Last updated on December 10, 2023

Dockside Extortionist - Illustration by Lie Setiawan

Dockside Extortionist | Illustration by Lie Setiawan

Token generators in red are truly a treasure trove of some of the coolest token creatures in Magic: dragons. And we've got outlaws and pirates aplenty among those generators, on top of even more dragons. And goblins. I mean, we're in red; of course there are goblins. Goblin commanders, even.

And heap upon heap of treasure: red is the treasury-est color of them all, by ample margin.

So let's jump into this ranking of the best red token generator cards in Magic. As pirates say, the real treasure is the dragons and goblins we'll meet along the way!

What Are Red Token Generators in MTG?

Najeela, the Blade-Blossom | Illustration by Matt Stewart

Najeela, the Blade-Blossom | Illustration by Matt Stewart

Token generators are cards that create one or more tokens. The generated token doesn't need to match the generator's color(s). Plenty of red cards generate Treasures, which are colorless, and Ratcatcher Trainee creates black tokens.

It's also worth noting that the token's color doesn’t affect the generator's color identity in Commander: Ratcatcher Trainee‘s identity is red, even though the tokens are black.

Honorable Mentions: Blood, and Other Tokens

Monstrous Rage Olivia's Attendants

There are more than three hundred token generators in red, and those tokens come in all shapes and sizes. A few add blood tokens to your board to allow rummaging. Wilds of Eldraine has a lot of token auras, called roles, like the one Monstrous Rage produce.

That being said, all the best red token generators can be roughly grouped into:

  • Those that create Treasures,
  • Those that create a copy of a creature you control, usually exiling or sacrificing it at the end of combat or end of turn,
  • Those that spawn 1/1 creature tokens,
  • Those that create some really big dragons.

That's not to say that other types of tokens don't have a role to play or are all bad, but the best of the best in red fall in one of these four categories.

#40. Legion Warboss

Legion Warboss

Let’s start with a good representative of the generators of 1/1 creature tokens, Legion Warboss.

Very common in red EDH decks and capable of making some inroads in Legacy, Legion Warboss helps to widen your board the moment you play it, and then mentor and buff your weenies as soon as it can join the fray.

All in all, this is one of the best red Soldiers in Magic – if your deck has any sort of goblin typal synergies going on, Legion Warboss is definitely a card you want to look into.

#39. Pirate's Pillage

Pirate's Pillage

Next is a solid example of a spell that generates the most common type of tokens on this list: Treasures.

There’s better cards with nearly identical text, but Pirate's Pillage is good enough to make the cut. Any red deck that’s looking for a bit of mana fixing, some rummaging to find more cards, or some discard synergies will be happy to have this sorcery.

#38. Goro-Goro, Disciple of Ryusei

Goro-Goro, Disciple of Ryusei

Goro-Goro, Disciple of Ryusei makes for a somewhat lousy commander but an excellent member of your 99ers, and a great example of the token generators that can create big, mean creature token dragon that your opponents would rather not have to deal with.

By the way, since modified is a bit of a tricky keyword: creatures under your control that have counters (of any type), auras that you control, or equipment (regardless who controls said equipment) count as modified.

#37. Cavern-Hoard Dragon

Cavern-Hoard Dragon

Unlike the previous three cards, which just cost a few cents, this dragon comes with a $13-$15 price tag – but if you expect your opponents to have a handful of artifacts (like a bunch of mana rocks), Cavern-Hoard Dragon is a huge monster that can hit the board early and give you a massive mana boost. If your dragon army needs a stand-in for Ancient Copper Dragon, consider having Cavern-Hoard Dragon around!

#36. Najeela, the Blade-Blossom

Najeela, the Blade-Blossom

Technically speaking, Najeela, the Blade-Blossom is indeed a red card if you go by its casting cost.

If you go by commander identity, though, it’s a 5-colored warrior, and if you have it in your deck you really want to trigger its 5-colored ability since it's one of the top choices for competitive EDH decks.

