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[cEDH] Krenko Kombo

As competitive as mono-red can be?

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This Krenko EDH deck wants to achieve three things:
  1. Play Krenko, Mob Boss as early as possible (ideally between turns 1 to 3)
  2. Haste!
  3. Sacrifice for combo shananigans or start throwing your tokens at your opponents (not physically)

This is a fast deck that typically wins games between turns 4 to 6. However, it can go off sooner with a good draw.

The reason I particularly enjoy playing this deck in commander (and the reason why you, dear reader, should consider building this too) is that it is fun. You can quietly fly under the radar in the early game assembling your win-con, you place a few red hate cards down, begin drawing more cards than the blue player opposite you and make your opponents cry with amazement whilst you enter the forth dimention calculating the number of goblins now in play, oh, and you now give them haste. Delicious!

However, in all honesty, you do need to like the limitations and challenge that comes with playing mono- in commander to play Krenko, Mob Boss .

I have built this deck to have a clear goal of comboing-off as early as possible, with plenty of redundancy. Each part of the deck’s engine will be detailed below along with all known infinite combos available.

Lands

Ancient Tomb provides ramp early game.

The ally fetch lands Bloodstained Mire and Wooded Foothills allow you to shuffle your deck to remove dead cards following a Sensei's Divining Top activation or change your stacked deck following an early Goblin Recruiter . Playing fetch lands in a mono-coloured deck may feel counterintuitive, however they reduce the overall number of lands in the library later in the game, increasing the odds of hitting the piece you need. I plan to upgrade in time to include the enemy fetches Arid Mesa and Scalding Tarn , but these are by no means essential.

Buried Ruin pulls back a combo artifact piece that has found its way into your graveyard.

Inventors' Fair allows you to tutor for a combo artifact piece in your deck. It’s mana intensive, but it’s all mono- has at its disposal.

Cavern of Souls is used to protect Krenko, Mob Boss and Skirk Prospector from being countered. Once your playgroup has seen the deck in action a few times, it becomes obvious that Krenko, Mob Boss is the centrepiece and expect it to be targeted.

Hall of the Bandit Lord is used to give Krenko, Mob Boss haste, allowing you to go off a turn earlier.

Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx is late game ramp for mono coloured decks. This is a fairly new addition and I am yet to see if it earns its place.

Finally, the 27 Snow-covered Mountains wouldn’t be complete without Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle for some late game Lightning Bolts if your early game plans were disrupted.

Ramp

This is where the chunk of the financial outlay exists. My competitive playgroup necessitates early game interaction but all of these high-dollar cards could be swapped for cheaper rocks if your playgroup is more casual.

The fast mana rocks are Chrome Mox , Mox Diamond , Mana Crypt , Mana Vault and a customary Sol Ring . I plan to upgrade to a Mox Opal in time, given metalcraft is easily obtained by turn 2 - 3 in this deck.

Extraplanar Lens is great late game ramp with the drawback that it’s effect is universal. This is counteracted by playing Snow covered mountains. If you don’t want to splash out, running basics will still benefit you from the ramp far more than your opponents.

Gauntlet of Power is a poor mans Gauntlet of Might being cmc extra. This is likely the cut to make room for Mox Opal in the future.

Ruby Medallion really starts giving value when playing multiple red spells a turn. A Fire Diamond would be a fine inclusion in place of one of those fast mana rocks if on a budget.

Treasonous Ogre allows you to pay life for and can make this deck extremely explosive. Provided you have the pieces in your hand, this will let you suicide towards a win.

Tutors

This is the weakest element of any mono- deck. I am running all tutors that I know of to give the deck consistency, but its always going to be the achilles' heel of any red planeswalker.

Gamble is red's Demonic Tutor , hopefully nabbing you the piece you need. Early game, that could be ramp, later game it could be a required combo piece. There is a clear down-side in that you need to discard a card at random (and of course, regardless of statistics, the universe will make sure it was the tutored card).

Goblin Matron lets you find a friendly Gobbo as she enters the battlefield. The typical target for this is Skirk Prospector or a Haste enabler.

Our honorary Goblin Imperial Recruiter would also be looking to bring Skirk into play. At lest M25 gave us red players something to cheer about!

Moggcatcher has an activated ability to put Goblins directly into play from our library and is a great toolbox throughout the game.

Finally, Goblin Recruiter lets us put any number of Goblins on the top of our deck. This can be absolutely broken, allowing us to stack the remainder of the game's draws. But you must be careful, as if Skirk is removed, all those Hastey boy Gobbos are useless without an appropriate Sac Outlet.

