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Grenzo, Dungeon Warden - The Slot Machine of Value

Commander / EDH BR (Rakdos) Combo Infinite Combo Multiplayer Primer



"Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.”
- Dalai Lama XIV

I’m an extreme control player, and I feel like it’s important for me to stress this as my play style has always been a Simic style of value and control. I enjoy being in control. I enjoy saying “no”. But all that changed when I met Grenzo, Dungeon Warden . My LGS decided to host a conspiracy draft in October 2017 as they still had leftover packs that nobody was buying. I entered and had a pack passed to me that contained Grenzo. I read his ability and gawked...How have I never heard of this commander before? And why have I never seen anyone play him? He seemed so ridiculously fun that I decided to do the unthinkable at the time; build a Rakdos edh Deck.

Now many may know that there is a tier 1.5-2 variant of Grenzo that runs Doomsday. This is not that Deck. I decided to go a more casual, luck-based route. But what I found was an unassuming monster of a deck that could adapt to casual or competitive metas, win explosively out of nowhere, and truly felt like a slot machine of fun. This is how I came to love the chaos and flexibility of this Rakdos deck, and this is why I’m super excited to bring this bundle of fun to you.

Grenzo is a combination of contradictions. He’s consistency through chance. He’s a chaotic toolbox. His gameplan is the same, but his wincon is almost always different. There truly is no other commander like him.

You should place your bets with Grenzo if:

  • You like having flexibility and a variety of different ways to win
  • You like having a different experience every time you play
  • You like having resiliency to bounce back from a losing board state
  • You like having an extreme amount of crazy interactions and loops
  • You like having most of your actions be uncounterable
  • You like doing things at instant speed
  • You like keeping your group in suspense with what will come next

You should place your bets with Grenzo if:

  • You don't like relying on your commander
  • You prefer to tutor the same combo every time
  • You prefer being in control of everything your opponents do
  • You don’t like complicated win conditions
  • You enjoy spellslinging
  • You enjoy having answers to Enchantments…you’re playing Rakdos…get over it

  • Sol Ring / Rakdos Signet –Typically we want our mana ramp on creatures so they can be utilized with Grenzo’s flip. However, these cards are too good when they appear in your starting hand that they make up for the occasional disappointing flip.

  • Ashnod's Altar – Hopefully you already understand why this card is so broken. While sac outlets are superb in this deck, additional mana for those sacs is just broken. So you can either sac creatures for additional flips (which some creatures will net multiple sacs) or use this as a win condition with Reito Lantern , Epitaph Golem , or Soldevi Digger to flip a key creature multiple times.

  • Heartstone – Way too good in this deck. Grenzo goes off the rails once this card hits the field as that 10 mana you have on the field now represents hitting 10% of your deck which is bound to find some crazy things.

  • Nim Deathmantle – Allows us to recur key creatures after saccing and creates a fair number of infinite combos. Also serves as important protection for Grenzo as a boardwipe can really set you back in this deck; and not only does the Deathmantle bring Grenzo back, but it also gives him +2/+2 in stats to ensure he can still hit all 3 power creatures in the deck.

  • Reito Lantern – You've probably never heard of this artifact, but it enables some of the most busted interactions in the deck. With an available sac outlet you can sac a key creature, activate the Lantern to put it from the GY on the bottom of your library, and then use Grenzo's activation to reflip it thus creating a loop to reactivate ETB’s. Spending four mana to re-flip a Gray Merchant of Asphodel ? Yes please! Saccing Siege-Gang Commander and all of his tokens to Ashnod's Altar then using the loop to generate infinite mana? Heck yes!!! These are great and you should run both of them.

  • For future reference, I will be referring to the synergy of using the above artifacts to re-flip creatures as the DIGGER LOOP (named after a past inclusion Soldevi Digger ) throughout the guide.

  • Tel-Jilad Stylus – Now we get to one of my favorite artifacts in the deck. This seemingly weak one drop is a surprising powerhouse as it not only allows you to re-flip any creature on the battlefield, but also serves as invaluable protection against single-targeted removal for Grenzo. Here’s how the sequence of events goes: An opponent targets your Grenzo, Dungeon Warden with a Path to Exile . In response, you then activate Grenzo’s ability and leave it on the stack. Then target Grenzo with Tel-Jilad Stylus . The Stylus will place Grenzo on the bottom of your deck, and then Grenzo’s ability will flip himself. And yes, Grenzo is able to check himself even though he was removed, so he puts himself in play and nullifies the Path to Exile since its “original” target had left play. I really can only summarize the strength of this card by telling you what someone in my playgroup once said, “I’d prioritize getting rid of your Tel-Jilad Stylus over anyone else’s Rhystic Study .”

