A token is a permanent that is not represented by a regular card with a casting cost.   Richard Garfield created tokens for Alpha, as opposed to counters, to make The Hive possible.  Usually, but not always, tokens are creatures (It is possible to use cards such as Followed Footsteps and Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker to create noncreature tokens).
Normally tokens can exist only on the battlefield. If a token leaves the battlefield and goes to another game zone, it can't change zones again, and it will be there only briefly before ceasing to exist as a state-based effect.
Examples and rules
Token specific creature types
Some creatures named in the legal subtype-list only appear on tokens.
- Camarid tokens are created by Homarid Spawning Bed and Sarpadian Empires, Vol. VII.
- Caribou tokens are created by Caribou Range.
- Citizen tokens are created by Icatian Crier, Icatian Town and Sarpadian Empires, Vol. VII.
- Deserter tokens are created by Kjeldoran Home Guard.
- Germ tokens are created by living weapons.
- Graveborn tokens are created by Balduvian Dead and Sek'Kuar, Deathkeeper. Graveborn Muse doesn't have the subtype Graveborn.
- Orb tokens are created by Phantasmal Sphere. Note that artifacts like Chaos Orb don't have the Orb subtype.
- Pentavite tokens are created by Pentavus.
- Pincher tokens are created by the Summoning Station. Pincher Beetles doesn't have the subtype.
- Prism tokens are created by Diamond Kaleidoscope, but not by Pentad Prism or Prismatic Circle.
- Reflection tokens are created by Pure Reflection and Spirit Mirror, but not by the Kami of Twisted Reflection.
- Sand (Warrior) tokens are created by Hazezon Tamar and Dune-Brood Nephilim, but for example not by Choking Sands or Sandstorm. Sand Golem is not a Sand Creature.
- Saproling are produced by many green-aligned fungus and/or plant-based cards.
- Serf tokens are produced by Sengir Autocrat.
- Splinter tokens are created by Splintering Wind, but not by Splinter, Splinter Twin or Bone Splinters.
- Survivor tokens are created by Varchild's War-Riders under opponent's control. Note that Auriok Survivors, Riptide Survivor and Survivor of the Unseen don't have the survivor subtype.
- Pink Giant Teddy Bear tokens are created by Water Gun Balloon Game.
- Tetravite tokens are created by Tetravus.
- Triskelavite tokens are created by Triskelavus.
- The first non-creature token was the enchantment token copies of Imperial Mask that can be given to your teammates.
- The second non-creature token was the artifact token named Gold that is produced by Gild from Born of the Gods.
- Intangible Virtue is a Lord-type enchantment that gives +1/+1 and vigilance to creature tokens.
- Tokens were featured as rules card 4 of 9 in the Magic 2011 set.
- ↑ Mark Rosewater. (May 27, 2002.) "Tokens of My Affection", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ Mark Rosewater. (May 27, 2013.) "Token of Appreciation", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ Mark Rosewater. (September 26, 2005.) "+1/+1 For the Road", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.