Card Draw

So you haven't naturally drawn into your combo pieces or tutors, well that sucks!

Dont dispair! Red has Wheel effects to get them pieces into your hand! We are running all available: Memory Jar , Reforge the Soul , Wheel of Fate and Wheel of Fortune . The whole table will moan with despair as you stick all their removal and tutored win-cons straight into the bin Muahahaha.

Faithless Looting is a low-cost emergency button if we are sitting with a few dead cards in hand.

Finally, I would be doing you an injustice by not including card:skull clamp|Sklamp in a token deck. to draw two cards is extremely powerful and should not be overlooked.

There are a few other red card draw affects that I have omitted, namely Tormenting Voice , Cathartic Reunion and Goblin Lore . I personally find these are either too expensive or have greater drawbacks in a combo-centric deck. I would be interested in hearing your thoughts and what cards you would swap out to include them.

Hate Cards

I will be honest, these cards are my favourite part of playing red as your weakness' can be used to restrict your opponents, keeping the (Blue) players in check.

Blood Moon and Magus of the Moon are particularly powerful in EDH where most people run their exotic lands. The benefits of restricting you opponents versus the drawback of switching off some of your utility lands is worthwhile.

Price of Glory is a hugely underrated card which shines most in competitive meta's. The benefits of this card is not immediately recognisable (how do you know when someone decided not to counter?) but it is one of the strongest effects a mono-red player has in their repertoire.

Stranglehold is meta dependant and similar to Price of Glory in that it will not explicitly show its value. But due to the low number of tutors in red, you can restrict other decks that lean heavily on those effects for their decks to function.

Utility Cards

We round this deck out with a number of utility cards. As new sets are released that hopefully provide us red tutors, fast mana, haste enablers and sac outlets the card in this section would be the first to trim.

We run two ritual effects: Battle Hymn and Brightstone Ritual which are used to produce mana to combo-off. Simples.

Chaos Warp gets rid of any permanent that is giving you bother or could be used on one of your own tokens just to gamble (we're playing red after all!). This is the only way this deck can remove a problem enchantment.

Pyroblast and Red Elemental Blast are designed to protect your win-cons. There is also nothing quite like saying no to a blue player!

Sensei's Divining Top is powerful in a combo build, ensuring your draws are worthwhile. I am considering if this deck has a place for Scroll Rack and would be interested in your thoughts?

Goblin Chirurgeon allows you to sac goblins to protect your critical pieces, also allowing you to keep half a board following a wipe.

There is six ways to hit for direct damage.

The first two are universal that benefit from the high number of tokens Krenko creates, these are: Purphoros, God of the Forge and Impact Tremors . We don’t run Throne of the God-Pharaoh just because we are not going down the agro route. We also don’t run Warstorm Surge as it is just too expensive to be worthwhile in this deck and suits a stompy deck far better.

Goblin War Strike has a great payoff for a single mana.

Gempalm Incinerator should be treated as an instant and is almost universally played for cycling to remove a problematic creature.

Boggart Shenanigans plays as both a preventative measure, restricting your opponents options for goblin removal and provides you value when your sacrificing.

There are many ways to repeat Krenko's ability, but not all of them can go infinite. I still employ Illusionist's Bracers , Magewright's Stone and Rings of Brighthearth which allow us to pump out a greater number of tokens ready for the next big turn. Rings of Brighthearth can provide infinite colourless mana with Basalt Monolith , however we don’t run this combo as there is no consistent way to hit both. I think this deck would benefit greater from a Grim Monolith for earlier combos, but at this time, the benefit cannot justify the cost.

Finally, there are 11 ways to give your horde haste, which is critical to kill the table. The haste pieces are: Ashling's Prerogative naming even CMC, Fervor , Goblin Bushwhacker for its kicker cost, Goblin Chieftain , Goblin Warchief , Hammer of Purphoros , Lightning Greaves , Mass Hysteria , Swiftfoot Boots , Ogre Battledriver and Thousand-Year Elixir .

Combos

Lets face it, this is why your here! There are literally 100's of card cominations to go infinite with this deck. I just want to list the key elements for an engine to work. If you have any questions on any of the interactions, please just ask in the comments section below and I will endeavour to respond.

They mostly boil down to: Krenko + Sac Outlet + Untap ability. For an immediate win, you can either choose one of the 7 direct damage cards or one of the ten a haste enablers for infinite combat damage.

