Last updated on December 4, 2023

Zada, Hedron Grinder - Illustration by Chris Rallis

Zada, Hedron Grinder | Illustration by Chris Rallis

If you're a tribal Commander fan and love playing with goblins, you're in for a treat. Goblins are notorious for their mischievous nature and their fondness for causing chaos on the battlefield. When it comes to leading an army of these wild creatures, some goblin commanders stand head and shoulders above the rest, but did you know they’re also inclined to do crazy stuff and go to infinity and beyond when required?

Today I'm diving into the world of legendary goblin commanders based on their abilities, playability, and overall awesomeness. Get ready to join the goblin horde and unleash some serious mayhem!

What Are Goblin Commanders in MTG?

Rulik Mons, Warren Chief - Illustration by Tuan Duong Chu

Rulik Mons, Warren Chief | Illustration by Tuan Duong Chu

A goblin commander is a legendary creature of the “goblin” creature type. These commanders typically have abilities that synergize with goblins, like creating Goblin tokens, granting bonuses to goblins, or enabling goblin-related strategies. Most of them are chosen as the centerpiece of a goblin-themed Commander deck, and some are among the best red commanders period.

In contrast, others can be used in any deck or decks that barely run other creatures, so it doesn't matter if you have 100 or 0 goblins on your deck. If the commander is a goblin, it fits into this category.

#36. Ishi-Ishi, Akki Crackshot

Ishi-Ishi, Akki Crackshot

It’s legendary, and it's a goblin, so it has to be on the list. I wouldn't run Ishi-Ishi, Akki Crackshot unless you face a table full of tribal spirit commanders.

#35. Squee, Dubious Monarch

Squee, Dubious Monarch

Not much to say here. Squee, Dubious Monarch is an aggressive commander that can be thrown into any mono-red deck.

#34. Squee, Goblin Nabob

Squee, Goblin Nabob

Outside of being a constant sacrifice fodder or discard outlet for some decks, Squee, Goblin Nabob has no potent combos around it. It’s probably not worth running it as a commander unless you run cards like Wild Guess or Faithless Salvaging as a part of your primary plan.

#33. Rulik Mons, Warren Chief

Rulik Mons, Warren Chief

Considering there are better Gruul () goblin commanders, Rulik Mons, Warren Chief isn’t one I’d like to write stories about. It's just a fine addition on a budget.

#32 Krark, the Thumbless

Krark, the Thumbless

Hey! Another goblin that's legendary and likes to gamble… No, I don't like it. Sorry, Krark, the Thumbless.

#31. Slobad, Goblin Tinkerer

Slobad, Goblin Tinkerer

Slobad, Goblin Tinkerer is a fine commander for mono-red decks that run cards like Scrap Mastery and Goblin Welder along with artifacts that have a powerful ETB like Portal to Phyrexia.

#30. Ben-Ben, Akki Hermit

Ben-Ben, Akki Hermit

Not the best commander overall, but cards like Stuffy Doll and Brash Taunter are fun to build around with it. They can’t die, but they’ll deal tons of damage when Ben-Ben, Akki Hermit targets them.

#29. Breeches, Brazen Plunderer

Breeches, Brazen Plunderer

Often paired with Malcolm, Keen-Eyed Navigator, Breeches, Brazen Plunderer is one of the best budget commanders around. Both Breeches and Malcolm are strong and competitive and excellent for any new players venturing into the format.

#28. Goro-Goro and Satoru

Goro-Goro and Satoru

No surprises here. Here’s one more goblin commander that enables an infinite combo.

The plan is to activate Goro-Goro and Satoru’s second ability to give all your creatures haste for this turn. Then, attach Breath of Fury to a creature, deal damage with it, and stack both Breath of Fury and Goro-Goro and Satoru to trigger in a way that you resolve creating the token first to sacrifice then the creature that dealt damage and attach Breath of Fury to the new Dragon.

Then you can repeat this process if you keep damaging an opponent with the enchanted creature.

