Soldier is one of those creature types that kind of gets tacked onto creatures without much fanfare, and isn’t often all that relevant to gameplay. Going back through Magic’s history, however, quickly reveals that there are some Soldiers that go very hard indeed, and that an EDH deck made up of these unassuming little fighters can actually do some pretty powerful things.
As evidenced by this soldier deck from mothiel, who has harnessed the power of Darien, King of Kjeldor in order to crush and conquer with a battlefield of Soldiers, tokens and cards alike. From lord effects to cheating big soldiers into play, from cost reduction to counterspells, this deck has a little bit of everything. Let’s have a look!
Soldier Tribal by mothiel
When it comes to lords, Soldiers have a surprisingly large number available. Captain of the Watch is incredible, of course, while Field Marshal offering the team first strike is pretty beastly as well. How about Daru Warchief, however, offering +1/+2, and a cost reduction to boot? This card is bonkers. Other nonspecific lord effects include Elesh Norn – perfect in this deck – and Marshal’s Anthem, to reanimate a fallen hero.
But the Soldier tribe goes a lot deeper than just lords. Catapult Master, for instance, can tap five Soldiers to exile a creature, which is not something I expected when I started looking through this list. Given that this deck excels at spewing out lots of little 1/1s, it’s not difficult to imagine a scenario where you’re exiling multiple creatures a turn. Additionally, you can ping creatures in combat with Catapult Squad, blow people out with Frontline Strategist or use Selfless Squire to save yourself from a big hit.
Not that you always want to do that. With Darien out, you often want to take a bunch of damage, and this deck is built to support that. Healer of the Pride, Soul Warden or Anointer Priest can heal all the damage you lost once Darien’s Soldiers arrive, while Blood of the Martyr allows you to make good blocks and then take the damage yourself, cleaning up the battlefield and adding a stack of new Soldiers. As long as you keep your life total high, you can keep blocking with your face, rather than your creatures.
And your reward? A ton of Soldier tokens. It’s not just Darien who makes them, however. There’s everything from Raise the Alarm to Launch the Fleet, from Reverent Hoplite to Dawn of Hope. These tokens all benefit from the tribal lords we’ve spoken about, and don’t die to Hour of Reckoning, which is pretty sick – but that’s not my favorite thing in this deck. The best thing of all is the single counterspell: Lapse of Certainty, which is guaranteed to take people by surprise, hitting them with the old white Memory Lapse out of nowhere!
This deck is powerful, it’s fun, it has a few different angles to explore, and – best of all – it’s cheap as hell, with Elesh Norn, Kjeldoran Outpost and Eldrazi Monument the only real big-ticket cards in the list. For any fans of low-to-the-ground token decks, I recommend giving this one a spin!