Food Token (Commander 2021) - Illustration by Steve Prescott

Food (Commander 2021) | Illustration by Steve Prescott

“Resource tokens” have been a recent trend in Magic, and Food was one of the first. Food and others resources like Clues and Powerstones have been used as mechanical game pieces and as a method to enhance the flavor (no pun intended) of some cards. Food has proved popular, and it’s shown up in a number of sets over the last few years.

There are some quirks with how Food tokens work, so let’s take a bite (pun intended) into their history and rules!

What Is a Food Token in MTG?

Savvy Hunter - Illustration by Dan Dos Santos

Savvy Hunter | Illustration Dan Dos Santos

Food tokens are tokens with the artifact subtype of “food” in MTG. They have the text “pay 2 mana, tap and sacrifice. Gain 3 life.” It’s probably worth noting that although most of the time you see Food, it’s not just restricted to the tokens!

How Do Food Tokens Work?


Food tokens allow you to pay two mana, tap it, and sac it to gain three life. They can be created by a variety of cards, and they can be used as resources for other cards and effects like sacrificing to Cauldron Familiar to bring it back from the graveyard.

“Food” is an artifact subtype and isn’t just limited to tokens, but this is where you’ll find it most often. If a permanent is an artifact then there’s no reason why it can’t also be food. So far we’ve had one food card that doesn’t cost two to sac and gain three life, and that’s Vegetation Abomination from Unfinity.

The History of Food in MTG

Food first appeared in Throne of Eldraine in 2019 on 27 cards in that set. While it’s not evergreen, MaRo noted in a recent article that it’s now considered “deciduous,” so it can occasionally appear in sets without being a large feature of the set. Since then we’ve seen food in Modern Horizons 2 and occasionally elsewhere, like in Commander decks and Unfinity.

When Can You Sacrifice a Food Token?

There are no time restrictions on when you can sacrifice a Food token. Unless something else says otherwise, you can sacrifice a token at any time you could cast an instant.

Are Food Tokens Permanents?

Yes, Food tokens are artifact permanents.

Is Food an Artifact?

Yes. So far all instances of food in MTG have been artifacts. Food is an artifact subtype, so it can only appear on artifacts.

Can Food Be a Creature Type?

No, food can only be a subtype of artifacts. Sometimes creatures can have the subtype of food, like Gingerbrute, but they’re also artifacts. The subtype applies to the artifact part of its typing, not the creature part, so food isn’t a creature type.

It’s a similar situation that applies to the shrine subtype for enchantments that exists for the Neon Dynasty shrines, like Go-Shintai of Life's Origin.

What Are the Ways to Get Food Tokens?

A lot of cards can create Food tokens. Some of the better examples are Oko, Thief of Crowns, Witch's Cauldron, and Gilded Goose. Some cards, like Gingerbrute and Golden Egg, are food themselves, which can be useful in some instances.

There are plenty of ways to make Food, and more are being printed in pretty much every set!

Gallery and List of Food Cards

Academy Manufactor
Bake into a Pie
Bartered Cow
Bog Naughty
Cauldron Familiar
Concession Stand
Curious Pair
Fae Offering
Feasting Troll King
Fell the Pheasant
Fierce Witchstalker
Foreboding Fruit
Fortifying Provisions
Giant Mana Cake
Giant Opportunity
Giant's Skewer
Gift Shop
Gilded Goose
Gingerbread Cabin
Gluttonous Troll
Gyome, Master Chef
Hinterland Chef
Icing Manipulator
Insatiable Appetite
Killer Service
Late to Dinner
Maraleaf Rider
Oko, Thief of Crowns
Orchard Strider
Oyaminartok, Polar Werebear
Questionable Cuisine
Savvy Hunter
Scavenger Hunt
Taste of Death
Tempting Witch
The Underworld Cookbook
Tireless Provisioner
Trail of Crumbs
Turn into a Pumpkin
Wicked Wolf
Witch's Oven
Wolf's Quarry

Best Food Cards

Oko, Thief of Crowns

You can’t really talk about Food in MTG without at least mentioning one of the most powerful cards ever printed, Oko, Thief of Crowns. This card could make anything into an elk, but it could also generate Food tokens.

Apparently the original design for Oko involved its main power swapping Food tokens for your opponent’s stuff, but a late change in its abilities broke multiple formats wide open instead!

Other notable Food cards are the cat/Oven combo with Cauldron Familiar and Witch's Oven. These were enough to see a ban in Standard (though not strictly due to power level) and still see play in Pioneer.

In Modern, the newer additions of The Underworld Cookbook, Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar, and Academy Manufactor make the Esper () Food deck tick.

Decklist: Esper Food in Modern

Ovalchase Daredevil - Illustration by Winona Nelson

Ovalchase Daredevil | Illustration by Winona Nelson

This deck by Aspiring Spike was particularly popular when Yorion, Sky Nomad was legal in Modern. Despite the ban last year it’s still a popular and powerful deck, allowing you to go infinite without much difficulty.

Just make five artifact tokens a turn with some combination of The Underworld Cookbook and Academy Manufactor, and you can use Time Sieve to take infinite turns!

Final Bite

Turn into a Pumpkin - Illustration by Vincent Proce

Turn into a Pumpkin | Illustration by Vincent Proce

These extra resource tokens like Food, Blood, and Treasure are proving popular in both Limited and Constructed formats, so I definitely expect to see Food pop up again fairly regularly. It seems like there’s still plenty of design space available with Food, and it’s a handy resource that can be used for anything.

What do you think? Do you enjoy Food’s flavor? Do you have any ideas how it could be used in the future, or do you think it’s already overused? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below or over in the official Draftsim Discord.

Until next time, may your Food be the tastiest!

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