Technically Playable - Trostani, Selesnya's Voice

Trostani, Selesnya's Voice | Art by Sidharth Chaturvedi

Technically Playable - Trostani, Selesnya's Voice

Welcome to Technically Playable, where our mission statement is "Every commander is Technically playable" (the best kind of playable). The way this works is every article will have a commander generated using EDHREC's random button, I'll talk through the card and then write about how we can build around it!

This week's random commander is Trostani, Selesnya's Voice.

Trostani is the epitome of Selesnya in Commander, encapsulating two of the most iconic Selesnya mechanics: Lifegain and token generation. By forgoing the third mechanic (counters), Trostani is able to really focus on these two mechanics to create a powerful engine for a low price.


When you look at token decks, there tend to be two types of token generation. The first is to make a lot of small tokens and try to overwhelm your opponent by simply having more creatures than they can block, known as going wide. However, there are also ways to create enormous tokens to try to brute force your way through your opponent's board by giving them no good or profitable blocks, referred to as going tall. These can also be supplemented by Overruns like Triumph of the Hordes or Craterhoof Behemoth - I'd also recommend Pathbreaker Ibex if you're trying to go tall.

Going Wide

If you're someone who likes to fill your playmat with stuff then this is probably the strategy for you. Token strategies have always been a cornerstone of Selesnya's repertoire whether you're convoking a Venerated Loxodon in Standard, flashing back Lingering Souls in Modern, or of course, populating with Rhys the Redeemed decks in Commander ever since 2008. The idea of "going wide" is probably the strategy that comes to your mind first when you think of token strategies. You probably think of cards like Scute Swarm and Avenger of Zendikar that put tons of creatures into play, but Selesnya has access to a lot of creatures that create tokens you may not immediately think of. Trostani's Summoner has quite a high mana cost, but for seven mana it allows you to put 10 power and toughness onto the board with room to create token copies of the Summoner for an instant board presence. Trostani's Summoner does have the ability to create a lot of stats for the cost of only one card. For the cost though, you could also run Hornet Queen, which gives fewer stats but creates flying, deathtouching bodies help keep you alive as you build the rest of your board. The other card that I think doesn't get enough play (only in 4,693 of 1,814,169 possible decks) is Somberwald Beastmaster. This creature has the same cost and creates the same size creatures as Trostani's Summoner (even though they don't have any keywords) but additionally, it gives all of your creature tokens, created by this or not, deathtouch, allowing you the ability to almost always have profitable trades in combat.

These are all pretty well known, so I want to touch on some newer and more obscure token generators. In terms of new cards, Conclave Evangelist is a great card from the recent Ravnica: Clue Edition set that can easily get out of hand. It's reminiscent of Giant Adephage (a card I'd also run in Trostani since it both goes wides and tall at the same time) but for two less mana and with the ability to fill the board much quicker thanks to Myriad. This allows you to potentially create three copies on the first attack, six copies on the second attack, 12 on the third attack and so on. I love cards like this that can single-handedly become a problem. This may need some help from something like Akroma's Memorial or Eldrazi Monument to give it some evasion. The Fallout set was one of my favorite Universes Beyond sets so far; the flavor was perfect, the decks were pretty balanced (not you The Wise Mothman), and they were all really fun to play together. For Trostani, the biggest addition from this set was Securitron Squadron. This is another card that goes really wide and has the potential to also become huge but with the benefit of also making future tokens also come into play with a lot of counters on them. Securitron Squadron is a little restricted by how much mana you have but it can very easily get out of hand.

Going Tall

Personally, I prefer the idea of going "tall" than going wide, mainly because I prefer attacking with huge creatures (one day I'll write an article on Xenagos, God of Revels) but also because it means you have fewer permanents to manage on your board and it's much easier to represent. When it comes to Trostani, I also believe that the idea of going tall makes the populate ability much more valuable. Making a copy of Giant Adephage is much more impactful than a copy of an Avenger of Zendikar plant token. I'll start with some of the more typical cards and then move on to some newer and some more unknown cards.

