Too-Specific Top 10 - On Your Mark, Jet Set, Go!

(Jetmir, Nexus of Revels |Art by Ryan Pancoast)

Vigilance: Check. Trample: Check.

Welcome to Too-Specific Top 10, where if there isn’t a category to rank our pet card at the top of, we’ll just make one up! (Did you know that Rionya, Fire Dancer is the only creature that can make tokens equal to the total number of instants and sorceries you've cast this turn?)

Just in case Kamahl wasn't doing it for you, Streets of New Capenna brings us a fun new Overrun in the command zone: Jetmir, Nexus of Revels. However, unlike the nebulous heights of Overwhelming Stampede and the like, Jetmir gives you a few specific targets to aim for: two additional creatures gets all of them +1/+0 and vigilance; five additional creatures gets them +2/+0, vigilance, and trample; and eight additional creatures gives them all +3/+0, vigilance, trample, and double strike.

Now, I won't dismiss vigilance. I've been a Big XII college football fan for decades, so I know what it looks like when you only have an offense. Still, vigilance is not the most important component of a lethal alpha strike, it just makes it easier to not die immediately after doing so. No, trample is what helps go over the top of the utility creatures and tokens you're sure to find on any Commander battlefield. Double strike on top of that is gravy, especially since Jetmir doesn't give a toughness boost, so the first strike portion of things is going to be extremely relevant. But really, at the end of the day, you're still more than happy with six creatures with two extra power and trample, right?

The question is this: if you're looking to get to Overrun status in one fell swoop, what are your options?

A Quick Detour

Now, to be clear, the Top 10 list we're about to engage in is silliness that will never be the main gameplan of a Jetmir deck. The entire idea of Caberetti is to accrue huge parties of creatures in any way possible. No specific guest is the MVP we have to theme the whole party around.

So with that in mind, before we delve straight into the "yes, check, we have now met the definition of a 'party'", let's first take a look at the actual workhorse party animals that will most likely get you there in the first place.

Top 10 Naya Creatures Under Four Mana That Bring Friends

  1. Scute Swarm
  2. Young Pyromancer
  3. Feldon of the Third Path
  4. [REDACTED] (On our main list)
  5. Imperious Perfect
  6. Adeline, Resplendent Cathar
  7. Loyal Apprentice
  8. Dragonmaster Outcast
  9. [REDACTED] (On our main list)
  10. Legion Warboss

This list will absolutely get a party started, from the Scute bugs that can do it all by themselves to the Goblins just doing Goblin things. Young Pyromancer specifically does get me thinking: do you actually need creatures that bring friends, or could you just bring friends of your own?

Top 10 Naya Strictly Creature Token Spells (as in, tokens is all they do, without restrictions on how they do them)

  1. Dragon Fodder
  2. Krenko's Command
  3. Hordeling Outburst
  4. Increasing Devotion
  5. Secure the Wastes
  6. Empty the Warrens
  7. White Sun's Zenith
  8. Finale of Glory
  9. Storm Herd
  10. Decree of Justice

Well, that's a fun list, but we stopped two short of being able to include Chatterstorm! Better spend a day making a whole Jetmir Token Spellslinger build, just to make sure we get that representation.

Alright then, enough messing around with all the different ways you can accrue tons of creatures. Let's get it all done in one go!

Top 10 Naya Cards That Can Make Five or More Creatures

Criteria: Cards that can, upon casting, triggering, or activating, result in a net gain of five new creatures under your control. As is tradition, all results are ordered by EDHREC score.

10. Ezuri's Predation

(13,907 Inclusions, 3% of 236,527 Decks)

Will you end up with five creatures at the end of an Ezuri's Predation? Your guess is as good as mine. Still, while this may be a viable option in mono-green, in a Naya aggro deck, I can't think of anything you'd want less than an eight-mana situational board wipe.

9. Call the Coppercoats

(17,277 Inclusions, 3% of 508,803 Decks)

Call the Coppercoats is also situational, but in a much more plausible fashion for a deck trying to go fast. For three mana, you can immediately catch up or even surpass an opponent who's already started going wide in the early game, and then in the late game, you're able to pay more into the Strive ability to just get a Soldier for each and every creature your opponents control. Not a bad deal.

8. Martial Coup

(14,724 Inclusions, 3% of 508,803 Decks)

A seven-mana board wipe doesn't seem much better than an eight-mana one, but that's not really what Martial Coup is. The flexibility to use it early just to make a couple tokens is less than optimal, but is still an option. Then in the late game, it's a solid board wipe that will also leave you five creatures up. In a Jetmir deck, that means you can immediately recast your commander and you'll already have a horde of 3/1 vigilant tramplers. That's nothing to scoff at.

7. Hangarback Walker

(15,189 Inclusions, 1% of 1,134,210 Decks)

I'm not gonna be the one to build it, but there is definitely a version of Jetmir somewhere out there that cares about +1/+1 counters. Between Modular creatures, like Zabaz, the Glimmerwasp, and various one-mana and X-mana artifact creatures that can be made to cost zero mana with a cost-reducer, there's an extremely resilient and stormy build to be had.

