Krenko, Mob Boss – M13
Date Reviewed: March 30, 2023
Commander [EDH]: 4.63
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
If you’re more familiar with Krenko’s appearance in War of the Spark, it’s interesting to recall that his first ever card was this one, from the golden age of core sets. It looks like they’re out of the release schedule again, which is too bad – just because cards are simple doesn’t mean they have to be uninteresting.
Krenko, Mob Boss is a good example of that. He seems kind of slow and ponderous, and the fact that he’s on the expensive side for a goblin and takes time to flood the table does pose a risk to his controller. Barring some way to give him haste, it’s hard to get him to have immediate impact (though I should point out that there are numerous on-color, and a number of on-tribe, ways to do so). But the nature of his ability poses a risk to opponents, too – if he’s the only goblin you control, you still get an exponentially increasing number of tokens if he stays in play on successive turns, and it’s even more insane if he’s not your only goblin. He can also be used to make offbeat goblinized riffs on famous combos, ranging from Purphoros to Intruder Alarm. I miss the golden age of core sets, but it lives on through various cards like Krenko, who will always be a top-tier casual card.
Commander [EDH]: 4.5
Long one of the faces of Goblins as a tribe, Krenko, Mob Boss is good at creating a crazy number of friends in short order, aided by Goblins and their ability to swarm. On his own, he can spit out a new minion each turn, but he can very quickly turn into a massive flood of Goblins…particularly dangerous, given their proclivity towards lords and towards coming in with haste thanks to their lords. Krenko’s only real downside is a fragile body, which matters a lot on Constructed; four mana for something killable by Lightning Bolt is a fraught proposition, and he needs other Goblins out to grant the haste he needs to shine. That said, Goblin decks love him for the advantage they can accrue in short order off of one or two Krenko activations, and he’s long been one of the linchpins of Goblin decks in Commander and casual play.
Constructed: 3.25 (a bit too reliant on one of the haste lords, but he can blow a game open if he gets an inch)
Limited: 4.25 (can make an army of friends very quickly, especially if you have more friends to start with)
Commander [EDH]: 4.75 (one of the archetypal Goblin commanders)
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