Hi everyone! My name is Newton and I want to share my 1v1 Grenzo Goblin deck. In my experience, I've seen 3 types of builds when it comes to Grenzo in Duel Commander: Doomsday combo, value-Grenzo with high CMC creatures, and Goblin tribal. I love Doomsday but want to play an aggro deck (bonus points for tribal) as my meta-game is light on them. I'm also not a fan of value-Grenzo since the deck folds pretty hard to disruption and relies more heavily on RNG.
The mana base is optimized to open with 3 lands in hand as often as possible (3/7*99=42.4 -> 43 lands). Despite being an aggro deck, the deck is very mana hungry (CMC ~2.57) and cannot afford to miss land drops. Also, flooding out isn't the worst thing in the world due to Grenzo's ability.
Since the deck wants to fight on both the aggro and combo axis, the lands largely come into play untapped with the exception of the Scry / Hideaway lands (see Grenzo combos below).
Scarcity of double black cards (excluding cards such as Living Death) enables the deck to easily play through our Blood Moon effects.
The high density of creatures (~40%) ensures that Grenzo activations miss as little as possible. As a general rule of thumb, non-creature spells generally have to win the game or have an enormous impact to be included.
With the exception of a few very high impact goblins (Goblin Chainwhirler and Goblin Trashmaster), the creature base is optimized for X=0 (Grenzo).
Inclusion of hand disruption provides 3 additional turn 1 plays that help smooth out the deck's curve.
Combos Stock List
Mana Echoes + Grenzo (see Murderous Redcap combo below)
Thank you for showing me the way I always thought that Grenzo needs to be either super aggro deck with as many goblins and creatures as possible, or it needs to be full combo deck commited to doomsday or some other similar combo.
I tried to make him work for a long time before you came Up a winner with your version - And when i saw it i knew i need to try it out.
1. I have read your explanation on why you have So many lands - And first of all - i would like to thank you - im never ever having manascrew again. Second - i think you math Is just a little but incorrect - i dont think that you need 3 lands in your starting hand. I think that you need 4 land on turn 4... And with the same equation - you get that the optimum number of land is 40. (I would love to hear your oppinion on that Smile )
2. I would like to know what Is your meta like. I have the feeling that it Is more grindy And Slow than the meta i face. (A lot of Zurgo players, partners-ofcourse and Saskia won recently). That Is one of the reasons i needed to change my deck from yours a bit:
- Ember Hauler + Mogg Fanatic (i feel a need to Slow down opponents - shooting their manaelfs, or Zurgo's Elementals with 1 toughnes And Ember Hauler Is just too slow)
-warren Instigator +Goblin Bombardment (im still not sure if cutting warren Instigator Is the right choise but everytime i play him he Is too slow or Is easily chump-blocked while accomplishing nothing. On the other hand - Goblin Bombardment Is sometimes almost free win, And im never unhappy to see it in my opening hand)
-3 fetch lands +Pyrokinesis (Against Saskia, Animar, Manaelf+Partner And So on... Its great - it alows you to play your things while holding an answer to thread from opponent)
+Imperial Recruiter (you mentioned you Will playtest it - i can only recommend - it can easily find the missing combo piece or a good goblin to maintain the preasure - Its a second goblin Matron, And who wouldnt want that? )
+Stingscourger (it can answer huge creatures that would otherwise crush the deck - for example: Marit Lage)
(The reason why i cut 3 fetch lands - i often dont want to shuffle the deck because i have a good hideaway or scry...)
- Dark Confidant +Contamination (i feel like having fewer lands and very agressive meta calls for cutting things that hurts your lifetotal, while Contamination with Grenzo out And just a little bit of luck Is a free win)
What do you think of my changes? I would like to hear you oppinion on them
Also - most of your links for videos dont work.
Hi Vokotek! Sorry about the late reply but finally saw your comment. Here are my thoughts on your points.
1. The reason why I calculated for having 3 lands in my opening hand is because it's really dicey to keep 2 land hands with the deck. Optimizing for the opening 7 mitigates against this. Other than that, I agree with you that 4 mana by turn 4 is probably ideal. 5 mana by turn 5 is even better but we can probably live without it. Also, another reason why I erred on the side of caution is due to the scry/hideaway lands coming into play tapped.
