Do you want to start playing commander, but when you begin brainstorming ideas and researching the costs of the deck those plans go out the window? While commander is more budget friendly than most other formats, it can still be expensive. A good budget commander to help you get your start is Krenko, Mob Boss. Krenko, Mob Boss is a 3/3 Goblin Warrior that costs 2 and 2 red. His tap ability basically doubles the number of goblins you have, “Create X 1/1 red Goblin creature tokens, where X is the number of Goblins you control.” Goblin Tribal is the way to go with Krenko as your commander. If he is left unchecked, you will have a legion of goblins at your disposal ready to overwhelm your opponent(s). Although goblins are not very strong individually, what they lack in size, and brains, they make up for in numbers. Goblins are usually printed at the common and uncommon level. Occasionally there are some rares or mythics, but none that are really necessary other than Krenko.
Most goblins are cheap and small. Some are good on their own and some of them are downright terrible. With nearly 300 creatures sharing the goblin type, there are plenty to choose from since even bad goblins help Krenko, Mob Boss generate more tokens. Since the main strategy is to go wide, it doesn’t really matter which goblin creatures you choose to include. Heck, you could just fill the deck with vanilla (creatures with no abilities) goblins, but I doubt there are enough to actually make an EDH deck out of them. Since this is Goblin tribal, let’s look at some goblin lords. Goblin King gives all goblins +1/+1 and Mountainwalk, making them a nightmare for any opponent with a Mountain in play. Goblin Trashmaster also gives other Goblins +1/+1 and it comes with the added bonus of artifact removal; sure you have to sacrifice a goblin, but goblins are meant to be expendable so trading a goblin for an artifact is not really that bad. Goblin Warchief doesn’t offer a power/toughness boost but it does decrease the cost of goblins and gives them all haste. Caterwauling Boggart gives menace to goblins making them harder to block. That’s all for the lords but there is one more card that works well with cheap tribal creatures: Coat of Arms. Coat of Arms gives all creatures +1/+1 for each creature that shares a type with it. Now this does include all creatures so it can backfire on you when facing another tribal deck.
There are also other options for increasing the damage output of this deck. Gempalm Incinerator deals damage to a creature equal to the number of goblins you control when cycled. Volley Veteran does the same thing when it enters the battlefield. Goblin War Strike is possibly the best card for this as it can hit any target. Goblin Bushwhacker and Reckless Bushwhacker each give +1/+0 and haste to your goblins if they are cast for their kicker and surge costs respectively.
There are also some more self-destructive options to increase the damage output in true goblin fashion. Goblin Pyromancer gives goblins +3/+0 when he enters the battlefield and then all goblins are destroyed at the end step. Flavor-wise, this sounds like he just lights them all on fire. Skirk Fire Marshall also kills your own creatures as he allows you tap 5 other goblins to deal 10 damage to everything and everyone. Of course he comes with protection from red so he will be the last one standing as his flavor text reads, “He’s boss because he’s smart enough to get out of the way.” There is also Siege-Gang Commander that allows you to sacrifice a goblin to deal 2 damage to any target. The down side is that this ability costs mana, but Skirk Prospector can combo with that by sacrificing more goblins for red mana. Ineffective? Yes. Would goblins do something like this? Absolutely, and if ineffectively sacrificing a chunk of your goblins wins you the game, go for it.
The more goblins you can get onto the battlefield, the more goblins Krenko, Mob Boss can make, so be sure to take advantage of cards that make goblin tokens. Goblin Warrens is an enchantment that allows you to pay 3 mana and sacrifice two goblins to make three tokens; that isn’t a great exchange, but then again it’s mono red goblins. Pashalik Mons also has a similar effect that allows you to pay 4 mana and sacrifice a goblin to make 2 goblins. Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin makes goblin tokens equal to his power and he gets a +1/+1 counter when he attacks. Empty the Warrens with a few storm copies is a great token producer. If you can get up to 7 mana, Chancellor of the Forge makes a goblin token for each creature you control.
All of these tokens can also be put to use in more ways that just attacking. Voracious Dragon can devour creatures to put +1/+1 counters on it and then it deals damage equal to the number of goblins it devoured. Clickslither, a 3/3 with haste for 4 mana, can get +2/+2 and trample if you sacrifice a goblin and since the only restraint is the number of goblins you control, this card is great. Instead of sacrificing all your goblins to make one bigger creature, you can sacrifice them all to turn them all into bigger creatures with Descent of the Dragons and Hellion Eruption.
There are also other cards that work well with tokens. Impact Tremors deals 1 damage to each opponent when a creature enters the battlefield. Raid Bombardment and Cavalcade of Calamity deal damage when low powered creatures attack. Goblin Bombardment allows you to sacrifice a creature to deal 1 damage to any target. Now imagine this, you have Krenko, Mob Boss and Goblin Warchief for haste, plus these four enchantments and lets say 10 other 1/1 goblins on the field at the start of your turn. You tap Krenko creating 12 more goblins, those goblins trigger Impact Tremors dealing 12 damage to each of your opponents. You attack with all of the goblins triggering Cavalcade of Calamity 22 times and Raid Bombardment 23 times (because Goblin Warchief is a 2/2 it wont trigger Cavalcade). Before damage, once all of the triggers resolve and your opponents have declared blockers, sacrifice the blocked goblins to Goblin Bombardment targeting the opponent(s) and then at your end step sacrifice the rest of the goblins finishing off any remaining opponent’s life total.
Let’s address a major problem with red: card draw. Red is notorious for running out of gas early in the game. Moggcatcher can pull goblins to the battlefield directly from the library for just 3 mana. Goblin Matron can put a goblin into your hand when she comes into play. Let’s not forget Skullclamp; since most goblins only have 1 toughness, they will die the moment this card is equipped which will draw you two cards. There are other cards you can run to help give you more gas, but these are just a few that I would recommend. I would not recommend cards that rummage or loot. Rummage effects require you to discard a card, in other words, have a card in hand, before drawing a card. While loot effects require you to discard a card after drawing a card, again requiring another card in your hand, if you want to keep what you just drew. Risk Factor is useless here because when the starting life total is 40, 3 damage is nothing and since you can only have one copy of a card in your deck, it will never do anything. Now for something like Tormenting Voice, which draws you two cards, that’s not as bad as long as you have a card to discard. This is not your typical rummage or loot effect.
Goblin tribal is the only route to go with Krenko, Mob Boss. Goblins are also very affordable. If you’re on a budget, $20-$30 will get you some of the better cards in this deck and once you have those, just fill in the rest with Goblins that you can find in the bulk commons and uncommons. Lands are also not too big of an issue. 32-38 Mountains and you’re good to go. Sure you can upgrade later, but if you want a cheap way to get started in commander, Krenko, Mob Boss is the answer and he usually goes in the range of $2-$5. That wraps up Krenko, Mob Boss in commander. Sure, he is a narrow card, but he can also be really effective. Let me know what commander you want to see next in the comments.