This is a BDSM deck. Big Darien's Soldier Machine.

When is a token deck not token deck?

Okay, so this is a token deck, but hopefully one that isn’t simply “make hoard of soldier boi’s and punch face”. Multiple win-cons, political intrigue, and all of the things white does well, namely lifegain, disruption, removal and resurrection come into play in this design, so hopefully it’s a deck that will always have a bit of fun.

This is still one of my all-time favourite builds, and has been re-built and updated with ONE cards for extra spice.

Darien, King of Kjeldor is the key source of inspiration for the deck. In order to utilise his ability, you need to take damage, and that’s what really intrigued me. My question was, “can I build a functional deck that involves inflicting damage on myself for incremental/explosive value?” The answer was “yes, actually,” so here we go.

I started this as a budget brew, but over the years I've managed a few lucky pulls at prerelease and the odd splurge, so that combined with inflation means this deck no longer counts as such.

Humour is important. This means doing things that don't always appear in my best interest, or doing things that create strange table situations.

I am well aware that Mono-white is “the worst colour combo in EDH”; I want to build decks that make the power players scratch their heads and work for their wins.

How many ways can a man punch himself in the face? If a tree falls in a forest, and no-one is around to hear it, can it still fall on my head? How much Mace can a Masochist mass if a Masochist would mash face? These are the deep questions which Darien, First of his name, Guru of New Argive, would have us consider.

Many look at Darien and see an Alpha Chad, but sometimes high performance men just want to go home, shed their armour, and have a dominatrix step on their throat. Leaning into this side of the persona, we are looking to find ways of (safely, consensually) taking damage on ourselves and using that to fuel explosive wins.

This is primarily a combo deck, built around life-gain and Darien's penchant for spitting out an obscene amount of tokens. Finishers can be straight sideways face action, but we also have all-stars like Aetherflux Reservoir and unusual cards like Dingus Staff which can take out the table with right pieces on the board.

Normally, we wouldn’t be so keen to invite pain, but Darien’s key strength is the creation of tokens for each point of damage dealt. This on its own is not sufficient to win, but there are many effects that can abuse this, which the deck takes advantage of.

Soul Sisters are here to reward Darien for being a good boy. Soul Warden, Soul's Attendant, Suture Priest, Ajani's Welcome and Angelic Chorus provide life on ETB, and Daxos, Blessed by the Sun handles them on the way out, just to be safe. Life is a great antidote to damage.

We're also using those tokens to fuel the deck, lots of our card draw depends on creatures and we can use Ashnod's Altar to ramp.

Anointed Procession, Panharmonicon, Mondrak, Glory Dominus and Mistress Norn double most of these effects, netting us more than we lost. This life can then be used to end the game with Aetherflux Reservoir, but is otherwise a great buffer.

We have to be able to inflict damage on ourselves, as Darien is a massive disincentive to our opponents when deciding who to attack. This comes in Land form (Nomad Stadium and Grand Coliseum) and in the form of pingers like Staff of Nin and Blasting Station.

Otherwise, this deck has many standard mono-white features; from Sun Titan to Mentor of the Meek to Hour of Reckoning. Many of the selections are token-related, whether creating, protecting or buffing then, and others are just good cards I have (Smothering Tithe). In the main, this deck should play well.

Ramp is both traditional (Sol Ring) and white catch-up (Archaeomancer's Map + Lotus Field ). You can fetch ALL the plains with Emeria Shepherd + Kor Cartographer + Ashnod's Altar. Non-basics are either utility, card draw or deliberate self-harm, so plenty of basics to fetch and play. Be careful with Mistress Norn and the bounce/sac-land effects!

This deck has a few combo enablers. All of them are a bit tenuous and require multiple cards to be in play to unlock, which is half the fun, but are a good way to end long games. These cards are Dingus Staff, Aetherflux Reservoir, Ashnod's Altar and Blasting Station, which can be used to turn the dial on the deck to 11.

A special mention goes to Jade Monolith. Like Dingus Staff this is an unusual card that really doesn't work outside of this deck, but here it can really be fun. Commander damage is the bane of a lifegain deck, so why not block and redirect it back to yourself, still taking sweet, sweet damage but not combat damage. Want to make frenemies? You can save their all-important creature from death and give yourself a bunch of tokens in the process. Why not give them the choice and use it to get more out of the deal? It's just such a unique card that it has to feature in the deck.

Hope you've enjoyed this. If you have a chance to play this or a similar deck, I'd be interested in your thoughts! Enjoy!


Updates Add


Date added 4 years
Last updated 2 months
Exclude colors UBRG
Key combos

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

5 - 0 Mythic Rares

41 - 0 Rares

27 - 0 Uncommons

11 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.31
Tokens 2/2 W Token Creature Unicorn, Angel 4/4 W, Angel 4/4 W w/ Vigilance, Cat Beast 2/2 W, Citizen 1/1 GW, Eldrazi 10/10 C, Human 1/1 W, Soldier 1/1 W, Treasure, Warrior 1/1 W, Warrior 1/1 W w/ Vigilance
Folders WTF, Token
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