Too-Specific Top 10 - Millennium

(The Millennium Calendar | Art by Zoltan Boros)

Another One

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 Cadira, Caller of the Small is the only commander that will double the amount of tokens you control in sweet, cuddly Rabbit tokens?)

Okay, The Millennium Calendar is sweet.

Now how do we pull it off?

The easy answer is, of course, by making infinite tokens. So, to get that out of the way, for the combo-minded among you:

Top 10 Three Card or Less Infinite Token Combos (Per Commander Spellbook)

  1. Dualcaster Mage & Twinflame
  2. Goblin Warchief, Krenko, Mob Boss, & Skirk Prospector
  3. Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker & Zealous Conscripts
  4. Chatterfang, Squirrel General & Pitiless Plunderer
  5. Goblin Chieftain, Krenko, Mob Boss, & Skirk Prospector
  6. Dockside Extortionist & Temur Sabertooth
  7. Dualcaster Mage & Heat Shimmer
  8. Cloudstone Curio & Dockside Extortionist
  9. Aurelia, the Warleader & Helm of the Host
  10. Ivy Lane Denizen & Scurry Oak

Here's the problem with easy mode: It probably doesn't actually win you the game with The Millennium Calendar. I mean, it does, but the whole Calendar is probably superfluous. Basically every red infinite-token generator gives the tokens have haste, so you could then attack for the win. Chatterfang, Squirrel General and Pitiless Plunderer gives you infinite mana and Squirrels in a deck that already has sac outlets and Blood Artists. Aurelia, the Warleader makes infinite copies of itself over infinite combat steps, meaning you don't even get to thousands of Aurelias before she's already killed everyone.

So instead of all that, why don't we instead do it the hard way, and just go "a lot", rather than infinite?

Top 10 Commanders That Multiply/Add Tokens

There are tons of effects that make tokens go a bit wild, either adding one every time you create one, or doubling (and now tripling!) the amount you create. Almost without question, to abuse The Millennium Calendar, you're going to need those kind of effects en masse until they start interacting with each other to go exponential. The easiest way to do that, of course, is to start copying your exponential token makers!

In addition to the commanders out there that make tons of tokens, there are also a ton of commanders out there that make copies. So our most likely route to find the best one? Consider both!

Criteria: Commanders that can either double the amount of tokens created, create that many tokens plus one in some form, or can make a copy of a permanent that assumedly makes tokens. As is tradition, all results are ordered by EDHREC score, although in this case we are proceeding with how many decks these commanders are helming.

10. Araumi of the Dead Tide

(Helms 4,043 Decks, Rank #210; 7,288 Inclusions, 1% of 798,637 Decks)

A single copy of Grim Hireling or Whirler Rogue probably doesn't move the needle, but how about three of them? Well, when it comes to a thousand permanents? No, not really. There are some things like Astral Dragon that could have you making copies of copies of copies, but now we're talking about Encoring for eight mana and already having something game-changing in play in colors that don't really have those kind of token effects. In other words, it's possible that we'll have Araumi of the Dead Tide in the 99 of our final product, but I'm not really seeing a way that it leads the charge to a Calendar victory.

9. Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer

(Helms 4,458 Decks, Rank #183; 23,611 Inclusions, 3% of 695,754 Decks)

With Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer, however, I can see several different ways that you end up with tokens that trigger to create an exponential amount of more tokens. Just making a token copy of any given Krenko would probably do it on its own, if we're being honest, although I'm more of a fan of making 20 copies of Xorn prior to swinging in with an Ancient Copper Dragon. Sure, you could get more by just making 20 copies of Ancient Copper Dragon, but at that point you're just killing people with combat damage.

8. Riku of Two Reflections

(Helms 4,709 Decks, Rank #167; 1,870 Inclusions, 1% of 343,537 Decks)

If I'm being honest, however, I think I'd rather play a deck that can play Brudiclad in it. Riku of Two Reflections fits that bill and then some, having copy effects for both creatures and spells right on it and allowing you access to green. In all honesty, Riku is probably just the best answer here, if it weren't for one thing: There is absolutely no way a table is letting you keep it on the board. Riku comes with a deserved reputation for comboing, and people respect it. And as much as you can say you're "not going infinite", it doesn't take much to see right through that statement, nor does it feel particularly great to convince a table that you're "not that Riku deck" when you absolutely are.

