Those that know me know I love me a bit of Mono Red. Whether it’s in Standard, Modern, Legacy, or Pauper, there is nothing I like better than throwing burn spells at my opponent’s dome. However, this isn’t all I like to do when I play Magic. Like a certain ogre, I have many layers when it comes to the kind of decks I enjoy playing. In fact, one of my favourite non-red decks I like to pilot is Modern Soul Sisters.
Soul Sisters, for those of you who don’t know, is a White Weenie deck (sometimes splashing a second colour) built around life gain and aggressive creatures. While the deck has never been top-tier, it does have a decent following and can sometimes pop up on the top tables of smaller events. Throne of Eldraine has opened up a lot of different archetypes, but thanks to one card in particular, I believe Soul Sisters could soon be a thing again. However, this isn’t Modern Soul Sisters. No, it’s time to gain life and smash face in Standard.
Now there are other life gain decks in Standard, mainly in Black and White, that make use of Bloodthirsty Aerialist to work as an airborne version of Ajani’s Pridemate. But this deck will be sticking to its Mono-white roots, in no small part to the new three mana legendary Linden, the Steadfast Queen.
Linden is a 3/3 for three white mana that has vigilance and “Whenever a white creature you can control attacks, you gain one life.” Being so colour intensive, it is unsurprising that she would be most at home in a mono-white deck. But that ability has the potential to get quickly out of hand, especially if we can take advantage of the ludicrous amount of life we can gain.
To start off, we will want a playset of Ajani’s Pridemate and Angel of Vitality. Together these two creatures make up our primary win conditions. The Pridemate is one of those creatures that, if left unchecked, can quickly get out of control, easily growing massive within a couple of turns. Meanwhile, Angel of Vitality increases the effectiveness of our life gain, as well as working as an aerial threat once we get to twenty-five or more life.
If we are wanting to gain a lot of life, we are going to need some creatures to benefit from Linden’s ability. Healer’s Hawk is a great one mana creature for the deck, allowing us to start gaining life and putting on aerial pressure as early as turn two. Soulmender might not be the most intimidating creature, but being able to tap them to gain life and trigger our Pridemates is great if we end up in a board stall.
Raise the Alarm is not a creature, but it does give us two 1/1’s at instant speed, which pairs up nicely with our four copies of Impassioned Orator. For additional token support, the deck includes two copies of Dawn of Hope. This also has the added benefit of giving us access to a decent amount of card draw.
We also run a playset of Ajani, Strength of the Pride to spit out more Pridemates and boost our life total even higher. Ajani also is a great finisher in a board stall, able to exile our opponents’ creatures and artifacts if we have thirty-five or more life (which is easily accomplished). Speaking about exile-based removal, the deck also runs a playset of Glass Casket and two copies of Conclave Tribunal, because running no removal would likely be a mistake.
We finish off the mainboard with four copies of Castle Ardenvale and sixteen Plains. When it comes to sideboards, I like to keep it open to deal with multiple threats and bad matchups. A playset of Leyline of Sanctity can be brought in against direct damage and hand disruption, while Deafening Silence can be useful at stopping anyone combing off or just trying to pull ahead. Disenchant is great for handling problematic Enchantments and Artifacts, and Sorcerous Spyglass can be used to shutdown Planeswalkers/superfriends decks.
4 Healer's Hawk
4 Ajani's Pridemate
4 Impassioned Orator
4 Angel of Vitality
4 Linden, the Steadfast Queen
4 Glass Casket
2 Dawn of Hope
4 Raise the Alarm
2 Conclave Tribunal
4 Ajani, Strength of the Pride
4 Castle Ardenvale
4 Leyline of Sanctity
4 Deafening Silence
3 Sorcerous Spyglass
There you have it, Mono White Soul Sisters for Standard, or should we call it Soul Brother as we only have one Soul Sister-like effect? Maybe we could come up with something new. Why not let us know what you think of the deck down below. While you’re there, you could like and subscribe to keep up to date with all we do here at Master of Magics.
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