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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Conspiracy Take the Crown – The Fallen

November 3, 2016 by  
Filed under Commander/General Ideas, Review

Incendiary Dissent

“We Raid.”

Hi and welcome back to the last of the Commanders review of the set. If you have been following our series of articles on the set, you probably know of King Brago’s assassination and the usurped of his throne by the new Queen Marchesa. Today article will be about those who were affected by the change of ruling powers of the High City.

 

Goad

Jeering Homunculus

“Hey you~~!!!!! @$^%@!#@%$………..”

Before we get to the new Commander featured in today article, let’s have a look at another new ability added from the set. The new ability, Goad, is a keyword action that force Creatures to attack preferably someone other than you. A goaded Creature will remains goaded until your next turn. In layman terms, that means a Creature that is goaded has to attack a player, not a Planeswlker, other than you if it can. The controller of the goaded Creature however still gets to choose who the Creature attacks. Other rules still applies for this “forced” attack. If it’s tapped, then it cannot attack. If there is a cost to attack, its controller does not have to pay that cost and the Creature does not attack if the cost is not pay. A Creature with Defender still cannot attack when goaded. This ability is very good to use against Creatures who do not attack but have annoying abilities when they are on the battlefield. Those Creatures usually have low toughness and will die easily in combat. This is also an indirect way to protect yourself from powerful attackers as you can Goad those Creatures and direct them away from you. The ability however become quite useless though when the game is down to two players because if the goaded Creature cannot attack a player other than you, then it must attack you or a Planeswalker if it can. This makes the ability clearly made for Multi-player games and very much an EDH ability. Below are all the cards in the set which showcase the ability.

Besmirch Sorcery which let you temporary gain control of target Creature giving it Haste for your use till end of turn and Goad it in the process.
Coveted Peacock / Goblin Racketeer Creatures which Goad target Creature defending player controls as they attacks.
Grenzo, Havoc Raiser The Goad lord.
Jeering Homunculus ETB Goad target Creature.

 

Goad feels to me somehow similar to another old ability called Provoke. However the difference is that Provoke is a keyword ability which triggered on the declaring attackers step; where a Creature defending player controls may be untap and if it does so, is require to block the Creature with Provoke as long as the block is legal (ie. A non-Flying Creature cannot block a Flying Creature even when Provoke is used on it). Both abilities are similar in that they both force Creatures which normally will not go into combat to go into one; allowing you to kill them through combat. With the new ability introduction out of the way, now let us look at the main characters for today article.

Goblin Grappler

“Block me~!!!!!!!”

 

Fall from Power

Daretti, Scrap Savant Full art

Those Glory Days.

Back during King Brago’s rule, Daretti the Goblin Planeswalker was instrumental in the disbanding of the Academy. He was also the one who tipped Grenzo, the palace’s Goblin prison warden then, off to Muzzio who then flooded Grenzo’s tunnels with his cogwork Warriors. He further schemed from there exposing Muzzio for pilfering information with his cogworks resulting in the closing down of the Academy and Muzzio’s exile. After the King’s assassination, Daretti was dissatisfied with the Paliano’s current leadership and he instigated Goblin riots both to overturn it and to root out former Academy members who are lying low in the city.

 

Grenzo on the other hand was fired from his position of dungeon keeper after Marchesa was crowned. Put out on the streets, he became the leader of a thieving gang of Goblins and often incites mobs to violence.

Hold the Perimeter

Back to Old Ways.

 

The two Goblins eventually found an ally in each other and together they had raid the houses of former members of the Academy. On one such raid, they had raided the house of professor named Fimarell, gathering his books and burning them. When they were intercepted by the city guards, Daretti discovered that the professor had gained his fame by plagiarizing some of Daretti’s designs. Furious by this fact, he killed Professor Fimrell and together with Grenzo and the other Goblins to focus even more of their attention to other former Academy members who had opposed him before and are now in league with the new Queen; indirectly placing the two Goblin riot masters against the new Queen.

 

Riot Master

Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast Full Art

“I am Goblin.” Back to old Roots.

