So, you’ve got your Token Triumph precon, and you want to make it better. In that case, you’ve come to the right place, as in this Token Triumph Upgrade Guide we’re going to discuss which cards will improve your new deck.
This is the first time I’m tackling a Commander Upgrade article, but I’ve already upgraded many decks – both precons, and various of my own builds. Anyway, Token Triumph is one of the first five Starter Commander decks. This means that since the deck is somewhat different from regular precons, it’ll get a bit different Upgrade Guide.
First, I’ll assume that you’re a newer player. This is why I’ll try to explain some cards into a lot of detail. (If you aren’t, you’ll still find great advice on which cards to upgrade the deck with.)
Doing a complete upgrade of the deck, in one go, can be overwhelming. That’s why, I’ll first recommend just three cards, which will immediately improve the deck significantly.
Then I’ll follow with some budget upgrades, these are cards that are good, yet fairly cheap. In the next section, we’ll throw our budget through the window, and take a look at some of the more expensive cards.
For a complete upgrade you’ll probably want to use cards from both sections, since just because a card is cheap, that doesn’t mean that it is weak.
At the end, I’ll give you some suggestions on which cards to cut, and provide a sample upgraded decklist. However, I’d recommend that you upgrade the deck in a way that feels best to you, and depending on your playgroup.
If you don’t already own the Token Triumph precon, you can buy one on Amazon. The great thing about the Starter deck is that they’re cheaper than the regular precons.
Token Triumph Decklist
Before we start with the upgrade, here’s the full decklist of the Token Triumph deck, right out of the box:
How to Upgrade Token Triumph Precon?
The best way to get direction for upgrading a Commander deck is to try to maximize its synergies with its commander. Emmara, Soul of the Accord is the cheapest commander in all five Starter decks, so you can expect to have her in play regularly. That means it’s especially important to build around her.
In order to improve it, you’ll need:
- Ways to tap Emmara
- Ways to untap Emmara (not necessarily, but they do come in handy)
- Cards that benefit from having lots of creatures
- Cards that improve tokens, have synergies with them
- Cards that are simply good
- Better mana base
With that said, let’s start finding the right cards.
Top 3 Cards to Upgrade Token Triumph
First up, here are the three best cards that you could upgrade your Token Triumph deck with. For this selection, I didn’t pay that much attention to their budget, but I did exclude some of the most expensive cards.
Cryptolith Rite lets all of your creatures tap for any color of mana. This works amazingly well in this deck, for two reasons. First, it’s another way to tap Emmara without exposing her in combat. Second, it can make you a ton of mana, as you’ll usually have a lot of tokens in play.
Getting mana advantage is one of the most important things in Commander. With Cryptolith Rite, you can do so, in a very synergistic way. Before we mentioned which things we need to improve this deck, and this enchantment checks almost all of them. So if you were to get only one card, it should be this one.
When you have lots of mana, you don’t want to run out of cards. Skullclamp is an excellent way to turn your 1/1 tokens into some serious card advantage.
It doesn’t work like your usual equipment would by buffing your creature’s stats. Instead, it allows you to pay 1 mana, sacrifice a 1/1 token in order to draw two cards. It isn’t amazing in every deck, but in this one, it’ll certainly perform well.
The third card I really like in this shell is Divine Visitation. This deck will often make a bunch of 1/1 tokens, and this enchantment upgrades them into 4/4 flying Angels. These are no joke, and can certainly finish the games quickly, if you make enough of them.
This card might be a bit less crucial for the deck than the previous two, but it certainly has a big awesome-factor to it, and provides a fun play experience.
Token Triumph Upgrade – Budget
As I’ve mentioned before, in this section I’ll discuss cards that will improve your deck, but won’t be too expensive. Keep in mind that the prices of cards can change, and if you’re reading this a long time after the article was published, some of these might no longer be that cheap.
Ways to Tap
You could just attack with Emmara, but that won’t always be possible without exposing it in combat. That’s why you want to have other ways to tap her for value.
Relic of Legends lets you tap Emmra, and other legendary creatures in your deck, to make more mana. It also gets around summoning sickness, so you’ll be able to tap Emmara the turn she comes into play. It’s still fairly cheap, as it was just printed recently as an uncommon. Springleaf Drum works similarly. It’s cheaper, but you can only tap one creature per turn. On the other hand, you can tap non-legendaries.
Glare of Subdual is a nice way to utilize your army of tokens, as you’ll be able to keep opponents in check. Just keep in mind that it can be a bit annoying to play against, and you might make yourself a target for your opponents.
There are already quite a few ways of making tokens in the deck, but you really want to get many of them.
Queen Allenal of Ruadach is a newer creature, and fairly cheap. It’ll work nicely with all of your token producing cards, plus she can grow to be a real threat for just three mana.
Stonybrook Schoolmaster is another copy of your commander. It does the same thing, so it’ll work nicely with the cards you already have in the deck.
Cards that can serve multiple roles are great. One such card would be King Darien XLVIII, which can give you more tokens, protects them and buffs your team. Prava of the Steel Legion is somewhat similar.
One thing that you don’t want to happen in Commander is to run out of cards in your hand. Nothing is worse than sitting at the table, looking at a bunch of lands, and having no ways to use them. We’ve already mentioned Skullclamp, but here are some other nice draw engines.
Shamanic Revelation will require a board presence, but you can draw a ton of cards with it, and potentially also gain some life.
Depending on your play group, the deck could use some better removal. Single targeted removal spells aren’t that amazing in Commander, but you probably still want to run a couple of the most effective ones. You already have Path to Exile in the deck, but if you’d like access to another cheap and powerful removal spell, you can also get Swords to Plowshares.
Austere Command is a mass removal spell, and a very flexible one at that. In almost every scenario, you’ll find a combination of two modes, that’ll benefit you greatly. If none of the modes works for you, it probably means that you’re already winning, and you don’t need this card to be good anyway.
Collective Effort does a lot of things in this deck. It is a removal for a big creature, and an enchantment. It can also pump your board, and gives you another way to tap your commander.
You’ll also want some more great token payoffs, although there are quite a lot of them in the deck already.
Unbreakable Formation does a lot of work. If you have a big army of tokens, you can use it in your main phase to get a permanent boost, plus a very safe attack. Besides, you can also use it to protect your creatures from mass removal spells.
Swiftfoot Boots would fit really nicely in this deck, so you can protect Emmara from targeted removal. The haste part also comes in handy.
Don’t like opposing commander? Use Kenrith’s Tranformation, which will keep the opponent from simply recasting it.
Mana base is often overlooked. I’m a big advocate for playing lots of lands in Commander. You’ll usually have so many things to do with your mana, that you really want to play a land every single turn. That’s why I’d recommend you use 42 lands in this deck, even though you have both ramp spells and mana rocks in the deck.
You might fear that you will flood out (draw too many lands, and have nothing to do) with so many lands. That’s why you want to include utility lands, which have spell-like effects.
- Castle Ardenvale – token maker
- Gavony Township – amazing payoff for having many creatures
- Windbrisk Heights – payoff for having many creatures
- Mosswort Bridge – payoff for having many creatures
You’ll also want lands that fix your mana. These are lands that can tap for both White or Green. You need such lands, so you’re actually able to cast your spells. Some of them can be quite expensive, but here are some budget-friendly ones.
- Survivors’ Encampment – also another way to tap Emmara
- Selesnya Sanctuary
- Krosan Verge
- Sungrass Prairie
- Stirring Wildwood
Token Triumph Upgrade – Full
So with the budget part of the article finished, let’s move on to the full upgrade. Cards that I’ll talk about here are either more popular, or have fewer reprints, than the cards above. You know, the whole supply and demand thing, which makes their price higher. However, if you don’t mind spending a bit extra, these will certainly make for a good Token Triumph upgrade.
Double the Tokens, Double the Fun
Ways To Tap
There are some cards with convoke in this deck already. They all let you tap Emmara. Chord of Calling is another great convoke card, which allows you to find the creature you need. Speaking of finding the right creatures, Finale of Devastation is another card that does so, although it doesn’t let tap Emmara. On the plus side, you can finish the game with it.
Bennie Bracks, Zoologist also has convoke, and it works nicely with the token theme. You’ll get a card at the end of each turn, in which you’ve made a token.
And Ways to Untap
Before you move to this section of the upgrade, you should have enough repeatable ways to tap Emmara, preferably even during your opponents’ turns.
Halo Fountain can certainly do a lot of work. It can make tokens, draw cards, and even win you the game under the right circumstances.