  • Thornbite Staff – The last broken non-creature artifact in the deck. The key reason we run this card is for the phrase at the end of the first paragraph; “Whenever a creature dies, untap this creature.” This can create some silly combinations with Goblin Welder or infinite copies with a sac outlet and Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker . Also note that if you flip Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker with the staff in play, it will auto-equip due to Thornbite Staff ’s second ability and the fact that Kiki-Jiki is a shaman.
  • Anger – This is primarily meant to exist in the graveyard. Now all of your flips with tap effects can activate immediately which makes a surprisingly huge difference.

  • Avalanche Riders – Because I can’t afford Goblin Settler at this time, this is my land destruction.

  • Body Snatcher - This card answers one of the biggest difficulties with the deck: a mana efficient way to get creatures out of the hand. With this, you can discard that Duplicant and easily res it through Body Snatcher's second ability or a digger loop. Also can be used as straight recursion for a key creature that was already in your graveyard.

  • Burnished Hart / Pilgrim's Eye / Solemn Simulacrum – More mana = more flips, so the more we can get out the better. And a Digger Loop means repeatable land searching.

  • Corpse Connoisseur – Tutors creatures directly into our graveyard to make them more easily accessible through recursion or a digger loop. Find value pieces in the early game or find combo pieces in the later stages and finish everyone off.

  • Crypt Ghast – Doubling the amount our swamps produce is just too good to pass up. Then if you get your Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth out, you are off to the races. Also the Extort mechanic could end up saving your life occasionally.

  • Deathbringer Thoctar – I had my doubts when I first included this creature in my list, and boy was I wrong. All of the saccing that occurs within our deck makes this creature HUGE. And that damage is transferrable to both players and creatures. I have won so many games with this guy by pinging an entire board of 1/1’s without losing any power, swinging in for the kill on one player and then removing all +1/+1 counters to kill another player. This creature is bonkers.

  • Dimir House Guard – He’s a sac outlet. He can transmute for a four mana card (which we run a ton of valuable ones). And he can even serve as a blocker with his regeneration.

  • Dockside Extortionist – Cards that meet multiple roles are always great, and this card serves as ramp and a source of easy infinite with a digger loop. This guy can easily generate 5+ treasures as the game progresses, and can help mitigate the scenario where you're the only player without a signet/sol ring in hand.

  • Duplicant – Remove a creature on ETB and steal their power and toughness. Get a Digger Loop, and you can remove every creature that bothers you.

  • Epitaph Golem – A creature that serves the Reito Lantern functionality of the Digger Loop while costing 1 colorless less! Get a Heartstone in play, and now you can recur any creature in your graveyard for 2 mana.

  • Faceless Butcher – Temporary creature removal, or permanent creature removal if a sac outlet is present. How this works is when Faceless Butcher enters the battlefield, put his ETB trigger on the stack. Then sac Faceless Butcher before the ETB resolves which triggers his Leave the Battlefield ability. The ETB trigger will then resolve and remove the creature permanently since Faceless Butcher has already left play.

  • Furystoke Giant – Most games, you will find that you have a pretty substantial board presence due to people not fearing most of our creatures after their initial effects. In that situation, Furystoke Giant is one of the strongest flips you can get. He often means instant death to at least one player, or at the very least a selective boardwipe. And due to persist, you can sac him on your following turn to do damage all over again!

  • Fleshwrither – Another creature tutor. This guy is great because he puts the tutored creature directly onto the battlefield. Here are the key creatures you can search for depending on the situation: Tuktuk Scrapper – Artifact destruction, Crypt Ghast – More mana, Lightning Crafter – combo piece, Murderous Redcap – combo piece, Dimir House Guard – sac outlet, Faceless Butcher – creature removal, Ravenous Baboons – land destruction.

  • Gonti, Lord of Luxury – Great value card. Who knows what you’ll find and what new combos you can create from your opponent’s deck!

  • Gray Merchant of Asphodel – Such an amazing card, especially with a Digger Loop. I played a game recently where I was at 6 life and was able to flip Gary and loop him a second time putting me to 46 life and all of my opponents to single digits.

  • Goblin Engineer – This little goblin is a house. He immediately can tutor and bin any of our most powerful artifacts ( Ashnod's Altar , Heartstone , Thornbite Staff , Nim Deathmantle ), but he can also easily recur them to our hand to cast. I love my GY tutors, and this guy is no exception.

  • Goblin Sharpshooter – With the amount of sacs we’re able to generate, this card can quickly turn into its own win con.

  • Goblin Welder – Powerful artifact recursion and the source of several combos with Thornbite Staff .

  • Imperial Recruiter – A tutor that finds half of our deck and can bring whatever you need into hand. Super versatile tutor that definitely should be ran.

  • Junk Diver – Additional artifact recursion that is abusable with Goblin Welder and Thornbite Staff .

  • Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker – Definitely the strongest card in the deck and the source of many of the deck’s wincons. I will go into more detail regarding Kiki-Jiki in the following section.