#27. Goro-Goro, Disciple of Ryusei

Goro-Goro, Disciple of Ryusei

As a commander, Goro-Goro, Disciple of Ryusei is a handy one because it's cheap and can provide your creatures at any time when required. In addition, it has access to an infinite combo if you pair it with Ganax, Astral Hunter, and Mana Echoes.

#26. Grenzo, Havoc Raiser

Grenzo, Havoc Raiser

Grenzo, Havoc Raiser is a library hijacker creature mainly used to exile and steal cards from opponents when it hits.

#25. Gut, True Soul Zealot

Gut, True Soul Zealot

Gut, True Soul Zealot is one of the most recently introduced commanders that can let you have access to a background along with it. Outside of that, nothing special to mention about this fella.

#24. Ib Halfheart, Goblin Tactician

Ib Halfheart, Goblin Tactician

If you want to discourage your opponents not to block, Ib Halfheart, Goblin Tactician is your goblin!

#23. Ardoz, Cobbler of War

Ardoz, Cobbler of War

This commander is insane. Ardoz, Cobbler of War is cheap and has a fantastic static ability that lets your other creatures enter the battlefield with a big buff. If you pair it with others like Goblin Chieftain, you can make small goblin tokens into lethal threats.

#22. Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin

Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin

Another token maker that can be used to create a bunch of creatures. Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin has the bread and butter of making infinite mana with Skirk Prospector and Mana Echoes when paired with other cards.

#21. Mizzix, Replica Rider

Mizzix, Replica Rider

Mizzix, Replica Rider is a fine Izzet () commander that likes doing Izzet things (copying stuff).

#20. Pashalik Mons

Pashalik Mons

This just requires Skirk Prospector and Mana Echoes to kill entire tables because you’ll have access to infinite damage and mana.

#19. Rhuk, Hexgold Nabber

Rhuk, Hexgold Nabber

Rhuk, Hexgold Nabber is great in Voltron decks, but being a mono-colored commander makes it somewhat difficult to digest.

#18. Slimefoot and Squee

Slimefoot and Squee

Jund reanimator decks are very popular in Commander, and Slimefoot and Squee does the job quite well. When you pair it with Pitiless Plunderer and Ashnod's Altar, you get access to infinite mana.

#17. Slobad, Iron Goblin

Slobad, Iron Goblin

Why does every goblin commander have to have a combo? Slobad, Iron Goblin may not seem like it, but it has an infinite combo if you pair it with Thornbite Staff + Myr Retriever + Junk Diver.

#16. Squee, the Immortal

Squee, the Immortal

Squee, the Immortal’s primary ability may not seem especially good at first, but the fact that you can cast it from the graveyard makes it bypass the commander tax rule. You can abuse it and perform infinite combos with it involving cards like Hazoret's Monument + Runaway Steam-Kin + Skirk Prospector to create infinite looting and draw triggers.

#15. The Space Family Goblinson

The Space Family Goblinson

I’ve never been a fan of dice mechanics, and what The Space Family Goblinson offers isn’t very strong. If you want to go for it, there are cards like Delina, Wild Mage that, when paired with Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, can create infinite tapped tokens

#14. Toggo, Goblin Weaponsmith

Toggo, Goblin Weaponsmith

I love the flavor of Toggo, Goblin Weaponsmith, and if you pair it with a green one like Kodama of the East Tree, you can access combos like infinite landfall triggers and infinite Rock tokens if you play a Gruul Turf.

#13. Tuktuk the Explorer

Tuktuk the Explorer

Flameshadow Conjuring and Feldon of the Third Path are Tuktuk the Explorer-favorite cards to run in those decks, but others like Goblin Bombardment also perform very well if all you want to have is a 5/5 on turn 3.

#12. Vial Smasher the Fierce

Vial Smasher the Fierce

Vial Smasher the Fierce’s ability is nothing from the otherworld, but since you can pair it with other commanders, you then can have access to a wider color pool. You can access extra colors like blue, which then can lead you to powerful Grixis combos involving Demonic Consultation + Thassa's Oracle among others.

