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By: Adam_the_Mentat, THE WOTC TOOK MY BABY AWAY
Aug 07 2015 6:34am
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CJB: What do you call a soldier who survives mustard gas and pepper spray? Seasoned.


Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our Gathering dead.
In plumes of peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the hanabi blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the zodiac tiger;
Stiffen the sinew slivers, summon up the blood moon,
Disguise fair nature with primal rage;
Then lend the witches' eye a terrible aspect;
Let scry through the portage of the head
Like the hornet cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it
As fearfully as doth a gallowbraid rock
O'erhang and jutty his confounded base,
Swill'd into the wilds and wasteful ocean.
Now set the tooth and nail and time stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the blessed breath and bend up every spirit
To his full height. On, on, you noblest Wizards.
Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!
Fathers that, like so many Teferis,
Have in these parts from morn till even fought
And sheathed their swords to plowshares for lack of argument:
Dishonour not your mothers of runes; now attest
That those whom you call'd cabal patriarchs did beget you.
Be copy enchantment now to men of grosser taste of blood,
And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman,
Whose limbs were made in cardstock, then coded online, show us here
The mirran mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding pool; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and all about dat base,
That hath not sprite noble lustre in your evil eye of urborgs.
I see you stand like fiery hellhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The goblin game's afoot:
Follow your Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, and upon this charge
Cry 'Boosh for Commander, Fun, and Saint Garfield!'


Greetings readers!

Today's article is about two different decks, whose backbone is soldiers!

The word soldier derives from the Middle English word soudeour, from Anglo-French soudeer or soudeour, meaning mercenary, from soudee, meaning shilling's worth or wage, from sou or soud, shilling. The word is also related to the Medieval Latin soldarius, meaning soldier (literally, "one having pay"). These words ultimately derive from the Late Latin word solidus, referring to an Ancient Roman coin used in the Byzantine Empire.

I love the distinction of soldier in Magic the Gathering. When I pull a Warrior card, I know I am pulling out Mad Martigan-- a sort of mercenary that's not one, nor a knight, but not a soldier. When I pull out a knight in MTG, I know I am busting out that old dude protecting the grail at the end of the third Indy, and when I grab a bunch of soldiers in MTG, well, I get this:

Sure, there may be a soldier or two that stand above the rest, in terms of utility or prowess:

But mostly it's a bunch of disciplined, seasoned combat-ready dudebros and dudettegals ready to take names and kick tuckus.

In today's article, I'm going to showcase three decks, two monowhite and one Boros that plop a lot of soldiers onto the battlefield. One is wholly tribal monowhite tokens, and one produces massive soldiers-- but that's only part of the theme, and in Soviet Boros, Soldiers Crush You.


Soldier - Token

Creatures 
Avacyn, Angel of Hope 
Major Teroh 
Veteran Swordsmith 
Steam Catapult 
Preeminent Captain 
Precinct Captain 
Paragon of New Dawns 
Field Marshal 
Evangel of Heliod 
Daru Warchief 
Cenn's Tactician 
Catapult Master 
Captain of the Watch 
Commander Eesha 
Duplicant 
Cloudgoat Ranger 
Soul of Theros 
Linvala, Keeper of Silence
Mentor of the Meek 
1 Kytheon, Hero of Akros
Other Spells 
Karn Liberated 
Gideon, Champion of Justice 
Elspeth, Knight-Errant 
Elspeth Tirel 
Eldrazi Monument 
Martial Coup 
Launch the Fleet 
Nomads' Assembly 
Conqueror's Pledge 
Mobilization 

Other Spells (Continued)
Veteran's Armaments 
Umezawa's Jitte 
Coercive Portal 
Staff of Nin 
Tithe 
Pearl Medallion 
Mana Crypt 
Unexpectedly Absent 
Oblation 
Austere Command 
Condemn 
Path to Exile 
Helm of Kaldra 
Saltblast 
Banishing Stroke 
Oblivion Ring 
Return to Dust 
Godsend 
Shield of Kaldra 
Wrath of God 
Sword of Kaldra 
Gift of Estates 
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon 
1 Sword of the Animist
Sol Ring 
Caged Sun 
Captain's Call 
Gauntlet of Power 
1 Cathars' Crusade 
Sword of Fire and Ice 
Sword of Light and Shadow
Masterwork of Ingenuity 