  • Kuldotha Forgemaster – This deck runs a lot of artifacts, so being able to convert some of your dorks directly into an Ashnod's Altar or Heartstone could immediately finish the game. Just make sure to tap your dorks for mana before saccing them.

  • Lightning Crafter – Serves as an instant win with Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker , a strong pinger with Thornbite Staff (auto-equips due to Shaman tribe), and protection for Grenzo with the champion ability. This guy is truly an all-star and one of my favorite cards in the deck. If you can reliably get a Digger Loop on Lightning Crafter, you can ensure that Grenzo is always on the field and survives every board wipe.

  • Mad Auntie – Places Grenzo’s power at 3 which means he no longer needs the +1/+1 counter. Also serves as regeneration protection for Grenzo.

  • Marionette Master - Extremely versatile card. Creates multiple creatures that can generate infinite mana with a digger loop and Ashnod's Altar , and serves as its own win condition.

  • Mesmeric Fiend – Much like Faceless Butcher, the ETB and LTB effect can be abused to permanently remove cards in your opponents’ hands from the game.

  • Metallic Mimic – Removes the need to pay the extra 1 mana for Grenzo’s X cost as well as creating an infinite combo with Murderous Redcap and a sac outlet.

  • Meteor Golem – Destroy anything. This is THE enchantment removal Rakdos was lacking, and now it's on an abusable creature. You can digger loop this creature into oblivion and make all of your enchantress opponents cry.

  • Moggcatcher – Tutoring a goblin is great. Placing that goblin on the battlefield for free is even better. *cough Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker cough*

  • Murderous Redcap – A damage dealing ETB with persist is a recipe for winning. If you have Ashnod's Altar and the Digger Loop, you can sac and recur him infinitely.

  • Myrs ( Iron Myr / Leaden Myr / Palladium Myr ) – Flips that potentially make more flips. They also serve as a great way to ramp early when in your starting hand.

  • Pawn of Ulamog / Pitiless Plunderer – Both of these creatures will generate a ton of value through board wipes and/or your own saccing shenanigans. In many cases, one of these creatures can suffice instead of an Ashnod's Altar to generate infinite flips with the Digger Loop.

  • Phyrexian Delver – For when you don’t have the mana/tools to perform a Digger Loop.

  • Plaguecrafter – Makes our opponents sac creatures, sac planeswalkers, and then destroy their hands. If repeated with a Digger Loop, this guy alone can close out the game and lock your opponents out.

  • Priest of Urabrask / Emrakul's Hatcher – Flips that not only pay for themselves, but can also mean an additional flip if you were already sitting at odd number of mana. Emrakul's Hatcher also has the added benefit of securing its mana in saccable creatures to save for alter turns or use for other shenanigans.

  • Puppeteer Clique – Work amazingly in this deck and allows a lot of silly combos from your opponents’ graveyards. And once again, persist makes this card oppressive.

  • Siege-Gang Commander – An amazing token producer. If you can get Ashnod's Altar + the Digger loop online, Siege-Gang Commander makes infinite mana. And his ability to instantly represent 4 tappable creatures for Furystoke Giant or 4 sacs for something like card:Sadistic Hypnotists is amazing.

  • Skirk Prospector – Multifunctional as a sac outlet and a mana source.

  • Sling-Gang Lieutenant – Another amazing token generator that also serves as a sac outlet! What more could you want?! With a digger loop online, he can serve as a self-contained win condition with all of the life loss (which let's not forget, gets around a lot of annoyances).

  • Soldevi Adnate – Provides a powerful and sudden source of mana generation that can feed into several flips at once. Add on a Thornbite Staff and you can generate a quick and efficient loop that can potentially go through your whole deck.

  • Treasonous Ogre – An additional flip for 6 life. This card has created several silly comebacks out of nowhere. When I know the game is about to be lost, I will use as much life as I can to try to flip into a wincon. Or just use this in conjunction with Gray Merchant of Asphodel and a Digger Loop to kill everyone. Free mana on demand is definitely worth the 3 life.

  • Tuktuk Scrapper - Artifact removal that can be repeated through the Digger Loop.

  • Viscera Seer – Scry + Grenzo = the actual nuts. Now you can exert even more control over what you flip.

  • Whisper, Blood Liturgist – Serves as a great source of recursion with minimal cost (because our boards are almost always full).

  • Workhorse – Much like the priests, Workhorse pays for himself. But he also has a couple of abusable functionalities as an artifact creature.

  • Yahenni, Undying Partisan – Sac outlet that can survive board wipes and become an enormous beat stick.

  • Zealous Conscripts – Steal creatures to sac for your own shenanigans or combine with Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker for a win. Remember that this steals a PERMANENT, so you can use your friend's Ashnod's Altar too!