In that specific build, Hangarback Walker features prominently, but that's probably the only one.

6. Twinflame

(16,304 Inclusions, 3% of 544,848 Decks)

If there's any card on this list that fit the letter and not the spirit, it's definitely Twinflame. Could you get five tokens out of it, all at once? Yes. Would it cost you 14 mana and still require you to already have five creatures on the board? Also yes.

With that said, I don't hate Twinflame in a Jetmir deck. While it didn't make the cut in my token spellslinger build, any normal Jetmir build probably runs a bunch of creatures that make a bunch of tokens, so casting this spell for two or five mana means you'll probably get a ton of creatures out of it (and that's to say nothing of the payoffs like Purphoros, God of the Forge, Soul Warden, or Good-Fortune Unicorn that could double things up).

5. Krenko, Mob Boss

(Helms 5,658 Decks, Rank #16; 11,345 Inclusions, 2% of 544,848 Decks)

It was inevitable that we'd see Krenko on this list. While it does take you a couple activations to get more than five creatures if you start from scratch, there's also a good chance in a token-heavy deck that you're going to already have a couple Goblins to start:

Top 10 Goblin-Makers

  1. [REDACTED] (You'll see it soon enough)
  2. Krenko, Mob Boss
  3. Siege-Gang Commander
  4. Dragon Fodder
  5. Krenko's Command
  6. Legion Warboss
  7. Hordeling Outburst
  8. Mogg War Marshal
  9. Beetleback Chief
  10. Goblin Instigator

While I'm not saying that you necessarily want to go full Goblin tribal with a Jetmir brew, it's not like you couldn't. More importantly, there's not a card on that list that you'd be unhappy to have in a Jetmir deck (including the one you don't know about yet), so don't go assuming that you'll be starting your Krenko off from zero.

Besides, even if you do, you'll still be introducing folks to various entertainment systems before you know it!

Let's see here... 2, 4, NES, SNES, PS1, N64....

4. Hornet Queen

(19,814 Inclusions, 4% of 536,527 Decks)

It feels like every discussion of Hornet Queen ends up at the "seven mana is a lot" portion of discussions pretty quickly, but it's not like people aren't playing it! Whether you're blinking, copying, reanimating, or just plain casting Hornet Queen, it does a whole lot. Five evasive creatures with deathtouch can swing a game your way in multiple ways, and that's before you even consider what they'll do with Jetmir, Nexus of Revels.

"Oh, you'll block? Well, let me explain some of the finer points of how first strike, deathtouch, and trample work together...."

3. Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin

(Helms 486 Decks, Rank #537; 23,221 Inclusions, 4% of 544,848 Decks)

I never would've called it, but it finally happened! Krenko, Mob Boss has been usurped by his more violent version, Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin! Astute readers will notice that this is only in total inclusions in the 99, however; OG Krenko still has a lead of more than 5,000 decks when at the helm of his own deck. This makes sense, because Tin Street Kingpin is a payoff for multiple strategies, from Goblin tribal to +1/+1 counters and from aggro strategies to token decks. He covers a lot of ground. Plus, any Krenko, Mob Boss deck that isn't just a combo deck will also want this second Krenko in its 99. However, I think the main reason the lesser Krenko has usurped the obviously better one isn't necessarily that it's more flexible, but probably just because it's less scary.

Put a Krenko, Mob Boss down on the field and watch how the table reacts. I'd bet that 9 times out of 10, you're suddenly Public Enemy #1. Put a Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin down, and the table might not even notice it, at least not until you start putting down more than four Goblins a turn, which is probably the first time you attack with him in your Jetmir deck, but that's neither here nor there.

2. Myr Battlesphere

(29,986 Inclusions, 3% of 1,134,210 Decks)

Turns out, Hornet Queen isn't the only seven-mana creature that provides four more bodies when you play it. Myr Battlesphere doesn't just provide you with extra bodies, it can also deal 12 damage a turn, not to mention snipe planeswalkers straight out of the sky. These are all things that seven-mana creatures should be able to do. Where Battlesphere truly shines is with multiple triggers of multiple Myr. The true grand-slam in that arena is Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer, who will at the very least make a ton of Myr out of the rest of your tokens, or, in a perfect world, will just make all of your tokens into Myr Battlespheres.

To get back to our main topic, though, I was at first tempted to suggest against Myr Battlesphere in a Jetmir deck. Seven mana is a lot, after all, and the Myr tokens don't come with evasion or deathtouch like Hornet Queen's do. However, upon further consideration, the Myr can both attack with the Battlesphere and pump it, thanks to Jetmir's vigilance! That means that you'll have a 10/7 or 11/7 Battlesphere dealing 10-11 damage to a player immediately, before it and its tokens also double-strike-and-trample over for the win. Does that feel a bit win-more? Absolutely. But not all of your Jetmir games are going to end on turn four. You're going to get board wiped, you're going to have your commander countered, and in general, games are going to get to the later turns, where Myr Battlesphere can just win you the game outright, exactly like seven-mana spells are supposed to do.