Lands 
New Benalia 
Encroaching Wastes 
Kjeldoran Outpost 
19 Plains 
Strip Mine 
Ancient Tomb 
Arcane Lighthouse 
Buried Ruin 
Homeward Path 
Maze of Ith 
Thespian's Stage 
Vesuva 
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx 
Flagstones of Trokair 
Thawing Glaciers 
Emeria, the Sky Ruin 
Mikokoro, Center of the Sea 
Ghost Quarter 
1 Tectonic Edge


So, we'll start out with Nahiri. This is as soldiers as a Commander deck can get, but it also uses Nahiri's abilities as well. Nahiri spits out Kor soldiers, but also has some equipment-related loyalty shenanigans. While I'll reserve the heavily-stocked equipment theme monowhite deck to Kemba, I will drop a bunch of equipment in the deck to pump up my soldiers and to utilize both the Kor Soldier tokens ability, and Nahiri's second ability. She's our Commander, let's let her do her job.

For this deck, even though the actual creatures in the game of Magic are loaded to the gills with soldiers, I wanted to use a lot of sorceries and instants to produce Soldier tokens-- so we could really gather a giant army to overrun my enemies, not unlike, again, Ancient Rome.

I wish I could find a new analogy, but honestly, the Roman Empire got stuff done. It was all the political infighting, back-biting and dictatoring that ya know, did it in. But the armies were a well-oiled machine.

The Soldiers:

Though not numerous in their representation of cards versus tokens, these soldiers stand out above all else-- and, disclaimer, there's a couple creatures here who aren't actually soldiers, but produce them so we let that slide don't we?

Mentor of the Meek is absolutely boss in this deck. Captain of the Watch, the Evangel, Cloudgoaty McGee, and Precinct Captain drop soldier tokens. Captain of the Watch, Veteran Swordsmith, Field Marshal, Daru Warchief, Cenn's Tactician & Paragon of New Dawns pump your soldiers. Eesha is awesome; Teroh is a backup plan if some Black mage has a smart mouth; Steam Catapult is a silly pet soldier that I love-- a more expensive, conditional Royal Assassin but it makes me smile; Preeminent Captain just 'cuz he may score a free soldier and he's a target for hate-- MISDIRECTION! Kytheon just 'cuz, as well.

Catapult Master: Epic. I opened him in my first pack of Onslaught, and thus I drafted white, got a Mobilization and won the LGS draft release for Onslaught with soldiers.

Backing up the soldiers: Duplicant for removal; Linvala 'cuz she's friggin' awesome, and I put her in any white deck I can; Soul of Theros to pump up your soldiers; Avacyn-- Indestructible-soldier-lust is why Nazi commander Arnold Toht was doin' his thing and trying to thwart Indy.

Soldier-makers:

To save time: all the planeswalkers make soldiers in this deck, except Gideon, who becomes a soldier planeswalker.Launch the Fleet; Captain's Call; Nomads' Assembly; Martial Coup; Conqueror's Pledge Mobilization-- all make soldiers.

Other Spells:

Caged Sun & Gauntlet of Power both pump your army and double your mana. Eldrazi Monument bosses out your army at the cost of one token each of your turns, if you can afford it. Cathars' Crusade also pumps your guys pretty hardcore.

I'll let my selection of equipment speak for itself. I had to thin out some of my collection in order for real life stuffs, so obviously I no longer have a Batterskull or Sword of War and Peace, or they'd be in here. By all means, put in whatever you'd like. 

There is also a lot of removal in here, and a smidgeon of mass destruction. This is Commander, after all, you need to be prepared. Pack your hate, be prepared. There's also Tithe, which goes in every white deck, and Staff of Nin/Coercive Portal for card drawing.

It's a pretty nice package, meant to drop a lot of soldiers, outfit them with pumps and equipment, and has a decent amount of answers to problems you'll face in the Commander battlefront.


This is a sweet setup, which I just wanted to share with you. Nahiri hasn't hit the field yet and the soldiers are in full force. The very next turn they took out Karn and kept up the pressure.

I drew into more token makers: a Launch the Fleet, and a Captain's Call and could continuously attack, losing tokens left and right to combat, but still getting through for damage.

The beauty of soldier tokens is absolutely being able to send "wave after wave of them" until you do enough damage.


