The Scoop: Casual Contemplation – Grenzo In His Element

I understand the divide between competitive and casual Magic players. I mean, let’s start with the fact that “casual” is a very subjective term. There are a lot of people that would look at some of my decks and say, “that’s casual to you?” and others that would say, “what’s the point of this deck when I can destroy it with 8 of my competitive modern decks?” I can’t argue either of those points other than to say that my main goal with Magic is to have fun. If I’m not having fun, what’s the point of playing the game? And the format that is the most fun to me, because it sets aside many limitations, is Casual Modern.

For example, this deck below wouldn’t be possible outside of Casual because the card it is based around is not legal in the traditional Modern format. But, because the deck isn’t broken, I have no issue with it in a session of Casual Modern, where its shenanigans offer the possibility of a good time.

So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at Grenzo, Havoc Raiser and some fun it can have with Trampling Elementals at its disposal.

Grenzo is designed for a horde of goblins, but I find it easier to strike a player with lots of tramply dudes.


  • Creatures
    • Grenzo, Havoc Raiser x4
    • Ball Lightning x3
    • Rakka Mar x3
    • Stigma Lasher x1
    • Incandescent Soulstoke x2
    • Nova Chaser x1
    • Brighthearth Banneret x3
    • Spark Elemental x3
    • Generator Servant x1
    • Hellspark Elemental x2
    • Scorchwalker x1
    • Flamekin Harbinger x1
  • Instants and Sorceries
    • Mizzium Mortars x4
  •  Enchantments
    • Warstorm Surge x4
  •  Planeswalkers
    • Chandra, Flamecaller x1
  •  Artifacts
    • Sundial of the Infinite x2
  •  Lands
    • Mountain x24
  • Sideboard (Removing Grenzo)
    • Sundial of the Infinite x2
    • Chandra, Flamecaller x1
    • Nova Chaser x1
    • Generator Servant x3
    • Flamekin Harbinger x1
    • Rakka Mar x1
    • Incandescent SoulStoke x2
    • Ball Lightning x2
    • Stigma Lasher x1
    • Spark Elemental x1

This deck isn’t going to blow your mind because it’s incredibly simple in design. It’s all about getting Grenzo out and letting the natural aggro of the Elementals do their part. While the deck functions perfectly fine without Grenzo (hence the sideboard that can easily replace him), he adds an extra element (no pun intended) that makes each game different because of his interaction with opponents’ decks.

Mizzium Mortars was the original removal I used for the deck, but can be replaced with any red removal you’d prefer. I like the “field wipe” ability of Mortars, and I don’t think that the option of player damage provided by other red spells is necessary here because of the nature of the elementals.

Sundial of the Infinite is a fun trick to keep from sacrificing your elementals at the end of your turn. By skipping your end step, you can keep your elementals’ sacking ability from triggering and thereby keeping them present on the field. Elementals are squishy and don’t offer much in the form of blocking outside of being a deterrent, but amassing an elemental army where there would otherwise not be one is always fun.

This card can provide a lot of complex fun for a price friendly to Casual players.

Warstorm Surge is a late game powerhouse in this deck, allowing the ability to deal direct damage with every high-powered elemental that enters the battlefield. Imagine playing Ball Lightning and dealing 6 direct damage to the opponent and then swinging with a 6/1 with Trample thereafter. Or how ’bout dealing direct damage with Stigma Lasher and preventing lifegain for your opponent the rest of the match? This deck isn’t designed for late game play, but should it get there, Warstorm is a nasty addition.

Ideal Scenario

  1. (Mountain) Spark Elemental, swing for 3.
  2. (Mountain) Grenzo Havoc Raiser.
  3. (Mountain) Ball Lightning, swing for 6.
  4. (Mountain) Sundial of the Infinite, Spark Elemental, swing for 3.
  5. (Mountain) Incandescent Soulstoke, Stigma Lasher
  6. (Mountain) Ball Lightning, tap Soulstoke for Nova Chaser on Lasher, swing for 16, tap Sundial to end turn early and keep Ball Lightning and Nova Chaser alive.

This deck has a MAJOR weakness, and that is that it tends to die down right around 15 damage to the opponent. Grenzo can help with that depending on what he pulls from the opponent’s library. Also, Sundial helps by keeping creatures on the field. Sometimes they aren’t enough and the Elementals have to do all the heavy lifting. And sometimes their squishiness and self-sacking aren’t quite enough. But still, this is a fun deck to play, especially if your friends don’t mind the Grenzo inclusion.


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