  • Zulaport Cutthroat – Create an infinite Digger Loop with Ashnod's Altar or Siege-Gang Commander + Skirk Prospector , and this guy will singlehandedly finish the game. Also great for large board wipes

  • Dread Return – The only non-creature card we don’t mind whiffing on. With this in your graveyard, you have a free summon from the graveyard with at least three creatures on the battlefield…and you will usually have more than three.
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker + Zealous Conscripts

  1. Tap Kiki-Jiki targeting Zealous Conscripts.

  2. When the copy comes into play, target Kiki-Jiki with its untap affect.

  3. Repeat 1000+ times

  4. Swing in for the kill.
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker + Lightning Crafter + Any Sac Source

  1. Tap Kiki-Jiki targeting the Lightning Crafter.

  2. When the copy comes into play, it will require you to champion a goblin; champion Kiki-Jiki.

  3. Tap the Lightning Crafter copy to deal 3 damage to target player.

  4. Sac the Lightning Crafter copy.

  5. Kiki-Jiki comes back into play untapped.

  6. Repeat for infinite damage.

Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker + Thornbite Staff + Any Creature + Any Sac Source

  1. Tap Kiki-Jiki targeting the creature.

  2. Use the copy of the creature (ETB, tap effect, etc).

  3. Sac the copy of the creature.

  4. Thornbite Staff will untap Kiki-Jiki.

  5. Repeat effect as necessary.

Examples of good creatures to target:

Goblin Welder + Thornbite Staff + Two Artifact Creatures

  1. Tap Goblin Welder and sacrifice one of your artifact creatures to grab another one from the graveyard.

  2. Thornbite Staff will untap Goblin Welder.

  3. Repeat for infinite abilities/triggers.

Other creatures that immediately win the game with this combo:

Marionette Master + Ashnod's Altar + Grenzo, Dungeon Warden + Any Digger Loop Piece

  1. Summon Marionette Master with three Servo tokens.

  2. Sac all three tokens to Ashnod's (make an opponent lose three life).

  3. Sac Marionette Master.

  4. Use Epitaph Golem / Soldevi Digger / Reito Lantern to place Marionette Master back on the bottom of your library.

  5. Use Grenzo's ability to flip Marionette Master.

  6. Repeat for infinite life loss.

Murderous Redcap + Metallic Mimic + Any Sac Source

  1. Name "Goblins" for Metallic Mimic.

  2. Sac the Murderous Redcap.

  3. Persist trigger brings the Murderous Redcap back.

  4. Metallic Mimic triggers on the entry and gives Murderous Redcap a +1/+1 counter which negates the -1/-1 from persist.

  5. Repeat for infinite damage.

While some more casually inclined decks focus on casting a big Grenzo to start flipping big baddies, this deck runs a much more streamlined approach. A strict rule was implemented when constructing this deck to ensure that every included creature had power 3 or less, which allows Grenzo to always be cast where X = 1.

Since the goal of this deck is to flip as much as possible, Grenzo needs to be cast as quickly as possible. So by keeping X at 1, it ensures he's always cheap to cast and can begin flipping immediately.

As a small caveat, if you have an extra mana when casting Grenzo, assuming it can't be used for a flip, feel free to make his X = 1. Otherwise, there is almost no reason to use activation mana as a source to pump up Grenzo. As long as his power is at 3, you have access to the whole deck.

The primary rule of opening hands is keep lands and ramp. You don't want to draw your key creatures at the start as most of them are already over-costed. So instead, your goal with every hand is to get Grenzo out as soon as possible and build your mana base to start playing the slots. Here's an example of an amazing hand:

1 Mountain

1 Temple of Malice

1 Ancient Tomb

1 Leaden Myr

1 Swamp

1 Rakdos Signet

1 Heartstone

Notice that the reason this is such an amazing hand is because it meets both of our goals. We have plenty of lands available, and then we have ramp through the Myr and Signet while also providing a cheaper activation for Grenzo in Heartstone.

Never keep a hand with 2 or less lands unless you have some amazing additional ramp to make up for it. Because honestly, Grenzo is one of those commanders where you could receive a 7 land hand, and it would still be worth keeping.

The early game should be spent building up your mana base as quickly as possible and casting Grenzo. The sooner you get him out, the sooner you can start the shenanigans. However, the speed at which you deploy Grenzo also depends on the mana accelerants in your hand.

The main rule is always maximize your mana. If you cast a Leaden Myr on turn two and then drop another land on turn 3, that four mana should either be used to buff up Grenzo where X=2; OR if you suspect removal, you should hold back and build up your mana base more.

I personally like to either cast Grenzo at exactly 3 mana or build up to 5 mana so that I can attempt a flip after casting him.