Darien, King of Kjeldor


Creatures 
Ajani's Pridemate 
Angelic Skirmisher 
Children of Korlis 
Healer of the Pride 
Lightkeeper of Emeria 
Rhox Faithmender 
Serra Ascendant 
Shattered Angel 
Suture Priest 
Soul's Attendant 
Soul Warden 
Wall of Hope 
Wall of Reverence 
Nyx-Fleece Ram 
Gerrard Capashen 
Patron of the Kitsune 
Baneslayer Angel 
Soul of Theros 
Victory's Herald 
Mangara of Corondor 
Rune-Tail, Kitsune Ascendant 
Duplicant 
Goldnight Redeemer 
Solemn Simulacrum 
Wurmcoil Engine 

Other Spells 
Chalice of Life 
Venser's Journal 
Well of Lost Dreams 
1 Alhammarret's Archive
Angelic Chorus 
Boon Reflection 
Faith's Fetters 
Sunbond 
Condemn 
Ajani Goldmane 
Elspeth Tirel 
Elspeth, Knight-Errant 
Heroes Remembered 
Oust 
Feudkiller's Verdict 
Umezawa's Jitte 
True Conviction 
Mana Crypt 
Unstable Obelisk 
Caged Sun 
Gauntlet of Power 
Spear of Heliod 
Unexpectedly Absent 
Oblation 
Return to Dust 
Saltblast 
Path to Exile 
Council's Judgment 
Banishing Stroke 
Karn Liberated 
Coercive Portal 
Staff of Nin 
Mentor of the Meek 
Cathars' Crusade 
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon 
Sol Ring  

Lands 
Hall of the Bandit Lord 
Miren, the Moaning Well 
Homeward Path 
Vesuva 
Thespian's Stage 
New Benalia 
Encroaching Wastes 
Strip Mine 
Emeria, the Sky Ruin 
Mistveil Plains 
Flagstones of Trokair 
Kjeldoran Outpost 
Ancient Tomb 
Temple of the False God 
16 Plains 
Radiant Fountain 
Mikokoro, Center of the Sea 
Opal Palace 
Nomad Stadium 
Tarnished Citadel 
Ghost Quarter 
City of Brass 
1 Tectonic Edge


So this deck produces a ton of tokens, but it's not a tribal Soldier theme. I mentioned one of my favorite Darien interactions in my article about my favorite 50 Commander combos, which is in this deck (Tarnished Citadel is right there next to Nomad Stadium and City of Brass). Another great interaction with Darien are the Soul sisters, and Healer of the Pride. Running with that theme, which was to gain back all the life I lose to get out soldiers, I formulated the notion that this deck should be decidedly lifegainy. So I loaded this sucker up with lifegainy cards to seriously infuriate your opponent. 

This deck isn't unstoppable, but, like the Lithomancer deck before it, it has a lot of great removal and answers coupled with a central theme of gaining tons of life. Some other great synergy in the deck is Spear of Heliod. Not only does it glorious up your anthem, but since you are taking the damage from attacking creatures anyway, it's a great way to score some soldier and then hose a threat. 

The new Archive from Origins is in here, which is pretty awesome because this deck also packs Coercive Portal, Well of Lost Dreams, Staff of Nin and Mentor of the Meek -- so we may actually get to rip more than one card outta the deal too.

I have had some really sweet moments in Magic games before, and here's one of them: Resolving a Heroes Remembered with both a Boon Reflection and a Rhox Faithmender in play. I got to do this with this deck, but my son woke up (he's 3) with a nightmare, and didn't get a screenshot and can't locate it in my games tab. But. It. Happened.

Seriously, look at how much friggin' life gain is packed into a viable deck. It's horrid, and it's not Guilty Conscience-on-Stuffy Doll-broken so you won't even get people angry until it's already too late and your lifegain is out of hand.

This deck suffers from no tuck-rule-implementation, but makes up for it with just gaining craptons of life and being annoying!

I was thinking I might add in a Phyrexian Processor so I could dump a chunk and make huge Borg/Parademons.




