How to Build a Goblin Commander Deck in MTG

Go goblin mode.

Magic: The Gathering has a growing number of iconic creature types, or tribes, but for players that love playing mountains there is no tribe with more history than the classic: Goblins.

Dragons are all well and good, but the mischievous little guys are what most players first think of when they imagine red cards (right behind Lightning Bolt and friends). While Goblins can be found across multiple formats, they are at their best in the multiplayer madhouse that is Commander.

The Ideal Goblin

If you know you want to play Goblins in the best format in Magic, then the first step absolutely has to be picking the best creature to lead your warren.

There are an impressive number of potential commanders to consider, but I’ve taken a moment to highlight some of the best options for the height-challenged tribe. You essentially can’t go wrong with any of the top 10 below.

  1. Krenko, Mob Boss
  2. Purphoros, God of the Forge
  3. Wort, Boggart Auntie
  4. Muxus, Goblin Grandee
  5. Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin
  6. Grumgully, the Generous
  7. Pashalik Mons
  8. Ib Halfheart, Goblin Tactician
  9. Wort, the Raidmother
  10. Gut, True Soul Zealot x Haunted One
Krenko, Mob Boss
Purphoros, God of the Forge

Market Price: $12.14

Wort, Boggart Auntie

Market Price: $7.34

Krenko, Mob Boss is far away the best Goblin commander option, making him hard not to recommend (spoilers: I recommend him), though Purphoros lets you keep a wicked win condition in the command zone and Wort, Boggart Auntie gives you reliable access to both a black color identity and easy recursion.

Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin
Muxus, Goblin Grandee

Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin is essentially Mob Boss lite, though with some interesting synergies of his own, while Muxus gives you access to a powerful enters-the-battlefield effect (if at a somewhat high mana cost).

The remaining commanders are various flavors of value and sacrifice, Grumgully buffing your team while Pashalik Mons, Ib Halfheart, Wort, and Gut all offer interesting permutations of token and sacrificial value.

Goblin Staples

Hobgoblin Bandit Lord

Adventures In The Forgotten Realms | Rare

Hobgoblin Bandit Lord - Adventures in the Forgotten Realms - magic

Goblin decks, like many tribal decks, rely on lords, or creatures that buff their tribe. Hobgoblin Bandit Lord is a new addition to Goblin lords, but it has consistently overperformed for me. Being able to throw out chunks of damage while buffing the squad is exceptional, making it one of the first cards I reach for when building Goblins.

Goblin Warchief

Dominaria | Uncommon

Goblin Warchief - Dominaria - magic

Right behind the Bandit Lord, however, is the classic Warchief. Haste combined with cost reduction is amazing, as one of the best things you can do in a game of Commander is cast as many good spells as possible. Chaining Goblin after Goblin and immediately being able to attack with them feels great.

Goblin Matron

Modern Horizons | Uncommon

Goblin Matron - Modern Horizons - magic

You do, however, need to be able to access your key Goblins. Goblin Matron tutors for the best Goblin for any given situation while also serving as a relevant body herself. I would never recommend leaving home without a good Goblin Matron by your side, since she’ll make sure she isn’t alone for long.

Dockside Extortionist

Double Masters 2022 | Mythic

Dockside Extortionist - Double Masters 2022 - magic

Market Price: $55.53

Dockside is a staple in Commander for a reason, and it’s very hard to recommend playing its tribe without including it. Even if you’re playing it entirely honestly, just as a decent tribal body with some ramp upside, Dockside Extortionist is extremely good. The floor is a relevant creature with the ceiling being an insane amount of ramp or combo potential. If you can afford it, play it.


Commander: March Of The Machine | Uncommon

Skullclamp - Commander: March of the Machine - magic

I don’t like recommending colorless staples—they will often sneak into a deck because they’re hard to avoid (cursed Sol Ring goes in almost everything after all), but Skullclamp is practically an honorary Goblin. Being able to draw cards is essential to your success, and Skullclamp turns small Goblin tokens into pure gas.