So let's keep this one in our back pocket, and we'll see if there's another option that won't have the entire table coming after us before the game even starts, shall we?

7. Inalla, Archmage Ritualist

(Helms 5,349 Decks, Rank #129; 359 Inclusions, 0% of 374,331 Decks)

Well, hey, another kill-on-sight combo commander! Inalla sometimes gets a pass because of its fair activated ability, but for those of us who have played against tuned versions of it, don't be fooled: You in no way need to go wide with Wizards to just straight up win a game with Inalla. Even "fair" versions of the decks are usually rocking infinite combos they don't even realize fit that bill, with decent Wizards like Timestream Navigator, Bloodline Necromancer, and Ruthless Technomancer incidentally going infinite. With that in mind, I would steer clear of Inalla as well, especially given that it doesn't have access to the two colors that are going to provide the main means of going exponential, while having all of the access to the colors trying to go infinite instead.

6. Runo Stromkirk

(Helms 5,386 Decks, Rank #126; 2,229 Inclusions, 0% of 798,637 Decks)

I love me some Runo Stromkirk, but we once again have the issue of blue and black just not being very good at tokens. Even worse, of all the sea monsters he interacts with, there are only four that make tokens, none of which do so in any kind of exponential fashion. With that said, you could pull it off with other expensive creatures that will flip him into Krothuss, Lord of the Deep, so it's not a complete no-go:

Top 10 Expensive Dimir Multiple Token Makers

  1. Myr Battlesphere
  2. Wurmcoil Engine
  3. Marionette Master
  4. Grave Titan
  5. Toxrill, the Corrosive
  6. Triplicate Titan
  7. Phyrexian Triniform
  8. Overseer of the Damned
  9. Spawning Kraken
  10. Sharding Sphinx

There are a couple creatures on this list (notably Overseer of the Damned and Sharding Sphinx) that I could see fairly easily going exponential, but I still think this is all a bit too slow to really work, and still doesn't end up with a Calendar win. In the best case scenario, you're getting down Runo on turn two, followed by flipping him the next turn while you continue to ramp, and then best case, getting Sharding Sphinx down on turn four. You then swing in on turn five to make a second copy of Sphinx and two Thopters, then three Sphinxes and ten more Thopters on turn six, then then four Sphinxes and 48 Thopters on turn seven, and wouldn't you know it? Your opponents are already dead, and if they're not because they're all life gain decks, you're still multiple turns away from getting anywhere close to triggering The Millennium Calendar, even in this magical Christmas-land scenario.

5. Adrix and Nev, Twincasters

(Helms 5,967 Decks, Rank #107; 33,777 Inclusions, 5% of 679,109 Decks)

If I'm being honest, I think we're going to be hard-pressed to find a better answer here than Adrix and Nev, Twincasters. "Double your tokens" in the command zone, at four mana, with rudimentary protection is about as good as it gets. If I'm being really honest, I'd still like access to white so we have the full Selesnya and access to Anointed Procession in addition to Doubling Season and Parallel Lives, but that's asking for a lot when we have the same effect right here in the command zone.

Still, I've got nothing going on, so why not take a look and see if we can make it happen?

4. Volo, Guide to Monsters

(Helms 7,155 Decks, Rank #77; 4,423 Inclusions, 1% of 684,764 Decks)

If there is a Simic answer to this question that isn't Adrix and Nev, Twincasters, it's probably Volo, Guide to Monsters. Easy copies are hard to come by, and Volo provides them in spades. Most people making this deck go down a rabbit hole of not doubling up their creature types, and that's its own kind of fun, but it's honestly not necessary. Value Volo is good enough on its own so long as your deck isn't 50% Humans, and just looking at the top creatures in blue and green that create tokens gives you a good idea of how easy a time you're going to have just copying anything you play. Merely grabbing two copies of Gala Greeters or Canoptek Scarab Swarm is going to get you well on your way to doing hilarious things, and the fact that they might step on an extra copy of Turntimber Sower or Scute Swarm isn't anything that's going to set you back very far.

Still, can we get green and white? There's gotta be a way to do it, right?

3. Orvar, the All-Form

(Helms 7,702 Decks, Rank #63; 10,465 Inclusions, 1% of 1,528,693 Decks)

Well, not here, we can't. And if we're being honest, there's probably a fun meme deck here where you win with 1,000 copies of The Millennium Calendar itself, because Orvar, the All-Form is just that kind of stupid. I'm half tempted to drop everything here and make that deck, but anything with Orvar at the helm left the realm of "fun" a long time ago. Orvar goes infinite completely on accident, to say nothing of what happens when you actually try to break him.