You should be building a strong mana base by now and using all of that mana for your glorious flips. This stage of the game really depends on what you find. Adapt to every flip and maximize their usage while also maintaining a low profile. Remember, the worst place to be is under a wary opponent's eye. So address problems, attack planeswalkers, and play as the "reasonable player". Your opponents should ignore you for the most part and should feel bad for even thinking about wasting removal on your creatures as a majority of them are rarely scary by themselves.

This low profile and lack of removal targets will assist you in building a board state that you can navigate into the late game.

At this point, you should have a pretty significant board from all of the flips and are most likely 1-2 cards away from ending the game. This is where you pivot from the "reasonable player" to the true "Rakdos monstrosity" that you are. Mow down opponents with your Goblin Sharpshooter or Gray Merchant of Asphodel . Tutor your Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker using Moggcatcher to instantly finish the game.

The road map to your victory is something I can't determine for you, because Grenzo will be your guide. But rest assured that the chaos he provides almost always has a route of interactions that will win you the game.

Finally, there are two more questions to consider during your course of piloting this gambling maniac:

Aside from the early game, which is fairly straightforward, it can often be difficult to know when to cast Grenzo after being targeted for removal. So to answer this question more in depth, I've created a flow-chart to help you decide when to cast him.

90% of the time you should be flipping on your opponent's end step before your turn. This ensures that you remain inconspicuous as everyone else plays out their turns, and then you can suddenly blow out some amazing creatures and have a whole turn to use them before most players can answer the threats.

The other 10% of the time, flips should be used in case of an emergency. If you know the winning turn is coming up for another player, you should probably flip on your turn and try to find a win first. If your opponent is about to kill you or Grenzo, flip to see what happens. Last week, I was playing against an Etali, Primal Storm that had a brutal start with Swiftfoot Boots and an Assault Suit . The player had me at 14 commander damage and was going to swing in for the kill on his next turn. So I flipped out of pure necessity and found the Tuktuk Scrapper to remove the boots. I then played a Faceless Butcher from hand and ended up winning the game.

Never just sit tight and let a loss/board wipe occur. Always flip to gamble the odds. You'll be surprised how often they land in your favor.

  • Agent of Erebos – When your opponents are trying to abuse their graveyards, this handy little guy can remove the entire GY in one ETB. Use a Digger Loop to lock your Meren opponent from ever using her graveyard. Also tutorable via Fleshwrither .

  • Balthor the Defiled – Getting all of your colored creatures back into play for 3 Black? Yeah, that’s an awesome way to steal a game that’s been neutered by 3-4 board wipes.

  • Blood Artist - Another Zulaport Cutthroat effect that could end up saving your life.

  • Clone Shell - Seems like it has a lot of potential as it not only can fix your bottom, but also can serve as a way to cheat out a creature through a sac outlet.

  • Crystal Ball - As already noted with Viscera Seer , Scry is a busted mechanic in this deck. I so far haven't included this card due to it being another noncreature artifact that can translate to a dead flip.

  • Darksteel Pendant - Same as above

  • Goblin Cratermaker – Amazing versatility as additional artifact destruction, targeted removal, or potential Eldrazi removal.

  • Goblin Matron – Tutor for any of the key goblins that you need, and because most of our wincons involve a goblin creature, you will find this tutor extremely useful.

  • Hell's Caretaker - Saccing is never an issue and is more often a benefit. And having that sac translate to direct creature recursion is pretty spicy.

  • Herald of Leshrac – This will generate some hate when it hits the field, but the potential of stealing your opponents’ lands and using them to flip more can often be worth the risk.

  • Judith, the Scourge Diva – She buffs Grenzo to 3 naturally which keeps you rolling after a Tel-Jilad Stylus protection loop, and she provides another semi- Goblin Sharpshooter effect.

  • Krenko, Mob Boss – An amazing flip that can generate an exponentially increasing number of saccable, flingable, swingable goblins. And who doesn't want more goblins! Also serves as an additional infinite with Thornbite Staff .

  • Mana Crypt – I personally don't run this due to the speed and general target it paints on your back. But if you play in a meta where everyone runs Crypt, you should probably run it too.

  • Master of Cruelties - This card is an amazing way to keep your opponent's on edge. If you want quick and fun way to make enemies, this is the card for you.

  • Millikin / Manakin - Additional mana dorks if you feel like you'd like to have them more consistently in your starting hand.

  • Mindclaw Shaman - Great value for not only discarding, but also casting said powerful spell from an opponent's hand.

  • Mogg War Marshal - A mini Siege-Gang Commander . Seems pretty good with Skirk Prospector or Ashnod's Altar .

  • Ogre Battledriver - I personally don't prefer to be swingy. But this card is a great way to turn all of those tiny flips into a scary amount of damage.

  • Phyrexian Tower – Currently in testing for myself, but I do believe this card will make the list since it allows us to generate an additional mana on our odd mana turns leading to an extra flip we wouldn't have had otherwise.

