Token decks are nothing new in Commander, of course, and they’re firmly centered in the green-white color pair (often with red thrown in, for good measure). There’s a new commander in town, however, that might just upset the apple cart, and overthrow token commander staples like Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice and Rhys the Redeemed: all hail King Darien XLVIII long may he reign!
King Darien XLVIII is an extremely potent general for token decks, both generating and empowering tokens before sacrificing himself to protect them. An unconditional lord effect with a terrific mana sink and a powerful protective ability all come together for just three mana, which feels like an absolute bargain – and NickColon agrees, having built this Darien deck within days of it being previewed.
King Darien XLVIII by NickColon
1 King Darien XLVIII 1 Adeline, Resplendent Cathar 1 Avenger of Zendikar 1 Battle Angels of Tyr 1 Birds of Paradise 1 Craterhoof Behemoth 1 Daxos, Blessed by the Sun 1 Essence Warden 1 Maja, Bretagard Protector 1 Queen Allenal of Ruadach 1 Scute Swarm 1 Soul Warden 1 Soul's Attendant 1 Ajani, Strength of the Pride 1 Cultivate 1 Farseek 1 Harmonize 1 Hour of Reckoning 1 Hour of Revelation 1 Kodama's Reach 1 Martial Coup 1 Nature's Lore 1 Shamanic Revelation 1 Three Visits 1 Triumph of the Hordes 1 Arachnogenesis 1 Beast Within 1 Call the Coppercoats 1 Chord of Calling 1 Congregate 1 Enlightened Tutor 1 Flawless Maneuver 1 Generous Gift 1 Grand Crescendo 1 Heroic Intervention 1 March of the Multitudes 1 Obscuring Haze 1 Path to Exile 1 Return of the Wildspeaker 1 Rite of Harmony 1 Rootborn Defenses 1 Swords to Plowshares 1 Arcane Signet 1 Bootleggers' Stash 1 Commander's Sphere 1 Esika's Chariot 1 Halo Fountain 1 Idol of Oblivion 1 Oketra's Monument 1 Sol Ring 1 Talisman of Unity 1 The Great Henge 1 Anointed Procession 1 Aura Shards 1 Authority of the Consuls 1 Beastmaster Ascension 1 Cryptolith Rite 1 Felidar Retreat 1 Growing Rites of Itlimoc/Itlimoc, Cradle of the Sun 1 Intangible Virtue 1 Mirari's Wake 1 Parallel Lives 1 Rabble Rousing 1 Smothering Tithe 1 Ancient Tomb 1 Blighted Woodland 1 Boseiju, Who Endures 1 Bountiful Promenade 1 Branchloft Pathway/Boulderloft Pathway 1 Canopy Vista 1 Command Beacon 1 Command Tower 1 Eiganjo, Seat of the Empire 1 Exotic Orchard 1 Fabled Passage 1 Field of the Dead 6 Forest (276) 1 Gavony Township 1 Khalni Garden 1 Mana Confluence 1 Overgrown Farmland 6 Plains (264) 1 Plaza of Heroes 1 Prismatic Vista 1 Reflecting Pool 1 Temple Garden 1 Windbrisk Heights 1 Windswept Heath 1 Witch's Clinic 1 Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth
Of course, as a token-based deck, we have all the usual suspects. Parallel Lives, Anointed Procession, the list goes on – but what I like about the approach taken with building this particular list is the balance struck between traditional token generators and a creature suite that works interdependently with the strong token theme. Maja, Bretagard Protector’s abilities are similar to King Darien’s, Adeline, Resplendent Cathar helps to build out a board while also benefiting from a huge number of creatures, and Queen Allenal of Ruadach is perfect in a list that is looking to make lots of individual tokens.
Apart from the creatures, there are also lots of ways to generate tokens with other cards. Martial Coup, Rabble Rousing, March of the Multitudes, Halo Fountain, the list goes on – and Halo Fountain is of particular use in those games where the board is stalled out, as having 15 creatures doesn’t seem too difficult in a deck that’s able to spew out so many tokens so readily.
There are some other powerful lord effects, like Intangible Virtue and Mirari’s Wake, as well as ways to generate a bunch of extra mana with options such as Cryptolith Rite. I do like, however, that this deck has a strong life gain subtheme, with various Soul Sisters joining Congregate to make sure your life total is always extremely high. This turns Ajani, Strength of the Pride into a four-mana Plague Wind, which is always welcome!
A nice little suite of card draw effects such as Rite of Harmony, Shamanic Revelation and Return of the Wildspeaker is very useful in a deck like this, as green-white decks don’t always have the best access to card advantage. The Great Henge is a little perplexing in this list, given it only has 12 creatures plus its commander, as it doesn’t trigger off tokens – it might be better as something like a Second Harvest or Rhys the Redeemed, I suspect.
Overall, however, I like this list a lot as a well-rounded tokens deck that isn’t obnoxiously overpowered, while also being able to fill a board and protect it not just with King Darien, but also Heroic Intervention, Grand Crescendo and the like. It’s a neat and straightforward deck that’s perfect for anyone who likes having a battlefield absolutely jammed with hundreds of creatures!