2. Chatterfang, Squirrel General

(Helms 12,357 Decks, Rank #22; 32,549 Inclusions, 5% of 684,554 Decks)

I wouldn't put Chatterfang, Squirrel General in the same vein as Orvar in regard to the low-key, fun deck that isn't going to immediately get hated off the table, but... Well, your opponents are at least going to have questions about whether or not you are the Chatterfang deck that's going to go infinite, and when you give them a long convoluted explanation about how you're not trying to go infinite, you're only trying to go a thousand, I doubt it will prove a compelling argument.

1. Miirym, Sentinel Wyrm

(Helms 16,525 Decks, Rank #7; 19,359 Inclusions, 7% of 285,196 Decks)

Well, the Selesnya dream is dead, it would appear. With that said, there are 29 Dragons that create tokens, most notably including all of the crazy dragons from the various Dungeons & Dragons sets. Having already gone down the rabbit hole of "what happens when you make 30 copies of Ancient Copper Dragon", however, I think we already know the issue with trying to make a thousand permanents that either are or involve Dragons.

Honorable Mentions

It's been a long time since I've had a top ten fail to really deliver on what I wanted for a deck, but it's not unprecedented to have to rely on the Honorable Mentions to save our skin. So let's keep delving, shall we?

Top 25 Commanders That Multiply/Add Tokens

11. Trostani, Selesnya's Voice - 4015 Decks
12. Anikthea, Hand of Erebos - 3994
13. Ratadrabik of Urborg - 3655
14. Ghired, Conclave Exile - 3746
15. Rhys the Redeemed - 3339
16. Cadira, Caller of the Small - 2584
17. Esix, Fractal Bloom - 2547
18. Jolene, the Plunder Queen - 2417
19. Aeve, Progenitor Ooze - 2166
20. Delina, Wild Mage - 2092
21. Saheeli, the Gifted - 2049
22. Jin-Gitaxias, Progress Tyrant - 2029
23. Preston, the Vanisher - 1944
24. Feldon of the Third Path - 1911
25. Urza, Prince of Kroog - 1612

If I'm being honest, I don't see any slam dunks here, either. The best on the list is probably the token doubler in the color of token doublers, Rhys the Redeemed, and there probably is enough cheap Food creation to go nuts with in those colors, but Rhys only doubles creature tokens. That leads us right back down the path of "why win with a Calendar when you can just play an Overrun?", which doesn't particularly excite me. Cadira, Caller of the Small gets a lot closer, and I do think I'd play it over Adrix and Nev, Twincasters, but it still feels like it's not going to have the ability to make copies of your doublers to get you all the way to 1,000. Esix, Fractal Bloom can get you those copies, but is six mana and again takes us out of white's cheap Food creation and additional doublers like Mondrak, Glory Dominus (who would've been number 26 on this list if we'd kept going).

In short, I'm still not happy. I think we need access to more colors to pull this off, and we still need something in the command zone to build off of. So, let's get off the EDHREC data track here and instead brainstorm a bit with some crazy deck ideas from our master list:

All right, I think we might have finally gotten there! The simple answer is still Riku of Two Reflections, but I continue to think that color combination is really more what this choice is about than commanders, and as such I think Bant is better situated than Temur. Of course, that kind of dismisses Urtet and its five colors, but given that The Sixth Doctor and Clara Oswald represent the possibility of two doublers in the command zone, I'd say it's worth it to lose out on black and red.

2012 (Thousand Edition)

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Commander (2)
Artifacts (19)
Creatures (28)
Lands (34)
Instants (2)
Enchantments (11)
Sorceries (2)
Planeswalkers (2)

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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?

I think this might have set the record for most different deck ideas in one article, but I do wonder about the ones that I narrowed it down to:

And finally, what is your favorite token commander? How would you try to go a lot, but not infinite? Are you putting The Millennium Calendar in any of your existing decks?

Let us know in the comments, and we'll see you at the table that I could swear rotates just a tiny bit every year. Odd, that.

Read more:

Wombo Combo - Mono-White Edition

Mechanical Memories — Trinkets & Tokens

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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