Daretti was among one of the Planeswalker Commanders back then when the concept was first introduce. This time round he was regrettably not available as a Commander. The Commander offer up for choice however is his partner in crime the ex-dungeon warden, Grenzo. No longer in charge of the dungeons and having lost his contacts and hideouts; Grenzo now roam the streets with Daretti, instigating riots and wreaking havoc in the High City as his form of revenge against the City’s system. Before we go on further about the riot master, let’s have a look at his stats.

Grenzo, Havoc Raiser

Card Name: Grenzo, Havoc Raiser

CMC: RR

Types: Legendary Creature – Goblin Rogue

Card Text: Whenever a creature you control deals combat damage to a player, choose one –

  • Goad target creature that player controls.
  • Exile the top card of that player’s library. Until end of turn, you may play that card and you may spend mana as though it were mana of any color to cast it.

P/T: 2/2

Since the last time we saw him, a lot had happened to the ex-prison warden. As if to reflect on the loss of his network of Mercenary killers and spies due to the events during the King’s reign and firing from his position by the new Queen, Grenzo has changed his color identity to the more straight forward and chaotic mono Red, likening to show his abandonment of scheming behind the scenes. His two choices for his trigger ability also reflects his current doings; the leader of his thieving gang of Goblins and the one giving the orders as to what they should do on their raids. So the choosing of the effects of the triggers on your Creatures having dealt their combat damage to a player is like Grenzo telling his Goblin Lackeys what to do after they laid a successful raid. It is quite flavorful to both effects actually to have your Creatures which had dealt combat damage to a player to either instigate “riot” in defending player ranks by goading his or her Creatures; or “steal” from the library top of the defending player. Either of the effects truly embrace Grenzo new status now as a Havoc Raiser, as he instigate your army to wreak havoc on your opponents.

 

Things will only get interesting though when your Creatures actually get through to your opponents. If they are block on the way then everything is useless. So below are some ways you may consider to let your Creatures get through your opponents’ defenses.

Academy Raider / Akroan Line Breaker / Bladetusk Boar / Cyclops Tyrant / Heirs of Stromkirk / Krenko’s Enforcer Creatures with Intimidate.
Atarka Pummeler / Belligerent Sliver / Boggart Brute / Caterwauling Boggart / Deputized Protester / Deranged Whelp / Firemantle Mage / Goblin Freerunner / Goblin Glory Chaser / Horde of Boggarts / Insolent Neonate / Ire Shaman / Purphoros’s Emissary / Pyreheart Wolf / Ripscale Predator / Searing Spear Askari / Shatterskull Recruit / Stormblood Berserker / Viashino Runner Creatures with Menace or give it to your Creatures.
Barbarian General / Lu Bu, Master-at-Arms / Ma Chao, Western Warrior / Yellow Scarves Cavalry / Yellow Scarves General / Yuan Shao, the Indecisive Creatures with Horsemanship.
Break Through the Line / Dwarven Nomad / Dwarven Warriors / Goblin Tunneler Let the little ones get through to wreak havoc.
Canyon Wildcat / Goblin King / Cave People / Cavern Crawler / Colos Yearling / Dwarven Grunt / Enslaved Scout / Goblin Mountaineer / Goblin Spelunkers / Goblins of the Flarg / Mountain Goat / Mountain Yeti / Rock Badger / Sokenzan Bruiser / Vug Lizard / Zodiac Dog / Zodiac Goat Creatures with Mountainwalk or give it to your Creatures. Now all you need is get a Mountain on your opponents’ sides; maybe Blood Moon or Magus of the Moon.
Demoralize / Goblin War Drums/ Gorilla War Cry Give your army of Goblin tokens Menace till end of turn.
Legion Loyalist Battalion – Let your Creatures gain First Strike and Trample till end of turn and can’t be blocked by tokens this turn.

 

Legion Loyalist

“Charge!!!!!!!!!!!!”

