and Grim Monolith. However, we have a robust amount of acceleration with: Sol Ring, Mana Crypt, Mana Vault, Wily Goblin, Solemn Simulacrum, and Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx.
Tutors should be important for any competitive deck, where I would say most casual decks probably shouldn’t run them. Other than Goblin Recruiter the only other tutors in the deck is a mercenary, a recruiter. Mogg Catcher and Imperial Recruiter are in the deck to search up Goblin Recruiter, who then stacks your deck for a Muxus Combo. However you can also use these creatures to search for other creatures you may need in order to get out of something situational depending on the game state.
We need some other viable ways to kill our opponent(s). Surprisingly enough, most of these win conditions are not goblin cards, and one of the best is Purphoros, God of the Forge. He can be a big indestructible creature, pump your creatures multiple times, or just kill all your opponents on a single activation of Krenko, Mob Boss. Fitting the theme I also added Hellrider, Pashalik Mons, Impact Tremors, and Throne of the God-Pharaoh to give you the ability to make your 1/1 goblins be able to do: two, three, four, or five damage without any buffs. Other cards that double or even triple your damage like Furnace of Rath, Dictate of the Twin Gods (I like this one the most because you can be tricky and play it at the end of the opponents turn, and then kill them on your turn.), and a newer card Fiery Emancipation also help us close out games. Unfortunately only Dictate of the Twin Gods made the final 99.
Last I want to note four other cards that can just end games instantly:
As you glance over my full deck list you will probably notice some strong cards that would fit the theme of the deck are missing. This is either due to budget, or having to shrink the deck down after play testing. You'll also notice quite a bit of versatile cards within the build that cater to spot removal, artifact removal, and some trickery. The final build is 39% Creatures, 27% Spells, and a lower 34% lands. The average converted mana cost in the deck is a lower 2.86, which is the reason why it only runs 34 lands. If you were closer to a 3.5-4.0 average converted mana cost you'd probably want to run 38-40 lands. Keep in mind this deck does run some acceleration as well. In most cases the deck can win with only 3 lands.
Overall this Krenko, the Mob Boss deck is fast and relentlessly brutal, but it does have some weaknesses. Stuff that exiles your whole board is really good against this kind of deck as, well as wrath effects in general. Stuff like Propaganda or something that will only let you attack with one creature can also be troublesome. This deck is fun to play while being a very competitive deck that will give most decks a run for their money. I like the fact that there are several older / old-school cards that could potentially get an old-school player interested in playing commander if they have not played the game in a while, or have not played the format before. One of the coolest things about EDH/Commander is the fact that it brings back the nostalgia of playing those big ol group games that were the norm in 1994-1996.
Please comment below or Tweet me @boostntofu to vote for one of the pre-constructed Commander 2021 decks to be the theme for my next article.
1) Lorehold Legacies
2) Prismari Performance
3) Quantum Quandrix
4) Silverquill Statement
5) Witherbloom Witchcraft
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