#11. Zo-Zu the Punisher

Zo-Zu the Punisher

Zo-Zu the Punisher can be a problem in a stax shell, but the combo that leaves you with without friends involves 12 mana and Worldfire. After that, you can figure out the rest.

#10. Muxus, Goblin Grandee

Muxus, Goblin Grandee

Muxus, Goblin Grandee Commander decks are mostly creature-based ones that focus on maximizing the value of Muxus's ability to put many goblin creatures into play from your library. These decks typically include a large number of low-cost goblin creatures to help quickly build a board presence and cards that can generate additional goblins, like Krenko, Mob Boss.

But the MVP for these decks is without a doubt Goblin Recruiter because it can enable infinite combos along with Muxus, Goblin Grandee. The main idea is to generate a pile that looks as follows from top to bottom: Conspicuous Snoop, Torch Courier, Skirk Prospector, three of any goblins, Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, and Mogg Fanatic. After that, cast your commander.

With Conspicuous Snoop in play and Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker on top, you can start creating infinite Conspicuous Snoop copies that can be later sacrificed to cast Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and kill the entire table with Mogg Fanatic’s ability. Of course, all of these require preparation, but it's just a sample of what this Commander can do.

#9. Shattergang Brothers

Shattergang Brothers

The main strategy of a Shattergang Brothers deck is to control the board by constantly sacrificing permanents to trigger the Brothers's ability. These decks often include cards that generate tokens like Goblin Instigator and Siege-Gang Commander to provide a steady stream of creatures to sacrifice.

You can also pair this with cards like Rancor to have a recursive way of deal with enchantment decks, Hammer of Purphoros as a way to create a creature with three different subtypes, and the Perilous Forays + Bloodghast combo to ramp you ahead in the game for a deck that is very mana intensive.

#8. Mizzix of the Izmagnus

Mizzix of the Izmagnus

This commander encourages a spell slinger strategy, where you cast a multitude of instants and sorceries to take control of the battlefield and overwhelm your opponents. Of course, this translates to yet another combo commander.

The primary strategy of Mizzix of the Izmagnus commander decks is to accumulate experience counters and then cast many cheap instant and sorcery spells to gain advantage and disrupt opponents' plans. These decks typically include a high density of instants and sorceries that draw cards, counterspells, token makers, and deal damage spells that provide additional forms of control. Additionally, the deck often includes cards that interact with experience counters, like proliferate effects, to increase Mizzix's ability to reduce spell costs quickly.

From there, it's just a matter of choosing which spells you want to run based on the combos you want to pull off. If you pair your commander with Reiterate and Frantic Search, you can end up with infinite loots, draw triggers, and near infinite mana. If you want the real deal, just replace Frantic Search with Turnabout . Because of this, Mizzix decks are often perceived as a threat at the table due to their explosive potential, which can draw attention from opponents and make you a target for early elimination.

#7. Wort, the Raidmother

Wort, the Raidmother

I haven’t met a tribe that has more combos than goblin does. I’m mentioning this because Wort, the Raidmother is another combo commander that can be built around. This one focuses on casting big, explosive spells and generating large amounts of mana to cast storm spells like Empty the Warrens or Chatterstorm to finish up the game. The deck can also make use of cards with “buyback,” like Reiterate, which can be cast repeatedly to generate even more value.

Some of the most popular combos of this goblin commander are: Mana Geyser + Reiterate for infinite mana and storm count, Brass's Bounty + Reiterate for infinite treasure tokens and, of course, infinite creature tokens with Wort, the Raidmother + Storm-Kiln Artist + Chatterstorm + Bala Ged Recovery + Regrowth.