Both Drumbellower and Seedborn Muse give you additional untap steps, which allows you to once again tap your creatures in the opponents’ turns. (Provided that you have effects that allow you to do so.)
Quest for Renewal is another such effect, but it makes you do a bit of a work to enable it. However, in this deck, meeting its requirements shouldn’t be too hard.
Protect Your Board
A big problem for token decks are mass removal spells. You build up a big board, your opponent plays Wrath of God and you’re back to square 1. That’s why you want to include some spells that will protect your board.
Grand Crescendo both gives you a board presence and protects your creatures. A great card to include in this deck.
Toski, Bearer of Secrets as an indestructible card draw engine. You’ll have to connect with your creatures to draw cards, but that should be too hard with so many of them.
Other Powerful Cards
Here are some other strong cards which will also work well in this shell.
With so many creatures entering the battlefield, you can use Aura Shards to decimate your opponents’ board presence.
Mirari’s Wake buffs your creatures and effectively doubles your mana. Both effects can be very useful in this deck.
Elspeth, Sun’s Champion is a versatile planeswalker. It makes tokens, and is able to deal with big creatures.
Triumph of the Hordes is an unexpected finisher. If you have enough creatures, you can kill all of your opponents in one attack. Throne of the God-Pharaoh can also work as a finisher, although in a much slower time frame.
If you want to further improve your mana base, you can certainly do so, although these lands are pricier than the ones I talked about before. First up, here are some utility lands:
- Boseiju, Who Endures – land / removal spell
- Eiganjo, Seat of the Empire – land / removal spell
- Gaea’s Cradle – can make a ton of mana
- Castle Garenbrig – gets you an extra mana for creatures
- Wirewood Lodge – untap effect for Emmara
Of course there are also dual lands available, even though they are more expensive, they are multi-format staples, and you should be able to use them in many Green-White decks:
- Temple Garden
- Sunpetal Grove
- Overgrown Farmland
- Bountiful Promenade
- Branchloft Pathway
- Windswept Heath
- Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth
Cards to Remove
Commander decks consist of 99 card + 1 commander. This means that if you’re going to add cards to the deck, you’ll also have to remove that many.
So, how do you decide which cards to remove? I’d suggest you start with cards that don’t work in the theme, and aren’t extremely powerful on their own. For example, Scavenging Ooze would be one such card.
Afterwards, you can remove cards which are on theme, but are weak. One such example would be Selesnya Guildmage, which works with token theme, but has quite high activation costs. There are many such cards in the deck.
Here are some cards that you could cut for various reasons. This does not mean that all the other cards are amazing, but just that these seem the weakest.
- Ajani, Caller of the Pride – doesn’t really work with the theme
- Citywide Bust – not particularly exciting effect
- Jade Mage – very slow token generation
- Overrun – there are many better finishers, and permanent buff effects
- Overwhelming Instinct – too conditional
- Scavenging Ooze – doesn’t work with the theme
- Selesnya Guildmage – too expensive abilities
- Slate of Ancestry – weak card draw, compared to the other options
- Voice of Many – there are many better card draw effects
If you can’t decide which card to remove, you can try to find a card with a similar effect as the one you’ll add. For instance, Nullmage Shepherd is a removal for artifacts and enchantments. You can remove it if you’re adding Aura Shards.
If you do decide to take my advice and play 42 lands, you’ll first need to remove three non-land cards. Then for each land you add, you should also remove a land. Make sure that you keep enough basic lands in your deck for effects like Harvest Season.
Also, don’t play too many lands that always enter the battlefield tapped. If you added some dual lands, you can start removing cards like Elfhame Palace.
Token Triumph Upgraded Decklist
Here’s an example of an upgraded Token Triumph decklist. Note that you don’t have to strictly follow this exact decklist – you should build your deck in a way that feels fun to you.
This is the end of the Token Tirumph Upgrade Guide. Let me know in the comments if there are some amazing cards that I missed. There are so many Magic cards, that I most certainly should talk about some others as well, but I didn’t want this article to get too long and too overwhelming.
If you’re just starting out with Commander, here are some other articles that might interest you:
- How to Build Your First Commander Deck
- 5 Tips to Improve Your Commander Deck
- Beginners’ Guide to Commander
- List of All Commander Precons
See ya next time!