12 months, 12 decks (I): Soldiers!

The Challenge: 12 months, 12 decks

Hello, folks old school! I have proposed a challenge for this 2020: throughout the year I will try to write a deck tech one every month. The deck will be played on the corresponding monthly day of the Madrid Old School League (LMOSEternal Central rules). Obviously, the decks will be built with the cards that I’ve got (almost always), this means that they will be unpowered decklist because I haven’t got the P9. Adding the P9 has no mystery, it’s quite simple, and you can include it if you have those cards, although it’s always difficult to ignore playing the color blue.
The motivation to launch this monthly challenge is to explore, discover, and investigate the format; The pool of Old School 93-94 is limited and, even so, I’ve the feeling that there are many cards that are not played because the players have not discovered their true potential, or because they don’t appear in the list that made top 8 in the XXXX tournament. Throughout this year my intention is to play some cards that are not usually seen at the battlefield, the type of cards for which players usually ask the same question: «but what does that do?» In fact, in this first article there are up to two cards that I have not seen that have been played in any other deck.
A notice: they will not be tier 1 decks, nor tier 2, the idea is that are different strategies, that anyone can build and play them. The intention isn’t to assemble the most bizarre cards you find, but to build decks that work and, above all, that are fun!
This challenge occurred to me inspired in part by Danish Brews’ articles, published on the Mg blog and written by Hans Henrik Rasmussen and Jaco’s deck techs that he published in June 2017 on the Eternal Central website , articles that I highly recommend reading.
Now, we start with the first deck tech of the year …



The idea of this deck came about by chance, I was digging through my Fallen Empires collection and found Dwarven Lieutenant.


I liked his ability and I looked at Scryfall to see how many dwarves were in Old School. There were six, and not very good. You couldn’t make a thematic deck around them. I remembered its white version, Icatian Lieutenant.


I  wondered, «How many soldiers will there be in Old School?» And I had a pleasant surprise, in Scryfall there were nineteen, «that was much better,» I thought. There are so many because many of them are erratized in the Oracle / Gatherer, for example, Yotian Soldier in Antiquities is an «artifact creature» and in Oracle it’s «artifact creature – soldier». As you play with what the card says today, it’s something we can take advantage of (something similar happens with zombies). I got down to work and chose the best ones considering that I would have to play around Icatian Lieutenant.
This was the result:

Soldiers! 2.0


  • At first glance it may seem like a Pink Weenie variant because they share several cards, but the tricks are different. While the Pink Weenie is based on Crusade, Land Tax, Armageddom, Soldiers deck is based on tribal creatures, on Goblin War Drums, and is more «burn.»
  • Icatian Lieutenant: At the beginning I played to combine it with Dwarven Lieutenant, but in the end I decided only for the white creature since including the dwarf complicated the base of mana and I preferred to opt for one color more than the other. The mechanic is really interesting and can also pump itself. All the creatures in the deck are soldiers except the Factories and Savannah Lions, that entering the list because they are one of the most efficient creatures of Old School, the second best one drop of the format, just behind the Kird Ape.
  • The soldiers: it’s a very aggro deck, so the soldiers had to be the most aggressive. Icatian Javalineer is a staple in White Weenie and being also a soldier we can take advantage of it even once he has «thrown» his javelin. Dwarven Soldier enters the deck curve very well and isn’t affected by Gloom (one of our greatest enemies) and his ability is good againts Ironclaws Orcs, so used in Sligh decks. Yotian Soldier, apart from being a soldier, provides that defense plus that the deck sometimes needs, because of its resistance it doesn’t die easily from sparks or Earthquake, or The Abyss (another of our enemies), it has vigilance and can stop black / white knights of the opponent, or Mishras, and helps scratch those life points that can give us the game; Its greatest weakness is that it’s an easy target for Shatter or Disenchant, you can’t have everything …
  • Goblin War Drums is, apart from Icatian Lieutenant, another of the cards I’ve never seen anyone play, and in this deck it’s quite interesting. You can play it as a trick by keeping it in your hand until you see the right moment to throw the bomb and boom, your creatures will be practically unblockable, it’s true that to take advantage of it you need many creatures in the deck, and this deck has up until 22. I think two is the correct number, since every War Drums you draw will be a dead card if you already have one at the table, you have to be careful with the Disenchant of the opponent since if they play it in combat phase you can lose many creatures, but if you play it with the surprise factor it can give you the game because many players trust the defense to creatures such as Serra Angel or Mishras. And the truth that seeing the menace mechanic in 93-94 is something that you will rarely be able to see. It’s a more effective card than it seems and works very well with the ability of Icatian Lieutenant to pump creatures that the opponent cannot block.
  • Wheel of Fortune is our draw engine, and it will help us to refuel our hand when we have expend all our resources and discard the opponent’s hand specially if it plays control. One of the most important cards in the deck, of course.
  • Chaos Orb and Disenchant are fundamental cards, the Chaos for obvious reasons, and the Disenchant because there are enchantments that if they are on the battlefield beat us, such as Moat, The Abyss, Drop of Honey or Icy Manipulator, for example.
  • Mana base: Since there isn’t much double cost (we only have four white double cost cards) with two City of Brass we can manage, and we can run all the colorless lands, which in this deck are really useful. The Plateau must also play all four.
  • Mishra’s Factories are crucial because they bring that extra speed that the deck needs at all times, making T1 Savannah Lions, T2 Javalineer or Dwarven Soldier plus a Mishra is more important than it seems because in T3 you are going to start doing it a lot of damage if the opponent don’t have an answer. They are also good blockers and a very  fast and difficult creature to kill and combines very well with Goblin War Drums. We can play all 4 perfectly because we don’t run too many double costs in the deck.
  • The deck is fast and puts under pressure from the first turn. You’ve to play it with joy, if on the first turn you’ve a Chain Lightning and you don’t have Lions, don’t think about it, cast it, the goal is to finish the opponent as soon as possible. Cards like Goblin War Drums help attack without thinking much about the consequences.
  • Our worst enemies, we have already named some, are cards like Gloom, which will slow down our game although it will not paralyze it completely thanks to our red cards, Earthquake that will be like an Wrath of God, Wrath of God, Disks, Moat that having no flying creatures will cancel us leaving us alone with Disenchant or the sparks to finish the game, The Abyss, Drop of Honey, etc … so think well where are you going to expend those Disenchant. Then there are decks that aren’t good pairing, such as Workshop, for its huge and fast creatures, Bant / Erhnamgeddom, for the Erhnam and Serra Angel that are creatures that will cost us a lot to deal with, or RUG Tempo / Aggro in its many variants already that their creature curve is more powerful than ours and they have a lot of removal.
  • The sideboard will always depend on the metagame of your area, but once we see the enemies to beat we can say that a necessary card is City in a Bottle (which does not appear in the photo because I haven’t got) to stop decks that abuse from Serendib and Erhnam. Dust to Dust, Damping Field or Shatterstorm against The Deck and Workshop, Black Vise against The Deck and its Ivory Tower, Falling Star against Monoblack and Pink Weenie, Preacher and Meekstone against Erhnamgeddom, Bant, etc …
  • You could consider other cards like Fireball, which as a topdeck is wonderful and is a staple in the red color, but I tried it and the balls didn’t get to be larger than 3 in most cases, because in a format with 4 Strip Mine and in a deck like this with hardly any artifacts to generate mana is less effective, so instead I decided to include the fourth Chain Lightning. As for other soldiers, I considered Dwarven Lieutenant, but, as I said, it complicated my mana base. Pikemen has Banding and First Strike but for its cost there are better options. Righteous Avengers can be an interesting sideboard card but its high cost makes it impossible to play.
I love to play underrated cards


Soldiers! (in my opinion) is a deck with a more aggressive point than the classic Pink Weenie, a little faster, and that doesn’t depend so much on the double costs of our creatures, with which we can put all the colorless lands (Strip Mine and Mishras) that will be crucial in our strategy. I encourage you to try it and I will be happy that if you play it tell me how it went. You can reach me through the comments of the blog or in my Instagram account @retroplayermtg where you can follow the challenge through the #12meses12mazos, or #12months12decks hashtags.
Thanks for reading!

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4 comentarios en “12 months, 12 decks (I): Soldiers!

  1. Pingback: 12 months, 12 decks (II): Atog Weenie – Liga Madrileña Old School MTG

  2. Pingback: 12 months, 12 decks (III): Titania Fungusaur – Liga Madrileña Old School MTG

  3. Pingback: 12 meses, 12 mazos (VI) BRw War Drums – Liga Madrileña Old School MTG

  4. Pingback: 12 months, 12 decks (VI) BRw War Drums – Liga Madrileña Old School MTG

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