Last updated on December 7, 2023
Talrand, Sky Summoner | Illustration by Svetlin Velinov
Tokens are created in every color in Magic, but what those tokens are and how they’re created changes in the different parts of the color pie. Blue tends to make smaller creatures in its tokens, and it often seem incidental to the overall effect of the spell.
There’s often a lot of value you can get from blue tokens and plenty of ways to abuse them in this, much feared, color.
Let’s jump into the cards!
What Are Blue Token Generators in MTG?
Crush Dissent | Illustration by Mike Bierek
Any blue card that creates tokens is in consideration for this list. While the Naya colors () are possibly the best for creating tokens, blue has its own standout token generators. Generally tied with other things that blue does well, like drawing cards, countering spells, and generally accruing value, the tokens that blue cards create can often seem incidental to the main effects that are going on. However, as with a lot of things in Magic, a small bonus on an already powerful spell can move things quite quickly from good to broken.
Any decent list needs a good honorable mention, and luckily we have a great one here in Thopter Pie Network. Created for the Holiday promos that WotC releases in limited quantities each year, this card is really just meant to be a bit of fun and isn’t legal in any official format. That’s probably for the best, because if you’re using food to represent your tokens you could quite quickly get yourself into a bit of a sticky situation!
#39. Abstruse Interference
While not technically blue due to devoid, Abstruse Interference still has a blue color identity for formats like Commander. This is a pretty nice way to build a little ramp into your blue decks, and you can find a way to make use of the token over and above its headline rate. Not being a hard counter does hurt here, but it’s a very blue card that makes a pretty interesting token.
#38. Alirios, Enraptured
If nothing else, the flavor of Alirios, Enraptured is absolutely on point. Paying homage to the Greek myth of Narcissus (from which we get the word narcissism), Alirios provides some pretty good value in Limited formats. The trick here is finding a way to blink the main card to create extra tokens. While not the biggest on value, it’s worth a note just for the spot-on design.
#37. Aquatic Incursion
A 4-mana 1/1 hexproof creature isn’t really anything to write home about. However, that’s not all that Aquatic Incursion does. Late game you could make two or even more of your merfolk unblockabe, allowing you to swing for the win. Yes, this is the typal deck of making things unblockable through islandwalk and Spreading Seas, but sometimes you need a little redundancy. Not the best merfolk card, but still a notable card that does something a little unusual.
Throwing cards away to make a 1/1 flier likely isn’t something you want to do, but Cloudseeder can turn your flood into a way to close out the game. Even better if you can use the “downside” to gain advantage through a mechanic like madness. It’s still not going to break the game, but it’s a card that could find its way into a sweet brew or earn its keep in a budget deck.
#35. Crush Dissent
A year ago Crush Dissent probably wouldn’t have made this list, but with the return of amass, it’s probably worth noting it exists. It’s an expensive counterspell, especially as it’s conditional, but it does create a 2/2 as it counters, which is notable. If we see more amass-matters cards, this has this has the potential to shoot up in playability, although it’s still unlikely to smash top 8s anytime.
#34. Deeproot Waters
What’s more blue than merfolk? Well, drawing cards, I guess. This is a sweet way to get even more value out of your merfolk, though. Most merfolk are already pretty small, so bonus 1/1s is bigger than it sounds for this theme that relies on lord effects. The hexproof is pretty great, too, and if you can make a bunch of extra rectangles for your side of the battlefield with this, you’re really laughing.
#33. Flip the Switch
The difference between Flip the Switch and the other counters we’ve seen so far is that making your opponent pay 4 is much more than making them pay 1 or 2. This is actually seeing play in Pioneer Indomitable Creativity, as you can make really good use of the token in that deck. While it may seem like any other draft chaff, this does see some play.
#32. Sweep the Skies
One of the interesting designs from Modern Horizons 2 (yes, it wasn’t all just game breaking cards), Sweep the Skies is, at its best, a 6-mana spell to create five Thopters. If, however, you can make the most of the creature or token ETBs, you’re laughing here. This doesn’t go in just any blue deck, or just any blue token deck, but it can be useful in some cool edge cases.
