After first being introduced in Ixalan, MTG’s Treasures have become more prevalent. Thanks to recent sets of Kaldheim and Streets of New Capenna, it feels like you can’t move for the number of Treasures in Standard. Whether it’s the ruthlessly effective Goldspan Dragon or the niche powerhouse Bootleggers’ Stash, Treasurers seem to play a part in every top-tier deck.
While Treasures are undoubtedly Standard’s current obsession, this isn’t the only format in which they’ve been impactful. Commander has also been seeing Treasures pop up in more and more decks. If Wizards isn’t careful, Treasures could threaten to overrun the format, making mana dorks and traditional ramp a thing of the past.
Thankfully for Commander players who aren’t fond of Treasures, there’s now some hope on the horizon.
Trash for Treasure
Outside of the core ability to generate you plenty of mana, Treasure has another key strength; they’re incredibly tough to deal with. As token Artifacts, Treasure Tokens typically aren’t very susceptible to removal. Due to how quickly a horde of tokens can be created, your best bet to deal with them is typically board clears like Farewell or Merciless Eviction. This is certainly a divisive move. However typical artifact removal such as Deface or Disenchant simply do not do enough.
As if the lack of removal wasn’t enough of a problem, Treasure Tokens don’t tend to stick around for long. This makes them even harder to deal with, as often they’re sacrificed for mana not long after they’re created. As a result, the pool of cards that can effectively combat Treasures is even slimmer than first envisioned. It’s no wonder then that Treasures are running rampant throughout Standard and Commander.
Thankfully, while Commander is an Eternal format, the prevalence of Treasure Tokens may not be. In answering a question from a fan who’d seen how Treasures have “warped the flow” of Commander Magic’s Lead Designer Mark Rosewater offered a glimmer of hope. While Rosewater could not promise an immediate fix, they did at least state, “I hear your request for more Treasure hate cards and will communicate that desire to the rest of R&D.”
While there is no guarantee that this communication will lead to more “Treasure hate” cards being printed, it is at least a step forward. Whether they’re introduced in a premier set or a Commander product, we’re certainly hoping to see something soon. Thanks to its rumored Artifact-focused theme, 2023’s The Bother’s War could be an ideal fit for such cards.
What Can Be Done?
Thankfully, alongside a deck of nothing but board wipes, there are a few ways to deal with Treasures. Ratchet Bomb, for instance, can be an incredibly effective tool to clear the board of all tokens. Treasure Tokens can still be sacrificed in response, so a stronger deterrent dissuades activating Treasures. Primarily, cards that do this are only found in Commander. This leaves little in the way to help with the trouble of Treasures in Standard. This is somewhat less of a concern since Standard is a rotating format.
Cards such as Magnetic Mine and Mayhem Devil, for instance, both damage your opponent whenever they sacrifice a Treasure. Life points may be more of an expendable resource in Commander. However, this should still make treasure-hungry players think twice. Alternatively, Viridian Revel will allow you to draw cards for each Treasure sacrificed. Fangren Marauder is also an option if you’d instead gain five life for each Treasure sacrificed.
There are also ways to prevent your opponents from sacrificing Treasures entirely. Yasharn, Implacable Earth, for example, completely stops opponents from sacrificing nonland permanents to cast spells or activate abilities. Karn, the Great Creator and Stony Silence feature a similar effect, completely nullifying your opponents’ Artifacts by preventing them from being activated. For better or worse, this effect is as potent as it is punishing, so you certainly won’t make any friends while playing it.
Ultimately, there’s no ideal way to deal with Treasure Tokens. This is part of the reason that they’re growing more popular. Unfortunately, this means that the best way to beat them is to join them. Hopefully, in the future, something will be done. However, for now, this is the meta we’re stuck with.