  • Ravenous Baboons / Ravaging Horde / Ogre Arsonist - Additional land destruction options. You can switch them out for your preference or run all of them if you wanna be "that guy".

  • Sadistic Hypnotist – Strong sac outlet that removes your opponents’ answers preemptively. My only warning is that the sac effect is sorcery speed, so you aren't able to combo off on other players' turns as effectively.

  • Shriekmaw / Nekrataal / Ravenous Chupacabra - More targeted creature destruction.

  • Silent Arbiter - Great tech for a go-wide meta. My personal meta has vastly changed, but when it previously involved tokens, this creature was almost always a life saver.

  • Soldevi Digger - Another activator of the digger loop (and the original source of the name). Though be wary that it is limited to the top card of your GY which can screw you over.

  • Teferi's Puzzle Box - Obviously this deck wants to minimize the amount of noncreature cards in the deck, but this seems like another noncreature artifact worth running. It can allow a hand full of cards you don't want to cast to suddenly become gas. And it can interrupt your opponents' silly plans.

  • Vampire Hexmage – Great answer to any planeswalker or that one friend that loves hydras.

  • Braid of Fire - Super powerful if drawn early. Worthless if drawn late. If you run a lot of noncreature tutors, this can be a great inclusion.

  • Demonic Tutor / Vampiric Tutor / Diabolic Intent /Etc. - I try to minimize the amount of tutors present to allow the versatility of the deck to shine each game. It's way more fun when you have to play with what you have and not grab the same dang win-con each game. Also, they're noncreature cards...so more dead flips. If you have to play tutors, go for it. I just don't like them in my list.

  • Feldon of the Third Path - I'm not a huge fan of mana activated abilities in this deck as it takes away from the flips that we can do. The only notable exceptions are Moggcatcher and Fleshwrither as those are direct tutors from our deck.

  • Flayer of the Hatebound - This is an amazing card for Grenzo. Remember that all of your creatures hit the graveyard first, then are brought back to the field. This means each successful flip turns into a damage ping. Why do I not include it? First, it has four power. This goes against the grain of our three power rule for the deck. Second, due to the three power rule the damage dealt is not as explosive as it could be.

  • Frogtosser Banneret - Not a great flip or hardcast as we rely on Grenzo to get all of our creatures...not our hand.

  • Goblin Chieftain - Buffs Grenzo and all of the other goblins in the deck and gives them haste. My only reservation is that I don't know how much either of those buffs truly make it worth running.

  • Goblin King - Same reasons as above. Mountainwalk is great, but I don't think we run enough goblins to make it worthwhile. I also prefer to be ignored and thus not swing at people.

  • Mindslicer - Oh how I wish this card had one less strength...it would be so good as the effect is negligible to us and detrimental to our opponents.

  • Purphoros, God of the Forge - Fails the rule of three power creatures. It would be an amazing card to always have in your hand though as all of those flips now turn much more deadly for the group. So if you don't mind being conspicuous and you prefer to run tutors, this could definitely work.

  • Triskelion - I feel like it's too much effort to set up a winning combo with Triskelion. There are so many other ways to win that this just feels weak to me.

  • Xiahou Dun, the One-Eyed - Xiahou is an excellent source of recursion that especially shines in builds that run more noncreature spells (such as Living Death ). I however choose to not run him for 3 reasons. First, he's expensive, and I want to keep the deck cheap for those who are interested in trying Grenzo out. Second, I enjoy my creature heavy build and would prefer the balance I have over running other cool noncreature spells. Third, even if I did run him for my creature build, he puts those cards in hand which is something I rarely want.


  • Goblin Recruiter - This card has some extreme potential with scry, but with Viscera Seer being our only reliable way to get those goblins to the bottom, I've found that this card ends up being a disappointment way more often than I'd like.

  • Balthor the Defiled - I've never once flipped over Balthor and found him useful...typically by the time I find him AND have enough creatures in my graveyard, I have some other way to recur them. The other downside is that he too often helps your opponents by filling their board with problematic creatures.


  • Krenko, Mob Boss - I'd really like to test Krenko as I think he has some immense synergy with the deck. He'll always be tapping for at least two goblins with himself and Grenzo on the field, and he adds another potentially infinite combo with Thornbite Staff

  • Body Snatcher - This card answers one of the biggest difficulties with the deck: a mana efficient way to get creatures out of your hand. Too often I get stuck with a full hand of expensive creatures that I don't want to cast. So this can be a clutch way to pull those creatures out and into play.


  • Howltooth Hollow - While this land has the occasional amazing hit off the top, it has fairly regularly secured several bad cards that I was forced to put on the bottom. There's nothing worse than getting 1 flippable creature, 2 lands and a Sol Ring off of the Hideaway trigger and knowing that at least two of your flips are now going to be whiffs.