I’m not going to lie, Floodhound is this far up the list partly just because it’s a clear reference to Blue’s Clues. That said, a 1-drop 1/2 that can repeatedly investigate is pretty sweet, even if it’s still a little below rate. I wouldn’t use this to create generic tokens in a deck, but I’d probably play it in a clues-matters deck. A+ flavor, B for the playability.
#30. Feywild Visitor
Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate brought a spin on the partner mechanic, where instead of another legendary creature, you could choose to give selected creatures a background, which gives your commander an extra ability.
This seems super powerful, but you’ve got to remember that it only affects the commanders you control. If this said whenever any creature you control deals combat damage it would be super silly. Still, repeatedly creating evasive creatures is never worth ignoring.
#29. Hard Evidence
What’s better than creating a useful token for a single mana? Creating two of them, of course! Hard Evidence is super above rate for a common. Feeling like blue’s answer to Thraben Inspector, you’re getting a body and some card draw for a single mana. Being attached to a sorcery instead of a creature just helps matters here for blue, where you often care about non-permanents.
#28. Drake Haven
Drake Haven is a sweet card, and showing up this early in the list just shows what we’ve got in store. In the right deck, you’re already wanting to cycle or discard cards, and this allows you to repeatedly create one mana 2/2 fliers, which is a good rate no matter which format you’re playing. Definitely needs a deck to go around it, but there’s a lot of power here if you can make the most of it.
#27. Echo Storm
One of blue’s more unique ways of creating tokens is through Clone effects. Echo Storm is a pretty unique way of making a lot of clones. The limit here is that it can only clone artifacts, but in the right deck it can be a super powerful effect. I’d love to clone something like Gonti's Aether Heart with this and just go off with extra turns.
#26. Efficient Construction
Artifact decks are known for going off in a very storm-like way. Efficient Construction is one of the cards that squeezes extra value from your already-good cards and makes you really go off. I lost a Commander Masters draft to a deck that managed to land three of these, and the army of annoying little fliers just couldn’t be dealt with, no matter how many sweepers I packed in!
#25. Ethereal Investigator
Drawing cards is exactly what blue wants to do. Ethereal Investigator definitely allows you to do that, and if you can manage to blink it does it super well. This is such a nice design on a spirit. Very Shadows over Innistrad, with spirits and investigating, but brought up to a more modern rate. Another card that isn’t going to break the game, but it’ll provide some good value regardless.
#24. Etherium Spinner
Another of the sweet token matters cards from Modern Horizons 2 (Simic () was all about tokens in that set). Etherium Spinner gives you extra value from your big spells. Where I want to see this played is in convoke decks. More bodies for more fatties is exactly what a deck like that wants. Sweet, niche, inclusion.
#23. Faerie Formation
Faerie Formation is a really interesting card. If a complete novice sees it, it looks like a big flying beater with upside. Then, as you learn more you might think that the activated ability is a bit expensive for a 1/1 and a card. However, I think it then goes up a bit as it does a bit of everything and overall the rate isn’t bad. I’m surprised this doesn’t see more play, but in a deck where you want to leave your mana up it’s a nice backup ability.
#22. Lullmage Mentor
Blue mages just love countering spells. Lullmage Mentor not only pays you off for countering your opponent’s spells, but it also allows you to counter even more with its own ability. Enabler and payoff rolled into one, you have a big ol’ ball of value that’s sweet in blue-based control decks.
#21. Aether Channeler
Aether Channeler feels like a very blue FIREdesign card, but one that balances the playable-broken line well. It provides whatever value you need at any given time, but not too much. Having a repeatable blink effect makes this silly, but it’s far from busted on its own. Sweet inclusion in an ETB deck, it’s right on the knife edge of playable and busted that you can’t help but smile when you see and play it.
#20. Access Denied
Access Denied is a sweet riff on Mana Drain. Instead of making mana (and costing 2 mana, of course!), you instead create Thopters equal to the mana value of the spell you’re countering. Great when countering something big, but less so when it’s not countering anything massive, it’s still a nice callback with a lot of potential power.
