Torens, Fist of the Angels is one of the most exciting creatures to come out of the newly released Innistrad: Crimson Vow. He is like a creature-centric Monastery Mentor! While Torens seems promising in Standard, he is also an absolute BEAST in Commander who can facilitate several infinite combos!
The best part about building a Commander deck around Torens is that you can spin the deck in many different directions. You can focus on his token generating ability, or +1/+1 counter synergies from Training, or jam your deck full of humans. In this article, we’ll look at cards for each of these themes, as well as generally good cards inside Torens, and of course, the aforementioned infinite combos.
Torens, Fist of the Angels
M.V.P. Aura Shards
Commander is a format filled with mana rocks like Sol Ring and Mana Crypt, and various stax enchantments like Stasis, Winter Orb and Root Maze to name only a few.
This is why Aura Shards is a must-include in any Torens deck. Every token that Torens makes destroys an artifact or enchantment. That’s like stapling Reclamation Sage onto every creature you play.
Cryptolith Rite & Bellringer Combo
The goal of our deck is to flood the battlefield with a lot of creatures. Using our creatures to attack is a fine strategy. But in a format like Commander where the game is all about the biggest, splashiest plays and crazy combos, we can surely find something more broken to do with all our soldiers in training.
Cryptolith Rites allows all the tokens we’ll be making with Torens to tap for mana. This will enable us to ramp into big spells like Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite. But we can also just turn this mana engine into a combo with the following two cards:
With all of our creatures tapping for mana via Cryptolith Rite or similar effects, we can actually create an infinite mana combo. This is how it works:
- Tap any four creatures for mana via Cryptolith Rite
- Use three of that mana to activate Emiel the Blessed’s ability, targeting Village Bellringer
- Village Bellringer will get exiled and reenter the battlefield, untapping all of our creatures
- We netted one mana in the process, and can now repeat Steps 1-3 an infinite number of times
Ashaya, Soul of the Wild + Quirion Ranger = Infinite Mana
Ashaya works very similarly to Cryptolith Rite. It turns all of our creatures into Forests, which means they can all tap for green mana. Like Cryptolith Rite, we can use this ability to ramp, but we can also use it to combo.
There are a couple of ways to make infinite mana with Ashaya. You can substitute it into the Emiel + Bellringer Combo we just talked about (in place of Cryptolith Rite).
Another way to make infinite mana with Ashaya is with Quirion Ranger/Scryb Ranger:
- Tap Ashaya for mana with its own ability
- Because Ashaya turns Quirion Ranger into a forest, we can use Ranger’s ability to return itself to our hand and untap Ashaya.
- Use the green in our mana pool to recast Quiron Ranger and repeat Steps 1-2
There are a ton of cards we can throw into this combo to give us infinite mana such as Lotus Cobra, Bloom Tender, or by giving our Quirion Ranger haste via Concordant Crossroads. And because we are infinitely casting Quirion Ranger, this will trigger Torens each time resulting in infinite 1/1 tokens with Training.
Humans Subtheme in Torens EDH
There are a lot of green-white options to build a human-themed Commander deck around. But Torens may just take the crown. Torens is a human himself, and the tokens he makes are Human Soldiers. Let’s look at a few cards to exploit this:
If we’re making a bunch of 1/1 Human Soldiers with Training, we can slap a Thalia’s Lieutenant on the board and instantly make all of them bigger.
And remember, Toren’s token generating ability is a cast trigger. That means that when you cast Thalia’s Lieutenant, you will first make a Human Soldier creature token, then Lieutenant will enter play, placing +1/+1 counters on all your humans including the token you just made.
Thalia’s Lieutenant synergizes even further with our commander, however, as every token that Torens makes will make Thalia’s Lieutenant bigger.
Kyler, Sigardian Emissary
In our last Magic set, Innistrad: Midnight Hunt, we got two preconstructed Commander decks. One was dedicated to zombies, and the other to humans and +1/+1 counters. Kyler wasn’t the face of the Humans deck, but he the best new card to come out of it.
Kyler has what is called a lord ability in Magic: the Gathering. This ability, named after the card Lord of Atlantis, refers to a field-wide stat buff to a specific creature type.
Buy Kyler isn’t your average lord. Kyler gets +1/+1 counters for every human that enters our battlefield, and he buffs our other humans by the number of counters on Kyler.
This works extraordinarily well with our commander, Torens. Every token that Torens makes pumps Kyler, who in turn pumps the rest of our humans. This one-two combo will get out of hand quickly.
Katilda, Dawnhart Prime
I’d include Katilda in any version of a Toren’s deck, regardless of how heavily you lean into a humans theme or not. Similar to Cryptolith Rite, Katilda gives all of our human creatures the ability to add mana. This synergizes with Torens and his tokens, and if you add more humans to your deck the ability becomes even more potent.
One benefit Katilda has over Cryptolith Rite is that once you’re generating superfluous amounts of mana, Katilda has an ability you can sink that mana into. The wider our board gets (i.e. the more creatures we play), the more power Katilda puts on the field, until we eventually overrun our opponents with damage.
Devout Chaplain & Hopeful Initiate
We’ll likely have a surplus of humans on the battlefield due to Torens. Devout Chaplain can utilize them to repeatedly exile artifacts and enchantments. Hopeful Initiate serves the same function as Devout Chaplain, but it needs +1/+1 to fuel its ability. Seeing that Torens and all of his tokens Torens have Training, we should have plenty of counters to convert to artifact/enchantment removal.
Token Synergies in Torens EDH
The tokens that Torens makes are way above average. Sure, they’re 1/1’s to start out with, but they quickly grow. And there are a ton of cards we can add to our deck that bolster our tokens further.
Doubling Season, Parallel Lives, & Anointed Procession
Doubling Season is doubly as good in this deck compared to most. Not only does it double the tokens that Torens makes, but it also doubles the +1/+1 counters put on our creatures by the new mechanic Training.
If you want to lean into the tokens theme of the deck even further, then I’d include Parallel Lives and Anointed Procession as extra doubling effects.
Elesh Norn & Craterhoof Behemoth
We can make all the tokens we want, but sometimes an army of 1/1’s isn’t powerful enough to close out a game. That’s where Elesh Norn and Craterhoof come into play. They are closers.
Ramping into Elesh Norn with one of our various Cryptolith Rite effects can be devastating. Not only will she give all of Torens’s tokens a +2/+2 stat buff, but she can wipe out opposing mana dorks small “stax” creatures, often obliterating all of our opponents’ progress and moment
If you play Craterhoof Behemoth, on the other hand, you’re likely ending the game on the spot. In addition to giving your entire team massive power/toughness buffs, it also gives all your creatures trample, allowing you to punch through blockers.