#35. Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs

Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs

A legendary creature that you really don't want in your command zone but who shines among the rest of your crew, Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs belongs to that pesky category of permanents that, like Rhystic Study or Smothering Tithe, grin at your foes and say, “Pay up… or else.”

Kazuul's ability triggers once for each creature that attacks you. If your foe hurls five creatures at you, they'll have to pay 15 mana if they want to avoid Kazuul creating tokens. And the spawned token(s) may block during that very same combat.

#34. Molten Echoes

Molten Echoes

Molten Echoes provides creates tokens that copy other creatures, although with a rather short life expectancy. Molten Echoes‘s case, the expiration date is beginning of the next end step.

A great fit for creature-heavy typal decks but harder to remove than creatures since it's an enchantment, Molten Echoes keeps the attackers coming and is great in decks that have ways to sacrifice creatures.

By the way, just in case since copying and cloning are sometimes tricky effects: Any enter-the-battlefield effect triggers for the token copy, and Molten Echoes specifically provides haste, so the token won't have summoning sickness. The legend rule still affects the token, though: you can’t have two legendary permanents of the same name, so you’ll have to send one of them to the graveyard.

#33. Jaxis, the Troublemaker

Jaxis, the Troublemaker

Echoing Molten Echoes, Jaxis, the Troublemaker creates similarly short-lived token copies but with a couple of notable differences.

On the one hand, Jaxis's activated ability is a lot more expensive, although some decks can turn it into an advantage if they care for discard synergies.

On the other hand, Jaxis's ability works at instant speed, so you can generate a blocker out of (nearly) thin air. And, of course, you get to draw a card after the token dies.

Also, instead of exiling the creature as Molten Echoes does, Jaxis, the Troublemaker‘s effect sacrifices it during the end step, letting you activate sacrifice payoffs directly.

#32. Siege-Gang Commander

Siege-Gang Commander

Speaking of sacrifices, here’s a nice sacrifice outlet. Siege-Gang Commander is like a Shock-on-a-stick as long as you have enough goblin fodder, which should be a trifle to meet.

This Commander even creates the first three selfless volunteers, but you can sacrifice any goblin, not just the tokens.

(And, no, it can’t be your commander; Siege-Gang Commander is a non-commanding Commander. I mean, goblin chains of command are complicated, that's all I'm saying!)

#31. Ganax, Astral Hunter

Ganax, Astral Hunter

If you want a token-focused commander that's also a dragon, Ganax, Astral Hunter could be a possibility, although it's a lot more popular as one of your 99ers. In the command zone, it tends to partner with Acolyte of Bahamut when leaning towards dragon typal synergies or Feywild Visitor if you're going all-in on tokens.

#30. Delina, Wild Mage

Delina, Wild Mage

Feeling lucky? Delina, Wild Mage is here to dare you cast the die!

Delina's ability works when you attack with it, so you may want to have a Darksteel Plate lying around. Notice that unlike Jaxis, the Troublemaker, you can choose Delina as a target for its own ability. But, nope, you can't create infinite copies that easily: even though the Delina token is attacking, it was never declared as an attacking creature, and therefore the token won't trigger its abilities.

On the other hand, if you keep high-rolling the die, you can spawn a really wide board.

#29. Dragonmaster Outcast

Dragonmaster Outcast

If you find Delina's approach of jumping into the fray a bit too wild, Dragonmaster Outcast can passively put some really big flying lizards in play – only lands are required. And, unlike tokens from Delina or Jaxis, the Troublemaker, these big lizards have no expiration date.

#28. Shiny Impetus

Shiny Impetus

In Shiny Impetus‘s case, the token generation is just an incidental bonus, but rules are rules: this enchantment creates tokens, potentially several of them, and it's a flexible, useful aura (you can buff your own creature if you want, or goad an opponent's) so it makes the cut.

Remember that if you goad an enemy creature, it must attack players other than you if able, giving Shiny Impetus a bit of a political edge in Commander games.

#27. Impulsive Pilferer

Impulsive Pilferer

Ah, this is a fun one: A token that creates more tokens!

Early in the game, Impulsive Pilferer gets on the board and soon dies (perhaps to activate Siege-Gang Commander‘s effect), leaving a Treasure behind.

Thanks to its encore keyword, you can later put one token copy of Impulsive Pilferer attacking each opponent. The token copies again die soon (or automatically sacrifice themselves at the end of the turn), and leave even more Treasures behind.

#26. Captain Lannery Storm

Captain Lannery Storm

Nicknamed “Slippery” by her Ixalan pirate mates for her knack for slipping out of sticky situations, Captain Lannery Storm likes fights and treasure in equal measure.

Note that the card’s second ability triggers when you sacrifice a Treasure for any reason, not just to activate its mana ability.

#25. Atsushi, the Blazing Sky

Atsushi, the Blazing Sky

If we go by token generation alone, Atsushi, the Blazing Sky is just decent for its cost, nothing amazing.

But by providing an elusive threat while it's on the board, and either ramp or refill once it's been dealt with, Atsushi, the Blazing Sky provides a flexible, powerful package that sees quite a bit of play in Standard (including a showing in the recent Magic World Championship at Las Vegas) and a lot of EDH play.

#24. Twinflame

Twinflame

Here’s the sorcery version of an effect along the lines of what Molten Echoes or Jaxis, the Troublemaker provide: a haste'd, short-lived token copy of a creature you control.

Twinflame can provide the effect in multiples if you're willing to pay a premium, although notice that you can't choose the same target more than once for a single Twinflame spell.

#23. Lathliss, Dragon Queen

Lathliss, Dragon Queen

Lathliss, Dragon Queen gives you a mix between the best parts of Dragonmaster Outcast and Molten Echoes: a big, flying token lizard that won't disappear at the end of your turn, and you get one every time you play a dragon.

Lathliss isn’t too popular as a commander, but it’s amazing in dragon decks flying under Sarkhan, Soul Aflame or [/card]Ganax, Astral Hunter[/card]‘s banner.

#22. Magda, Brazen Outlaw

Magda, Brazen Outlaw

Magda, Brazen Outlaw provides the whole package: token generation (the second ability applies to Magda, so it'll create a Treasure when it taps to attack) and a sacrifice outlet for said tokens.

One of the best dwarves in Magic, Magda, Brazen Outlaw is a very competitive red commander for Treasure-focused builds, can command a casual dragon army, and is very popular as 99er in all sorts of decks.

#21. Seize the Spoils

Seize the Spoils

Seize the Spoils is a cheaper Pirate's Pillage, and as every pirate knows, cheaper is better!

You do get one less Treasure, so as far as token generation goes Seize the Spoils isn’t exactly an unending fountain of riches. But the rummaging and hand smoothing with a token on top make this sorcery a great, flexible card.

#20. Loyal Apprentice    

Loyal Apprentice

Loyal Apprentice can knock it out of the park when cosplaying as a gentler Bitterblossom that won't ping you every time it spawns a flying token.

And those tokens have haste, and you can create the first one on the same turn you play Loyal Apprentice, so who's bitterer now, eh?

#19. Brass's Bounty

Brass's Bounty

If your deck is geared for the long game and needs a lot of Treasure tokens as its top end, Brass's Bounty is as straightforward as it gets. Very capable of ending the game alongside one of black's best token generators and payoffs, Revel in Riches.

#18. Xorn

Xorn

Another efficient, straightforward card, Xorn adds a Treasure on top of whatever Treasures you create. Fairly successful in competitive EDH decks under Magda, Brazen Outlaw‘s command.

Just in case: if you control multiple copies of Xorn, you'll create +1 Treasure per copy.

#17. Curse of Opulence

Curse of Opulence

Ah, nothing like painting a target on your opponent's health total!

In multiplayer games, Curse of Opulence can (re)direct the table's attention to whoever you think needs to die first while giving yourself a bit of ramp. And it has a secondary use, regardless of format: You can enchant yourself with this curse, and you'll get a Treasure whenever another player attacks you.

#16. Feldon of the Third Path

Feldon of the Third Path

Feldon of the Third Path is yet another card that provides a short-lived token copy, like Jaxis, the Troublemaker or Twinflame do, but with a necromantic twist: You copy a creature from your graveyard. Feldon pairs great with discard effects like Seize the Spoils, with discard commanders, or artifact-heavy decks (since the copy is an artifact).

Keep in mind that tokens enter the graveyard when they die (they just vanish right afterward), so their death triggers enter-the-graveyard effects.

#15. Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker

Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker

A multi-format star, Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker is Jaxis, the Troublemaker on steroids: its activated ability costs no mana, and since it has haste it can create a token copy right after it enters the battlefield.

As with Jaxis, remember that you can activate Kiki-Jiki's ability during your opponents' turns, creating a token blocker on the fly.

#14. The Reaver Cleaver

The Reaver Cleaver

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but The Reaver Cleaver made it a pretty rich kitten!

A somewhat rare case of a red artifact, The Reaver Cleaver turns any creature into a must-block or must-answer threat – if left unchecked, it lets you ramp away with the game. And notice that, unlike most saboteur effects, The Reaver Cleaver works when damaging planeswalkers, not just players.

#13. Young Pyromancer

Young Pyromancer

Young Pyromancer is the card you play when somebody says, “Tell me you like spellslinger decks without telling me you like spellslinger decks.”

I mean, spellslinging with tokens on top – what's not to love? A staple of Izzet Phoenix decks in Pioneer and extremely popular in Commander, this kid is one of the best 2-drops in Magic.

#12. Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin

Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin

Time to introduce a goblin we'll see twice today! Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin is a token generator that, like Delina, Wild Mage, needs to jump into the fray to get you the tokens.

Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin is amazing when combined with equipment and buffs, but it’s efficient enough even if it dies early. And there's always more goblins, anyway!

#11. Utvara Hellkite

Utvara Hellkite

Utvara Hellkite is a monster of a card, basically because its token generation ability has no drawbacks, conditionals, or additional costs. Every dragon, including Utvara and the tokens it creates, spawns another big, winged lizard when it attacks.

#10. Unexpected Windfall

Unexpected Windfall

Unexpected Windfall has the exact same text as Pirate's Pillage, and has almost the same cost (4 total mana, but with two red pips rather than just one), but it's an instant rather than a sorcery. That’s enough to propel it to the top most popular token cards in Commander decks, and it’s sometimes seen in Pioneer decks.

#9. Krenko, Mob Boss

Krenko, Mob Boss

And here’s Krenko again, moving up in the world!

According to my expert sources, Krenko, Mob Boss is quite the belle of the ball whenever goblins throw a costume party, where Krenko loves nothing more than to show up cosplaying as Parallel Lives.

Strong enough to see some play in Legacy and Arena's HistoricKrenko, Mob Boss is one of the best goblin commanders and among the most popular commanders overall. Krenko counts each goblin under your control, including Krenko itself (rather than only tallying Krenko's tokens), letting you amass a huge army if left unchecked.

#8. Ancient Copper Dragon

Ancient Copper Dragon

This Elder Dragon is expensive. As in, second most expensive card in this ranking. It can drown you in (Magic) riches if it connects and you highroll – strictly speaking, it's the card that can generate the most Treasure tokens all by itself, without any buildaround. Ancient Copper Dragon just needs a hit and a bit of luck to give you all the mana you may need to win the game.

#7. Big Score

Big Score

Big Score is the best of the best for a rummage-plus-Treasures effect, and strictly better than Unexpected Windfall or Pirate's Pillage.

#6. Fable of the Mirror-Breaker / Reflection of Kiki-Jiki

Fable of the Mirror-Breaker Reflection of Kiki-Jiki

Easily one of the best red enchantments in MTG, a powerhouse in Pioneer that also sees some play in Modern and Legacy, and broken enough to warp the whole Standard format around it until it was banned, Fable of the Mirror-Breaker / Reflection of Kiki-Jiki is just plain busted.

And it happens to create all sorts of tokens: first a 2/2 creature that itself creates Treasure tokens when attacking, later the token copies that Reflection of Kiki-Jiki can create.

By the way: notice that Reflection of Kiki-Jiki isn’t legendary. If you manage to put two copies in play, they can copy each other… and the copies, having haste, can copy each other… just saying!

#5. Goldspan Dragon

Goldspan Dragon

Yet another busted lizard. Goldspan Dragon generates 2 mana whenever it's targeted, which comes in handy for when playing it on curve and needing a bit of juice to Counterspell some pesky removal. And if you target it with 1-mana spells, you’ll be literally printing mana into existence.

#4. Professional Face-Breaker

Professional Face-Breaker

Here's today’s best-named card: Professional Face-Breaker indeed makes a profit for every time one of your creatures punches an opponent the face.

Then it can turn said profit into Magic's most valuable currency (more cards!), making it one of the best card draw effects in red.

#3. Storm-Kiln Artist

Storm-Kiln Artist

“Hold my beer, kiddo. An' you may wanna step aside; this ol' Dwarf's gonna show ya how we blended spellslingin' and token-spammin' back in my days.”

Storm-Kiln Artist, chuckling, to Young Pyromancer.

#2. Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer

Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer

Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer makes a showing near the top, to no one’s surprise. An absolute house in Modern that sometimes shows up in Vintage and had to be banned in Legacy and Arena's Historic, Ragavan is MTG's lil' monkey pirate that really, really could.

#1. Dockside Extortionist

Dockside Extortionist

Of course, it’s Dockside Extortionist.

Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer is the pirate king of the 60-card formats, but Dockside Extortionist rules the 100-card seas.

It's all in little details: that final “s” in “opponents” means our Extortionist friend scales with the number of players at a table. And EDH players do love their early mana rocks and Rhystic Study shenanigans, letting Dockside Extortionist spawn a metric ton of Treasure every time it drops. Against artifact- and enchantment-heavy decks, Extortionist is the best ritual ever printed.

Best Red Token Generators Payoffs

Just like there are many types of tokens, there are different types of payoffs.

Tokens can be their own reward. If your Dockside Extortionist is able to spawn seven Treasures early on, you can slam an Etali, Primal Conqueror way ahead of the curve. And if your Utvara Hellkite keeps churning 6/6 fliers every turn, you don't really need much else to kill your foes.

But there are indeed Treasure payoffs in the sense of “Let's turn these lil' artifacts into an alternative win condition.” The most straightforward is probably a card that’s also one of the best token generators in black: Revel in Riches. If you want to stay in red, Hellkite Tyrant is another great option (it counts all of your artifacts, not just Treasures), and if you'd like to pair with blue then you should look into Mechanized Production.

And then there’s aristocrat decks, which are all about sacrificing your own creatures. Red has a knack for generating creatures with a short lifespan that sacrifice themselves – truly a match made in sacrificial heaven. Several cards like Korvold, Fae-Cursed King or Mayhem Devil are happy if you sacrifice any permanent, therefore including Treasures.

Wrap Up

Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer - Illustration by Simon Dominic

Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer | Illustration by Simon Dominic

And that would conclude today's ranking of the best red token generators in Magic.

Tokens are a varied bunch, so the best token generator depends on what your deck wants to do – goblins and dragons may love Treasure, but even token-focused decks want one type of token more than others. If what you need is not on today's list, do rummage through Scryfall a bit to see if there's something else that is an ideal fit for you.

If you have any comments, feedback, or further questions about these red token generators, do stop by the Draftsim Discord for a chat.

And may your generators always spawn tokens in troves!

Follow Draftsim for awesome articles and set updates:

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *