How does anybody manage to make a working token deck with all those board wipes?

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I picked up the Ghave deck, which is very much geared towards making an army of tokens. However, after playing a few games, I don't see how it's a viable strategy when your entire army can be wiped for two mana. How do you even design a working deck when there's so many across-the-board damage cards in the game?
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If you're opponents are playing electrickery in an EDH, then you have a fortunate meta.

Otherwise, I would say, find a way to make your tokens more resilient.  I like making beasts from the baloths at EoT with that enchantment that sacs a creature to get a land in to play.  Landfall is cool! 
Another beastly EoT tokens FTW is White Sun's Zenith it's the poop.

I would say, also, that you don't need a million tokens to kill someone, only more damage than they have life. 
I picked up the Ghave deck, which is very much geared towards making an army of tokens. However, after playing a few games, I don't see how it's a viable strategy when your entire army can be wiped for two mana. How do you even design a working deck when there's so many across-the-board damage cards in the game?



It really depends on your play group. My playgroup has alot of slower decks that don't bother with the cheaper removal like that so its a race to see who can go off faster. Also, it helps if you have consistant ways of pumping your tokens from the base 1/1. My tokens are tribal based (Rhys elf engine; and to a lesser extent my Goblins are a token based deck because when things are going right, I will be abusing the token generators with the Skirk Prospector to play other goblin cards) so I get alot of pump from the lords (Elvish Archdruid/Imperious Perfect or Goblin King/Goblin Chieftain), Coat of Arms, Door of Destinies, and Eldrazi Monument.if we are talking about damage removal.

Having good recursion helps alot as well. Recursion is probably one of the most important aspects of EDH/Commander format. In a format where things can go so random, being able to get back your good cards after several people wrath in a single game is a huge deal, which is why if you can put your effects on a creature/enchantment that is easier to recur over a one cast instant/sorcery, its generally worth your while even if it is a turn or 2 slower. Genesis and Oversold Cemetery are good starters

Another thing that can help is also making sure other people feel your pain when your stuff dies: Grave Pact, Butcher of Malakir, Blood Artist, Stalking Vengeance are all gold in decks where your focus is creatures and you want to make sure other people think twice about wrathing. I know I have times where I have been about to kill someone off with my Rhys deck and had Kamahl, Fist of Krosa out when a Wrath was going down. I started turning people's lands into creatures and suddenly people were very interested in countering that Wrath.

Hope this helps you some.


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I am White/Green
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I am both orderly and instinctive. I value community and group identity, defining myself by the social group I am a part of. At best, I'm selfless and strong-willed; at worst, I'm unoriginal and mindless.

My Current EDH Decks: Rhys the Redeemed Token Elves | Wort, Boggart Auntie R/B Goblins | Brion Stoutarm | Rakdos, Lord of Riots | Tajic, Weapon with Mass Destruction | Jor-Kadeen the Prevailer | Melek, Izzet Paragon | Heliod Enchantments | Prossh Tokens and Sac | Captain Sisay Legendary Toolbox Beatdown | Marath Beast Tribal | Marath Token Combos | Horde of Notions Elemental Tribal | Zirilian Mono Red Dragon Tribal

Yes... I have 14 built decks used regularly, including 3 Boros Colored Decks. Don't judge me. =P

You just need to make more tokens!  My Rith deck (that's linked in my sig) does pretty well.  The key is not to over extend.  For instance, if you have a Mycoloth and/or a Verdant Force pumping out tokens, you could probably wait to play your Hero of Bladehold.  There's also Rootborn Defenses and stuff like that.

University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, Class of 2016

My Peasant Cube: A Cube for the Commoners

This is why I do not build token decks while they alwyas look fun its that idea of all my hard work undone so easily
Having access to ghave means you always have access to a swarm that kills a lot of people should you drop craterhoof behemoth. I say no worries.

Also, cathars crusade.

3DH4LIF3

Having access to ghave means you always have access to a swarm that kills a lot of people should you drop craterhoof behemoth. I say no worries. Also, cathars crusade.



I run craterhoof behemoth in Damia and he is a Brick..... house.  Almost ever time he is resolved = a win for the good guys
Ive landed it early when it wasn't enough for the whole table, but always enough for at least one opponent.

3DH4LIF3

Cathars' Crusade is nuts. I just put together a Darien, King of Kjeldor deck, where he's pretty much the only token generator. Cathars' Crusade can make my tokens so big so fast that you can recover very quickly from a board wipe.

Also, good old Coat of Arms works very well if you are the only token player.
You just have to build a token deck that either grows too big to be dealt with easily, or is able to have burst swarms. As you're running Ghave; you can always just go and make it a combo swarm deck.
Hello. The best way to play tokens with Ghave, Guru of Spores it synergy/combo/infinite combo, but I a not so much of the infinite combo type, actually I avoid infinite combo(s), though my deck has pieces to do as such, I do not play them.

When playing with tokens and facing against damage base wipes, Vigor comes to mind, as does Cathar's Crusade.  But when facing destroy board wipes, I really don't care. One, Ghave is always an army and combo machine. Two, you should have enchantment based token engines such as BitterblossomSacred Mesa, Awakening Zone and Luminarch Ascension. Youc an even put in Squirrel Nest and Earth Craft if you feel like it. Three, insert, at minimum, Elspeth, Knight-Errant, Elspeth Teril and Sorin, Lord of Innistrad which both place and assist a token stragety.  The mono-green Garruks are fine, too. Four, play Blood Artist and his fatter brother, Falkenrath Noble, because they make 90% of EDH board wipes a Catch 22.  You can even use Winding Canyons to sneak either those two in or Dauntless Escort or Avacyn, Angel of Hope in before any board wipe resolves.

I recommend the following cards in a Ghave deck: Mentor of the Meek, Regal Force and Skullmulcher. They provide a needed card advantage in any non-Blue deck.

With that mentioned, although I negelect this power that is infinite combo, my Ghave, Guru of Spores deck has a phenomenal record at the local card shop, play group and EDH tournaments. My deck list is below, feel free to message me or post here for a more indepth explanation and good luck brewing and playing.

No Rest for the Wicked

Ghave, Guru of Spores

Creature:

Academy Rector
Mentor of the Meek
Sun Titan
Glory
Rune-Scarred Decmon
Blood Artist
Falkenrath Noble
Grave Titan
Eternal Witness
Skullmulcher
Regal Force
Rhys the Redeemed
Avenger of Zendikar
Savra, Queen of the Golgari
Solemn Simulacrum

Planeswalker:

Elspeth, Knight-Errant
Elspecth Teril
Sorin, Lord of Innistrad

Enchantment:

Luminarch Ascension
Sacred Mesa
Cathar's Crusade
Attrition
Mind Slash
Grave Pact
Phyrexian Arena
Bitterblossom
Mana Reflection
Awakening Zone
Sylvian Library
Doubling Season
Parallel Lives
Mirari's Wake
Aura Shards

Artifact:

Sensai's Divining Top
Skullclamp
Voltaic Key
Riptide Replicator
Eldrazi Monument
Akroma's Memorial
Phyrexian Altar
Ashnod's Altar
 
Grim Monolith
Chromatic Lantern
Gilded Lotus
Doubling Cube

Instant/Sorcery:

Enlightened Tutor
Idyllic Tutor
Dust to Dust
Return to Dust
Hallowed Burial
Rout
Austere Command
Replenish
Vampiric Tutor
Demonic Tutor
Ashes to Ashes
Crop Rotation
Nature's Lore
Farseek
Skyshroud Claim
Genesis Wave
Tooth and Nail
Eladamri's Call

Land:

Command Tower
Reflecting Pool
Murmuring Bosk
Marsh Flats
Verdant Catacombs
Windswept Heath
Srubland
Bayou
Savannah
Godless Shrine
Overgrown Tomb
Temple Garden
Fetid Heath
Twilight Mire
Wooded Bastion
Isolated Chapel
Woodland Cemetery
Sunpetal Grove
Serra's Sanctum
Gaea's Cradle
Vault of the Archangel
Gavony Township
Mosswort Bridge
Yavimaya Hollow
Winding Canyons
Volrath's Stronghold
Kor Haven
Reliquary Tower
Maze of Ith
2x Plains
2x Swamp
2x Forest 
I picked up the Ghave deck, which is very much geared towards making an army of tokens. However, after playing a few games, I don't see how it's a viable strategy when your entire army can be wiped for two mana. How do you even design a working deck when there's so many across-the-board damage cards in the game?



Well, Ghave always has the option of sac'ing a dying token for a +1/+1 counter. He's also a dirty, dirty combo machine with stupid amounts of cards he has at least some synergy with, which makes him generally more reliable than other token-friendly commanders.

Or you could run Eldrazi Monument.
Or Gavony Township &/or the previously mentioned Cathars' Crusade.
Or, now that I look, any number of cards in the deck listed in the post just above mine.

Current EDH Decks: Radha Timmy, Oona exile/mill, Edric aggro, Marath tokens, Uril Voltron, Ertai counters, Sek'Kuar sac engines, Ezuri elf tribal, Oloro life gain, Zedruu tokens, White Mikaeus indestructible, Riku allies, Ghave synergy, Momir Vig Simic to a fault, Zur pillow fort/extort, Cromat artifacts, Rafiq aggro, Nekuzar zombies, Prossh creature beats, Roon ETB/bounce, Garza Zol vampires.

 

 

 

I picked up the Ghave deck, which is very much geared towards making an army of tokens. However, after playing a few games, I don't see how it's a viable strategy when your entire army can be wiped for two mana. How do you even design a working deck when there's so many across-the-board damage cards in the game?



Indestructability is always a good idea. Mycosynth lattice with Darksteel Forge would work. [c]
Elspeth, Knight-Errant[/c] could work if you're running a commander with white. If you're running green, with doubling season you need just summon her.

You may also want to look into a different type of token. Soul Foundry could make creatures like Wayfaring Temple, Geist-honored Monk and even Champion of Lambholt extremely dangerous.  
Something I haven't seen many mention is that you should avoid one-shot token makers, unless they're the creme-de-la-creme. Sorceries and instants that just put tokens into play are to be avoided because if you get whacked with a sweeper, you're down cards.

On the other hand, (noncreature) permanents that put tokens into play, especially Elspeth, Sorin of Innistrad, Garruk, and also cards like Luminarch Ascension or Pegasus Mesa. These cards make sweepers a temporary setback, but nothing more.

Your long-term game plan should be an inevitable swarm; unless your opponents sweep and sweep and continue to apply pressure to you, you will gain an increasing number of extra tokens every turn, until even if they sweep, they can't keep you from having enough tokens out to kill them the following turn.
It depends on the one shot. White Sun's Zenith can be pretty good, same with decree of justice.

3DH4LIF3

It depends on the one shot. White Sun's Zenith can be pretty good, same with decree of justice.



Agreed; that's what I mean by Creme-de-la-Creme; Entreat the Angels is another one I like. 
I'm a fan of Kjeldoran Outpost for soldier action (Captain of the Watch and Knight-Captain of Eos make soldiers even better in token decks, not to mention all the soldier boosters that don't even make tokens...), and a good one-shot is Nomads' Assembly, which I guess is really a two shot. I am always amused by casting it and getting a ton of lorded-up tokens, have a board sweep go through over the next couple players' turns, and then starting back up with it after making some dudes off the Outpost and any other non-creature token maker (unless I've got the mana to flash in a creature that makes tokens, obviously). Hoofprints of the Stag makes good tokens and can work fairly regularly if you draw enough (Staff of Nin, Phyrexian Arena, Regal Force, etc...).

Surviving board wipes is not too hard with a dedicated token-making strategy. If all dudes on the battlefield are destroyed or whatever, you should be able to plop out more than your opponents in the next couple turns and be caught back up. Tokens in multiplayer becomes an attrition-based war you wage, and you just need to weapons to fight the long game until you hit on Craterhoof Behemoth, Overrun, Overwhelming Stampede, or to be mean about it, Triumph of the Hordes for a sudden win.
If I'm right, I'm right. If I'm wrong, I still believe I'm right. Think of it as religion. dubito ergo sum.
Cool, thanks for all the help! Time to look into some of those cards... Well, the ones that aren't $10-$25 (even in MtGO!) at least. Or give up and work on my Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius deck
You are Red/Blue!
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@Mr indigo- I don't speak French :p

3DH4LIF3

Here is my Ghave deck. No infinite combos, just a lot of synergy and cards with more than one purpose. I can go for tokens if the board isn't wipe-happy, or I can use the tokens as nothing more than sac fodder to power various other cards.

1 x Ghave, Guru of Spores

1 x Sylvan Ranger
1 x Solemn Simulacrum
1 x Elvish Archdruid
1 x Civic Wayfinder
1 x Drumhunter
1 x Psychotrope Thallid
1 x Garruk's Packleader
1 x Glissa, the Traitor
1 x Juniper Order Ranger
1 x Requiem Angel
1 x Archdemon of Unx
1 x Teysa, Orzhov Scion
1 x Verdant Force
1 x Twilight Drover
1 x Savra, Queen of the Golgari
1 x Forgotten Ancient
1 x Butcher of Malakir
1 x Elvish Farmer
1 x Karador, Ghost Chieftain
1 x Vigor
1 x Cemetery Reaper
1 x Teneb, the Harvester
1 x Rhys the Redeemed
1 x Corpsejack Menace
1 x Golgari Guildmage
1 x Kalitas, Bloodchief of Ghet
1 x Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord
1 x Divinity of Pride
1 x Vulturous Zombie
1 x Sun Titan
1 x Nath of the Gilt-Leaf
1 x Ghost Council of Orzhova
1 x Acidic Slime
1 x Korozda Guildmage
1 x Avatar of Woe
1 x Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter
1 x Gleancrawler

1 x Darksteel Plate
1 x Eldrazi Monument
1 x Cellar Door
1 x Jar of Eyeballs
1 x Contagion Engine
1 x Pristine Talisman
1 x Mind's Eye
1 x Phyrexian Vault
1 x Vessel of Endless Rest

1 x Cultivate
1 x Kodama's Reach
1 x Gaea's Blessing
1 x Primal Command
1 x Green Sun's Zenith
1 x Sundering Growth
1 x Slice in Twain
1 x Aura Mutation
1 x Black Sun's Zenith
1 x Spread the Sickness
1 x Suffer the Past
1 x Exsanguinate

1 x Grave Pact
1 x Gravestorm
1 x Doubling Season
1 x Necrogenesis
1 x Golgari Germination
1 x Aura Shards
1 x Righteous War

1 x Graypelt Refuge
1 x Vault of the Archangel
1 x Mistveil Plains
1 x Command Tower
1 x Selesnya Sanctuary
1 x Mosswort Bridge
1 x Gavony Township
1 x Kabira Crossroads
1 x Razorverge Thicket
1 x Khalni Garden
1 x Elfhame Palace
1 x Grim Backwoods
1 x Golgari Rot Farm
1 x Sunpetal Grove
1 x Vivid Marsh
1 x Oran-Rief, the Vastwood
1 x Llanowar Reborn
1 x Barren Moor
1 x Orzhove Basilica
8 x Swamp
4 x Forest
3 x Plains

Current EDH Decks: Radha Timmy, Oona exile/mill, Edric aggro, Marath tokens, Uril Voltron, Ertai counters, Sek'Kuar sac engines, Ezuri elf tribal, Oloro life gain, Zedruu tokens, White Mikaeus indestructible, Riku allies, Ghave synergy, Momir Vig Simic to a fault, Zur pillow fort/extort, Cromat artifacts, Rafiq aggro, Nekuzar zombies, Prossh creature beats, Roon ETB/bounce, Garza Zol vampires.

 

 

 

you should avoid one-shot token makers
...
On the other hand, (noncreature) permanents that put tokens into play, especially Elspeth, Sorin of Innistrad, Garruk, and also cards like Luminarch Ascension or Pegasus Mesa. These cards make sweepers a temporary setback, but nothing more.


I actually completely disagree with this, and would advise taking the mirror image approach.

I say run a ton of one-shot instant-swarm cards, and only use the crem-de-la-creme of the repeatable generators. Increasing devotion, army of the damned, storm herd, lingering souls, spectral procession, cloudgoat ranger, grave titan, geist-honored monk, etc....these are all great cards for a token deck, especially in a wipe-heavy meta. Being able to instantly regain 'swarm' status with just a single card or two is a far more powerful way to recover from a wrath effect than taking 4+ turns to slowly rebuild via token-generating planeswalkers.

I mean, yeah sure, run the planeswalkers mentioned. They're good cards. But don't epect them to be the backbone of your deck's token generation. They're too slow for that. They support the strategy, and do other cool stuff like threaten to go ultimate behind an endless stream of chump blockers. But they can't do it all themselves.

Plus, if you make your deck too focused on repeatable token engines, you make yourself more vulnerable to answers. If you're relying on garruk and elspeth to get you there, and someone takes one of them with blatant thievery, you're in a world of pain. If someone nature's claims your luminarch ascension before it goes live, that really sucks. But if instead you were relying on storm herd and army of the damned, do you even care about blatant thievery? Sure, take a 2/2 token or a 1/1 flier. Are you sure you wouldn't rather have a land?? You probably would haha. And I'm still crushing you in board position!

One of the cool things about token decks is supposed to be a nigh-invulnerability to pinpoint answers. If your strength comes from a large number of weak things rather than a few singularly powerful permanents, your opponents are going to expend their resources fighting over each others precious bombs. Nobody's going to use confiscate to steal a 2/2 zombie token. And that's part of the strength of this deck style. If you don't have any singularly powerful permanents, all the pinpoint answers tend to instead go and answer other things controlled by other players - things that you probably want answered too! So when that return to dust goes and answers a sphinx of the steel wind that you were having trouble out-racing, and something else powerful that was bothing the caster, and nothing you own, you can silently be happy that you weren't using sacred mesa...because if you were, you'd probably have eaten half of that return to dust and could still be struggling with the big sphinx.
For me it's all about Goblin Chirurgeon he says in the event of a wrath keep half the board alive including the all-stars like Moggcatcher Goblin Chieftain Boartusk Liege krenko, mob boss etc. It also helps having a commander with a come into play token making ability Wort, The Raidmother rocks between all the goblin generating spells which you can conspire:

Goblin Rally
Dragon Fodder
Goblin Offensive
Krenko's command
empty The Warrens

and creatures like
Mogg War Marshal
Goblin Marshal
Siege-gang Commander
Beetleback chief
Chancellor of the forge
the aforementioned Krenko, mob boss

etc

I can generate a lot of tokens very quickly even without Chirurgeon in play it's definately a viable stratergy.  Don't run  Goblin Assault it forces you to make horrible attacks.

See my decklist here community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...
For me it's all about Goblin Chirurgeon he says in the event of a wrath keep half the board alive including the all-stars like Moggcatcher Goblin Chieftain Boartusk Liege krenko, mob boss etc. It also helps having a commander with a come into play token making ability Wort, The Raidmother rocks between all the goblin generating spells which you can conspire:

Goblin Rally
Dragon Fodder
Goblin Offensive
Krenko's command
empty The Warrens

and creatures like
Mogg War Marshal
Goblin Marshal
Siege-gang Commander
Beetleback chief
Chancellor of the forge
the aforementioned Krenko, mob boss

etc

I can generate a lot of tokens very quickly even without Chirurgeon in play it's definately a viable stratergy.  Don't run  Goblin Assault it forces you to make horrible attacks.

See my decklist here community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...



Assuming you mean things like Day of Judgment/Planar Cleansing or things like it because Wrath of God (And Damnation) says that that they cannot be regenerated.
That approach would work, but he's running Ghave so its kind of a different story, though this effect is duplicated in Fanatical Devotion in white.

I am White/Green
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I am both orderly and instinctive. I value community and group identity, defining myself by the social group I am a part of. At best, I'm selfless and strong-willed; at worst, I'm unoriginal and mindless.

My Current EDH Decks: Rhys the Redeemed Token Elves | Wort, Boggart Auntie R/B Goblins | Brion Stoutarm | Rakdos, Lord of Riots | Tajic, Weapon with Mass Destruction | Jor-Kadeen the Prevailer | Melek, Izzet Paragon | Heliod Enchantments | Prossh Tokens and Sac | Captain Sisay Legendary Toolbox Beatdown | Marath Beast Tribal | Marath Token Combos | Horde of Notions Elemental Tribal | Zirilian Mono Red Dragon Tribal

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I picked up the Ghave deck, which is very much geared towards making an army of tokens. However, after playing a few games, I don't see how it's a viable strategy when your entire army can be wiped for two mana. How do you even design a working deck when there's so many across-the-board damage cards in the game?




Because in EDH, tokens don't stay 1/1's or aren't 1/1 to begin with!!!! : )

entreat the angels
verdeloth old favorite of mine
intangible virtue
grave titan
wurmcoil engine
muraganda petroglyphs
garruk, primal hunter
garruk wildspeaker  


Also, most token decks (personal, and the odd builds asside) will involve green. So, cards like doubling season and parallel lives are token deck staples. doubling season with saproling burst for example gives you an enchantment with 14 fading counters on it, then you remove a counter and put 2 tokens into play, if parallel lives is in play, then you get 4! I really wish they would pop off of each other and go infinite, but whatever. 

Then you'll notice token decks may also involve white. Now you have some prominent planeswalkers to pick from, and as I mentioned with doubling season in play they enter play with twice the tokens usually allowing their ultimate to pop off right away in some instances.

ajani goldmane
elspeth tirel
elspeth, knight-errant are all good options.

then, if black is thrown into the mix, fun things can happen.

sorin, lord of innistrad and
Vraska the Unseen saw this come into play with a doubling season out, 6 1/1's won that game.

hour of reckoning for your own protection, yeah, it is pricey.
Instead of just using cheap 1/1 token producers,

use expensive ones like crush of wurms paired with parallel lives or doubling season

you're playing green, you can put expensive spells in your deck

also, creature pumps

GW decks have sooo many enchantments that pump creatures Gaea's anthem , intangible virtue , Mirari's wake just to name a few

also in token, you can use eldrazi monument with no severe drawbacks and after that very few board wipes will work, killing wave , black sun's zenith and final judgment are a few that you still have to worry about though

also, a niche card I use in my token decks fresh meat

they board wipe you? enjoy upwards to triple your tokens with doubling/parallel out