#19. Astral Dragon
One of the more fun Clone effects, Astral Dragon makes multiple copies of your best non-creatures. This can easily be a win the game on the spot card, and it wants to be for 8 mana. On top of all this other value, you’re also getting a 4/4 flier to boot. Not only that, but it’s an ETB ability so you can really abuse it in a blink/flicker deck. If your opponent plays this, you want to take note of what else they’re playing. It could be a real problem.
#18. Day of the Dragons
Day of the Dragons is such a splashy card, and one which can wreak absolute havoc. This can do two things really well: either turning all your 1/1 tokens into 5/5 dragons, or giving all of your creatures extra ETB triggers when you get rid of Day of Dragons. Either way, if this is what you’re wanting to do, it’s powerful. If you have a way to give your creatures haste en masse, it can absolutely win the game out of nowhere.
#17. Alrund’s Epiphany
We’ve seen things like counterspells with tokens tacked onto them, but Alrund's Epiphany is the first extra turn spell we’ve seen with the bonus tokens. This card created headaches for so many players when it was in Standard, and eventually earned a ban. It still sees some play in older formats, as when you can cast this turn after turn, those little birds can soon end the game!
#16. Alandra, Sky Dreamer
A Jumpstart inclusion now with Alandra, Sky Dreamer, you can get 2/2 fliers that are completely free, and if you can draw more than five cards in a turn you can buff those tokens to be real threats. If only this were in a color that cared about drawing cards, eh?
#15. An Offer You Can’t Refuse
It might seem like the last thing you want to do is to give your opponent free mana, but An Offer You Can't Refuse does exactly that. Where this sees more play is in decks that want to cast free spells for extra value, particularly Song of Creation. Sometimes you just want to cast a 0-mana spell for the sake of casting a spell, and getting extra mana along the way helps you keep going with your combo. On top of that, an extra “mode” is to keep your opponent going off on their own for a single mana? It’s got potential.
#14. Jace, Cunning Castaway
Sometimes known as Pirate Jace, or even Sexy Jace, Jace, Cunning Castaway has the sweet ability where it can create copies of itself. If you can somehow make a situation where you can make those copies come down with extra loyalty counters (hello, Doubling Season) this can easily swamp the board with copies of itself, then winning is a bit of a triviality. Ixalan was potentially Jace’s best storyline, and although this is far from his best card, it’s certainly unique.
#13. Chrome Host Seedshark
One of the monster rares that you didn’t want to see your opponent have in March of the Machine Limited, Chrome Host Seedshark is just itching to be broken in Constructed formats. It creates so much value, similar to its inspiration, Shark Typhoon, but at 3 mana it’s much easier to cast, even if you need to pump mana into the tokens it creates.
#12. Mesmerizing Benthid
Mesmerizing Benthid makes a lot of board presence when it comes down and can slow your opponents down, too. Itching to be abused, you’re unlikely to be beaten on the ground the turn after this comes down. It doesn’t help you win the game, but it can help you not lose while your other cards win it for you.
#11. Metallurgic Summonings
Brewers have been trying to break Metallurgic Summonings since it was first printed. It saw some play in Standard in fringe decks, but spellslingers love to get extra value out of their cantrips and burn spells. Not only that, you can cash it in to get even more value from your spells. While this may now never see much more play in a post-FIRE era, if you care about instants/sorceries and artifacts, you may well want to include this in your deck.
#10. Mirrodin Besieged
Mirrodin Besieged is a pretty efficient token generator, but it can also win you the game. Unfortunately, it doesn’t allow you to do both at the same time! If you choose Mirran it creates tokens, but if you choose Phyrexian you can take your opponents out. However, if you see this as a modal spell it shoots up in value. You want to use it for the second mode, but the first is also good if you’re building your combo up.
#9. Murmuring Mystic
Another of the spells that creates bodies for doing blue things, the fliers that Murmuring Mystic makes can stealthily run away with the game. Usually played in a slower deck that wants to wait before it “goes off”, the 1/5 body is also pretty annoying. Such a blue card, doing blue things, there’s no wonder this has seen a good number of flavorful reprints.
#8. Mirrorhall Mimic
Mirrorhall Mimic is a pretty basic clone on its front side. However, if you can manage to disturb it, it gets a whole lot more interesting. Whatever you enchant with the back side, you get a copy of in each of your turns. As long as you can protect the enchanted creature you can keep getting these copies. Any time you manage to untap more than once with it just gets silly. Yes, there’s a lot of ifs there, but the potential is also there.
#7. Mist-Syndicate Naga
Mist-Syndicate Naga is a ninjutsu card that can really go silly if you allow it. When you first ninjitsu it in, it gets you some nice value with its copy, but if you can then make an empty defensive board the next turn you get another two tokens. Then four. Then eight. You see where this is going.
Solid card in the right shell, this isn’t one that you want to let hit you, or one of the other players in your pod, either.
#6. Moonblade Shinobi
In a ninjutsu deck you need two things. First, ninjutsu creatures, otherwise what are you doing? Second you need evasive creatures so you can activate your ninjutsu abilities. Moonblade Shinobi ticks both of those boxes at once. The tokens it creates when it deals combat damage are the perfect things you need to get your other ninjas in, and it’s easy to start running away with things if you hit your opponents a couple of times with this one. Annoying, powerful, and synergistic. Don’t leave it out of your ninja decks.
#5. Mu Yanling, Sky Dancer
Mu Yanling, Sky Dancer is an unusual design for a planeswalker. Usually, if it can create a creature token it can do so right away. This one needs to wait a turn, but once you get going it’s going to be difficult to beat. Three mana for a 4/4 flier is a good rate, but you need to survive. Playing this is going to test your tempo skills, but if you get it right, you’ll be paid off and then some!
#4. Spawning Kraken
Most of the cards we’ve seen so far that create creature tokens make small things, either 1/1s, or if you’re lucky, 2/2 fliers. Spawning Kraken creates 9/9s. Blue isn’t known for its beaters, but if it gets one it’s usually a leviathan or some other underwater monster. Kraken triggers off pretty much any version of these ocean based giants, and it creates more for your trouble. An unusual blue win-con and value piece.
#3. Tezzeret, Artifice Master
Yes, ok, Tezzeret, Artifice Master isn’t really about creating tokens. It still is a good card that happens to create them, though! It’s a blue card through and through, though. Draws cards, makes fliers and provides a lot of value on ultimate. Yeah, it’s not exciting. It does do things, though.
#2. Sai, Master Thopterist
I know multiple people who have Sai, Master Thopterist as their pet card. It’s not hard to see why because it provides so much value for players who are inclined that way. More of a Constructed card than an EDH one, you can create some truly amazing turns with just a few cheap artifacts. Sai is a sweet card that can just do silly things in the right shell.
#1. Talrand, Sky Summoner
2/2 fliers are pretty useful if you can create a lot of them. Talrand, Sky Summoner can certainly do that! When you’re storming off you can create an army on the side with this one, and all you need to do is attack to take the W. Four mana to do all of this isn’t too bad either, and the evasion on the 2/2s isn’t to be sniffed at either. The fight for the top spot has been a tight one, but I think this card just about pips the lead.
Best Blue Token Generator Payoffs
I’ve already mentioned that Modern Horizons 2 came with a pretty strong token theme in Simic. It came with some pretty nice token payoffs too. Junk Winder becomes super cheap and can keep you alive by tapping down your opponents’ stuff.
Sai, Master Thopterist | Illustration by Adam Paquette
Blue clearly has a lot of good ways to make tokens, despite not being “the color” for tokens. In particular, Modern Horizons 2 brought some really interesting designs and showed us some of the design space available for blue to create tokens.
Are there any pet blue token generators that I’ve missed from the list? There are certainly a lot out there. Let me know your thoughts in the comments down below, or over on Draftsim’s Discord.
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