This week at Hipsters of the Coast we have showcased some of our favorite official tokens from Magic: the Gathering. Donny Caltrider and Travis Norman each laid out their top ten lists. They scoured Scryfall to find their absolute top picks, they did fantasic jobs, and I recommend you check out their articles linked above.

After editing both of their lists, I felt compelled to make my own. Rather than try to conduct a full survey, I took the old-fashioned approach: dig through the long box of tokens in my closet and pick out the ones I like best. All of these came from booster packs printed in the last decade, though they skew a little old within that range. Donny and Travis covered plenty of the best tokens already, so I got to have some fun.

Please enjoy this walk through my personal token collection.

Elemental Token by Yeong-Hao Han

Few cards in Magic make me happier than utility lands. Anyone can tap a land for mana, but the real value comes from turning your land into an 8/8 vigilance token. Return to Ravnica draft offered plenty of fun nonsense; one of the best was populating these 8/8 elemental tokens off Grove of the Guardian. One of these babies could often finish off the game—but why not make four or five?

Octopus Token by Craig Spearing

Giant sea creature tokens end games of Limited, assuming you survive long enough to get them on board. Kiora, the Crashing Wave often dropped an emblem to generate an inevitable source of 9/9 kraken tokens, and Kiora Bests the Sea God reprised that fun dance in Theros Beyond Death draft earlier this year. (Yes, that was this year.)

What if you could get an 8/8 octopus from Crush of Tentacles on turn five after dropping a Bone Saw for free? Would that be good? What if you also bounced your opponent’s board at the same time? That would be crushing. Plus, you get to look at this cool token for a couple turns of attacking before you win. True, you don’t win on the spot. The game might stabilize and last many more turns. But it could be worse, say, if you did not get to look at your cool octopus token.

Assassin Token by Svetlin Velinov

I’m not sure that I’ve ever connected with an Assassin token from Vraska, the Unseen because people tend to concede before they can deal combat damage. How many tokens say “that player loses the game” on them? These tokens pack a real punch, and Svetlin Velinov gave them a superb illustration to boot. You could even populate more assassins for massive death squad shenanigans, should you feel so inclined.

Ragavan Token by Daniel Ljunggren

Legendary tokens are the best tokens. Marit Lage is probably the “best” of them—that token almost made it to Donny’s top ten—but none are cooler than Ragavan the monkey companion. Kari Zev, Skyship Raider saw a lot of play during the “Red is the best color in Standard” period that stretched for a couple years.

Never will you feel so good about attacking a 2/1 into an opposing 1/3; guess what, that 2/1 is dying regardless. Ragavan mostly serves to force through damage from other attackers, but that’s where a lot of aggressive decks want to be.

Boar Token by James Ryman

If you haven’t read the novel Circe by Madeline Miller, you should. (The Song of Achilles is excellent too.) The mythos of the great sorceress Circe is well known from classical Greek sources. While Miller’s book goes a long way to expanding Circe’s reputation, she is most famous for tuning Ulysses’s crewmen (and many other unwelcome visitors to her island) into pigs. Magic depicted this witchery in the original Theros on Curse of the Swine. Blue mass removal and cute little piggies!

Clue Token by Franz Vohwinkel

Magic has introduced many variations on the “cheap artifact you can sacrifice for value” token in recent years. Food, treasure, etherium cells, and gold do similar work, but clue tokens are my favorite. Thraben Inspector probably handed out the most clues in Standard, but you could get them from many sources in Shadows Over Innistrad draft. Among the clue tokens, stained-glass Avacyn is by far my favorite. Just look at her, shattered on the floor. Things did not go well for the Church of Avacyn.

Human Token by Ryan Pancoast

Avacyn Restored draft gets a bad rap, but I enjoyed the format. Soulbond was a bit too good, and the black “loner” mechanic a bit too bad, leading to an unbalanced draft metagame. One of my favorite archetypes, however, was Red-White Humans. Kessig Malcontents headlined the deck along with powerhouse creature-pumpers like Goldnight Commander.

My favorite part of that package came from Thatcher Revolt. Exploding damage is the name of the game. Just look at this scythe-wielding maniac. Imagine three of them gaining haste and swinging for your face. Imagine them swelling into 4/4s after all their enters-the-battlefield triggers resolve. Now that’s what I call Magic!

Spider Token by Lars Grant-West

If you’ve never faced down an opposing Penumbra Spider, consider yourself lucky. Lars Grant-West’s spider token illustration perfectly captures the feeling of looking up at your own death. A single 2/4 reach creature blanks attackers in most Limited formats. When you add a second token copy after the first one dies, you won’t like the results—unless you are the player doing the blocking. A few of the Masters draft sets have included this backbreaking green four drop, and I expect we’ll see them again in future iterations of such sets.

Elemental Token by Karl Kopinski

Who doesn’t love 1/0 water-horse tokens? You might want to include Master of Waves in that board state, or two of them. Years ago these elemental horses showed up in large numbers at the feature match tables of Standard Grand Prix. Mono-Blue Devotion won Pro Tour Theros in the hands of Jeremy Dezani, and these tokens played a big role in getting him there. Ride the wave!

Goat Token by Adam Paquette

Behold blessed perfection. We end our journey with the best token of all time: the goat token. My love for Magic’s goats has been documented. In my top ten gosts list, Trading Post came in third place while popping out goat tokens day and night. You could use something more proactive like Woe Strider to make them as well. Goat tokens have been around for many years, beginning in 2008 with Springjack Pasture and Springjack Shepherd from Eventide. May they persist to the end of time.

Carrie O’Hara is Editor-in-Chief of Hipsters of the Coast.

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