Orzhov Tokens Are BACK on the Menu!

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Rediscover the might of Orzhov Tokens in MTG with our latest strategies and deck-building tips. Elevate your game and lead your token army to victory.

Why Orzhov? And why tokens?

Orzhov has always been associated with control, and sort of the Yin and Yang of Magic due to the colors themselves being polar opposites, yet still balancing out one another when combined for a deck or archetype. It is often known for control, but can also harbor a space for other archetypes with unique interactions while still being able to deal with most things that are thrown at it. Today's deck takes a balanced approach to removal, and hand hate, while also establishing a fulfilling board presence, so it doesn't feel like you're playing solitaire.

Total Cards:

New cards that improve the archetype

Magic the Gathering Card - Kaya, Spirits' Justice - MTG Circle

The new Kaya is an auto-include for this deck considering that she is the queen of tokens. Couple that with her exile abilities, and she can start to take over the game as early as turn four. The surveil ability is also useful to help us hit land drops, or put cards in the graveyard that we do not need to draw at a given time. She has a lot of upside for four mana, and has held down the fort as a replacement for Sheolred, The Apocalypse.

Magic the Gathering Card - Doorkeeper Thrull - MTG Circle

We aren't exactly relying on the thrull for crazy stats, or an ability that would cause the opponent to scoop when it resolves, but stopping artifact and creature enter the battlefield effects can really be useful, and turn what appears to be a really good use of resources into a wasted turn for the opponent. Atraxa, Grand Unifier doesn't seem so bad when the text below all of the static abilities is nullified. The only thing to be aware of in this scenario is to remember not to cast a Deep-Cavern Bat while the thrull is on the board.

Magic the Gathering Card - Long Goodbye - MTG Circle

Having this in our sideboard with the thrull allow us to remain versatile and cheaply deal with problematic spells. We have a plethora of utility with this uncounterable removal spell, as it can hit planeswalkers, and even get around the ward ability of Raffine, Scheming Seer.

Gameplay Analysis

In the video here, we take on Five Color Domain to try out the latest version of Orzhov Tokens. Something that was key in both of the games was being able to resolve Deep-Cavern Bat early. Cutting off mana ramp in the domain decks is highly effective when trying to end the game before they can resolve an Atraxa. Kaya was also vital to help us close out the game, as she made it near impossible for the opponent to keep anything on the board.

In game two, we were on the draw, so it was reasonable to board out the Fanatical Offerings to make room for more discard and removal spells. We were once again able to get into the hand of our opponent early. It helped us out that they were unable to get the proper mana for resolving their spells, but part of that was due to the fact that we were disrupting their curve by attacking their hand. This showcases the versatility of the deck, and how it can use early-game control to establish a path for the tokens to accumulate, and quickly swarm out of control.

The constant threat of a Wandering Emperor hitting the board with four available mana sitting untapped is also a detterent and makes the opponent think twice about how they use their turn. That goes for most matchups, not just against domain.

Cards that remain powerful after new set release

Magic the Gathering Card - The Wandering Emperor - MTG Circle

Something that comes as no surprise to anyone is that the emperor is still doing emperor things. She is essentially an auto-include in any midrange deck that uses white. In this deck, she shines even harder because of her token generation. The exile effect is always nice, but she allows us to be strategic with our board presence, and maintain the modality of exile and making a creature. Since we like to add counters with Virtue of Loyalty and use the anthem effect of Wedding Announcement, she also plays nice with those abilities.

Magic the Gathering Card - Welcoming Vampire - MTG Circle

How is this thing still here? We are reaping the benefits of a delayed rotation in standard by drawing extra cards each turn, and having a solid flyer in our three drop slot. Being able to maintain some sort of card advantage while attacking the hand of our opponents is a nice momentum swing, so our vampire helps us gain a strong advantage.

Magic the Gathering Card - Wedding Announcement - MTG CircleMagic the Gathering Card - Wedding Announcement - MTG Circle

Obviously, creating three tokens or drawing cards three turns in a row and then having an anthem on the board is never something that most magic players would turn down - especially not in this deck. Wedding Announcement continues to dominate in it's position in standard whether it is in token decks, or any other archetype where it sees play.

Although Sheoldred, The Apocalypse is in the sideboard, I didn't find myself bringing her into the deck too much in favor of the planeswalkers due to the fact that Kaya and Emperor were able to hold their own when it came to maintaining control of the game. They seem to stick a little better behind the mound of tokens that are ready to defend them.

Closing Thoughts

The first few versions of the deck didn't include The Wandering Emperor, and they definitely suffered because of it. That addition alone took the deck to another level. I also had a different five drop in the deck, and then subbed it out for Aclazotz, Deepest Betrayal, and that ended up getting us the right amount of top end that we needed. It also helps that the Bat God creates tokens. There may be more versions of the tokens deck to come, but the current one appears to hold it's own on ladder, and it's a fun deck to pilot. If it needs to grind out a win, it can. If it needs to amass a large army before the bombs hit the board, we are ready for that too!

I am a Magic The Gathering competitive player, and streamer. I specialize in homebrew decks. My favorite formats are: Standard, Pioneer (Explorer on Arena), and EDH. I first started playing MTG in 2001, and have played on and off since then.
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