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Budget Magic: Dimir Tokens (Standard)


Cześć, witaj, Budget Magic lovers, it's that time once again! Token decks most often are base-white or maybe green since those colors usually have the best token producers, but today's deck is a little bit different: Dimir Tokens! Over Magic's history, blue and black have been two of the weakest colors for making tokens, so what makes Dimir Tokens possible in Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Standard? The combination of Poppet Stitcher and Sedgemoor Witch. Both cards are super similar: two-drops that make a token whenever we cast an instant or sorcery spell. This allows us to load up on cheap spells (removal, cantrips, and counters), hopefully stick a couple of our token producers, and quickly build a massive board of Pests and decay Zombies. Once we get a big board, we can flip Poppet Stitcher into Poppet Factory, turn all of our tokens into 3/3s, and hopefully kill our opponent in just one or two attacks! Even better, the deck only takes 15 total rares and mythics to build on Magic Arena! Can Dimir Tokens work on a budget in Standard? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Budget Magic: Dimir Tokens

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The Deck

Dimir Tokens is a blue-black spellslinger deck. The goal is to stick Poppet Stitcher and / or Sedgemoor Witch, protect them, cast some cheap instants and sorceries to make a bunch of tokens, and eventually kill our opponent by flipping Poppet Stitcher into Poppet Factory to buff our tokens (and keep them from decaying away) to kill our opponent quickly with just a couple of attacks!

The Payoffs

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The foundation of our deck is four copies of Poppet Stitcher and four copies of Sedgemoor Witch. The two cards are incredibly similar—three-drops that make a token whenever we cast an instant or sorcery—with the main difference being that Poppet Stitcher makes 2/2 Zombies with decayed while Sedgemoor Witch makes 1/1 Pests. Both cards are fine on their own but even better together, both because playing both gives us eight copies, increasing our odds of having at least one in our opening hand, and because our best games often involve getting two or three of these cards on the battlefield. Once we play our payoffs, our game plan is to protect them with cheap spells; keep them on the battlefield for as long as possible; and make a bunch of tokens along the way as we cast counterspells, removal, and card draw. Eventually, we'll overwhelm our opponent with tokens, either naturally or with the help of Poppet Stitcher flipping into Poppet Factory to turn all of our tokens into 3/3s. 

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Rounding out our creature package is Delver of Secrets. Initially, I was skeptical of Delver of Secrets in Standard, but it overperformed in the Izzet Delver deck we played a few weeks ago, and it's a natural fit for Dimir Tokens since it cares about the same thing that Poppet Stitcher and Sedgemoor Witch do: having a bunch of instants and sorceries in our deck. We have a total of 29 spells, which means our odds of flipping a Delver of Secrets are almost 50%. While not super common, we have some games where we played a copy or two of Delver of Secrets early in the game, protected it, and ended up getting a free-ish win with the 3/2 flier. 

Protection

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The biggest drawback of Sedgemoor Witch and Poppet Stitcher is that they are pretty fragile and die to most of the removal that sees play in Standard. Protecting them is essential since we really need our payoffs to stick on the battlefield for a few turns to generate value. For this, we turn to Malakir Rebirth and You See a Guard Approach, both of which have the additional upside of being one-mana instants to trigger our payoffs to make tokens. Malakir Rebirth can save one of our creatures from anything but exile removal for the cost of one mana and two life, while You See a Guard Approach stops targeted removal, with the fringe upside being that we can also use it to tap down a creature, which can help get a blocker out of the way or slow down our opponent's offense, buying us a bit more time to make tokens and (hopefully) close out the game. Keeping Sedgemoor Witch and Poppet Stitcher on the battlefield is so important to our deck that we often wait until we have four mana to cast them (especially if we only have one in hand) so we can leave up one of these spells to protect our payoff.

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Our counterspells—Jwari Disruption and Saw It Coming—do double duty in our deck. They offer additional protection for our payoffs while also answering solid answers to the best threats in Standard, like Esika's Chariot and Alrund's Epiphany. Jwari Disruption and our other MDFCs also have some extra upside, giving us lands that are technically instants or sorceries, which allows them to flip Delver of Secrets or make tokens with Poppet Stitcher and Sedgemoor Witch when we don't need the mana.

