Krenko, Mob Boss is an intriguing new legend that demands a deck full of Goblins. Krenko’s Command certainly helps with that, and thanks to Magic 2012, we have a few other powerful Goblin-related cards in Standard, such as Goblin Chieftain and Goblin Grenade. Here's the deck I built to take advantage of all this Gobliny goodness:
Krenko, Mob Boss is a bit slow compared to most Goblins, but he can easily take over the game if he gets to activate his ability. You'll usually be putting around three Goblins onto the board with the first activation, making him a sort of Siege-Gang Commander if he survives for one turn. If he lives beyond that, you've probably won the game, since the second activation will put you up to a total of twelve Goblins. Although there is that unfortunate turn of vulnerability while he still has summoning sickness, even that can be averted with the help of Goblin Chieftain. Not only will Krenko be able to use his ability immediately, but the Goblin tokens he puts onto the battlefield will be able to attack that turn as well. Although you won't often get to live the dream of Goblin Arsonist into Krenko’s Command into Goblin Chieftain into Krenko, Mob Boss, when you do, your opponent will be very dead.
Goblin Chieftain is not only amazing with Krenko, but quite good with all the other Goblins in the deck as well. With one of these on the board, Spikeshot Elder can shoot things for 2 damage with its ability, Krenko’s Command puts 4 power on the board, and Goblin Wardriver can attack immediately, making everything even bigger. Even Goblin Arsonist becomes a significant threat.
Goblin Wardriver serves as a backup for Goblin Chieftain. Although not nearly as powerful, its battle cry does pump up all your Goblins, making all the 1/1s this deck produces much more relevant. A 2/2 for 2 is already reasonable, and with even one or two other creatures on the board, this deals a lot more damage than just its own power.
Krenko’s Command proves that two Goblins are better than one. It gives you two creatures to sacrifice to Goblin Grenade, and it will often give you 4 more attack power thanks to Goblin Chieftain and Goblin Wardriver. Obviously, it also works extremely well with Krenko.
Spikeshot Elder is a quick, early-game threat, but it also retains value later in the game. Thanks to its ability, it can shoot down Birds of Paradise, Snapcaster Mage, Delver of Secrets, Spirit tokens, Phantasmal Image, or any other little creatures that you want to kill. With the help of Goblin Chieftain or Goblin Wardriver, it can even take down larger threats such as Insectile Aberration and Huntmaster of the Fells.
Goblin Arsonist is an easy way to punch through some damage early on, and when it dies, it can take down any 1-toughness creature on the board or just ping your opponent for another 1. It can even trade with a 2/2 in combat or be sacrificed to Goblin Grenade for 6 damage. This creature will often push through for damage even when your opponent could easily block and kill it when he has a 1/1 he wants to protect.
Galvanic Blast is often just two more copies of Pillar of Flame, although the fact that it's an instant will often come in handy, letting you force your opponent to waste mana equipping a Sword of War and Peace or blow him out when he decides not to cast any spells in order to transform Huntmaster of the Fells.
Goblin Grenade is an amazing finisher in this deck, and it will often win games out of nowhere when you draw multiple copies. Even with only one, 5 damage is a lot and will often be enough to win the game once your opponent has stabilized.
Gut Shot is a powerful tool for taking down Delver of Secrets and various mana dorks on turn one without sacrificing your ability to play a threat of your own. In a pinch, it can combine with Spikeshot Elder, Goblin Arsonist, or Pillar of Flame to take down a larger creature.
Shrine of Burning Rage is another powerful tool for winning a game that seems out of reach. With so many cheap red spells in the deck, it will gain counters extremely quickly, and if your mob of Goblins fails to get the job done, it will come in batting clean-up and take your opponent down in one hit.
Flames of the Firebrand is an excellent tool for dealing with those pesky Spirit tokens without losing a lot of card advantage in the process. It can take down three of them on one shot, leaving only one remaining from an entire Lingering Souls.
Smelt is a great way to deal with Sword of War and Peace, taking it out of the picture at instant speed for only a single red mana. With so few expensive spells in the deck, you can easily leave 1 mana open once your opponent has the ability to cast and equip the Sword in one turn, making sure that he'll never be able to hit you with it.
