After a few weeks of turbulance (hogaak and looting bans, stoneforge unban), Modern is in a place with quite a lot of brewing. There’s all sorts going on, and that usually means it’s best to be on a consistent gameplan. BW Tokens is a deck that punishes people who stumble or are playing fragile decks, so it’s great in a wide open meta. It also crushes fair decks, which Stoneforge has encouraged people to play. However, BW Tokens hasn’t had its day in the sun for quite some time. Lets see how a budget list plays out!
Check out the video below
How I designed the deck
BW tokens is inherently cheap to build, especially for a fair deck. Fair decks usually need powerful finishers like planeswalkers, goyfs or manlands, which tend to demand a good bit of money. Blue fair decks need snapcasters and cryptics to keep people in check. BW Tokens however, doesn’t! It runs cheap token generaters and some solid disruption, that all comes in fairly cheap. Remember, the Modern Event Deck was BW Tokens, so Wizards even recognised this deck as a good starter deck!
Since the Modern Event Deck was created, there’s been a few new tools printed for BW Tokens (and for almost everyone else, for that matter). Having had some experience with tokens in the past, I knew I wanted to lean heavily on Intangible Virtue rather than Honor the Pure, and use Raise the Alarm to lower my curve. WIthout Honor the Pure, actual white creatures (like Brimaz for example) lose some of their appeal. I went down the walker route, since I enjoy that.
Again, this was just a case of looking through other peoples lists (though there’s not many around for BW Tokens these days), and tweaking to taste! There were very few budget concessions, the deck is already nice n cheap!
Warning – this section contains info on the matches. If you don’t want to know the results, don’t read on!
Match 1 vs Kiki-chord – I happen to know the opponent (Kurusu) who is the Kiki-chord King, which makes our opener with zealous persecution look great. Our hand ends up lining up nicely against thiers, and they are slightly low on lands and end up playing 4 mana dorks that i can mop up with persecution. Game 2 the opp has turn 3 resto into turn 4 kiki and our inquisition can’t do anything about it! Game 3 we’re forced to mull to 5, then get locked out by Magus of the Moon. Bad beats!
Match 2 vs Rug As Foretold – our discard slows them down a bunch, then they’re forced to bolt our tokens to stop a legion landing flip. Eventually Sorin comes along and we get there! Game 2 plays out very similar and we win before they can untap with 4 4/4 rhinos!
Match 3 vs Amulet – Game 1 my opp has turn 4 titan into turn 5 2nd hasty titan and we die. We could have held up path but would have reduced our own clock, and they had the mana to karn + lattice, so no line would have worked 😦
Game 2 we lead on inquisition and remove an azusa, then get to stain the mind a few turns later to rip out 2 summoner’s pacts (that we had already seen). Turn 6 we smack em for lethal. Game 3 the opp has Turn 1 EE for 0, and a turn 2 Azusa, but can’t make a 6th mana for their titan. We get to Stain the Mind again on Turn 3, this time we know there’s no Karn in hand (they could have cast it and didn’t), so named Primeval Titan, and took 2 from hand. However, we don’t have a clock, and soon after they’re attacking with hornet queen while we flood out. Our opponent has to rip a bounceland to win the game. If they don’t, we have lifelinking 2/2s to swing the game back in our favour. Unfortunately they do draw what they need and we lose on exactly 0. Very tight but a loss 1-2.
Match 4 vs UW Control – somewhat predictably, there’s a lot of back and forth early on, but our discard disrupts their early plays. They eventually Narset and find Verdict, we put power on the board and force them to cast it (now down to 7). We then start making tokens again with Virtue in play. Somehow, the opponent manages to stabilise and get big tef to ulti range, with jace, narset and baby tef all in play – all while at 1 life. They drew extremely well and we were unlucky. Game 2 both get screwed for a bit, they eventually Verdict and we untap and lingering souls + flashback. By turn 12, we get across the line thanks to Sorin and double anthem making just 1 token good enough. Game 3 we play inquisition on 1 and see double detention sphere!! Not good news! There’s a lot of back n forth. The opp makes a really nice line of “cryptic tap team and pick up my d-sphere”, but I’ve just ripped a tidehollow which I cast to take the sphere from their hand. They rip disenchant (!!) and we start all over again – this is turn 7 and resources are starting to get stretched. Turn 9 we manage to Windbrisk + Legion flip, thoughtseize the opp and see Snapcaster, Verdict, Fact or Fiction and Timely Reinforcements. Ouch. Eventually we get across the line with a bunch of anthems and little guys! 2-2
Match 5 vs Burn – We open with a clunky hand, and then draw lands. Scoop on Turn 3! Game 2 I punted with bad sequencing, ticking up my Sorin then casting Procession. The op then got to attack and I lost attackers that would have been lethal. I have to fade 1 draw step from the op but don’t. 2-3
We finished up 2-3, which isn’t surprising for BW Tokens. The deck is consistent, but it’s not particularly powerful for modern standards. However, match 3 vs Amulet was super close, and could easily have been a win. We should have won Game 2 vs Burn and taken that to a 3rd too. On another day, we could easily have 4-1d this league. BW Tokens isn’t usually the best deck in the format, but it’s never really terrible. You can pick it up and the discard spells / manabase can move into a more traditional Abzan deck later on, and the removal is useful in decks like BW Eldrazi etc. It’s a cheap deck, but it’s also a good investment.
In terms of changes to the deck, the new Silent Clearing should be considered in the manabase, and Auriok Champion should almost definitely be in the sideboard somewhere. Auriok in particular is well placed right now, with mono red and burn both being popular choices, especially online.
Thanks for watching 🙂