  • Path of Ancestry - This land is so good in the deck as it provides both of the colors we need and can give an free scry as a bonus whenever we cast our commander or a goblin.


  • Silent Arbiter - This card hasn't been doing enough for me recently, and I've been getting harsher and harsher on the instant value philosophy with this deck. It can be extremely helpful as a meta-dependent call, so I will be keeping it on the considered list, but it's not good enough right now for me.

  • Bone Shredder - Nice creature destruction, but it's straight outclassed by Ravenous Chupacabra

  • Sadistic Hypnotist - This creature can be excellent in controlling your opponents' answers and removing them preemptively. But since this deck combos at instant speed, the sorcery speed rule for his ability has lost me several games. He will still be relegated to the meta-call slot.

  • Herald of Leshrac - If flipped early, this creature will set you off at lightning speeds. However, it also sets off your opponents and garners a lot of hate upon its arrival. So I've rarely gotten enough value from it as it typically doesn't survive long.

  • Swamp - Making room for another colorless land.


  • Corpse Connoisseur - Amazing addition to our creature tutors. With a digger loop online, this can spell an instant game over. Search for value piece in the early game or a combo piece in the later game.

  • Ravenous Chupacabra - Can kill any creature, unlike poor Bone Shredder ...I'll miss that beautiful foil.

  • Yahenni, Undying Partisan - Instant speed sac outlet that can survive board wipes and become an enormous beat stick. There's nothing quite like having Yahenni and Deathbringer Thoctar on the field. Ping all the creatures, swing in for all the damage.

  • Marionette Master - Extremely versatile card. Creates multiple creatures to sac for shenanigans, creates infinite mana with a digger loop and Ashnod's Altar , and serves as it's own win con. This card was long overdue to be added.

  • Buried Ruin - With the amount of strong artifacts we utilize for the deck, having an additional method to recur them is never a bad idea.

I'm testing the waters with removing some slow manafixing for some high value lands. If mana turns out to be an issue, I'll make the necessary changes; but since the deck has substantial amount of ramp, I don't think we'll have an issue.


  • Canyon Slough - Mana fixing is good, but this land comes into play tapped which is terrible in a deck that relies so heavily on a quick start. If a land does come into play tapped, it needs to have a more significant effect ( Path of Ancestry ).

  • Auntie's Hovel - Once again, a tap land that requires a goblin in hand. And since we can't always guarantee that, it's too slow.

  • Hedron Crawler - The replacement is strictly better.



  • Ravenous Chupacabra - Our replacement for this is strictly better.

  • Soldevi Digger - This engine is limited in only being able to grab the top card of your graveyard which has screwed me over several times. I believe it is being replaced with a superior engine that offers more versatility.

  • Cabal Stronghold - Massively underperforming. Don't like it and its value has dropped with the amount of nonbasics we now include.

  • Ravenous Baboons - The replacement is strictly better.

  • Mindclaw Shaman - The card has underperformed for me as well, which is very sad to me. I constantly find myself picking a player that has no more instants/sorceries or has a worthless spell. This card will definitely stay on my radar though as it has performed well in the past, and it has a good chance of being rotated back in if my hand-hate seems to be lacking.


  • Meteor Golem - Welcome to the future boys and girls. Rakdos now has enchantment removal...anything removal. This card is bonkers and can be an easily abusable source of versatile destruction. I love this card and can't ever forsee it being removed.

  • Nim Deathmantle - This card provides a digger loop in one single cost (especially helpful if Grenzo is in the command zone). It also has the added benefit of being a failsafe for Grenzo. Boardwipe? No problem! Grenzo's back, and with the +2/+2 from the equipment, he's still able to flip the entire deck despite losing his +1/+1 counter. This card literally won me my last game by keeping Grenzo alive after two board wipes. Just confirmed everything I had hoped this card would be.

  • Inventors' Fair - Free life gain and a free tutor for our busted artifacts. This land was long overdue.

  • Avalanche Riders - Hits every land for the same price as the baboons.

  • Goblin Trashmaster - An additional sac outlet, buffs Grenzo to stay at 3+ power, and destroys artifacts. Great and versatile card that will make a powerful inclusion in the deck.


  • Swamp - Making room for a replacement.

  • Path of Ancestry - This thing has performed pretty poor for me. It comes in tapped (which can be a pretty big detriment to us), and I almost never cast from hand where the Scry trigger matters.

  • Manakin - Making room for a better ramper.

  • Junktroller - Hasn't performed as well as I had hoped. We don't run many creatures that don't have immediate impact when they hit the board, so if we do, that creature's slower setup needs to be worth the wait.

  • Goblin Trashmaster - This card also hasn't performed as well as I had hoped. It has a pretty limited sac outlet with a dependent payout. Also, while it buffs Grenzo, it cannot be flipped without Grenzo already being at three which means it doesn't meet that functionality as good as Mad Auntie does.