Incinerate deals with Wolfir Avenger quite nicely, killing it without the possibility of regeneration for only 2 mana. Like the Avenger, it can be cast at instant speed, so you can get rid of it immediately even if your opponent casts it mid-combat.
Zealous Conscripts punishes players with Titans on their teams, letting you steal one for a turn to deal 9 or more damage in one swing. That will almost always be enough to end the game immediately, making the fact that you have to give the creature back to the opponent irrelevant. Since this creature does cost 5 mana, I've included an extra Mountain in the sideboard to help you get there.
Zombie Pod – Game 1
I put a counter on my Shrine and drew Goblin Arsonist. I cast it along with Goblin Wardriver, putting two more counters on the Shrine. I passed the turn. My opponent played a Woodland Cemetery and cast Birthing Pod, paying 2 life. He ended his turn.
I put another counter on my Shrine and drew Goblin Wardriver. I attacked with my creatures for 4, and my opponent chose not to block. I cast the second Goblin Wardriver, then killed the Blood Artist with Galvanic Blast, causing me to lose 1 life and my opponent to gain 1. The Shrine went up to 6 counters, and I passed the turn. My opponent played a Swamp, cast another Blood Artist, and passed the turn.
I put another counter on my Shrine and drew a Mountain. I played it and attacked with everything. My opponent blocked a Goblin Wardriver and took 6, dropping to 9. I cast Goblin Grenade and activated Shrine of Burning Rage to finish him off.
Zombie Pod – Game 2
My opponent cast Fume Spitter, sacrificing it to kill my Arsonist. I hit him for 1, and he hit me for 2 with Diregraf Ghoul. He then played a Woodland Cemetery, cast Gravecrawler, and passed the turn. I drew a Mountain, played it, and cast Krenko’s Command. I passed the turn.
My opponent attacked with Diregraf Ghoul and Gravecrawler, hitting me for 4. He then played Dragonskull Summit and cast Geralf's Messenger. I dropped to 12, and he passed the turn. I drew another Mountain, played it, and cast Goblin Chieftain. I swung for 2 with the Chieftain and passed the turn.
My opponent cast Falkenrath Aristocrat and attacked with everything. I shot the Aristocrat with Spikeshot Elder, and my opponent sacrificed Gravecrawler to make it indestructible. I blocked Geralf's Messenger with Goblin Chieftain and dropped to 4. I drew a Goblin Grenade and played my land. I destroyed the Birthing Pod with Smelt, then activated Spikeshot Elder targeting the Aristocrat. My opponent sacrificed Geralf's Messenger to make it indestructible, but I responded by sacrificing the Elder to cast Goblin Grenade on the Aristocrat. I passed the turn with both of us having nothing on the field and no cards in hand save my last Mountain.
Unfortunately, my opponent drew his second Falkenrath Aristocrat and killed me.
Zombie Pod – Game 3
I kept a hand of three Mountain, Spikeshot Elder, Goblin Chieftain, Goblin Grenade, and Pillar of Flame. I started off by playing my Mountain and casting Spikeshot Elder. My opponent played a Swamp, cast Diregraf Ghoul, and passed the turn.
I drew a Mountain, played it, and cast the second Goblin Chieftain. I swung for 9, dropping my opponent to 6, and passed the turn. My opponent played Swamp, cast Blood Artist, and swung with Gravecrawler. I took 2, and he cast Go for the Throat on Spikeshot Elder before passing the turn.
This deck is extremely fast. In games one and three, my opponent was dead before he even had a fifth turn. Thanks to Goblin Grenade and Shrine of Burning Rage, you often don't have to worry about trying to punch through damage on a crowded board. In the last game, the two Blood Artists and Diregraf Ghoul left back to block would have caused problems for most aggro decks, but I was able to ignore them and burn him out. I'm confident that this deck will be able to perform reasonably well against almost any Standard deck, and I would highly recommend giving it a try once Magic 2013 is released.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, you can find me on the forums under Twinblaze, on Twitter under @Twinblaze2, or simply leave a comment below.