1. Avenger of Zendikar

(73,526 Inclusions, 14% of 536,527 Decks)

Speaking of seven-mana spells that just win you the game, here's Avenger of Zendikar!

Except, should you be playing Avenger of Zendikar in a non-lands deck? In my very first article, I argued that you shouldn't. That article was almost four years ago, and while I don't think I necessarily still agree with every point I made in my initial foray into writing about EDH, one thing I can definitely say is that the format has not gotten slower over the last four years.

You don't get to seven lands on turn seven anymore, or even on turn six. These days, the average pod probably gets closer to seven mana on like turn four or five, and I can assure you just from goldfishing my own Jetmir, Nexus of Revels brew that he is not going to be in your lower-powered pods, no matter how you build him. It's important to note how those average pods get to that seven mana, too; more and more, it's not with lands. In the more traditional builds of Jetmir, it's actually quite likely that you'll get to seven mana with the likes of Avacyn's Pilgrim, Birds of Paradise, and Llanowar Elves.

In other words, unless your deck is married to the concept of ramping with lands specifically, there are probably better options than Avenger of Zendikar that will cost a lot less. Here's a possible list of examples:

Top 10 Multiple Token-Makers That Cost Less Than Seven Mana

  1. Grave Titan
  2. Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin
  3. Elspeth, Sun's Champion
  4. Marionette Master
  5. Chasm Skulker
  6. Adeline, Resplendent Cathar
  7. Krenko, Mob Boss
  8. Diregraf Colossus
  9. Mycoloth
  10. Siege-Gang Commander

Honorable Mentions

I mentioned my Token Storm build of Jetmir multiple times in this article, so if you clicked on any of those Archidekt links you've already seen it. If not, then here it is in all of its overcomplicated glory:

Token Storm Guys

View on Archidekt

Commander (1)
Creatures (14)
Sorceries (37)
Planeswalkers (1)
Artifacts (3)
Enchantments (4)
Instants (11)
Lands (29)

Buy this decklist from Card Kingdom
Buy this decklist from TCGplayer

It is a blast to goldfish, and feels very powerful. That's not to say that it will even come close to the speed of the typical token build or creature storm build, much less the inevitable attempts at cEDH Hatebear brews, but if you enjoy the feel of both an aggro deck and a spellslinger deck, it might just be the brew for you.

As for the options that got left out of our Top Ten this week, there're just a few I'd like to highlight:

It might just be due to the general lack of Gruul decks in the world, but even considering that I feel like I don't see enough Artifact Mutations played. At worst, it's two mana for two tokens and the removal of someone's mana rock in the early game, which is nothing to sneer at. In the late game, it can be an absolute swing in your favor, often getting you five or six tokens at instant speed while also removing a game-winning problem from the battlefield.

One I do see quite a lot of that didn't quite make the list is Increasing Devotion. It's been a staple of token decks since it was printed, and for good reason. White runs out of gas or gets board wiped out of contention often, meaning that the hefty nine-mana Flashback will have you smiling as an option in the late game, while the initial five mana for five tokens is just as efficient as it gets.

Finally, a card that probably doesn't deserve a mention, but my personal love of it is going to get it one anyhow: Pashalik Mons. The progenitor of Mons's Goblin Raiders, there is no doubt that his activated ability is pricey, not only requiring four mana but also the sacrifice of a Goblin. With that said, his actual casting cost of three mana and his extremely relevant triggered ability are not pricey, making me wonder why we aren't drowning in pingy Goblin builds. There's not a better mono-red Aristocrats commander out there, tribal or otherwise, so give him a try!

Nuts and Bolts

There always seems to be a bit of interest in how these lists are made (this seems like a good time to stress once again that they are based on EDHREC score, NOT my personal opinion), and people are often surprised that I’m not using any special data or .json from EDHREC, but rather just muddling my way through with some Scryfall knowledge! For your enjoyment/research, here is this week’s Scryfall search.

What Do You Think?

This is the second time in a row that I've said this about a decklist in one of my articles, but I don't actually plan to build the Jetmir Token Storm brew I created for this article. The reason is simple: it's just way too fast and powerful. Even just goldfishing it, I knew I wouldn't want to officially put it together. If I played more regularly at a higher power level, I might be more tempted, but as it is, I'm more in the camp of trying to get folks to slow down a bit and smell the tap lands.

Which makes me wonder about your meta!

Some of you may be thinking that I forgot about 1-3 and that I purposefully omitted 7, and you'd be right.

Finally, what are your favorite token-makers? Do you think I'm still way off the mark when it comes to Avenger of Zendikar, four years on? How are you thinking about brewing Jetmir?

Let us know in the comments, and we'll see you at the Commander Party.

Doug has been an avid Magic player since Fallen Empires, when his older brother traded him some epic blue Homarids for all of his Islands. As for Commander, he's been playing since 2010, when he started off by making a two-player oriented G/R Land Destruction deck. Nailed it. In his spare time when he's not playing Magic, writing about Magic or doing his day job, he runs a YouTube channel or two, keeps up a College Football Computer Poll, and is attempting to gif every scene of the Star Wars prequels.

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