The main combo's are:

Ashnod's Altar + Krenko, Mob Boss + Staff of Domination = infinite goblins / infinite / infinite draw / infinite life

Krenko, Mob Boss + Staff of Domination + Thermopod = infinite goblins / infinite / infinite draw / infinite life

Krenko, Mob Boss + Mana Echoes + Staff of Domination = infinite goblins / infinite / infinite draw / infinite life

Krenko, Mob Boss + Phyrexian Altar + Staff of Domination = infinite goblins / infinite / infinite draw / infinite life

Krenko, Mob Boss + Skirk Prospector + Staff of Domination = infinite goblins / infinite / infinite draw / infinite life

Ashnod's Altar + Krenko, Mob Boss + Sword of the Paruns = Infinite goblins / infinite

Krenko, Mob Boss + Sword of the Paruns + Thermopod = Infinite goblins / infinite

Krenko, Mob Boss + Mana Echoes + Sword of the Paruns = infinite goblins / infinite

Krenko, Mob Boss + Phyrexian Altar + Sword of the Paruns = infinite goblins / infinite

Krenko, Mob Boss + Skirk Prospector + Sword of the Paruns = infinite goblins / infinite

Krenko, Mob Boss + Thermopod + Thornbite Staff = infinite goblins / infinite

Ashnod's Altar + Krenko, Mob Boss + Thornbite Staff = Infinite goblins / infinite

Krenko, Mob Boss + Mana Echoes + Thornbite Staff = infinite goblins / infinite

Krenko, Mob Boss + Phyrexian Altar + Thornbite Staff = infinite goblins / infinite

Krenko, Mob Boss + Skirk Prospector + Thornbite Staff = infinite goblins / infinite

Ashnod's Altar + Krenko, Mob Boss + Umbral Mantle = Infinite goblins / infinite

Krenko, Mob Boss + Mana Echoes + Umbral Mantle = infinite goblins / infinite

Krenko, Mob Boss + Phyrexian Altar + Umbral Mantle = infinite goblins / infinite

Krenko, Mob Boss + Thermopod + Umbral Mantle = infinite goblins / infinite

Krenko, Mob Boss + Skirk Prospector + Umbral Mantle = infinite goblins / infinite

Goblin Bombardment + Krenko, Mob Boss + Thornbite Staff = infinite goblins / infinite damage

Krenko, Mob Boss + Skirk Prospector any one of the haste cards = infinite combat damage / infinite goblins / infinite (once you amass 6 goblins, you sac Krenko back to the command zone as you will be netting more tokens to sac to outweigh the commander tax)

For all the above combos that net mana, you can add skull clamp for infinite draw.

This deck can win on turn one in magical Christmas land. Here’s how:

Your opening hand would need to contain 2 x Mountain , Mox Diamond , Mana Crypt , Treasonous Ogre , Thornbite Staff , Goblin Warchief and draw a Skirk Prospector .

Play your Mountain , Mox Diamond discarding your other Mountain and Mana Crypt . At this point you will be able to play Treasonous Ogre and pay 9 life for Goblin Warchief , 3 life for Skirk Prospector , 9 life for Krenko, Mob Boss (as goblins cost less to cast). Now pay 6 life for Thornbite Staff and your last 12 life to equip Thornbite Staff to Krenko, Mob Boss .

You will be left on 1 life, activating Krenko, Mob Boss and sacrificing to Skirk Prospector for Thornbite Staff ’s untap ability. Killing the entire table with your hastey gobbos.

If you successfully pull this off, I expect you to be left with no friends. However, the smug feeling and story would be all worth it!

Deck Stats

In your opening hand, the odds of having:

Haste (10 potential hits) = 70.7% A Combo Piece (10 potential hits) = 70.7% A Tutor (5 potential hits) = 35.35% Some Ramp (8 potential hits) = 56.56%

Deck Diary

I have run this deck at many local EDH tournaments and played it exclusively at a recent Grand Prix. The deck performs well and I plan to use this space to keep track of its win/loss ratio.

I hope this primer is useful and entices some of you to build a Krenko deck of your own. I have been building and upgrading this deck over a long period and understand the price tag may put some people off. I am planning to add another section to this primer for a more budget friendly version of this deck with my suggestions of cuts and inclusions.

Any questions or advice is hugely welcomed and I will endeavour to respond to all of you.

Differing from the list above, I am currently playtesting Final Fortune and Last Chance in place of Wheel of Fate and Memory Jar .

Thanks for reading :-)

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21% Casual

79% Competitive





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