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BW Tokens Guide

2018/03/31 00:00 

    • Jeremy Dezani
    • Hareruya Pros Blog

Today, I would like to write a piece about Standard. I saw many pro players writing about every kind of Grixis Energy and Blue-Black Midrange and I think you can find very good articles about these decks already. So, I will focus on another archetype where there are fewer content online: Black-White X Tokens.

BW Tokens

Here is the list I reached MOCS Playoff. It is a basic list of the archetype. Because it was my first event with the deck, there are a couple of building mistake inside the list. Explications card by card.

In addition to the 4 《Renegade Map》, you need about 22 / 23 Lands: It depend of your curve and how many expensive spells you put in your deck.

《Evolving Wilds》 and 《Renegade Map》

Evolving WildsRenegade Map

I can’t imagine not playing 4 《Evolving Wilds》and 4 《Renegade Map》.

We need ways to trigger 《Hidden Stockpile》 and 《Fatal Push》 Revolt. 《Forsaken Sanctuary》 would have been better than 《Evolving Wilds》 otherwise. With many 1 and 2 drops, the mana curve of the deck makes 《Evolving Wilds》 decent on turn 3.

《Evolving Wilds》 and 《Renegade Map》 are also decreasing the number of basic lands in your deck for a better late game.

《Shefet Dunes》

Shefet Dunes

If you are running only 2 colors, I don’t see why you would not run 4 《Shefet Dunes》. Card is basically doubling the damage for 1 turn and can finish the game faster. Perfectly designed for the deck.

《Field of Ruin》

Field of Ruin

In Standard, you have a ton of problematic utility lands to deal with:

Deserts: 《Shefet Dunes》, 《Hashep Oasis》, 《Ifnir Deadlands》 or 《Scavenger Grounds》.

Flipped cards : 《Search for Azcanta》, 《Legion's Landing》, 《Azor's Gateway》, 《Treasure Map》, 《Profane Procession》 or 《Arguel's Blood Fast》.

Other land: 《Arch of Orazca》

It is also a way to trigger 《Hidden Stockpile》 and 《Fatal Push》 and fix you mana base.

Basic lands

PlainsSwamp

With 4 《Renegade Map》, 4 《Evolving Wilds》 and 1 《Field of Ruin》, I think you need at least 8 basic lands in your deck. I personally prefer to have an extra one for long games to make sure I am not missing out fetching lands.

《Hidden Stockpile》《Anointed Procession》

Hidden StockpileAnointed Procession

These 2 cards are the most important in the deck. With both into play you will be able to increase your board and scry for good draws every turn. Playing these 2 cards instead of creatures makes opponent removals spell almost irrelevant and gives you a big advantage. The only popular way to interact with enchantments in Grixis colors is 《Commit // Memory》. They do not run enough copies considering the number of target they have to deal with.

What I like very much with these 2 cards, it is that they are working with the rest of the deck independently. The other upside is that these 2 enchantments increase their power when you get multiple copies. When you have a copy in play, you want to draw more.

《Anointer Priest》

Anointer Priest

The body is a great blocker against many early creatures. This is the most degenerate life-gain card in the deck and in Standard in general. It is so easy to snow ball with it that your opponent could concede. Overwise, you should be careful about it on Magic Online, the program doesn’t support it very well and could crash.

Magic Online could crash

Click to enlarge

In many match ups, your opponent is going to sideboard some disruption for your enchantment (《Duress》, 《Negate》, 《Naturalize》 etc…) it decreases the probability to assemble the combo fast. It means that you don’t need 《Anointer Priest》 before it and you should take some out.

《Fatal Push》

Fatal Push

Dealing with small creatures is not a problem for this token deck, some are good even if they don’t attack and you really want to kill them:

Glint-Sleeve SiphonerWinding ConstrictorLegion LieutenantWalking Ballista

Depending on the metagame, I can imagine playing only 3 copies but right now I’m still playing 4.

《Legion's Landing》

Legion's Landing

Many people are playing 4 《Legion's Landing》. I would never do that, don’t misunderstand me, I don’t want to say 《Legion's Landing》 is a bad card. If the first one is all time good, accumulate multiple copies is a way to lose the game. The second copy could trigger 《Hidden Stockpile》 and 《Fatal Push》 Revolt (via legendary rule) in addition of the extra token but this is not enough and it makes the deck weak. For me 2 is the right number.

《Treasure Map》 / 《Arguel's Blood Fast》

Treasure MapArguel's Blood Fast

You need some kind of card advantage in the deck. Abusing life-gain is a reason to play a copy of《Arguel's Blood Fast》 but I like 《Treasure Map》 more in this deck. It is an additional way to trigger your 《Hidden Stockpile》 because of the treasure, doesn’t need black mana to be activated, and give you an additional land after 3 utilisations.

