Last updated on July 12, 2022
Dark Depths | Illustration by Mathias Kollros
Tokens are cool and that’s a fact. Not an opinion. A fact. You can argue with me all you like, but you’ll find no success in swaying my
But what makes tokens so cool? Well, tokens can be anything. Literally anything. You could even use your cat to represent an in-game token, although I’d seriously advise against it. It’s just as terrible as it sounds. Trust me.
Players typically use dice, empty sleeves, or actual tokens printed by Magic to represent creatures that your spells have summoned. But if you want to play with tokens (which you do), then you’ll need some token generators!
What Counts as a Token Generator?
Blade of Selves | Illustration by Alan Pollack
There isn’t any formal definition of a token generator, but most players agree that it’s any card that can create a token. It doesn’t matter how the token is created. Whether the effect is recurring or if the token-maker is a creature.
If a card says “create a token” or anything similar to that, it’s a token generator. That card can create a token once per turn, once every two turns, or just once (think Goblin Rally).
Got it? Okay, let’s continue!
Best White Token Generators
Entreat the Angels
Anybody remember Azorius () Miracles? If you play Legacy, then you’re probably still facing it to this day and will likely face it until the end of time.
Entreat the Angels may be the perfect payoff card in a slow control deck running white. You obviously want to cast it for its miracle cost so that you get the best bang for your buck. For as little as you get to say: “Hey, I just created five 4/4 flyers and I’m going to win next turn.”
Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
Just keeping activating Elspeth, Sun’s Champion’s first ability and you’ll have a board full of 1/1 soldiers in no time. Elspeth also clears the way for your attackers with its second ability so your tokens are sure to face a fair fight.
Now this has a pretty confusing mana cost. Technically I could label this card as colorless, but nobody wants to create three little spirits for . Spectral Procession can be a devastating turn 2 play if your mana base allows it, though.
Legion’s Landing / Adanto, the First Fort
This one does very little, but for very little cost. Legion’s Landing gives you a 1/1 creature with lifelink which is slightly below the expected power level for a 1-mana creature. But you won’t have much trouble flipping it to Adanto, the First Fort if you’re playing an aggressive deck.
This legendary land can either ramp you a little bit or provide recurring value. It’s what Magic players like to refer to as a mana sink, which is a way to transform excess mana into some form of value.
Monastery Mentor is so good that it’s actually restricted in Vintage! That’s right, it’s up there with Black Lotus and Ancestral Recall. Well, it may not be that level of broken, but in a format where you can cast a multitude of zero-mana artifacts and cheap spells, Monastery Mentor and its Monk tokens can make quick work of your opponent.
Best Blue Token Generators
Yep, Sharknado. Sure, this card could make the list by flavor alone, but Shark Typhoon is also one of the most versatile token generators in the game. It’s every blue player’s dream. You hold up all your mana during your opponent’s turn and you can create a token without going down in card advantage if you don’t end up using your counterspell.
Oh, and you can’t counter Shark Typhoon’s cycling ability because it doesn’t count as casting a spell so it’s also every blue player’s nightmare. The fact that it’s also an enchantment with a busted ability is just the cherry on top.
Rite of Replication
Rite of Replication is great if you’re looking to wreak havoc at your next EDH game. As if EDH games weren’t chaotic enough already. You should note that Rite doesn’t need be cast on your own creature, so you can pretty much create an entire army out of nowhere even if your board is empty. Who doesn’t like that?
Jace, Cunning Castaway
We’re looking at Jace, Cunning Castaway’s ultimate in particular. First of all, any card that can create copies of itself is bound to get out of hand eventually. Second, very few cards can create planeswalker tokens. Third, this goes infinite with Doubling Season, which is just hilarious.
Urza, Lord High Artificer
Urza, Lord High Artificer has a whole lot of text, and all of it is good. That construct is a force to be reckoned with in the right deck. Not to mention that Urza can generate extra mana and transform that mana into immediate value!
Best Black Token Generators
Bitterblossom was actually banned in Modern for a while because of how powerful it is. Okay, not quite as powerful as Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis, but it’s still a good card. Bitterblossom may look relatively tame to the untrained eye but I guarantee you that those pesky little flyers become a real threat over time. You get an absolute ton of on-board material for a very low mana cost.
Liliana, the Last Hope
Liliana, the Last Hope has it all: consistent removal for annoying creatures, value generation, and possibly one of the best planeswalker emblems in the game. Nothing screams “zombie apocalypse” more than an emblem that generates board after board of zombie tokens.
Bridge from Below
Oh boy, Bridge from Below has always been busted. You don’t technically have to pay mana for its effect. In fact, it won’t do anything if you cast it for mana. Bridge only works if it’s in your graveyard, not your battlefield. This enchantment has often been the card to push graveyard strategies over the edge.
Thank goodness it’s banned in Modern.
Best Red Token Generators
Young Pyromancer strategies are always fun to play. This card is typically found in midrange decks where the goal is to generate crazy amounts of value and grind out your opponent in the process. Like I mentioned with Bitterblossom, even 1/1 creatures can get out of control when in great numbers.
Krenko, Mob Boss
Did I forget to mention that even 1/1 creatures can get out of control when there’s a ton of them? I must say, exponential growth is a great phenomenon, and nothing highlights this better than Krenko, Mob Boss. Plus, if you love goblin tribal synergies, this is the card for you! It’s even great as a commander.
Veterans of the game know that this combo is a real thing and that it’s been played at the highest levels of competition on many occasions. I should also mention that Splinter Twin is functionally similar to Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker but Kiki-Jiki also goes infinite with Restoration Angel and similar cards.
Good dragon token generators can be hard to come by, I know. Dragonmaster Outcast, however, is fantastic for generating dragon tokens every turn. It’s a small, vulnerable creature, but you can start creating 5/5 dragon tokens out of nowhere for just a little investment!
Empty the Warrens
Storm players know what I’m talking about with Empty the Warrens. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Storm, it’s a deck where you play as many cheap cards as possible in a turn and then play Grapeshot or Tendrils of Agony for the win. Your opponent often sideboards Leyline of Sanctity in to stop this but you’ll be prepared to fight this with Empty the Warrens, which can get you a dozen or so goblin tokens as early as turn 2!
Best Green Token Generators
Remember, Clues also count as tokens. The great thing about Clues is that you don’t have to cash them in right away; you can ignore them for as long as you want (although that would make for a terrible detective story). Magic players hate being flooded with lands and Tireless Tracker removes that concern altogether which makes it very appealing. The Tracker also works great with fetch lands.
Wrenn and Seven
This planeswalker’s a bit of a new one from Midnight Hunt. The successor to the meta-warping Wrenn and Six, Wrenn and Seven is a tad bit more balanced but still powerful. Its – ability gives you a nice beefy creature to protect your planeswalker. Oh, and the token also has reach, a fact I learned the hard way. Don’t make the same mistake I did when playing against Wrenn and Seven.
Another green token generator that works great with fetch lands. While it might take some time for this insect to get going, Scute Swarm feels like an insect infestation once you start to push into the ultra-late game (something that always seems to happen at my EDH games). If you’re playing against this, just kill it before it’s too late.
Best Artifact Token Generators
I love low-cost mana sinks, especially when they generate tokens. Retrofitter Foundry’s ability to activate its effects multiple times a turn means it doesn’t matter how much excess mana you have during a game because you always have a way to use it.
Yes, another Foundry. This is the artifact section, what did you expect?
I’m putting Thopter Foundry here because it synergizes really nicely with Sword of the Meek which allows you to gain one life and create a 1/1 flyer for every mana you spend. Did I mention that I love low-cost mana sinks?
Blade of Selves
Tired of deciding who to attack at your 4-player EDH game? With Blade of Selves, you won’t have to! Now I should note that these tokens only last until end of combat, but hey! They’re still tokens, right?
Whoa there, now we’re starting to push the definition of “token generator” a bit. But I think Batterskull’s inclusion on this list is justified. The living weapon mechanic is great, especially since most equipment is too slow to see competitive play. Having Batterskull ready to enter combat as soon as it hits the battlefield is one of the main reasons to run it in every one of your Stoneforge Mystic decks.
Best Multicolored Token Generators
I debated whether to put this under white, black, or multicolored. Very few white decks run Lingering Souls without at least splashing black, but I’ve seen decks that weren’t running white in their mana base play this.
Decks with Faithless Looting and similar cards only care about the flashback side of Lingering Souls, which I hope highlights just how good this card is. You get four 1/1 flying spirit tokens for , and you get to pay that mana in two installments!
Oko, Thief of Crowns
I wrote a description for this, but it was turned into a 3/3 elk. Sorry!
Okay, in all seriousness, you don’t even need to be a seasoned player to know that Oko, Thief of Crowns made a lot of players angry, and for good reason. All creatures and artifacts would slowly be transformed into 3/3 creatures over the course of the game.
But since the player running Oko, Thief of Crowns would also transform their Food tokens into elks, the opponent was hard-pressed to form a winning attack. Like many other players in the community, I’m glad this card is banned. It only made this list because of its sheer power level.
Rhys the Redeemed
Another recurring token generator for only one mana? Sign me up!
Rhys the Redeemed’s first ability is cool and all, but I’m really playing it for that second one. If you see me playing Rhys at the table, you can be sure that I’m doubling my tokens every single turn even if it isn’t the best play. That’s just how cool it is.
Best Land Token Generators
Oh, you thought we were done, didn’t you? Think again! This little section includes some of the most hated lands in Magic’s history. Brace yourself.
Urza’s Saga takes the “permanent” out of permanent, making it a… Never mind, I don’t know where I was going with that.
Despite you having to sacrifice it after three turns, Saga is still a dangerous land if I do say so myself. Those constructs can be pretty scary and that ability to tutor the tech artifact of your choice leaves you more than happy, even after you have to say goodbye to your beloved land.
Field of the Dead
Who said you needed to play spells to win? If you sense that your opponent is holding a bunch of counterspells in their hand, all you have to do is make your land drops. Then attack with your horde of zombies à la Field of the Dead and, uh, win. It’s that easy.
Dark Depths requires thirty mana to create a token and it doesn’t even tap for mana! Yes, this legendary snow land is virtually unplayable unless you pair it with something like Thespian’s Stage, Vesuva, or Vampire Hexmage.
Then you get the best token in the game: Marit Lage. Sure, it doesn’t do much against Karakas or Path to Exile, but hey! You can always pray that your opponent doesn’t have those cards. That usually works for me.
Westvale Abbey / Ormendahl, Profane Prince
Again, paying thirty mana to get a big bad creature isn’t the best deal in the world. But if you think of Westvale Abbey as a way to transform your puny little tokens into a giant payoff card it starts to look a whole lot more appealing.
Best Token Support Cards
Sometimes having token generators simply isn’t enough. If your token-based strategy lacks that power to compete with other players at your table, consider some of the following options.
This is the old-school way to really go overboard with your token generators (and planeswalkers). Doubling Season often leads to some wacky combos (infinite copies of Jace, Cunning Castaway, as mentioned earlier) or it blows up in your face (sacrificing one of your two copies of Marit Lage thanks to the legend rule). Either way, Doubling is bound to spice up your game.
Anointed Procession and Parallel Lives
Anointed Procession and Parallel Lives are the same card in different colors. Also Doubling Season but worse, but also for one less mana. If you’re going full tokens and don’t care about the counters then you may as well run one of these instead of Doubling Season.
As the old saying goes, a mana saved is a mana earned!
Feel free to quote me on this.
Adanto, the First Fort | Illustration by Svetlin Velinov
Thanks a lot for your time! Hopefully I’ve inspired you to add a little bit of flair to your deck, token-based or not. There are a lot of token generators out there and some great ones may have slipped my mind.
Feel free to mention some of your favorite token generators that didn’t make the list in the comments below. As always, you can message us on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, or any of our other social media.
Until then, keep generating those tokens!Follow Draftsim for awesome articles and set updates: