Hi all!

Token and go-wide strategies are always very fun to play! There's nothing more satisfying than watching your board grow in size each turn until your opponent can no longer withstand the army you've just created. The only difficulty with these strategies is having enough tokens, and having a big enough table. ;)

So, without further ado, let's get into the deck tech!


We're going to play very few creatures but that's because we really don't need the vast majority of creatures, however, the few we are playing are vital to our strategy. The two creatures we're playing are: Anointer Priest and Tendershoot Dryad.

Let's start with Anointer Priest. This card is absolutely insane in token strategies in Standard, especially when you can embalm it with any amount of Anointed Procession out. He gains you a life for each token that enters the battlefield, including himself, when he comes back from the graveyard as a token. There are times where one trigger of Anointer Priest can lot you 30, 40, or even 50 life. He is an absolute must in this deck as he saves us greatly from aggressive decks.

Tendershoot Dryad is a new card from Rivals of Ixalan, and it's the bee's knees in this deck. I originally had it in the deck as a 2-of, but quickly moved it to a 4-of. I want this card every single time I play, no matter what. I've even removed a copy Vraska, Relic Seeker for this card because it functions so much better. When this card was spoiled I knew I wanted to try it out, but I really didn't expect it to be THIS good. While it is easily removed, all you need is a turn or two from it for it to really leave it's mark. You can play it your turn and on your opponent's upkeep, it automatically triggers for your first Saproling. If you have Anointed Procession out, you'll get two Saprolings. The trigger happens on each upkeep, so you'll be getting a token each turn no matter what. This can be used to chump block or used as sacrifice fodder for your Hidden Stockpile. By this point, you more than likely have the City's Blessing out and your Saprolings are 3/3's. In multiples, Tendershoot Dryad adds +2/+2 for each copy of it, so your Saprolings can be 5/5, or even 7/7. I absolutely love this card.

A possible addition here shortly when I get time to test is Elenda, the Dusk Rose because she absolutely screams tokens. As long as she can survive, we can sacrifice enough Servos to either make her a giant creature, or generate a ton of lifelinking vampires. I love Elenda and her design (even though I wish she wasn't a 1/1), so I will definitely test her out here.


Next, let's talk about your non-creature spells, which are the reason this deck survives long enough and gets as wide as it does.

For starters, we have Renegade Map. Renegade Map is great because it activates Hidden Stockpile turn 2 if you get the god draw, but it also fixes our mana, triggers revolt, and contributes to Ascend. It's a very vital piece to our deck and I'm usually happy to see one unless we're already flooded.

Fatal Push is our first piece of removal that we have, and there really isn't any reason to not play it. Push is great here as we're usually triggering revolt almost every turn, so it's effectively "Destroy target creature with CMC 4 or less". It helps us stabilize early and get rid of bigger threats before we can get to our sweepers.

Legion's Landing  Flip is a great piece here as well! It gives us an early chump blocker, but also gives us a way to turn our mana into answers late game when it flips. With Anointed Procession out, like always, it gets pretty nutty. Overall, a solid card for our strategy.

Hidden Stockpile is our bread and butter of this deck, and by far the most important piece. Not only does it give you a token each turn if you've triggered revolt, it also lets you sacrifice your creatures / tokens so you can trigger revolt, and gives you the ability to scry each turn to find your pieces. Scrying is so vital here because it allows you to filter your bad draws into good draws, prevents mana flooding, and finds your answers. Stockpile is incredible and is an absolute must in this deck.

Gruesome Fate is a card I am toying around with right now, and it's had great results but it's usually a win-more card. If you play this you're more than likely going to win regardless, but in multiples it can slowly eat away at your opponent's life. It has, however, won games where your opponent chumps just enough to stay alive, and you play this card end of turn for the win. It's a sort of Shaman of the Pack, and I play Elves in Modern, so... yeah. I love it.

If you do not like playing Gruesome Fate, another great card in this spot is Treasure Map  Flip. Treasure Map  Flip is a good card because it allows you to Scry each turn like Stockpile does, but it's also great when it flips and you can start to draw card from sacrificing treasure, or fix your mana. It also contributes to Ascend. It's great in the flex slot.

Yet again, another flex card here that I have not tested but can possibly be incredible here and probably will be is Radiant Destiny. Destiny pumps up our Servos or Saprolings, whichever you prefer to pump up. City's Blessing / Ascend is so easy to achieve in this deck, it's pretty much an Always Watching all the time for our tokens. I have not tested this card yet, as I stated earlier, but when the time comes, I guarantee this will be a token staple. Vigilance and the extra boost is very necessary and very needed.

Start / Finish is expendable, but it's usually very good. It dual functions as a way to generate tokens and a way to remove annoying creatures. I usually side these out the most when against certain decks because they're not always useful, but they are very helpful and it's a great flex slot. Anointed Procession and Anointer Priest make this card even better.

Cast Out and Ixalan's Binding are split here 2/2 because they're both great to have, and there's not a reason to play one over the other. Cast Out has flash and cycling, but Ixalan's Binding permanently exiles whatever you drastically need to get rid of. They're both very efficient so we play 2/2 here. You can change this as you see fit, but I prefer 2/2.

Anointed Procession is my absolute favorite card in Standard. I have had so much fun with this card and it's your opponent will usually shift in their seat a little bit when this card comes down because they know some shenanigans are about to go down. It doubles, quadruples, or even whatever the hell 8-times your tokens is. In multiples this card is absolutely devastating and will shut down games. Hidden Stockpile combined with this lovely card creates a hell of a strategy and I've loved fiddling with it.

Fumigate is our last non-creature spell for the most part, and it's a life saver. Not only does it destroy our opponents board (and our board, unfortunately), but it gains us a ton of life. There are times where wiping your board is the only way to stay alive, and Fumigate does that wonderfully. Drawing this when you need it is such a relief, and your opponent will definitely be more hesitant as to how they're playing when you drop one of these on them.

Now, let's talk about some Planeswalkers you can play here, if you see fit! First, we have Vraska, Relic Seeker.

Vraska is the reason we splashed green originally instead of straight Orzhov. All of her abilities are very relevant for the deck, and Vraska should always be played in Abzan token builds. Not only does she create tokens on both of her abilities, but if we're playing a deck where we can't just seem to get damage through, her ultimate ends games quickly. I'll always play 1-2 of her, currently playing with 1 because Tendershoot Dryad has been remarkable. A 2/2 split is also good.

Liliana, Death's Majesty is also a decent choice here. She has a built in board wipe, creates tokens, and reanimates our creatures if need be. She's pretty solid, but isn't great. Vraska, Relic Seeker is way better.

Huatli, Radiant Champion is a new addition from Rivals of Ixalan that I have not tested yet, mainly because the set hasn't been spoiled yet. My tests have been exclusively through MTGO so far, and I really don't want to spend $20 on her to test with. However, she looks like a decent addition her. All of her abilities are relevant for token strategies, so she could be decent. She comes down earlier than Vraska and Lili, so that's a benefit of her as well. I will definitely be testing with her throughout her time in Standard, but I can't give a definitive reason as to why you should play her over Lili or Vraska.


Concealed Courtyard needs to be played here. It is crucial to get double black or double white often with both our mainboard and sideboard cards, so we'll need to get that as quickly as we can. Playing Concealed Courtyard does that well as it's our only B/W dual land worth playing. Forsaken Sanctuary is pretty bad here and shouldn't be played because we're fetching for lands a lot with Renegade Map and Evolving Wilds, so the less non-fetchable cards we play, the better.

Blooming Marsh CAN be played, but I personally do not. We do not need green all that much, and in fact, it's only used for Vraska and Tendershoot. You're better off playing a singleton Forest and fetching for it.

Scavenging Grounds is an okay card here and there's no reason not to play it because if we come up against a graveyard deck, we have some subtle built in graveyard hate. You can also use it to cast Renegade Map turn 1 if you're mana screwed.

Shefet Dunes is a must here because it's a token strategy, and pumping it up may be just what we need to get the win through. It does act as white mana as well, so that's a benefit.

Evolving Wilds is a must here because it triggers revolt, and fixes our mana a ton. It does throw off your tempo a bit, but sometimes that is necessary. We can often live a turn or two by playing a land tapped over not having that land at all.

And of course, our basics. Plains, Swamps, and a lone Forest.

Sideboard! This is where the most variation of the decks comes from, as you can tune it to your meta very easily. We play Green, Black, and White, but as you only have one source of green mana, it's advisable to stay away from green sideboard cards unless you add in more green to your deck. For the most part here, you're going to want to try to bring in things that your deck is weak against.

Removal is something that will really ruin us, especially enchantment and artifact hate, so we're going to play a few copies of Duress and Lost Legacy. Duress and cards like it are sideboard staples in most formats. Lost Legacy is really good against Approach of the Second Sun and various other decks that have very few win conditions. It blanks removal, creatures, and various other win conditions.

Super aggressive decks can really be a pain as well as sometimes we don't get our engine going until T3-5, so bringing in Authority of the Consuls can be a huge help here. The life gain we get from it is great as well. I also play Sunscourge Champion here as well for similar reasons.

Fragmentize destroys some artifacts and enchantments that can be annoying, so we'll run a few copies of that out of the board.

An extra Fumigate is always necessary for some extra removal, and you can also tinker around with Settle the Wreckage here. It's a pretty fun surprise and it really pisses off people for some reason.

Arguel's Blood Fast  Flip is decent against slow, grindy match ups so you can draw some cards and sacrifice creatures later for some extra life if need be.

Angel of Sanctions is also really great out of the sideboard, and if you embalm it with Anointed Procession out, you can exile a ton for very little mana.

There are obviously a ton of variations to the deck and you can tune it to your meta fairly easily as there are a lot of flex slots in the main board and side board. The deck is very, very fun to play, and is also very challenging. You have to know what to scry to the bottom, when to play certain cards, and when to block, sac, and swing. The deck isn't always perfect, there are quite a few dead draws and if you don't assemble your pieces effectively, you can definitely get destroyed quickly. This doesn't happen very frequently, but there are games where you feel like an idiot with an empty board.

Since the Rivals of Ixalan meta-game hasn't been established yet, I'm going to give a brief match synopsis for the current tier 1 decks in the format. In a few weeks I'll update this and write about Merfolk, Vampires, Dinosaurs, and unlikely Pirates, because Wizards said fuck giving them actual synergy and a horrible Grixis mana base.

Temur / 4-Color Energy:

Well, this is the boogeyman deck of Standard, but we don't know for how long yet. The ban and review comes out on Monday, January 15th, so we'll see if anything gets the boot here. However, the match up is fair, but I think Temur is slightly favored yet. Energy has such an incredible range of threats and the deck always seems to play just the right cards at the right time. It has an extremely nice curve, can play counter magic and removal, and has a ridiculous mana base due to Attune with Aether. The main issues we will face against them are fighting through Whirler Virtuoso and Glorybringer. Our deck is very weak to flying threats unless you can get Fumigate out quick. If your opponent can't get a Whirler out and flood the board with Thopters, you have a very favorable match up against them. We go wider than they do, board wipe better than they do, and are much more resilient than they are to wipes. However, River's Rebuke is a game ending card and Temur plays the hell out of that. There's nothing more devastating than having your entire board brought back to your hand. They are very powerful and The Scarab God is a dick to play against. They are definitely favored over us, but it isn't by much. I feel if there is a ban in the deck, we can be slightly favored or even very favored. There's not a whole lot to say about it, every deck has a fair to sub-par match up to Energy and if anyone says they have a winning match up, they're lying.

U/W / Esper Approach:

Pretty bad match up if the game goes that long. They'll try to counter our key pieces, Settle the Wreckage and Fumigate us when they can, and win with Approach of the Second Sun. We can get them with Lost Legacy out of the side, or we can just go too wide for them to handle and kill them. I personally think after the board, the match up can be favored as we can board in all 4 Duress, a few copies of Lost Legacy, and board out all of our useless board wipes that we have. Vraska, the Relic Seeker is really good here as no matter how high their life gets, we can make it 1. Game 1 is rough, out of the board the game gets much easier unless their counter magic gets our key pieces. Knowing how to play against them is crucial and waiting for them to tap out for something is the right time to play Lost Legacy and hit their win-condition.

U/W Gifts:

This deck is honestly fairly easy to play against. We're playing a very similar deck, we just don't play as many threats as they do. Fumigate is incredible here, as is Duress and Lost Legacy, similar to the Approach strategy. You want to keep them off of GPG as much as you can, and they're going to try to Refurbish it on turn 4. Hitting Refurbish with a Duress or Lost Legacy will pretty much solidify your win here. They can hard-cast their GPG and their Angels, but Cast Out and Ixalan's Binding are very good here. Keep them off Gift, kill their Angel, and wipe their graveyard if you can.

Ramunap Red:

I honestly love this match up, unless that fucking Rampaging Ferocidon comes out. Then it's quite annoying for us to play against. Regardless, we can get our Servos out early to chump and play Fumigate quickly. Once we get our board established the game is virtually unwinnable for them unless they go to our face with Shock and Lightning Strike enough. We have enough removal to cover Hazoret the Fervent, Rampaging Ferocidon, and Earthshaker Khenra pretty easily, we just have to get it out. Obviously if they get their typical red draw we're going to lose, but that's their game plan. I would say this match up is 60/40 for us because we play too much removal for them and also go way wider.


You're either fucked on turn 4 and getting hit by a 56/56 Pummeler or you're winning the game. There's really no way to describe playing Pummeler better than that hahaha.

For the most part, that's the majority of the meta-game decks. UB Control is making a come back but I haven't played it in awhile in all honesty. Temur has been the vast majority of my match ups, followed by Ramunap Red. We have decent game against both decks, but Magic is truly a game of variation and luck so there are obviously games where you get blown out and games where you have insane draws. From a Spike stand point, this deck is a very serious competitor but I don't think it is the de facto best deck in the format as it has it's horrible match ups. If you're looking for something different to play that has game against most Tier 1 decks, this is definitely the deck to bring to a tournament as people aren't going to be boarding for it. It's not unknown but it isn't a very popular deck as Temur has just been so good, but I definitely feel that this deck got a ton of upgrades from Rivals.

And that about covers it for the most part! I hope this deck tech helped you learn more about the token strategy, the match ups you will more than likely see with it. I have played this alongside Mono-W Vampire Monument and I've loved both decks very much, so I wanted to give a little write up as I feel this deck got way better with Rivals. Tendershoot Dryad is seriously a bonkers card and is definitely a win-condition on it's own, and I feel like it's flying well under the radar right now. So go buy your Saproling tokens, get a second playmat because you're going to need it, and have some fun with tokens at your local gaming store, Grand Prix, or kitchen table!

Please feel free to leave your criticism and tell me what I can do better or what I have done well in the comments below! I tried to make this a little more interactive with some pictures and didn't want it to be a wall of text, even though it more than likely is a ton of reading. I wanted it to be as thorough as possible.

Always remember to be kind to each other, spread love and not hate or aggression, and realize that we're all playing the game because we love it and the challenge it provides us.


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