2. You're right about my meta being a lot slower and more grindy. Even before the ban, Zurgo was pretty uncommon and most of my friends play mid-range/control decks. I agree Mogg Fanatic is great against the mana dork decks (reasonable swap for Ember Hauler). The reason why I didn't include it in my build is because there weren't too many decks with mana dorks at that moment. Goblin Chainwhirler is a new addition that cleanly deals with mana dorks as well.
Goblin Bombardment is a card that goes in and out of my deck as the meta changes. I think it's really good in a faster meta-game similar to yours. The same applies for Pyrokinesis and Fire Covenant.
I agree with your comments about Imperial Recruiter and Stingscourger as well (both in my current list). With regards to Dark Confidant, I think you still want him as he can chump block against aggro and is really good against control. Contamination is a nice lock piece with Grenzo but not as good in my meta-game since a lot of opponents run signets (Akiri/Silas) and lots of removal. Because of the grindy control meta-game, untapping with Grenzo usually means I'm winning already.
I think my LGS videos have expired unfortunately but I'll post newer videos once I get some time. Let me know if you have any other questions!
Hi, finally! I was really looking forward to hearing from you!
In the meantime i was continuing with upgrading my Grenzo - I agree with you about the Contamination - it didnt make the cut in the end. Still not sure about the Dark Confidant, but I Will try him out And report back.
For now, I added:
Ravenous Chupacabra - for the hard removal (usually for the bigger creatures that I cannot burn down), without being afraid that it could eat your own creature - Chupacabra Is great So far.
Tel-Jilad Stylus - can be a free win with cards like Chupacabra, and especially with Stingscourger, Mesmeric Fiend (super super great with this one), Goblin Matron, Imperial Recruiter. And it can also protect Grenzo And other creatures from removal.
Colective Brutality - Great discard against most decks while also killing their utility creature.
Cabal Therapy - right Now Is in my deck 7 other discard spells that look into an opponents hand - And you can even play it blindly first turn - And if you hit !!! The opponent Is Half defeated already! (Mind games!) No really... And it has a Flashback, So you dont mind having it on the bottom of you library. Just yesterday i searched for this with Demonic Tutor - it won me the game.
Kolaghan's Command - im testing it right Now - i Felt i needed Something to deal with those pesky artifacts, And this presented itself as the best option available. Its super versatile And never a dead card.
As you can see i added a bunch of non-creature spells and right now even though i feel i can justify every single one of those spells, i think that my deck Is running sub-optimal - especially because I have too many dead activations from Grenzo And my hideaway Is crap. My deck right Now, is good, And can discard easily opponents hand to nothing, And that way gain control of the game, but i dont have enough preasure to kill the opponent quickly enough when i discard his hand - So he sometimes has time to recover. That problem Is not always there And sometimes i have turn 4 kill (hideaway land + Recruiter)
But usually i just dont have enough preasure...
What do you think about my additions? Have you playtest with any of these?
I Will send you a link for my current build as soon as possible.
Hope to hear from you soon.
PS. Goblin Chainwhirler Is So AWESOME i cant even describe it...
Just curious, what cuts did you make in order to fit all of the new cards? Of the cards you've added, I've tested Collective Brutality, Cabal Therapy, and Kolaghan's Command. Cabal Therapy can be really awkward, despite being a reasonable flip off of Grenzo. At least for my meta-game, Collective Brutality is often just an expensive Duress. In my cases, I would rather play Hymn to Tourach. Also, the reason why I like 1 mana discard (instead of 2 mana) is because they give the deck additional turn 1 plays and are a good curve-filler. With that said, I can see Brutality being a lot better against faster aggro decks. Kolaghan's Command was pretty solid overall and probably the strongest of these cards. The reason why I'm not running it is because I disliked lowering my hit rate for Grenzo.
I've been meaning to try Chupacabra as he's hard removal and tutorable via cards such as Imperial Recruiter. While I haven't tried Tel-Jilad Stylus yet, other cards heavily dependent on Grenzo have been lackluster in the past since my opponents will just remove/counter Grenzo in response. I'll go ahead and try Stylus to see if it's any different.
