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Ramping Up with Jaheira Tokens


Let me tell you, if there's two things I really love in Magic it's token decks and ramp decks. It's a big reason I love and am known for playing Elves in so many formats. There's just tons of great ways to ramp up quickly with mana dorks while simultaneously spitting out tons of tokens. When used in harmony with one another, it becomes incredibly easy to overwhelm your opponents. This playstyle doesn't just translate to Constructed but to Limited as well - specifically Cubes. If there's a token or ramp strategy that I can play in a Cube, I'm going to run it.

With all of this in mind, I'm sure you could only imagine my glee when the card Jaheira, Friend of the Forest was previewed for Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate.

Jaheira, Friend of the Forest

I honestly didn't know what backgrounds would go well with Jaheira and frankly I didn't care. I just took one look at that ability and immediately knew what a match made in heaven this card would be for my preferred playstyles nowadays. All of your tokens turn into mana dorks?! Sign me straight up! Jaheira is everything I could want in a commander and I was chomping at the bit to make a deck out of her.

Once the different backgrounds all got previewed I looked around to see what options were available to me. The main thing I tried to stick with was creature tokens or cards that enabled you to do things with your tokens that you made. There were a couple good options. I liked Cloakwood Hermit, but thought that making a mono-colored deck would be boring (spoiler: it still showed up in the 98). There was Inspiring Leader, which I liked but thought that both Selesnya tokens were a little overdone and I'd already done a lot of similar lists to it, like Maja. Street Urchin stood out also as it allows you to sacrifice tokens to deal damage, giving you something to do with the tokens and the mana they make. Ultimately, though, I ended up choosing Feywild Visitor as a great way to keep the token train rolling while also doing something a little different in Simic colors.

With the commander and background set, I quickly set out to make a deck. Let's check out the list!

Jaheira Tokens | Commander | Paige Smith

The very first thing I did with this list was, naturally, look for token makers. Before even looking up the general pool of Blue, Green, and Colorless there were a handful that I immediately knew I needed to include. Tireless Tracker, Tireless Provisioner, and Academy Manufactor all just seemed like very easy slam dunks to me. Once I started getting into the card pool, though, it became clear I wouldn't need to look far for many choices. Sprout Swarm, Awakening Zone, Nissa, Voice of Zendikar; Squirrel Nest, Master of the Wild Hunt, Biogenic Ooze - just tons of great ways to make tons of tokens! Meloku the Clouded Mirror is especially wonderful as he makes tokens by picking up lands, but the creatures end up tapping for mana so you don't lose much by bouncing lands.

Tireless Tracker
Meloku the Clouded Mirror
Jaheira's Respite

One thing I also ended up deciding on early on here was a slight elves subtheme. You might think that's because of my affinity for the tribe, and to a point you'd be right. However, this actually stemmed from how I noticed a bunch of great token makers are elves and revolve around the tribe. Elvish Warmaster, Wirewood Hivemaster, Imperious Perfect, Glittermonger, Wren's Run Packmaster, and Lys Alana Huntmaster are all elves that spit out tons of tokens. But there's more too, as many of the deck's mana dorks to get you going early are also elves, as are a few value creatures and even the commander herself! The deck isn't necessarily a strictly Elves list, but it's a pretty heavy subtheme all the same.

The thing I liked most about making this deck is that it didn't quite scream the usual Simic good stuff value deck tons of people would assume it might be. Now, don't get me wrong: you'll still be swimming in value. It's simply not in the never-ending stream of card draw, playing lands, and spitting out giant creatures that themselves generate massive immediate value. Here your value is in smaller tokens and slower engines like clues and food. You still get some great cards, though, like the classic Oko, Thief of Crowns to make tokens and turn off opponents' problem cards. Edric draws you tons of cards, Jaheira's Respite gets you lands while fogging, Nullmage Shepherd turns your tokens into Disenchants, and so on. There's no shortage of great cards here.

Parallel Lives
Extravagant Replication

One of the coolest interactions I caught while working on this list you may have actually seen me gush about on Twitter a little. This is the interaction with Parallel Lives and Extravagant Replication. Both on their own are excellent choices for a deck like this and fit like a glove. Of course you want to double your tokens, and simultaneously of course you'd love to make token copies of cards like Mulldrifter or Avenger of Zendikar. But have you ever considered copying the Parallel Lives for a couple of turns? As it happens, you'll get a crazy amount of Parallel Lives, which in turn will net you a ridiculous number of tokens to completely overwhelm your opponents. I'll let Twitter user Natedogg316 explain it better:

This is by far the craziest thing you can do in a deck full of crazy, splashy plays and interactions. And at the end of it all, if you really need to close out a game you've always got cards like Craterhoof Behemoth, Biomass Mutation, and Blue Sun's Zenith to close things out. That is, of course, assuming you don't simply amass enough tokens to overwhelm your opponents with a swarm of 1/1s.

At the end of the day, though, Jaheira is such a cool commander. Looking at her now, it's almost a wonder that an ability like this never existed on a card before. We've seen similar, such as Rishkar turning +1/+1 counters into mana abilities and Cryptolith Rite's everything makes mana, but not a legend that really benefits tokens in this way. With most token decks focusing solely on power buffs, it's nice seeing one that takes them in a different and really cool direction. Like I mentioned near the start, there's actually a surprising number of good backgrounds that you can use to go along with her, so if you want to do something that's not so "Simic Good Stuff" then you've got a number of great options.

However, you want to build Jaheira, though, there's no doubt you're in for a damn good time. She'll easily be the talk of the table when you take her along to your next commander night. If you play her, though, make sure you bring enough tokens. You're going to need them.

Paige Smith

Twitter: @TheMaverickGal

Twitch: twitch.tv/themaverickgirl

YouTube: TheMaverickGal

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