Saturday, April 4, 2015

Tokens with Dragons of Tarkir

As I'm finishing off Part 3 of my Standard Pauper review of Dragons of Tarkir, two cards have really stood out to me as really pushing you to play a dedicated Tokens build. With Dragons of Tarkir, we have 13 cards that generate tokens, primarily focused in both Red and White. Generally speaking, for a Tokens build, you want cheap spells that generate multiple creatures, of which five really stand out: Dragon Fodder, Mardu Hordechief, Raise the Alarm, Sandsteppe Outcast, and Triplicate Spirits. That's a pretty decent set of cards. So what's our incentive?

1. Foul-Tongue Shriek looks like a really strong card. It's cheap, Instant speed, and even with only 3 creatures, you're getting a six point life swing, which certainly is significant in almost any game state. But the real problem with this card is that it has no actual effect on the board itself, and does absolutely nothing unless you have creatures with good attacks in the first place. This obviously seems perfect for such a tokens strategy, but requires you to splash for Black in order to cast it. In the right scenario, this card could be amazing. But what about the rest of the time? Does this give you a good enough payoff to be worth playing?

2. Impact Tremors is the other card clearly designed to synergize with token strategies. If you take Lightning Strike as a baseline, it takes a minimum of three activations to at least get an equivalent amount of damage. Worse though, the damage can only be used on your opponent, not on opposing creatures. There certainly seem to be enough token generators to get some value out of this, but it remains to be seen whether its enough to really make this worthwhile. There's a ton of value to be had in the right deck in the right circumstances; but again, is the average payoff good enough to be worth playing even in a dedicated token strategy?

To be honest, I have my doubts. What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. I was very excited about Impact Tremors and gave it high marks and great expectations in my own set review. I test it out as soon as I could. Tried it out in mono red first. It did not perform as well as I'd hoped. I rarely got much damage out of it. I'm thinking that Boros might be better, but still, it competes with Heroic triggers that generate more value. I think I over-evaluated Tremors.

    Shriek is another story. Black White Tokens is already a deck in the metagame and gains life as well as does damage. White has better token makers. I'm thinking Orzhov Tokens featuring Harsh Sustenance and Foul-Tongued Shriek are going to be better than anything trying to break Tremors. That card might be okay in Classic or Vintage, but it doesn't look like it's going to make it in Standard Pauper.