 

Tribal Theme – Goblin

There are a lot of directions you can go if you choose Grenzo as your Commander. One of the directions is using Grenzo as a Goblin Tribal theme Commander. Because Goblins are cheap and abundant, you can afford to send them in for the attack to either Goad your opponents’ Creatures or steal their library top.  A lot of cards are available to make Goblin tokens. Sometimes you may even kill a couple of opponents with your Goblin horde if you have a Goblin Bushwhacker; Goblin Chieftain; Goblin General; Goblin King; Goblin Shrine; Goblin Soothsayer; Patron of the Akki; Quest for the Goblin Lord; in the mix when you attack. Things can also get very deadly with your whole army of Goblin tokens attacking along with either a Goblin Piledriver or Goblin Rabblemaster dealing lethal damage up front. Also besides having sheer numbers, Goblins have been around MtG long enough to have many interesting abilities at their disposal. Below are some cards you may consider to size up the numbers of your Goblin army first before sending them in to create havoc in your opponents’ ranks.

Beetleback Chief / Chancellor of the Forge ETB create Goblin tokens.
Dragon Fodder / Empty the Warrens / Goblin Offensive / Goblin Rally / Goblin Scouts / Hordeling Outburst / Krenko’s Command / Kuldotha Rebirth / Mogg Alarm / Mogg Infestation Spells which create Goblin tokes.
Goblin Assault / Goblin Rabblemaster / Goblin Warrens / Goblinslide / Ib Halfheart, Goblin Tactician / Krenko, Mob Boss Continuously create Goblin tokens.
Goblin Marshal / Mogg War Marshal ETB or dies create Goblin tokens

 

Mogg Infestation

Party Starts.

 

Rogue One

Hired Heist

The Shadow Way.

Looking from another perspective, Grenzo can be consider a saboteur lord too since he gives a saboteur ability to your Creatures who deal combat damage to a player; effectively making all your Creatures a saboteur. For those unfamiliar with the term saboteur, it is nickname given to Creatures with a triggered ability upon dealing combat damage to a player. It is derived from the Creatures having to sneak behind enemy lines to generate an effect unfavorable for the opponent. Combining that with unblockable Creatures you can really devastate the opponents with each attack; by goading the defending players’ Creatures or stealing their library top cards, forming a saboteur deck.

 

If you still in favor of a Tribal theme, then maybe you will like to include Grenzo as a normal Creature in a Rogue deck. Rogue is a job class Creature type which consists of many saboteurs too. Their mechanic Prowl is also an ability associated with how saboteur works. By using Grenzo’s ability to let your attackers who got to the opponents to Goad their Creatures, you actually open up a path for your other Creatures in your next attack thus allowing you to trigger Prowl. Many Rogue also have their own saboteur ability so it is all an added value each time your Creatures get through to the opponents. There are not a lot of Prowl cards around but the ones available are quite value to be included in the deck. Below are the said cards with Prowl which you may consider to use.

Auntie’s Snitch Self-recur whenever your Goblin or Rogue deals combat damage to a player.
Earwig Squad Search and exile three cards from target opponent’s library if it enters the battlefield with its Prowl cost paid.
Knowledge Exploitation Prowl Sorcery which steals Instant or Sorcery from opponent’s library.
Latchkey Faerie Draw a card when it ETB with Prowl cost paid.
Morsel Theft Draw a card when cast with Prowl cost paid.
Noggin Whack Lower cc with Prowl cost.
Notorious Throng Prowl Time Walk.
Stinkdrinker Bandit Rogue lord.
Thieves’ Fortune Prowl Impulse.

 

The Rogue Creature type was not one of the initial Creature types of MtG but many Creatures were later given it after the Great Creature Type Update. It is not difficult to find enough Creatures for a Rogue Tribal deck. Most of the better lot of the Creature type were from the Morningtide set as that set featured the Creature type as part of its Tribal theme. Depending on the color identity of your Commander, the available Rogue Creatures are vast and plenty to choose from. Below are just some examples which you can consider for your Rogue Tribal Theme decks.