#6. Wort, Boggart Auntie

Wort, Boggart Auntie

With Wort, Boggart Auntie, we’re back to the tribal goblin decks, stepping a bit outside of the combo realm. I say a bit because while the commander itself doesn't have many combo payoffs, its main appeal is that it has access to black, the color with the best cheap tutors in the game like Vampiric Tutor and Demonic Tutor.

On top of that, you can build a pseudo reanimator deck with cards like Entomb and Animate Dead, and speaking of that, do you remember that I said this was the less combo-oriented goblin commander? That’s technically true, but by implementing the cards and strategies I mentioned above along with a tribal goblin theme, you can end up with similar interactions of the other commanders. If you don’t want to use Grenzo, Dungeon Warden and play more of a “fair” commander game, Wort, Boggart Auntie is your choice.

#5. Grumgully, the Generous

Grumgully, the Generous

Geez, another combo commander. It doesn't seem like that at first, though. If you read it, it looks like just a commander that likes to pump creatures and that can go and attack your opponents left and right.

But Grumgully, the Generous works great with creatures with persist because they return to the battlefield with a -1/-1 counter on them when they die, nullifying the +1+1 counter given by the commander. The base combo involves Aerie Ouphes + Grumgully, the Generous and a sac outlet. From there, depending on the sac outlet you use you can have different effects.

Infinite damage: Goblin Bombardment; infinite mill: Altar of Dementia; infinite mana: Ashnod's Altar. And the list goes on.

#4. Krenko, Mob Boss

Krenko, Mob Boss

Its ability to generate a large number of goblins quickly and overwhelm opponents with sheer numbers is what makes Krenko, Mob Boss one of the best goblin tribal commanders around. It can be a very aggressive deck, dealing a lot of damage in the early turns of the game. But the weakness of this strategy is its vulnerability to board wipes and removal spells.

Since the deck relies heavily on having many creatures on the battlefield, any spell that can remove lots of creatures can be devastating. Additionally, the deck can struggle against decks with many removal spells because keeping a large army of goblins alive can take time and effort. Goblin Chirurgeon, Coat of Arms, Skullclamp, and Impact Tremors are some cards that are commonly seen in Krenko, Mob Boss Commander decks.

#3. Grenzo, Dungeon Warden

Grenzo, Dungeon Warden

Grenzo, Dungeon Warden is one of the most powerful goblin commanders, but not for the reasons you might think by first reading its abilities. While it's true that it can shine in creature decks or even tribal goblin commander decks, the reality is that it's often used to pull off the craziest combos you can think of.

One of the most popular ones is to cast Doomsday quickly once Grenzo is in play to win the game. This is done by casting Doomsday for , leaving two mana available. The pile is made from top to bottom, with Dark Ritual, Zealous Conscripts, Goblin Sledder, Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, and Priest of Gix.

After casting Doomsday, Grenzo is activated using two mana to bring in Priest of Gix, acquiring . Grenzo is then activated again to bring in Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, who makes a copy of Priest of Gix, pooling . Another two mana is used to bring in Goblin Sledder, sacrificing it to add +1/+1 to Grenzo, leaving pooled.

Finally, Grenzo is activated again to bring in Zealous Conscripts, who takes control of Kiki-Jiki and untap it. Kiki-Jiki then goes infinite with Zealous Conscripts, creating infinite tokens with haste that can attack and win the game. Easy right?

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re creative, you can alternate win conditions to use cards like Metallic Mimic for infinite damage, EPITAPH GOLEM + ____ GOBLIN for infinite mana, and many more.

#2. Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker

Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker

Yup, the embodiment of combo itself, Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker is also a goblin legendary creature, enough for it to be on the list as an actual commander despite being mandatory in every other deck I’ve mentioned. It’s often referred to as a “Kiki combo commander” and is best known for its ability to create infinite copies of creatures. The deck typically includes a mix of creatures that synergize with Kiki-Jiki's ability and support cards that enable the combo and provide protection or card advantage.

The bad news is that there aren’t many ways to protect this goblin in red and it costs five mana, making it somewhat expensive to cast. Still, despite this minor setback and given its infinite potential, it's often seen as one of the “must-kill” targets across commander boards.

#1. Zada, Hedron Grinder

Zada, Hedron Grinder

This chaotic commander has the ability to copy spells for each creature you control. As a result, the deck typically includes a mix of cheap creatures that can generate token copies of themselves along with spells that target creatures and trigger powerful effects when copied.

One of the strengths of a Zada, Hedron Grinder is its ability to generate a huge amount of card advantage and board presence with a single spell. This can catch opponents off-guard and lead to overwhelming attacks or powerful combo turns.

The commander can also be highly flexible, adapting to different game states and taking advantage of the creatures and spells available on the board. From infinite tokens to one-turn kills, Zada can do anything, and you know the best part? It's cheap. I’ve seen cEDH decks around it for as little as $25. And did I mention it’s not banned in Pauper commander?

Best Goblin Commander Payoffs

Purphoros, God of the Forge

While not a goblin itself, Purphoros, God of the Forge is a mighty god that damages opponents whenever a creature enters the battlefield under your control. Being indestructible is huge because it's a potent threat that can terrorize the whole table with its single presence, mainly if run in decks that use Zada, Hedron Grinder or use Krenko, Mob Boss to create multiple tokens a turn.

Skirk Prospector

Skirk Prospector is a goblin that allows you to sacrifice goblins to generate mana. This can be used to ramp or enable combos that require sacrificing goblins for various effects, most of them being infinite.

Goblin Matron and Goblin Recruiter are tutors that allow you to search your deck for specific goblin cards and put them in your hand or on top of your library. They provide essential card selection and can help you assemble your goblin combo pieces.

Goblin Chieftain and Goblin Warchief provide haste and additional bonuses to your Goblin creatures, like +1/+1 or cost reduction. They can greatly accelerate your goblin deck's game plan, allowing you to attack or combo off more quickly.

Goblin Lackey

Goblin Lackey is a cheap creature that can cheat goblins into play from your hand whenever it deals combat damage to a player. This can lead to rapid and unexpected board presence because you can put multiple goblins into play for just one attack.

Are Goblins Good in Commander?

Short answer, yes! If you still don’t believe me, mention any of these goblin commander decks to your commander group, and I’m sure that they’ll dislike playing against any except for maybe Shattergang Brothers because it's the only one that doesn't enable infinite or oppressive combos.

How Much Mana Do You Need for a Goblin Deck?

Regardless of your chosen commander, you a considerable amount of mana to sustain any of these legendary goblins because each one is a combo enabler. Those kinds of cards require lots of resources to take over games in a single turn, and one of the most valuable ones is mana.

I’d go from 35 to 40 lands and add a bunch of the best power mana artifacts enablers like Sol Ring or Mana Crypt to boost your chances of going off early with your combos.

How Many Creatures Do You Need in a Goblin Commander Deck?

There’s no fixed number on how many creatures a goblin commander deck has, and after seeing the ones on this list already, you may have already guessed that some like Zada, Hedron Grinder, or Mizzix of the Izmagnus may run very few ones.

A tribal deck in Commander typically contains between 25-35 creatures. That said, it depends on the number of roles creatures fill in your deck. Since goblins do pretty much everything as they are one of the most famous tribes in magic since forever, I think close to 30 to 40 creatures is acceptable.

Commanding Conclusion

Grenzo, Dungeon Warden - Illustration by Lucas Graciano

Grenzo, Dungeon Warden | Illustration by Lucas Graciano

And there you have it, folks! The top legendary goblin commanders in Magic. From the explosive combo potential of Krenko, Mob Boss to the sneaky and strategic tricks of Zada, Hedron Grinder, these commanders offer unique and thrilling gameplay experiences for goblin fans.

All these commanders surely bring a smile to your face as you plot and scheme your way to victory. What do you think? Did you love the list? Let me know in the comments below, or over in Draftsim's official Discord.

As always, take care, and I'll catch you in the next one!

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