Is your meta-game still really aggro-focused? If so, I think you can probably cut the discard effects for more removal (i.e. Lightning Bolt, Co-Bru, K-Command, etc.) without hurting your Grenzo activations too much. As a general rule of thumb however, I would really recommend keeping at least 40+ creatures since Grenzo is part of what makes the deck so resilient. Your plan B of untapping with Grenzo allows you to win any attrition war.
Ok, So there Is quite a list og cards i cutted -
Krenko (cannot flip IT with Grenzo most of the time, and without Hasty lord - He Is quite Slow)
Frogtosser Banaret - He Is ok, but his lord effect is weakest of the Lords - still on the short list of creatures to come in the deck
Dark Confidant - Will try him out soon.
Goblin Wardriver - He never really performed for me, So i cutted him quite soon - maybe He Is good enough
Hellraiser goblin - haste enabler, true, but i hate attacking when Its not good for me
I would love to hear about what you think about those.
Now when i think about it, its just starting to look like pure combo Doomsday Grenzo without the Doomsday... I dont want that...
Anyway - this Is my meta (And im not in the top8 because i was the JUDGE od the tournament - ok, maybe that Is not the only reason)
Krenko - I personally think Krenko is too strong to cut. Untapping with him is usually enough to win the game. Having the haste lords helps too.
Goblin Wardriver - I've also cut him from my list.
Hellraiser Goblin - Better against control decks but I can see why you cut him.
I like all of the recent additions you included (Frogtosser, Krenko, Bob, and Revoker). It's always good to have creatures in this deck so I'm glad you increased the creature density again. Grenzo really punishes your opponent for aggressively removing your creatures early on.
Boggart Mob is really good against control because he makes any board state threatening. Reusing EtB effects (i.e. Siege-Gang Commander, Matron, Beetleback Chief, etc.) is just cherry on top. Since there's a lot of aggro in your area, he's ok to cut for now I think. I would strongly consider playing Fire Covenant with that meta-game.
Yes, Krenko Is super strong - but i Felt at the time, that you cannot reliably get him with Grenzo, and He may be too slow... I was Wrong )
Boogart mob against control Isnt that strong - control wont let you usually have too many creatures on the board, and if you play him, and the Goblin/Goblins in play gets removed, you lost everything... On the other hand - he Is basicaly second Krenko in many situations.
Anyway - there are i think 3 goblins So far to consider from M19
Goblin Thrashmaster - Ultimate Goblin - finally a great way to get rid of artifacts on a Goblin ... And Its a lord! And repeatable! Im so excited! What do we cut? And Its a sac. outlet as well...
Dark-Dweller Oracle - I think it has a great potencial - especially if they want to remove something while we attack, or they want to Block something. Anyway - 2/2 for 1R Is good. And with that amount of scrying that we have - this has a great potencial. And it Is a sac. outlet ) Does it make the cut?
Goblin Instigator - basicaly a Dragon Fodder on legs, that can be played thru Cavern of Souls, can be cheaper thanks to Warchief, and most importantly we can get him with Grenzo. I think it makes the cut, but again - what to take out? Or does it make the cut?
Volley Veteran - doesnt make the cut at all - you cannot get him with Grenzo And for 4 mana, you could play Krenko, or Moggcatcher... I can see He may have a place in mono-R Goblin deck
One non-goblin from M19
Plague Mare - quite solid, can kill few creatures post combat, or get rid of mana-elfs, or just driwe mono-white deck crazy with jitte... Not sure if its worth it. Also - it kills Truename Nemesis - thats not nothing
I'll think about the Fire Covenant, And i just bought Fiery Confluence - what do you think about it?
Looking at your list for possible cuts, here are a few possibilities.
Goblin Piledriver - He's always been lackluster for me in the past (requires a board and can be chump blocked). How's he for you?
Mogg Fanatic - Fanatical Firebrand is better if you want that effect (triggers Rabblemaster and deals more damage immediately with lords).
Patriarch's Bidding - Not as good as Living Death and 5 mana is a lot for a situational card.
Comments on your mana base.
Bojuka Bog - CiPT lands tend to be bad in an aggro deck. Usually not worth it unless there's a lot of graveyard strategies in your area.
