Commander Corner: Grenzo, Dungeon Warden

Welcome back,

In the High City of [c]Paliano[/c], there is a goblin who rules the underground. The council above sends the prisoners to his domain to be locked away forever. They will never be seen or heard from again. The only contact they will have is with the dungeon warden himself. He holds the keys to every lock in Paliano.

When he isn’t locking way wrongdoers, he schemes up ways to overthrow the council. His goal is to gain control of the High City, with the help of his many goblin assassins, and plunge it into chaos. He also wishes to slay his arch rival, [c]Muzzio, Visionary Architect[/c]. If he can take down Muzzio, he can take over the entire city. With enough time, he will surely succeed.

[c]Grenzo, Dungeon Warden[/c] is a bit of an odd commander. His [c]cellar door[/c]-esque ability isn’t a normal design for a creature. You can make him as big as you want, though, which is a huge plus.

It can be hard for any deck to really take advantage of this ability, especially in these colors. While we may not be able to abuse his ability, it can certainty pay off for us in the later stages of the game. He provides a solid mana-sink that lets us grab creatures from out of nowhere.

Let’s take a look at what Grenzo can come up with for us this week.

ArtID 153180_Nozzo, Goblin Dungeonkeeper_Final01

He schemes below the city, waiting for his chance to take over Paliano.

[d title=”Grenzo’s Cutthroats (EDH)”]

Commander

1 Grenzo, Dungeon Warden

Lands

1 Auntie’s Hovel

1 Blood Crypt

1 Bloodstained Mire

1 Cavern of Souls

1 Command Tower

1 Dragonskull Summit

1 Graven Cairns

16 Mountain

1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx

1 Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep

1 Shizo, Death’s Storehouse

8 Swamp

1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth[/d]

[d]

Creatures

1 Adaptive Automaton

1 Battle Squadron

1 Beetleback Chief

1 Bloodmark Mentor

1 Boggart Harbinger

1 Boggart Mob

1 Frogtosser Banneret

1 Gempalm Incinerator

1 Goblin Bushwhacker

1 Goblin Chieftain

1 Goblin Guide

1 Goblin King

1 Goblin Lackey

1 Goblin Marshal

1 Goblin Matron

1 Goblin Piledriver

1 Goblin Recruiter

1 Goblin Ringleader

1 Goblin Ruinblaster

1 Goblin Sharpshooter[/d]

[d]

Creatures (cont.)

1 Goblin Warchief

1 Goblin Wardriver

1 Goblin Wizard

1 Horde of Boggarts

1 Ib Halfheart, Goblin Tactician

1 Jeering Instigator

1 Knucklebone Witch

1 Krenko, Mob Boss

1 Legion Loyalist

1 Lightning Crafter

1 Mad Auntie

1 Mogg War Marshal

1 Moggcatcher

1 Purphoros, God of the Forge

1 Reckless One

1 Siege-Gang Commander

1 Skirk Drill Sergeant

1 Skirk Prospector

1 Tuktuk Scrapper

1 Tuktuk the Explorer

1 Warren Instigator

1 Wort, Boggart Auntie[/d]

[d]

Instants

1 Doom Blade

1 Hero’s Downfall

1 Lightning Bolt

1 Tarfire

1 Terminate

Sorceries

1 Demonic Tutor

1 Dreadbore

1 Fodder Launch

1 Gamble

1 Mizzium Mortars

1 Patriarch’s Bidding

1 Warren Weirding[/d]

[d]

Enchantments

1 Goblin Warrens

1 Phyrexian Arena

1 Quest for the Goblin Lord

1 Shared Animosity

1 Sulfuric Vortex

Artifacts

1 Lightning Greaves

1 Obelisk of Urd

1 Reito Lantern

1 Sol Ring

Planeswalkers

1 Chandra, Pyromaster

[/d]

This deck is meant to kill your opponent as fast as possible. Its low curve allows you to get ahead of your opponent and apply as much pressure as possible right from the start.

Many of these creatues either buff your team, apply tons of pressure, or search for more goblins. Grenzo acts as a huge finisher and can also find some creatures from the bottom of the deck with his ability. With [c]Reito Lantern[/c] out, he just turns into [c]Zombify[/c] on a stick. The amount of synergy and sheer aggression that this deck can put out will crush most opponents before they made any meaningful play. Pumping out threats consistently and turning creatures sideways is the name of the game, and Grenzo is happy to provide everything you might need to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

This deck does have an issue when it comes to the late game.

Since your creatures are much smaller then most, they will become outclassed the longer the game goes. You can remedy this by simply just going wide. You can produce as many goblin tokens as you can count with [c]Beetleback Chief[/c], [c]Goblin Marshal[/c], [c]Krenko, Mob Boss[/c], [c]Mogg War Marshal[/c], and [c]Siege-Gang Commander[/c]. Krenko can get out of hand quickly if left unchecked. He is usually the main way of winning in this deck besides just beating your opponent to death with all of your 1/1s and 2/2s.

When building this deck, I grouped up what type of goblins I wanted into different classes. There are four classes of goblins in this deck.

  1. There are the lords which give your team some type of buff, whether it be giving them +1/+1 or first strike. Cards like [c]Goblin King[/c], [c]Bloodmark Mentor[/c], and [c]Goblin Warchief[/c] fall here.
  2. Then there are the tutors, which search up any goblin that you need at the time. [c]Goblin Recruiter[/c], [c]Goblin Ringleader[/c], and [c]Moggcatcher[/c] will get the job done for us.
  3. Then there are the beaters, which are only there to beat your opponent senseless. Creatures like [c]Mogg War Marshal[/c], [c]Battle Squadron[/c], [c]Goblin Guide[/c], [c]Goblin Lackey[/c] and [c]Beetleback Chief[/c] are here to put the hurt on your opponent.
  4. The last class is called support. These cards don’t search up goblins, but merely keep them going by bringing them back or protecting them. [c]Goblin Wizard[/c], [c]Mad Auntie[/c], and [c]Wort, Boggart Auntie[/c] tend to fall in this category.

If a goblin did not fall into one of these four classes, then it didn’t make it into the deck. Cards that can fit into these categories will provide the most synergy and will work together to crush your opponent better than most.

While testing this deck, there were a few cards that were in here that ended up not making the cut. The big ones that I ended up cutting are [c]Goblin Rabblemaster[/c] and [c]Coat of Arms[/c]. [c]Goblin Rabblemaster[/c] may seem like an auto-include for a deck like this, but it does not play nice in an all-goblins strategy. While you almost always will be attacking, there are times when you have to hold your creatures back. Suiciding my lords into my opponents creatures almost always ended up in a loss. The card just doesn’t play well with other goblins.

[c]Coat of Arms[/c] ended up being cut because I found that [c]Obelisk of Urd[/c] ended up being simply better in most cases. I was able to get it out earlier than [c]Coat of Arms[/c] and it still provided basically the same effect, so I ended up choosing the Obelisk over it.

This deck is for anybody that likes a tribal theme, or just wants a hyper aggressive EDH deck. This deck is great at punishing any player that stumbles, which is an all-too-common thing in this format. Any opponent whose deck takes some time to set up shop will have a difficult time dealing with the pressure this deck can provide in an instant. If you like turning creatures sideways and racing your opponent, this is the deck for you.

Thank you for checking out this week’s Commander Corner. If you have any suggestions for a commander you want to be featured in a future article, let me know in the comments below. Next week, we go bigger. Much bigger. See you next time, my friends.

-Steven Gulsby