Auntie’s Snitch Self-recur whenever your Goblin or Rogue deals combat damage to a player.
Boggart Arsonists / Boggart Loggers Evasion ability through each own respective landwalking abilities. Added self-sacrificing ability to destroy target Creature type or land that it landwalk on.
Cache Raiders Bounce your permanents at upkeep. Good for resetting those permanents.
Cold-Eyed Selkie Islandwalk saboteur which lets you draw cards equals to amount of combat damage it deals to a player.
Corrosive Mentor Wither lord which gives Wither to your Black Creatures.
Deepchannel Mentor Makes your Blue saboteurs unblockable.
Earwig Squad Search and exile three cards from target opponent’s library if it enters the battlefield with its Prowl cost paid.
Faerie Macabre Discard to exile up to two cards from graveyards.
Frogtosser Banneret Reduces your Goblin and Rogue spells by 1.
Gonti, Lord of Luxury ETB steals top four cards of target opponent’s library.
Grimoire Thief Exiles target opponent’s library top three cards whenever it becomes tapped.
Inkfathom Infiltrator Unblockable Rogue who can’t block.
Knacksaw Clique “Steal” target opponent top card of library. Until end of turn, “stolen” card can be play.
Marsh Flitter Three bodies for 4cc.
Mistmeadow Skulk Lifelink, Protection from converted mana cost 3 or greater.
Nezumi Graverobber Opponents’ graveyards destroyer which flips into reaniamtor when it empties a graveyard in the process.
Nezumi Shortfang Flips into walking The Rack when it empties an opponent hand with its discard ability.
Oona’s Blackguard Rogue lord. Your other Rogue enters the battlefield with an additional +1/+1 counter.
Whenever your Creatures with +1/+1 counter on them deals combat damage to a player, that player discards a card.
Sootwalkers / Wanderbrine Rootcutters Sootwalkers cannot be blocked by White Creatures and Wanderbrine Rootcutters cannot be blocked by Green Creatures.
Stinkdrinker Bandit Rogue lord. Gives your unblocked attacking Rogue Creatures +2/+1 till end of turn.
Sygg, River Cutthroat Draws a card each end step if an opponent lost 3 or more life on that turn.
Thada Adel, Acquisitor Islandwalk. Steals an Artifact from the player it dealt combat damage to.

 

Oona's Blackguard

Silent Sabotage.

 

Recommended Rogue Commanders

There are quite a number of Rogue Commanders to choose from. Not all of them have Red in their color identity but those that are worthy to play and has Red in them are recommended below. You can consider using them so you can add Grenzo to your deck.

Grenzo, Dungeon Warden – The original Grenzo. Grenzo v1.0 opens up Black for some degree of Control and disruption out of Red. Also the recruitment ability can come in handy with many Rogues power being quite low too.

Grenzo, Dungeon Warden

 

Gwendlyn Di Corci – Random force discard ability. Grixis color identity for those who preferred more Control in their deck.

Gwendlyn Di Corci

 

Tribal Theme – Goblin or Rogue?

Grenzo Havoc Raiser Full Art

“Just take it all.”

Departing from his recruitment ability from the first set, Grenzo has turned on to a more violent mode with his new abilities. All in all, I will consider Grenzo v2.0 to be quite a decent Goblin Tribal theme Commander. Goblins are abundant in numbers and come easily. Especially so when they come as tokens which pretty much act as fodders. As their numbers can grow easily to overwhelming proportions, you simply overwhelm an opponent and get in some combat damage for the attacks. Making Grenzo v2.0 as your Commander is not without flaws though as you will be limited to just Red for your deck. So for those who preferred more versatility to your deck, going the Rogue way may be more to your liking. Whichever way you choose to build your deck, Grenzo v2.0 Goad trigger is a very chaotic ability which can mess up the game plans of your opponents as they are forced to attack each other.

 

How will you employ the new Grenzo’s help? Will you use him as a Commander or a common Creature? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below. And with that, we have come to an end for the Conspiracy Sequel set Commander review. We hope the series of articles have been of help to you in building decks with the new Commanders. We shall end it here for now and hope that you will be back again in our future articles. Till then, protect your Monarch status and watch your back.

 

This is yours truly, Edward “Reaper King” Leong, signing off.

:D~

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