Video Daily Digest: More Than Token Opposition

Temur Energy, Ramunap Red, and U/B Control seem to have a stranglehold on the Standard metagame. Can a tokens strategy break through? Ross Merriam highlights a Top 8 list from the Magic Online PTQ!

Everyone is trying to figure out the same thing in Standard right now. Is there an undiscovered deck out there that can compete with the triumvirate of Temur Energy, Ramunap Red, and U/B Control?

One of the better-performing decks outside that tier right now is Abzan Tokens, built around Hidden Stockpile and Anointed Procession a la Sam Black while splashing green for the powerful new planeswalker, Vraska, Relic Seeker.

Today, I feature a slightly different take on the deck, this time featuring a blue splash for The Scarab God and Champion of Wits. Both cards already have an established pedigree in Standard, with The Scarab God as one of the premier threats of the format, so the splash is already reasonable on power level. But these already good cards synergize with the rest of the deck, making them even more desirable.

Both feature the eternalize mechanic, which notably does not reanimate the creature itself but creates a token copy, thus allowing Anointed Procession to make multiple copies of whatever you bring back with The Scarab God. And if you recur Champion of Wits, get ready to draw a whopping eight cards, discarding four, a huge swing in card advantage and battlefield position simultaneously.

Effects that can advantage you along both of those axes are among the most powerful in the game, so building that kind of synergy in a proven shell could be what the deck needs to get over the hump.

That power level helps you in midrange matchups like Temur Energy, which is Public Enemy Number One right now. The deck’s incredible amount of lifegain and relatively low curve certainly helps out against Ramunap Red, but you need to be wary of keeping hands that don’t come together quickly, and the deck noticeably lacks an answer to opposing Gods like Hazoret the Fervent, although for that one you can at least generate a pile of chump blockers.

Typically I would expect a deck like this to struggle against control, since they have the disruption to break up your synergies, but the current control deck of choice, U/B, has no answers to Hidden Stockpile or Treasure Map and the blue splash gives you access to Negate to pair with your Duresses in the sideboard.

Standard right now is dominated by a group of good-stuff decks with loads of raw power, but nothing is going to match Anointed Procession once it gets going. Having the best shell for tokens could be your ticket out of the doldrums.