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Much Abrew: I Make the Most Foods & Clues & Treasures Ever! | Tolkien Tokens (Modern)

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Lonis's Token Factory has long been one of my favorite Modern decks. It's never been a great deck since it relies on finding a 1/2 and keeping it on the battlefield or a few turns, but it's one of the most spectacular things imaginable when it goes off, with the board quickly being flooded with an absurd amount of Food, Clue, and Treasure tokens. But things might be changing for the archetype thanks to Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth, which offers not only some good support cards in Peregrin Took and Delighted Halfling but also an upgraded version of Lonis, Cryptozoologist in Samwise Gamgee, which makes the deck way more consistent (since we now have eight copies of Lonis) and also much more powerful as well by allowing it to go fully, deterministically infinite! How many tokens can we make in Modern with the combo of Samwise, Lonis, and Academy Manufactor? How does Tolkien Tokens actually work? Let's get to the video and find out on today's Much Abrew About Nothing!

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Much Abrew: Tolkien Tokens

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  • Record-wise, I'm currently 6-4 with the deck in a combination of two-player matches and leagues. While the deck has some tough matchups (removal-heavy control decks are really difficult to beat since we need to keep multiple small creatures on the battlefield to combo off), we can do some crazy things and potentially go truly infinite by Turn 4 if our opponent isn't too overloaded with removal! Let's walk through the deck's plan, although I'd encourage you to look at the video because the deck is a lot easier to understand if you see it in action.

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  • The two most important cards in our deck are Lonis, Cryptozoologist and Samwise Gamgee. To do cool things with the deck, we really need at least one of these cards on the battlefield and things get pretty absurd if we ever get both on the battlefield together. Both creatures create a token—Lonis a Clue and Sam a Food—whenever another nontoken creature enters the battlefield. By itself, making a Food or Clue isn't really that exciting, but it becomes quite powerful if we add one more creature to the mix...

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  • Once we have a Lonis or Sam, the next card we need to combo off is Academy Manufactor, which lets us make a Food, Clue, AND Treasure whenever we make a Food, Clue, OR Treasure. Basically, if we have Academy Manufactor on the battlefield alongside a Sam or Lonis (or, even better, both), every creature we play will make a Treasure token alongside the Clue or Food. This extra mana is what allows us to combo off and eventually go infinite. 

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  • Once we have our main combo—Lonis / Sam and Academy Manufactor—on the battlefield, we're mostly looking for a couple of support cards that let us make even more tokens in Chatterfang, Squirrel General, which gives us an extra Squirrel token whenever we make a token, and Peregrin Took, which gives us an extra Food whenever we create a token. Both cards serve different purposes in our deck. Chatterfang floods the board with chump blockers, eventually amasses a lethal scurry of Squirrels, and gives us some removal, while Peregrin Took is pretty absurd with Lonis / Sam and Manufactor since every creature we play will now make at least two Food, meaning we'll also make two Treasures. Peregrin Took also has a second ability: letting us sacrifice three Food to draw a card. Once we start comboing, we'll often end up with tons of extra Food, which we can turn into cards to find more creatures in order to make more Food, Clues, and Treasures until we eventually win the game.

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  • So, what is our plan for winning the game? As we draw through our deck, we'll eventually find Jinnie Fay, Jetmir's Second, which lets us turn all of the Food, Clue, and Treasures we are making into hasty 2/2 Cat tokens. We simply play a bunch more creatures and make a few hundred hasty Cats to attack for lethal!

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  • The other important parts of our deck are our one-mana mana dorks: Delighted Halfling, Gilded Goose, and Birds of Paradise. We're playing 10 total, which is a huge number for a Modern deck. Normally, mana dorks have a problem—while they are great in the early game because they offer extra mana, they are bad in the late game—but this isn't true in our deck. In the early game, our mana dorks are great because they let us rush out our combo pieces and cast Collected Company a turn early. But they are still great in the late game because they are one-mana creatures that will trigger our Lonis or Samwise to make Food, Clues, and Treasures, which helps support our plan of drawing through our entire deck until we find Jinnie Fae to win the game.
  • The deck has a ton of neat synergies and tricks, but I'm not going to try to explain them all here—it will be a lot easier just to watch how the deck plays. But we do need to talk about the infinite combo. While, on a base level, Samwise Gamgee is just another Lonis and adds consistency to our deck by letting us double up on our most important combo piece, it's actually way more than that because of its second ability, which allows us to sacrifice three Food to return a historic card from our graveyard to our hand. This ability, in conjunction with the legend rule, lets us go fully infinite with the deck. The idea is simple: set up a board state involving Lonis, Samwise, Academy Manufactor, and friends so every time we play a creature, we are making at least three Food and Treasures. (This might sound hard, but our deck actually has a bunch of different ways to do this, with the easiest being a Sam or Lonis with two copies of Academy Manufactor.) Once we get to this point, all we need is two copies of either Sam or Lonis somewhere—in our hand, graveyard, or battlefield—and we go infinite. We have a Sam on the battlefield, and we play a second copy. Because of the legend rule, one will end up in the graveyard, and we'll trigger all of our combo pieces to make a bunch of Treasures, Clues, and Food. We can then sac three Food to get the Sam back to our hand, use two Treasures to cast it, and repeat the process. The end result of looping Sam or Lonis from the graveyard is we make infinite mana (from Treasures) and get infinite card draw (from Clues). At this point, we just keep comboing until we eventually draw Jinnie Fay, Jetmir's Second to win the game. This ability—going fully, deterministically infinite—is a huge new addition to the deck. With just Lonis, the deck could do some big, splashy things but could also fizzle by drawing too many lands. Now, this is no longer a concern thanks to Samwise Gamgee!
  • So, should you play Tolkien Tokens in Modern? I think the answer is a solid maybe. The deck is fairly competitive and one of my all-time favorite decks to play, but it is also super clunky on Magic Online. It takes an absurd number of clicks, eventually ends up lagging the client because there are so many replacement effects and tokens, and risks timing out. As such, I'm not sure how good the deck will be for tournament play, not because it's lacking in power but because it's so powerful and does so many things that Magic Online struggles to hold up to its immense power! On the other hand, it's so unique, fun, and explosive that I think it's worth trying out. There really aren't many decks in Modern I enjoy playing more than this one. Even if the end result is we overwhelm MTGO and time out, at least we die in spectacular fashion doing what we love!


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

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