Card Draw

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Once we get Poppet Stitcher and / or Sedgemoor Witch onto the battlefield, the most powerful thing our deck can do is chain together several cheap spells in one turn, making a massive board of tokens almost by surprise. Consider keeps us churning through our deck for just a single mana, Silundi Vision gives us another spell-land MDFC, and Behold the Multiverse is actually great in the deck since we can foretell it early in the game and wait until we get a payoff or two on the battlefield before casting it to draw cards and make tokens.

Removal

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Last but not least, we have Infernal Grasp and Fading Hope for removal. Infernal Grasp kills anything for just two mana at instant speed, which is great, even if it does cost a bit of life. Meanwhile, Fading Hope is a solid tempo play, is especially good against tokens, and can be used to save a Poppet Stitcher or Sedgemoor Witch from removal in a pinch!

Playing the Deck

The most important thing to realize about Dimir Tokens is that we only have 12 threats in the deck, and just eight if you discount Delver and focus on the token makers. As such, it's important to make sure that we have at least one of these cards (and hopefully two) in our opening hand because if we don't, we risk not finding one early in the game and just spinning our wheels. In general, an opening seven without any creatures is a mulligan, although there are sometimes exceptions if we have a lot of cantrips and card draw.

As I mentioned before, if we only have one Poppet Stitcher or Sedgemoor Witch in hand, it's often worth waiting an extra turn or two to play it so we can leave up a counterspell or You See a Guard Approach / Malakir Rebirth as protection. Basically, our creatures are very valuable because we don't have many of them, and wasting one by throwing it haphazardly into a removal spell usually isn't a good idea (and doubly so if we have a protection spell in hand). While there are times when we need to be aggressive and hope for the best, in general, the patient plan is the best plan with Dimir Tokens. 

One card I really wanted to play in the deck but ended up dropping was Siphon Insight. It fits the cheap-spell theme and can actually be pretty powerful. The main problem is that even though Siphon Insight is super cheap in paper, it's a rare, which increases the budget on Magic Arena. And we were already at our cap of 15 total rares and mythics. If you have some copies, feel free to do some trimming to find room for it because it should be pretty sweet in the deck.

Wrap-Up

All in all, we went 3-2 with the deck in games we actually finished (after playing Alrund's Epiphany three times, I decided I'd just scoop to any future Epiphany decks we played for the sake of diversity, and that happened a few more times—apparently, a lot of people are playing Alrund's Epiphany on Magic Arena at the moment). This is a solid enough record for a budget deck, and doubly so considering how incredibly close out loss was to the Temur Epiphany deck. In general, the deck worked well and felt pretty competitive.

As far as changes to make to the budget build of the deck now that we've played some matches, the main one is slightly tweaking the mana base. Ice Tunnel felt pretty clunky. With six MDFCs in the deck and Ice Tunnel, we have a total of 10 lands that come into play tapped, which might just be too many for a tempo deck. Trimming at least a couple of copies of Ice Tunnel for Field of Ruin and / or more basic lands is probably worthwhile. While our colors will be slightly less consistent, we've got enough cheap cantrips and card draw that we should still be able to hit our colors on time.

So, should you play Dimir Tokens in Standard? I think the answer is yes if you like spellslinger decks and are looking for something that's budget-friendly. The deck seemed pretty well-suited to compete with various Alrund's Epiphany decks thanks to our counterspells and discard in the sideboard, while our token protection from Sedgemoor Witch gives us a steady stream of blockers against creature decks. While the deck probably isn't tier one, it is good enough to win a decent number of games, even against the top decks in the meta.

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While there isn't really a way to get Dimir Tokens down near $50 in paper—a playset of Sedgemoor Witch and of Poppet Stitcher cost more than $50 by themselves, and they are the foundation of the deck—we can get the deck down to just eight total rares and mythics on Magic Arena by trimming back on the mana and switching up a few sideboard slots.

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Finally, for our non-budget list, we get one big addition to the main deck in Siphon Insight. Otherwise, we mostly upgrade the mana base and make a few changes to the sideboard.

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.



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