《Thopter Arrest》/《Cast Out》 / 《Ixalan's Binding》

Thopter ArrestCast OutIxalan's Binding

We need way to deal with 《Hazoret the Fervent》, 《The Scarab God》 and 《Rekindling Phoenix》.

《Sunscourge Champion》 / 《Start // Finish》

Sunscourge ChampionStart // Finish

These two cards are a little weak in general and I think you should have a good reason to play it in maindeck. If your metagame is full of Red decks 《Sunscourge Champion》is great. It should at least be played in sideboard.

《Profane Procession》

Profane Procession

The card is very powerful against UBx decks, dealing with 《The Scarab God》 before it comes into play. It is right to play it maindeck if you expect a lot of these decks otherwise just put a copy in sideboard.

《Settle the Wreckage》 / 《Fumigate》

Settle the WreckageFumigate

From my experience mass removal spell are weak and should not be played. 《Ixalan's Binding》 is a better card in many situations. The only match where I would really want 《Fumigate》is Sultai Energy.

《Regal Caracal》

Regal Caracal

After “passing” the turn 4 with 《Anointed Procession》 you should play a spell which has a big impact on the board and 《Regal Caracal》 is a perfect following spell. 《Regal Caracal》 is great against everything but 《The Scarab God》 decks. If your opponent is killing/countering then reanimating it, it is almost over. Note that if you have 2 《Regal Caracal》 in play they give +1/+1 and lifelink to each other.

《Duress》

Duress

It could be played maindeck. It helps against 《Counterspell》 / 《Disenchant》 decks.

BWg Tokens

《Vraska, Relic Seeker》《Forest》

Vraska, Relic SeekerForest

If you are playing green it is mainly for 《Vraska, Relic Seeker》. With 4 《Renegade Map》 and 4 《Evolving Wilds》, you need don’t need to play additional sources. Remember that 《Field of Ruin》 can’t target basic so it is pretty safe.

You remember what I said about 《Regal Caracal》 and 《The Scarab God》? If you are playing 《Vraska, Relic Seeker》 instead you will not have any 《The Scarab God》 problem. It is also a better card in slow match-ups and it is the best card in white mirror match where enchantments like 《Cast Out》 and 《Ixalan's Binding》 abounds.

《Ifnir Deadlands》

Ifnir Deadlands

I saw many players running 《Ifnir Deadlands》, I personally think that 《Swamp》 is better.

《Arch of Orazca》

Arch of Orazca

It is a way to fight a mana flood, but I think that you can make value in other ways. The deck is not accumulating a lot of lands into play and you already have a lot of mana utilisations. The colorless mana could also be very bad for a deck which is playing 4 《Hidden Stockpile》.

《Scavenger Grounds》

Scavenger Grounds

It is a good weapon against graveyard decks like 《God-Pharaoh's Gift》. If it became very popular I can see a copy maindeck in addition of the 4 《Shefet Dunes》 but here again, the colorless mana is a problem.

Esper Tokens

But now, my favorite version of the deck is Esper Tokens.

《Champion of Wits》/《Glacial Fortress》/ 《Drowned Catacomb》/ 《Island》

Champion of WitsGlacial FortressDrowned CatacombIsland

If you are playing blue, its mainly for 《Champion of Wits》. An 《Island》 would have been enough if we only wanted to cast it. We really want to be able to bring 《Champion of Wits》 back and it cost 2 blue mana. Playing 2 《Island》 is the minimum, having a couple of additional sources like 《Glacial Fortress》/《Drowned Catacomb》 make it safer and keeps the number of white and black sources needed.

《Champion of Wits》 is the best card for the deck, it fix many problems:

《Essence Scatter》/《Negate》/《Jace's Defeat》

Essence ScatterNegateJace's Defeat

I personally like 《Essence Scatter》maindeck, it helps pretty well against real problems which cost 4+ mana. I also think that 《Negate》 is better than 《Duress》 in the slow matches.

Focus on Eternalize and Embalm

There is another kind of tokens that you could also try. Playing only blue and white and focus on Eternalize and Embalm cards with the help of 《Vizier of the Anointed》.

Vizier of the Anointed

Conclusion -Tokens Decks Tips-

If you play BWx Tokens Decks, you should be ware about the clock; this kind of deck can make very long games. Also, the deck necessities to focus very well and don’t forget any triggers.

I hope this article gave you motivation to give a try to Tokens in Standard. Anyway, the deck has lot of fun.

Thank you for reading,

Jeremy DEZANI

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