  • Fleshbag Marauder - Making room for a better replacement.

  • Myr Retriever - Making room for a better replacement.


  • Dakmor Salvage - A land that can fill our graveyard further or be brought back to our hand in a pinch to secure a land drop. So it's almost never a dead flip by itself.

  • Drownyard Temple - Like Dakmor Salvage , it can also return itself to us thus making it a non-dead flip land.

  • Soldevi Adnate - Has the potential to ramp much harder than Manakin for the same CMC. Might as well go big or go home.

  • Whisper, Blood Liturgist - Replacing Junktroller as an abusable recusion outlet that doesn't require additional mana investment. Our boards are typically full anyways, so the cost is minimal.

  • Goblin Cratermaker - Amazing versatility as additional artifact destruction, targeted removal, or potential Eldrazi removal.

  • Plaguecrafter - Just straight better than Fleshbag Marauder . Does everything our Fleshfriend does, except also kills Planeswalkers and destroys hands after their boards are empty. Too good to not include.

  • Junk Diver - Switching from Myr Retriever for the Flying so that I can potentially block more damage.


  • 2 Mountain s - Making room for better replacements in the manabase.

  • Krenko, Mob Boss - So far I have never been able to go off with Krenko. My opponents kill him on sight, and I've never been able to assemble the Thornbite Krenko combo, so I'm taking it out for a powerful creature that represent a winning position on its own.

  • Goblin Matron - Replacing her with a stronger and much more versatile tutor.

  • Priest of Gix - Replacing with a creature that does relatively the same thing, but with a significant upside.

  • Plague Myr - Removing one of our plentiful mana sources for a new card from Ravnica Allegiances. I'm very cautious about this removal as getting your mana fast is so vital to the deck. So we'll see if the Myr stays out for long.


  • Luxury Suite - Strong dual land that gives us more options.

  • Blood Crypt - Another Mountain/Swamp in one. Great land.

  • Kuldotha Forgemaster - With just two other artifacts on the field (of which we run plenty) this card can immediately tutor in a Heartstone or Ashnod's Altar to finish out the game. And I'm sure there's some combo with Thornbite Staff somewhere that I haven't found yet.

  • Imperial Recruiter - The only creature Goblin Matron finds that this one doesn't is Lightning Crafter , but this creature can find so many other options that it's a far superior creature to run (and thankfully rather affordable now with the reprint).

  • Emrakul's Hatcher - Does essentially what Priest of Gix does with two major benefits. First, the mana can be saved for later turns if necessary instead of requiring use immediately. Second, it creates creatures that can be sacced to our many outlets. It's just another source of infinite Digger Loop with Ashnod's Altar and Epitaph Golem .

  • Judith, the Scourge Diva - She buffs Grenzo to 3 naturally which keeps you rolling after a Tel-Jilad Stylus protection loop, and she provides another semi- Goblin Sharpshooter effect. I only wish she didn't have the "nontoken" clause...she would've been one of the strongest cards in our deck without it.


  • Goblin Cratermaker - This little guy has been fine in my testing, but has never really blown me away. He's been on my chopping block for a while, and I found such a powerful replacement that he was my first decision to cut.

  • Judith, the Scourge Diva - A great card that could've been infinitely more valuable with the lack of the "nontoken" clause. She's another card that has been fine in my testing, but I've rarely been excited to flip Judith as she requires a lot of other setup pieces to be worthwhile.

  • Millikin - I'm always wary of replacing mana dorks, but I feel like this addition is worthy of taking one out. Also, I've had a contentious relationship with Millikin as for every time it bins a creature card I can reanimate through the digger loop, it's also binned my Ashnod's or Thornbite which is never ideal.

  • Added:

    • Goblin Engineer - This little goblin is a house. He immediately can tutor and bin any of our most powerful artifacts ( Ashnod's Altar , Heartstone , Thornbite Staff , Nim Deathmantle ), but he can also easily recur them to our hand to cast. I love my GY tutors, and this guy is no exception.

    • Sling-Gang Lieutenant - Another amazing token generator that also serves as a sac outlet! What more could you want?! With a digger loop online, he can serve as a self-contained win condition with all of the life loss (which let's not forget, gets around a lot of annoyances).

    • Dockside Extortionist - Ever since this little capitalist was spoiled, I knew he'd be an amazing inclusion in the deck. In more casual metas, he might be an extremely lackluster flip, but as the game progresses, his ability to generate 5+ treasure cannot be underestimated. Cards that meet multiple roles are always great, and this card serves as ramp and a possible infinite.

I've included a budget version so that you can see the affordability of the list. I removed foils, replaced several pricey cards, and was able to work the entire deck's price below $100! So not only is Grenzo powerful, but he's extremely affordable and I highly recommend you try him out.

Click on the link below to be taken to the budget list:

Budget Version


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