Lordly Goblins

Making sure the horde can profitably attack is a healthy amount of the Goblin experience. To that end, there are a few lords that get recommended above the others.

Rundvelt Hordemaster
Goblin Chieftain
Goblin Trashmaster

Roosevelt Hordemaster combines a solid buff with potential card advantage, making him one of the highest recommendations possible. Goblin Chieftain buffs the team while serving as another haste enabler. Finally, Goblin Trashmaster again has a lot of utility—he has a slightly above-average statline, he makes the rest of the team big, and can easily get rid of problematic artifacts while also working as a sacrifice outlet.

Warren Swarm

Goblins are very good at swarming the board, going wide while their lords help them grow steadily taller too.

Legion Warboss
Krenko's Command
Empty the Warrens

Legion Warboss might be my favorite token generator in the tribe, helping to make an extra Goblin each turn and providing little buffs along the way. Krenko’s Command and its mirror Dragon Fodder provide the right amount of bodies for their mana value, while Empty the Warrens can potentially provide a horde big enough to overrun the table.

Body Bombardment

With so many tokens sitting around and board states sometimes becoming too complex to make combat correct, Goblins often need an alternative way to way. Good thing Goblins are great at sacrificing their friends.

Sling-Gang Lieutenant
Siege-Gang Commander
Goblin Bombardment

Sling-Gang Lieutenant and Siege-Gang Commander both serve as powerful sacrifice outlets, helping to throw around damage when combat doesn’t look like it’s going to go your way. The classic Goblin Bombardment does much the same, with the name telling you exactly what you should be doing with it.

Horde Damage

Sacrificing your extra Goblins isn’t the only thing you can be doing with all those extra bodies, so after you’ve got your favorite lords, token synergies, and some sacrificial effects lined up you can consider adding some removal that also loves your tribe.

Munitions Expert
Goblin Sharpshooter

Market Price: $17.42

Volley Veteran

Munitions Expert and Volley Veteran do essentially the same thing, looking at the width of your board and throwing damage around in direct relation to the size of your army. Goblin Sharpshooter combines a love for sacrifice with powerful pings, capable of machine gunning down an entire table when suited up with a Basilisk Collar.

Goblinoid Card Advantage

You can’t win if you don’t have cards, and the mana efficient Goblins can empty out your hand almost as quickly as you can Empty the Warrens. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to refuel the tribe and you’ll want to include a healthy handful.

Conspicuous Snoop
Dark-Dweller Oracle
Goblin Ringleader

Conspicuous Snoop gives you constant access to the top of your library, sometimes gaining a tricky activated ability in the process. Dark-Dweller Oracle turns the smallest Goblin token into a card on the fly. Goblin Ringleader provides a solid little bit of card draw attached to a hasty tribal body, making it an easy recommendation.

Weird Rituals

Now you’ve got the cards you want and ways to draw into them, but reliably being able to cast them is the next step. Since the Goblin curve is relatively low, you don’t need as much ramp as many other Commander decks may ask, but you can leverage the horde for mana too!

Skirk Prospector
Battle Hymn
Brightstone Ritual

Skirk Prospector gives you yet another sac outlet, but this one helps you ramp out some spooky threats ahead of schedule. Battle Hymn and Brightstone Ritual do essentially the same thing, looking at your mass of Goblins and transforming them into mana to cast your best, synergistic creatures.

Tribal Lands

Despite their expansive presence in the game’s history, there are actually not a lot of lands that specifically reference Goblins. Still, the best lands for Goblins really lean hard into their synergies, making them instant staples.

Den of the Bugbear
Auntie's Hovel

Market Price: $15.67


Den of the Bugbear may be the best tribal land, spitting out two goblinoid bodies whenever you can get in with it. Auntie’s Hovel provides perfect mana for a Rakdos Goblin deck, with some comfy treehouse art to top it off. Mutavault finally can sneak its way into plenty of tribal lists, but being able to add an extra “Goblin” to the field when you need it can really make all the difference.

