-Bryan Dowse


My 10 man draft last Friday was pretty much “the nuts soldier draft”.

I first picked a Rhox Pikemaster and second picked a Pacifism over a Pyroclasm. Some may say that passing the Pyroclasm may have not been the right pick, but I stand by sticking in my white color. I tend to draft as many good cards in my color in the first pack as possible, unless there’s a bomb or an obvious signal, and only switch to my second when there’s nothing in the pack.

My third pick was a Veteran Armorsmith. At this point I decided to gamble and try to make a soldier deck. I would pick soldiers very high, and pick them over almost everything, except Pacifisms and bombs. Later in the pack I made the choice of picking a Pacifism over a Blinding Mage. The rest of the pack yielded a total of 2 Pacifisms, 1 Palace Guard, 2 Veteran Armorsmiths, 1 Rhox Pikemaster, 1 Stormfront Pegasus,  and 1 Veteran Swordsmith, 1 Silvercoat Lion. I also picked up some late black: 1 Disentomb, 1 Warpath Ghoul, and 1 Gravedigger.

In the second pack I picked up an first pick Gargoyle Castle over a Divine Verdict and a second pick Whispersilk Cloak over a Veteran Armorsmith. For the rest of the pack I picked up, 1 Divine Verdict, 1 Pacifism, 1 Safe Passage, 1 Solemn offering, and 1 Rise from the Grave.

This pack was interesting because I didn’t get any soldiers and it felt like white was being cut pretty hard. Someone to my left was drafting white flyers and/or soldiers.

The final pack gave me 2 Veteran Armorsmiths, a second pick Armored Ascension, 1 Veteran Swordsmith, 1 Bog Wraith, and 1 Palace Guard.

My Deck ended up being:

3 Swamps
12 Plains
1 Gargoyle Castle
3 Pacifisms
4 Veteran Armorsmiths
2 Palace Guards
2 Veteran Swordsmiths
1 Rhox Pikemaster
1 Stormfront Pegasus
1 Silvercoat Lion
1 Armored Ascension
1 Divine Verdict
1 Safe Passage
1 Solemn offering
1 Rise from the Grave
1 Bog Wraith
1 Disentomb
1 Warpath Ghoul
1 Gravedigger
1 Whispersilk Cloak

9 Soldiers, 3 Pacifisms seems alright.


My first opponent was a black red player who had a great start. I on the other hand I kept a 2 swamp 1 Gargoyle Castle hand on the play, after muliganing to 6 with a bunch of white cards in my hand. I didn’t draw my plains until late, and he got the game. The next two games I had turn 2 and 3 Veteran Armorsmiths followed by a Pacifisms on his creature, and a Rhox Pikemaster to seal the deal.

My second opponent was red green player. He had a bunch of cheap creatures, but almost none of them could stand up to even a Veteran Armorsmith. He had some good removal and tricks like Might of Oaks, but when you’re dropping Jackal Familiar and Runeclaw Bears mid to late game, you’re going to lose to a Veteran Armorsmith and a Veteran Swordsmith.

My third opponent was a green blue player with 2 Merfolk Looters, a Clone and 3 Stampeding Rhinos. I had a turn 2 Veteran Armorsmith turn 3 Veteran Swordsmith and turn 4 Whispersilk Cloak. He dropped a Stampeding Rhinos and I hit it with a Pacifism. He Cloned the Rhino and I hit the clone with another Pacifism. Two turns later the Whispersilk Cloak took me there.

My fourth opponent was a green player who on turn 3 of the first game had 3 Elvish Visionarys, a Birds of Paradise, and a Llanowar Elves. I was worried about the Overrun but he didn’t have it. I played soldiers, he died.

Overall the deck is VERY strong if you can get the right cards. This is the second time I’ve tried drafting it, and this is by far the most successful. The Veteran Swordsmiths, Veteran Armorsmith, and Pacifisms make the deck. I’ve found that this deck is all or nothing though. You have to take a chance and start picking soldiers early, and if you get cut off, it will really hurt. If you’re getting Elite Vanguard’s and not getting the Veterans, this deck won’t work. I’d say you will have to get at least 5 veterans, 2 Pacifism, and a total of 7 soldiers to get this archetype to work.

I will continue drafting this archetype if I get passed the right cards, and when I do I will pay VERY close attention to see if ANYONE else at the table is trying the same. If I don’t get at least 2 soldiers within the first 5 picks I will assume someone has already started picking them up. If they are, I will seriously consider picking up cards from my secondary color higher, and ditch going soldiers.