Ramunap Ruins - Not worth it in my opinion as the deck isn't really a burn deck but could be ok if you're playing against a lot of control.
I added Zhalfirin Void as well so glad to see you're playing it as well. Also, I think you really want to max out on fetches (add Scalding Tarn). This allows you to reset the bottom of your deck when you've scry'ed a bad card down. If you're setting up a Hideaway play, you can always plan accordingly. The reason why I'm not playing Volrath's Stronghold is because it's really mana intensive and doesn't produce colored mana. In general, both my CiPT (scry effects) and colorless (Ancient Tomb, Mutavault, Wasteland, Zhalfirin Void) lands are high impact. I've even cut Tectonic Edge for now.
Goblin Piledriver is i think similar to the Warren Instigator - in that it gets removed or blocked... On the other hand - it has never really been as bad for me as warren Instigator.
It has bigger impact on the game when drawn later. Also he comboes with Legion Loyalist and the protection from Blue is great - cannot be blocked by True-Name Nemesis and many other blockers - And many people forget about it.
And with Hasty lord And just a little bit of a board presence he can kill out of nowhere - Its definetly not cut for me and i would definetly play him over Warren Instigator any day of the week.
Mogg Fanatic Is maybe the cut - He Is probably not as strong as some others, but i like him a lot. Can be sacrificed even after attacks for that last dmg. Or it can kill 6/1 or 3/1 that "Zurgo" Is playing even after you attacked. Generaly i think He Is better than Fanatical Firebrand, but overall He Is probably the cut - I will try it out.
I think this deck Is pretty fair overall - no super-powerfull cards like Mind Twist, Balance, Yaghmoth's Will, Reanimate, TNN... The only "unfair" cards are Jitte, Bloodmoon (in some matchups), Manaechoes, and Living Death... I think Patriarch's biding Is another "unfair"card, and with two tutors and two "Living Deaths" that Is 4 copies of it. I'm not sure se want to go down to 3 copies... Especially because we have no way of getting cards out of our Graveyard - So if we mill with Grenzo our only copy of Living Death, the two tutors are dead (not really but they do not work as Living Death anymore)
And its not like armagedon where if you have two in your hand - one of them Is a dead card.
Im quite sure Its not a cut - maybe Its that my meta Is quite aggresive, So i want to jump for chump-blocks because i know i Will get those creatures back.
I dont know - i Will try to cut it for Goblin Trashmaster and Will get back to you (but im not happy about it) (also - i agree Its not as good as Living Death - but Its close)
Bojuka bog - added because "Graveyard matters" started to come up in our meta.
Also - one Guy with Mono-B sidisi reanimator deck always comes Up 5:0 in the tournament and my little goblins really do not stand a Chance against turn 3 Grizelbrand/Massacre Wurm, Sheoldread....
I cannot beat him with my creatures or spells (only once - with Blood Moon - it was funny)
I thought about adding instead Scavenger Grounds, but it may be just a tiny bit too slow And IT adds colorless mana and exiles my grave too...
Ramunap Ruins - i actually forgot to aks you last time about it - i cannot even remember the last time i used it and i wanned to know your oppinion. Definetly a Cut
Zhalfirin Void Is great (shame that it does not produce a colored mana - OH well...)
I tried Volrath's Stronghold yesterday - everytime i had it in my opening hand, i was colorscrew... And even though when the game went for long, i didnt used it at all... Underwhelming - Out!
Also - How Is the Chandra Torch if Defiance for you? Is it any good?
Yeah, I think maxing fetches is an easy decision. Besides resetting the bottom of your library, it fixes your mana while thinning your deck too (useful for Grenzo in addition to your draws). It's also useful if you're running Grim Lavamancer.
I'll have to try Piledriver again. It has won me games in the past when combined with a Bushwhacker effect.
You're right about Patriarch's Bidding being a haymaker. I guess I just remember the games where it sits in my hand.
I think Nihil Spellbomb is probably better than Bojuka Bog if you want graveyard hate but that's personal preference.
I think Barbarian Ring is better than Ramunap Ruins if you're looking for that type of effect. With that said, I'm not playing Ring either.
