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Vikings Gone Wild: Masters of Elements
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G.O.A.D.

I don’t have a new commander to talk about this week, but that’s OK because I have an older Commander that’s new to me to talk about this week. The impetus for the commander I picked is a silly one because it’s not even really justified by facts.

It’s no surprise that I’m excited about Unstable giving us sweet new tokens. In fact, my article last week was all but predicated on the fact that there would be Squirrel tokens in Unstable and with new, sweet-looking Squirrel tokens to play with, people will rediscover one of my Top 10 favorite Magic cards — Deranged Hermit. As excited as I was about squirrels, I was even more excited about the new, full-art Goblin tokens that will come in Unstable packs. I googled “Full Art Unstable tokens” to get a shot of the killer goblin token to include in this article.

Ruh Roh. It appears I have blundered. While it’s possible that there will be Goblin tokens in Unstable, they’re not among the full-art versions that will be in the set. I could pivot and write about Elementals or Saprolings but at this point I was really digging how you can make a great 75% deck around a certain Goblin creature from an older set and I felt committed. So while you’re not necessarily going to have new Goblin tokens to celebrate, we can teach an old Gobbo new tricks, especially with some of the cards that have been printed in the mean time. We want to go both big and wide with Goblin tokens but we also want to build 75%. While Krenko is tempting (remember this crazy deck we made based on chaos and randomness? Good times!), I think the best way to go is to play their spells the best we can and the best we can is to threaten them with the most threatening Goblin of all - Grenzo, Havoc Raiser.

This isn’t a new card by any stretch but perhaps we’re be getting some new cards to improve the deck and help us go tall as well as wide and perhaps some goblins we might not have had access to before due to budgetary restrictions are now a bit more affordable due to the Merfolk vs Goblins deck.

One card that’s very exciting for a deck like this was just spoiled, albeit accidentally, this week and it’s going to make attacking with Goblin tokens a lot more interesting.

Legendary Artifact

Players can't activate Loyalty abilities of Planeswalkers.

At the beginning of your draw step, draw an additional card.

Spells you cast cost 1 less to cast.

Creatures you control get +1/+1.

Keeping your hand full, making your spells cheaper, even the ones of theirs you play with Grenzo (I think, right? I feel like you need to be an L3 to grasp every potential interaction that will come up in this format), keeping their walkers offline and making your gobbos bigger all seem worth the investment.

Grenzo, Havoc Raiser
The premise is simple — we want to use Grenzo, Havoc Raiser to raise Havoc. Since we’re building 75%, we’re all in on having enough mana to cast their spells every time we flip them up and accordingly, we’re going to have a lot of altar effects to give us mana. Altar effects are especially good in Red 75% decks because that means our threaten effects are even more threatening when we return their hostages in “used” condition. “Thanks for letting me hit you with your own Hydra. I was going to give him back, but he slipped and fell on this sacrificial knife and I used his Green, sizzling hydra blood for some arcane magic. Anyway, you can probably make some boots from those scales or whatever.”

Hitting them with a lot of Goblins means we get to select a lot of cards and cast the best one(s). I think getting their mana rocks is a good play, letting us cast a larger and larger selection of spells. The mana can also fuel our aims — giving us the mana to play more spells and untap Krenko with Paradox Engine or use Goblin Warrens to turn tapped Goblins into more untapped ones. We’re going wide and there are plenty of ways to make sure we also go tall. Caged Sun and Vanquisher's Banner and other similar cards cost a lot of mana, but with us ramping a ton, it won’t be a problem. We’re going to play a lot of artifacts in this deck but we’re going to have a lot of fun doing it.

Let’s take a look at how we’d build a 75% Grenzo “Big and Wide” deck with lots of mana ramp, threaten effects and Goblins on Goblins.


Purphoros, God of the Forge
Did I cheat? You decide! In general, I try to keep tribal decks to just members of that tribe for 75% purposes, but I have heard from multiple Grenzo owners that it feels like durdling a lot of the time. Adding Captivating Crew, Neheb, the Eternal and Purphoros, God of the Forge felt necessary. Want to add more Goblins? Take out the non-Goblins (even Chancellor of the Forge, if you want) and add Moggcatcher, Goblin Chirurgeon (seems weak but he’s great at keeping Grenzo alive. Also, I promise that’s the real name of a real card) and a few other Goblins to make up for the ones you removed. Don’t care about Goblins at all? Pyreheart Wolf, Pia and Kiran Nalaar, Anger, and Urabrask the Hidden are solid inclusions. We like to limit our card pool by keeping to tribal themes as a way to build 75% but this time I opted to aim for 75% by scaling to their power level when I could and I found the tribal restriction irrelevant. Build your own way.

I included Paradox Engine because I like how it pairs with mana rocks to cast more spells and how it pairs with Krenko. In fact, I excluded a lot of durdly spells like Hordeling Outburst and Krenko's Command because every spell is a Krenko's Command with Krenko and Paradox Engine. Play spells, untap rocks, play more spells — you really benefit from having a ton of mana post-combat. If you don’t like the Engine, there’s actually nothing really devoted to it and nothing else so stripping it out doesn’t force a partial rebuild like it would in other decks. You’ll still play Gilded Lotus regardless and you’ll still play Krenko. Paradox Engine is gravy in this deck rather than the main course and I like that.

I could have included a lot more Threaten effects than I did but I included a lot. Mob Rule is an Insurrection half the time and Insurrection is Insurrection all the time. Without a way to copy or buy back Threaten spells, I hate to waste a whole slot on something I will use once (Captivating Crew is my favorite 75% Ixalan card! Do you see me leaning on it a lot? I love it.) so I tend not to play ones that don’t reach far like Mob Rule, but Kari Zev's Expertise is worth a slot if you must run a Threaten. Getting a free mana rock is very tempting early since We want to be ramping big.

Vanquisher's Banner
Speaking of going big, Gauntlet of Power, Caged Sun, Vanquisher's Banner and some other similar cards are all going to do a lot of work in this deck. Making 4/4 Goblin tokens is very appealing and hitting with Double Strike will close games out. If you want more, Eldrazi Monument, Akroma's Memorial, and Coat of Arms all have a place in the deck if you want. I excluded them for space, not on principle. If I had a 100th card to add, it would be Coat of Arms. I might even cut Dolmen Gate for it if I build this, but then if I don’t include Gate in the list, how will you remember to include it? I mean, besides looking on EDHREC, I guess.

I don’t have having more Altars in the deck, but there aren’t a ton. Add Skullclamp to turn Gobbos into cards instead or Altar of Dementia to punish Blue players for drawing a ton of cards. You know how much I love Trading Post so jam that if you want to. The sac subtheme is mostly there to fuel our other aims and not give back borrowed creatures. Goblin Bombardment is calling my name. Got room for it? Bombs away!

Did I forget something major or include something terrible? Let me know in the comments section. I love ideas on how we can cheat — which triggers can we double and how? How do we steal more creatures, more spells, wipe more of the board? Are you adding any new cards when they come out to a build like this? Thanks for reading, everyone. Until next time!


Unstable is available for Preorder!