Probably the most well-known synergy with Trostani is Phyrexian Processor: you play the artifact, dump all of your life into it, and then immediately activate it to regain all the life thanks to Trostani. You just need to cross your fingers the whole time that no one has a Lightning Bolt. This allows you to create a 30+ power creature every turn and gain that much life (or you can make 2 if you populate with Trostani). If you're running Seedborn Muse to get the most out of the Populate, you can make two of these in every player's turn. This means if you paid 30 life into Phyrexian Processor, you could get 240 power and toughness in play from one turn cycle. Another card that can either go tall or wide is Ghalta and Mavren. This is one of the only cards I've seen that I wish was a different color because if it had been green and red, I would have immediately slammed it into my personal Xenagos deck. Ghalta and Mavren allows you to adapt to the board either creating a big token based on the biggest power of creatures you control that are attacking (which in most cases will be Ghalta and Mavren) with trample. Alternatively, if you've already developed a board you can create a ton of attacking 1/1s with lifelink.

In terms of new cards, one sticks out among the rest and that is Vaultborn Tyrant. While it's not initially a token if you're creating big tokens, it's a good way to fuel your hand and make sure you are able to continue playing the game. Once it dies and you create the token, you can consistently populate it with Trostani to both build a huge board of 6/6 tramplers but also to draw through your whole deck since they will all trigger off of each other. There are also other ways to play tokens of playable creatures. Mimic Vat is the obvious choice but the recent (oh it's from November 2023.... I see) Jurassic Park set that was released alongside The Lost Caverns of Ixalan gave us Dino DNA. This card doubles as both a great piece of targeted graveyard hate while also giving you access to the cards your opponents put into their graveyards. If your playgroup has a lot of graveyard decks, especially reanimator decks that target huge creatures, this gives you a great way to both stop them getting their payoffs and also get them yourself with the option to populate and make copies of them.

Of course, these are only quick looks at the different ways you can use tokens. If you're playing token decks you'll probably want cards like Ojer Taq, Deepest Foundation and Doubling Season. I won't go into details on these in this article because they're staples that you probably want in any token-focused deck and staples aren't the main focus of Technically Playable. But now we've looked at two different ways to build around tokens, let's look at the other mechanic that Trostani focuses on. Lifegain.


Tokens are the real core of what Trostani decks focus on since Populate is such an amazing, underrated mechanic, but Trostani also cares about lifegain too. I've already talked about the awesome interaction with Phyrexian Processor but there are some other ways to abuse this life gain too. The main one would probably be Aetherflux Reservoir. Obviously, this is nothing new (or arguably interesting) but giving Selesnya a way to win outside of combat does allow you to get around control decks that are consistently wiping your board. This pairs particularly well with Phyrexian Processor and Seedborn Muse since they give you enough life in one tun cycle to win the game. Alternatively if there isn't a dedicated control player in your game and the board tend to build up and the number of board wipes is quite low Blossoming Bogbeast is a good way to break through the stalemate. It's kind of like a Craterhoof Behemoth but since it's based on the amount of life you gained I find that it is normally better than a Craterhoof in a deck that is focused on lifegain like Trostani.

Archangel of Thune is also a great way to buff up your board to help with both blocking and trying to break through your opponents boards. You can also use Nykthos Paragon if you're on a bit of a budget but just bare in mind that this is significantly weaker since it only triggers once per turn. If you're building a deck around big creatures with evasion I'm also a big fan of Sunbond. This is a great aura that makes a creature bigger based on the amount of life that you gain meaning your Vaultborn Tyrant or your Archangel of Thune can potentially get big enough to one-shot an opponent pretty easily.

If you're looking to focus a little more on the lifegain strategy than the token one you will want to run cards like Rhox Faithmender. This will ensure you are getting as much life as possible. You can also grab Resplendent Angel or Valkyrie Harbinger if you're looking to focus on lifegain with a little token subtheme. In terms of card draw The Gaffer is a really good way to get a consistent draw but since you're probably using Sunbond, Archangel of Thune or even old faithful Ajani's Pridemate, you'll probably still want the Commander classics of Rishkar's Expertise or one of my new favorites Last March of the Ents if you're looking for ways to draw en-masse.

As with all Technically Playable articles, this was a very quick look at Trostani, Selesnya's Voice as a commander and a few of the cards that can really make a deck with Trostani as the commander tick.

Let me know in the comments below if you play Trostani, if you want to build a Trostani deck, or even if you just enjoyed this article!

Read more:

Technically Playable - Mikaeus, the Unhallowed

Wombo Combo - Best Selesnya Combos in EDH


Hey there, I'm Paul. I've been writing about magic for a really long time. I love to write about obscure commanders (one of my really early articles back in 2015 was about Skeleton Ship) and how you can make decks around them work, no matter how unplayable they are. I love Gruul, I love Mountains and I love casting Lightning Bolt.

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