Chandra has been solid. It gives the deck another must-answer threat that isn't vulnerable to sweepers. I personally have liked her more than Liliana of the Veil since it's on color too. With that said, Liliana, the Last Hope has been the most powerful of the 3 for me.
No problem! I tried to send you a PM on Facebook btw. Not sure if you saw it.
Grim Lavamancer could be useful, but i have never actually playtested with him. Is He any good?
Usually when i control the game, piledriver Is great tutor target - because if they had removal, they would use it already and Hasty lord Is just a bonus - after all i feel that when im in control of the game, i need to end it as Soon as possible - And piledriver Is good for that.
Patriarch's biding - yeah, from time to time it sits in my hand and does nothing, but it Is either backup plan (im already winning and the only think that can screw it Is wrath of god), or Im against Saskia and almost any 5 mana Spell Is too slow.
I dont know about Nihil Spellbomb - it could be good, but it Is blank for Grenzo And i already have no idea what to cut...
What do you think about Faerie Macabre? At least Its not a dead activation from Grenzo...
Not really looking for that kind of effect anymore... Ramunap Out!
Liliana the Last hope Is Bonkers! Super powerfull - i agree. The other Liliana Is cool And all but it was usually underwhelming (i maybe try the Creature-Flip Liliana instead just to see how it works)
Chandra could be cool, but i feel there Is already too many 4drops. Even though i Will try it as well.
I looked at my messages on fb and found nothing... Maybe try again..? Or we can connect on Discord if its better
Quick Overview of Recent Changes to Primer / Deck-list:
+ Added Goblin Cratermaker and Legion Warboss from Guilds of Ravnica
- Removed Mesmeric Fiend effects to make room for new cards
+ Added back Patriarch's Bidding and Nykthos, Shrine to Nix to increase overall power level of the deck
+ Added back Viscera Seer due to synergy with Grenzo and it nicely filling curve as a 1-drop
- Removed Hellraiser Goblin due to the inherent clunkiness of forcing all of your other Goblins to attack (specifically Grenzo)
+ Added Goblin Motivator to replace Hellraiser Goblin as a haste effect while nicely filling curve as a 1-drop
+ Added both Pyrokinesis and Fire Covenant to complement Living Death as pseudo Plague Wind effects
Overall, the changes have all been very impactful and have led to an increased win percentage across the board. In general, I believe this deck is one of the best-kept secrets in all of Duel Commander.
Latest round of updates. Deck feels incredibly smooth now.
+ Added back Mesmeric Fiend effects (testing indicated additional need for disruption against control/combo)
+ Added back 43rd land (better to have 1 too many land than 1 too few)
+ Added Goblin Trashmaster (too versatile not to include)
+ Testing Grenzo, Havor Raiser
- Removed Goblin Instigator and Goblin Motivator (too situational)
- Removed Fire Covenant (covered by Pyrokinesis)
- Removed Krenko, Mob Boss and Lightning Crafter (4 mana with no immediate impact and easily answered)
- Removed Mogg War Marshal (decent but wanted to create additional space)
Recently lost in the finals of the second monthly DCM double-elimination tournament. List felt great as already mentioned in my previous post. Here are some of my considerations going forward.
- Grenzo, Havoc Raiser is probably the weakest card; Likely cut to test new/other cards
- Drawing multiple black/colorless-only lands feels really awkward; Likely replacing Tectonic Edge and/or 1 Swamp in the future
- Multiple situational "I win" cards rewards playing more tutors; Gamble and/or Tainted Pact (would require changing the mana base) may be worth testing
- Lord effect of Goblin Trashmaster has been fantastic; Adaptive Automaton may be worth testing again
If there are any cards that might work well with this deck that I'm missing, feel free to post them here! Thanks!
- Added Canyon Slough (in place of Tectonic Edge) for an additional fetch-able dual land with marginal upside
- Added Ravenous Chupacabra as a tutor-able hard-removal for problematic creatures
- Added Liliana of the Veil as another high impact Planeswalker
- Removed Grenzo, Havoc Raiser (eliminates need for RR on turn 2)
- Removed Stingscourger (awkward to have in opening hand and very situational)