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Space for Rent!

Paul Hagan's Magic The Gathering Deck Garage
 Casual (?) Mono-White Soldier deck - 3.18.05

Hey y’all, and welcome to (a somewhat late edition of) the deck garage! Hope y’all are enjoying Spring Break, or if it isn’t here yet, I hope you will. Well, since I don’t other have anything else to say, I guess we can get right to the e-mail…

LANDS: 20 plains

CREATURES:21

2 deftblade elite
2 daru warcheif
4 glory seeker
4 frontline strategist
1 jareth,leonine titan
1 honor guard
1 longbow archer
1 oracle's attendants
1 crossbow infantry
2 noble templar
1 gerrard capashen
1 windborn muse

ENCHANTMENTS:11

2 mobilization
1 knighthood
4 paficism
1 gerrard's battle cry
2 kirtar's desire
1 entanglement

INSTANT/SORCERY:8

4 holy day
2 awestrike
2 piety charm


What we have here is the groundwork for a White Weenie / Soldier deck, and I’m guessing by the presence of a couple of the cards and the lack of sideboard that this deck [from Unknown Contributor – send me names, folks! ] is Casual. Working from there, I want to make sure we have all of the best soldiers. Thus, I go to my favorite search engine and turn up…

Catapult Squad*
Intrepid Hero
Soltari Foot Soldier
Soltari Trooper
Whipcorder*

The cards with asterisks next to them are cards that I feel necessary to have in any soldier deck – Catapult Squad for its amazing removal ability, and Whipcorder for the amount of control is supplies. Intrepid Hero is probably a sideboard card at best, but I felt it might be good to mention it here. The two Soltari creatures are decent options for Shadow, but I’m not positive they belong in the deck – honestly, the best Soltari are clerics. I’m going to try and keep things as high-quality as possible though, so…

+4 Catapult Squad
+4 Whipcorder

Looking over the rest of the deck for Top-Tier creatures that I want to include a full set of, I see Longbow Archer. The Archer seems a little too good to pass up, so I’m going to up the count on him to four.

+3 Longbow Archer

Now that we have a good set of decent 2-drops, I think it is probably OK to get rid of a couple of the sub-optimal cards to make room for them. The first to go is Glory Seeker. It has no abilities other than being a 2/2 for 2, and we already have plenty of those.

-4 Glory Seeker

The next cards to go are a lot of the 1-ofs. Jareth, Leonine Titan is just too expensive for what we are trying to do here, as is Gerrard Capashen. I’d prefer to keep the casting cost on everything in the deck at three or below as well, meaning Windborn Muse and Oracle’s Attendants are heading out, too.

-1 Gerrard Capashen
-1 Jareth, Leonine Titan
-1 Oracle’s Attendants
-1 Windborn Muse

I need to knock out a few more cards to make sure we have enough room, so out go Honor Guard for not having a big enough power for his casting cost, and Noble Templar can go as well, since we don’t really need to hunt down a *lot* of land, and he is otherwise too expensive.

-1 Honor Guard
-2 Noble Templar

Now that we’ve finished clearing room for the automatic inclusions earlier, we can start to adjust the rest of the deck. I debated on whether Deftblade Elite or Soltari Footsoldier was better for quite a while, but I think that the ability to close out a game because of an opponent’s lack of Shadow outweighs the combat tricks available with Deftblade Elite. I’d like to run a full set, so I’m also cutting Knighthood and Gerrard’s Battle Cry. Both cards require a bit of an investment in mana for good effect, and you don’t like seeing multiples in your opening hand. Show me a card with both of these traits, and I’ll show you a card that is holding the deck back.

-2 Deftblade Elite
-1 Gerrard’s Battle Cry
-1 Knighthood
+4 Soltari Foot Soldier

I’m not completely comfortable with only have twenty-one creatures in this deck, especially since it has to rely on a horde of small creatures overwhelming any larger, better quality creature that our Unknown Contributor’s opponents might play. I also can’t pass up playing the best white weenie creature I can think of either – Mother of Runes. Much like Soltari Foot Soldier, Mother of Runes can help break a stalled game open using her protection-granting ability. To make room, I’m going to get rid of Crossbow Infantry, Entanglement, and Kirtar’s Desire. Crossbow Infantry is getting the axe just because of the difference in the quality of creatures. I actually couldn’t find record of a card called Entanglement – if someone knows what it does, e-mail me – and Kirtar’s Desire just seems sub-par, even compared to Pacifism.

-1 Crossbow Infantry
-1 Entanglement
-2 Kirtar’s Desire
+4 Mother of Runes

Finally, or at least in the way of creatures, I would feel bad if I didn’t include a full set of Daru Warchief. I know I said that we wanted the curve to stay around three mana or less, but soldiers aren’t the biggest creatures in Magic, even for White Weenie, and they can probably use the help. Plus, it can’t hurt to have that little extra power, right? I’m pulling Awe Strike to make room.

-2 Awe Strike
+2 Daru Warchief

As odd as it sounds, Mobilization just isn’t that good in a soldier deck. From my experience, the mana required to have Mobilization doing much good is just too much for any deck running light on mana to handle. Therefore, it goes out. I’m also not too sure about the presence of Piety Charm. It has its uses, yes, but I also think giving your creatures a permanent bonus of some sort would be better than a one time use. Therefore, it too goes out. In place of these cards, I’m going to throw in Shared Triumph. It is inexpensive, it goes with the theme, and it shouldn’t help out too many opposing decks like Crusade can be prone to do.

-2 Mobilization
-2 Piety Charm
+4 Shared Triumph

As I’ve said many times before, the best removal spell in the game isn’t black or red, but white, in the form of Swords to Plowshares. Since it is taking a creature out of action, Swords is doing a job similar to that which Pacifism is doing now, but better. That means that Pacifism is getting cut in Swords’ favor.

-4 Pacifism
+4 Swords to Plowshares

Especially considering the contributions Mirrodin block made, you don’t want to have a deck nowadays without some form of artifact removal. Fortunately, before there was Naturalize, white had Disenchant. Soldier decks are going to want to come at their opponents quickly, and they definitely don’t want to be on the defensive. With this in mind, I’m cutting Holy Day in favor of Disenchant’s removal.

-4 Holy Day
+4 Disenchant

I wavered a bit on whether or not twenty lands was too many for this deck, but I think it is probably about right. I do want to include a couple of copies of Kjeldoran Outpost, though, just for the added ability to make more soldiers to work with Daru Warchief. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll have to mulligan a hand with just a couple of land, one being Kjeldoran Outpost, every once in a while.

-2 Plains
+2 Kjeldoran Outpost

I think that about wraps up work on this deck; here’s how it came out.

CREATURES (28):
4 Catapult Squad
4 Daru Warchief
4 Frontline Strategist
4 Longbow Archer
4 Mother of Runes
4 Soltari Foot Soldier
4 Whipcorder

NON-CREATURE SPELLS (12):
4 Disenchant
4 Shared Triumph
4 Swords to Plowshares

LANDS (20):
2 Kjeldoran Outpost
18 Plains

Hope that helps, Unknown Contributor, and good luck! I’ll see y’all next week.

-Paul Hagan


 

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