Creatures 
Konda, Lord of Eiganjo 
Iroas, God of Victory 
Purphoros, God of the Forge 
1 Archangel of Tithes
Homura, Human Ascendant
Agrus Kos, Wojek Veteran
Blaze Commando 
Captain of the Watch 
Catapult Master 
Daru Warchief 
Foundry Champion 
Goblin Legionnaire 
Hero of Bladehold 
Legion Loyalist 
Loxodon Gatekeeper 
Renegade Warlord 
Soltari Guerrillas 
Steam Catapult 
Sunhome Guildmage 
Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit 
Commander Eesha 
Dong Zhou, the Tyrant 
Major Teroh 
1 Odric, Master Tactician
Duplicant 
Angelic Overseer
1 Mentor of the Meek
Balefire Liege 
Basandra, Battle Seraph 
Avacyn, Angel of Hope 
1 Kytheon, Hero of Akros
1 Angelic Field Marshal

Other Spells 
Lightning Helix 
Warleader's Helix 
Council's Judgment 
Saltblast 
Orim's Thunder 
Karn Liberated 
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon 
All Is Dust 
Austere Command 
Elspeth, Knight-Errant 
Dolmen Gate 
Mizzium Mortars 
Rage Reflection
Assemble the Legion 
Urza's Incubator 
1 Akroma's Memorial
Decree of Justice 
Rise of the Hobgoblins 
1 True Conviction
Sol Ring 
Mana Crypt 
Banefire 
Dictate of Heliod 
Cathars' Crusade 
Coercive Portal 
1 Serra's Blessing
Staff of Nin 
Wrath of God 
1 Tithe

Lands 
Ancient Tomb 
Encroaching Wastes 
Ghost Quarter 
Strip Mine 
Buried Ruin 
Boros Guildgate 
Clifftop Retreat 
Command Tower 
Flagstones of Trokair 
Homeward Path 
Maze of Ith 
Mikokoro, Center of the Sea 
Mistveil Plains 
New Benalia 
Reflecting Pool 
Sacred Foundry 
Thespian's Stage 
Vesuva 
Temple of Triumph 
Ancient Amphitheater 
Plateau 
Windswept Heath 
Wooded Foothills 
Bloodstained Mire 
Mountain 
Plains 
City of Brass 
Tectonic Edge 
Myriad Landscape 


Boros is a fist for a reason.

Boros and Iroas go so well together. The whole smash face for justice really comes together in red and white soldiers. This deck particularly takes after Boros, because it incorporates a lot of Angelic backup.

Soldiers:

Argus helps with some pumping action. Blaze Commando is a frickin' Minotaur Soldier, which I know has been done, but how cool is that? Plus we are playing red, there's burn involved, so we have the chance to score some of his soldier tokens. Captain of the Watch, Daru Warchief, Major Teroh, Commander Eesha, Catapult Master & Steam Catapult all make a repeat appearance. Sunhome Guildmage also creates tokens, and does cool stuff. Anafenza, a spirit soldier, bolsters your cool stuff! We've got Goblin soldiers in the deck!! 

This deck is all about attacking and punching, so Renegade Warlord makes an appearance, and so does Odric. (Soltari Guerillas), Foundry Champion & Dong Zhou get to join the soldier party!

Assemble the Legion and Rise of the Hobgoblins makes some Red and White soldiers, and there's just a lot of fun Soldiers in this deck.

Angelic & Otherwise Support Staff:

Since there's so much combat punching, Vigilance is key. Enter Angelic Field Marshal. Archangel of Tithes also plays havoc with combat. Angelic Overseer pairs so well with Tajic, and all the other humans. Basandra is the Queen of combat chicanery. Iroas is obvious; So is Purphy, God-what-loves-Assemble the Legion. Konda just works so well in combat situations, alongside Tajic and the Overseer together-- that's a reckoning, especially if some indestructible gods are online too. Homura and Balefire are just great pumping spells for the deck.Decree of Justice makes soldiers or Angels!

Other Stuff:

So, combat. Boros. Iroas. EQUALS Double Strike and Vigilance. Rage Reflection. True Conviction. Serra's Blessing. Akroma's Memorial. Dictate of Heliod. All great spells for a combat heavy deck. Dolmen Gate is half an Iroas, but oh so useful in case he's not around or exiled. Cathars' Crusade is back. The Incubator because soldiers. The rest should be pretty understandable for answers and removal and card drawing.


Thanks for joining me again, Soldiering around Commander-- and we hit up three different decks! One is Token swarming; One is life gaining; One is attack-punching.

Did I miss anything you would've included? Lemme know in the comments below, or maybe shoot me a message in Twitter: @CmdrJohnnyBoosh.

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1 Comments

Another work of art disguised by Joe Fiorini at Sun, 08/09/2015 - 19:41
Joe Fiorini's picture
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Another work of art disguised as a Magic article :) Good show!