Token

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Kithkin Soldier token.

A token is a permanent that is not represented by a regular card with a casting cost. [1] [2] Richard Garfield created tokens for Alpha, as opposed to counters, to make The Hive possible. [3] 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.

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Examples and rules

  • Teysa, Orzhov Scion has the ability: "Whenever another black creature you control dies, put a 1/1 white Spirit creature token with flying onto the battlefield." "Dies" means precisely "is put into a graveyard from the battlefield" (rule 700.6). If you have a black creature token that gets destroyed, it will go to the graveyard, trigger Teysa's ability and put it on the stack, then disappear.
  • Momentary Blink reads in part: "Exile target creature you control, then return it to the battlefield under its owner's control." If this spell is used on a creature token, it will be exiled, but it cannot come back to the battlefield and so stays in the exile zone. It will cease to exist when state-based effects are next checked.

From the Comprehensive Rules (Nov 1, 2013)

  • 110.5. Some effects put tokens onto the battlefield. A token is a marker used to represent any permanent that isn't represented by a card.
    • 110.5a A token is both owned and controlled by the player under whose control it entered the battlefield.
    • 110.5b The spell or ability that creates a token may define the values of any number of characteristics for the token. This becomes the token's "text." The characteristic values defined this way are functionally equivalent to the characteristic values that are printed on a card; for example, they define the token's copiable values. A token doesn't have any characteristics not defined by the spell or ability that created it.
      • Example: Jade Mage has the ability "{2}{G}: Put a 1/1 green Saproling creature token onto the battlefield." The resulting token has no mana cost, supertype, rules text, or abilities.
    • 110.5c A spell or ability that creates a creature token sets both its name and its creature type. If the spell or ability doesn't specify the name of the creature token, its name is the same as its creature type(s). A "Goblin Scout creature token," for example, is named "Goblin Scout" and has the creature subtypes Goblin and Scout. Once a token is on the battlefield, changing its name doesn't change its creature type, and vice versa.
    • 110.5d If a spell or ability would create a token, but an effect states that a permanent with one or more of that token's characteristics can't enter the battlefield, the token is not created.
    • 110.5e A token is subject to anything that affects permanents in general or that affects the token's card type or subtype. A token isn't a card (even if represented by a card that has a Magic back or that came from a Magic booster pack).
    • 110.5f A token that's phased out, or that's in a zone other than the battlefield, ceases to exist. This is a state-based action; see rule 704. (Note that if a token changes zones, applicable triggered abilities will trigger before the token ceases to exist.)
    • 110.5g A token that has left the battlefield can't move to another zone or come back onto the battlefield. If such a token would change zones, it remains in its current zone instead. It ceases to exist the next time state-based actions are checked; see rule 704.

Token specific creature types

Some creatures named in the legal subtype-list only appear on tokens.

Trivia

References

  1. Mark Rosewater. (May 27, 2002.) "Tokens of My Affection", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater. (May 27, 2013.) "Token of Appreciation", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater. (September 26, 2005.) "+1/+1 For the Road", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.

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