Taking Care of Your Warren: Playing Goblins

Traditionally, Goblin decks are designed to play aggressive and stay aggressive.

The first few turns involve spitting out the best creatures that you can, helping to make sure that you have relevant little dudes to buff with your mid-game lords. Ideally, you’re making a wide board that’s got plenty of buffs going from the mid into the endgame—big enough to take out the most threatening player before more traditional “battlecruiser” threats can start to become a problem.

If this doesn’t pan out, however, the late game of most Goblin decks becomes a question of how you can leverage your board. Options include sacrificing your creatures for value with Goblin Bombardment to pick off problems or get in the last few bits of damage, or creating large token armies that can melt the table with the help of Impact Tremors and Purphoros, God of the Forge effects.

Become the Goblin King: The Base Decklist

As I more than implied in the beginning of this guide, there is a reason that Krenko, Mob Boss is the most popular Goblin commander.

I would love to be able to recommend a newcomer, like Gut, True Soul Zealot paired with Haunted One, but I’m kidding myself and robbing you of potential wins if that’s the deck I recommend you start with. No, if you want to do go goblin mode and do the most powerful things with the tribe from jump, start here:


Goblin Tribal Base

Market Price:$318.14

Maindeck, 99 cards

Sortsort deckCommander (1)

  • 1Krenko, Mob Boss

Creature (29)

  • 1Battle Cry Goblin
  • 1Beetleback Chief
  • 1Conspicuous Snoop
  • 1Dark-Dweller Oracle
  • 1Dockside Extortionist
  • 1Gempalm Incinerator
  • 1Goblin Chieftain
  • 1Goblin Instigator
  • 1Goblin King
  • 1Goblin Lackey
  • 1Goblin Matron
  • 1Goblin Piledriver
  • 1Goblin Ringleader
  • 1Goblin Sharpshooter
  • 1Goblin Trashmaster
  • 1Goblin Warchief
  • 1Hobgoblin Bandit Lord
  • 1Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin
  • 1Legion Warboss
  • 1Mogg War Marshal
  • 1Muxus, Goblin Grandee
  • 1Pashalik Mons
  • 1Purphoros, God of the Forge
  • 1Rundvelt Hordemaster
  • 1Siege-Gang Commander
  • 1Skirk Prospector
  • 1Volley Veteran
  • 1Warren Instigator
  • 1Witty Roastmaster

Sorcery (12)

  • 1Blasphemous Act
  • 1Dragon Fodder
  • 1Empty the Warrens
  • 1Faithless Looting
  • 1Gamble
  • 1Goblin Grenade
  • 1Goblin War Strike
  • 1Hordeling Outburst
  • 1Krenko’s Command
  • 1Relentless Assault
  • 1Shatterskull Smashing // Shatterskull, the Hammer Pass
  • 1Vandalblast

Instant (6)

  • 1Battle Hymn
  • 1Brightstone Ritual
  • 1Chaos Warp
  • 1Massive Raid
  • 1Thrill of Possibility
  • 1You See a Pair of Goblins

Artifact (12)

  • 1Arcane Signet
  • 1Basilisk Collar
  • 1Battlemage’s Bracers
  • 1Eldrazi Monument
  • 1Herald’s Horn
  • 1Heraldic Banner
  • 1Lightning Greaves
  • 1Skullclamp
  • 1Sol Ring
  • 1Staff of Domination
  • 1Swiftfoot Boots
  • 1Vanquisher’s Banner

Enchantment (4)

  • 1Goblin Bombardment
  • 1Impact Tremors
  • 1Outpost Siege
  • 1Shared Animosity

Land (36)

  • 1Castle Embereth
  • 1Cavern of Souls
  • 1Den of the Bugbear
  • 28Mountain
  • 1Mutavault
  • 1Myriad Landscape
  • 1Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
  • 1Path of Ancestry
  • 1Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle