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Token Defence

Happy Thursday MTG peeps,

For today's post, we wanted to yatter about what Magic the Gathering players may want to consider for inclusion in their standard constructed sideboards. More specifically, this post is really just us here at MTG Realm thinking aloud about what to do about the gaining popularity (at least in some casual / FNM circles) of white weenie or token-based decks.

Between Gather the Townsfolk / Increasing Devotion, Lingering Souls / Midnight Haunting, and other token generating spells, the skies (and ground) is anticipated to be filled with tokens. There will be Spirit, Human, Vampire, Wolf and Zombie tokens aplenty but players are likely to favour white based builds featuring tokens hoping to cash in on the double anthem effects of Intangible Virtue and Honor of the Pure. Sure, Sorin's first minus ability provides an unmoveable anthem effect curtesy of the emblem but the likely mix will be a black splash in an otherwise white deck.

Now, for the Haterade . . .

How to deal with this token mess is unpleasant, and even more so should they have mana open to activate the lifelink / deathtouch ability on their Vault of the Archangel. One way to deal with this that is already starting to see play is the use of Ratchet Bomb which will kill all tokens on the turn it comes down or Elesh Norn which will kill off anything they have with two toughness or less. Ms. Norn's buddy is the Innistrad curse, Curse of Death's Hold which may have a wider appeal as the same effect is not attached to a fragile and easily removed body.

Now since we're casual Magic the Gathering players here at MTG Realm, we will not baulk or take pause to consider some other fine and under appreciated cards to battle the token menance. Currently we're considering Choking Fumes to throw negative counters on their en masse alpha swing. Likewise, Marrow Shards and Corrosive Gale may prove of use. What we would really like to brew up is a strong effect with Arm with Aether while attempting to sneak several critters under the wire like Invisible Stalker or other unblockable / intimidate creatures. If you did not get this punchline, don't worry - tokens bounced back to their owner gets eaten by the same clothes dryer that has been eating our socks for years and will never come back. There of course is answers in red and we've been experimenting with a modified Tempered Steel build featuring Whipflare (I wip ma flare back 'n' forth). Lastly but certainly not exhaustively is Slagstorm, which if your are playing red should have in your side board at all times.

As the Token players start to adjust to these hater cards, they may become more reliant on those afore-mentioned anthem effects and hope to hold their token army together with toughness above Norn / Curse level. This is when you may want to consider Dark Ascension's Ray of Revelation. This two mana (one colourless and one white) instant will nerf any enchantment pumping their tokens and will come back for a flashback encore for just one green.

Anywhoos -
Tell us about your local meta-game - Has token decks taken off, and if so how are players defending against it ?
Use the comment thingy below.
Also of note - the folks over at MTG Mint Card has cracked open a few more boxes of Innistrad and has now restocked. If you've been looking for that special hard-to-get sorcery or Planeswalker, drop by.

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