spear of heliod

EDH Deck Tech: Darien, King of Kjeldor

[you can see every deck tech here]

Hello & welcome to this weekly deck tech! This week we’re jumping into EDH for a very interesting & straight-forward deck: Dorien, King of Kjeldor. 

This card really hit a soft spot for me when it came out because I love the Ice Age block. I started playing during Alliances and it that set, as well as Ice Age always stuck with me; seeing Coldsnap come out years later was a pleasant surprise! And with Dorien coming too I was really happy since back in Ice Age there were tons of talk about Kjeldor, but we never had gotten a card to depict the King. This card has a really unique ability that let’s you generate tokens for every damage you receive. In a regular game of magic what that would do is slowly your opponent down, by creating more & more blockers while getting damaged, and if your opponent wants to race, then you’re getting more & more attackers. With a car like this, your opponents really have to think things true because if they can deal massive amount of damage but not kill you, it might come back in their face. There’s also a way for YOU to use Dorien’s ability to your advantage, on top of being a great defensive mechanism. 

Healing your Wounds

That you like it or not, you will lose some life during the course of the game. That’s part of the plan with your commander, but even if it wasn’t of him, you’d still lose life; you need way to say alive, that’s why you play Soul Warden’s effect. Cards like this one help you gain quite a bit of life, especially in multiplayer, making sure you stay healthy. What’s VERY interesting in this situation is the way this interacts with Dorien’s ability. Let’s say you take 5 damage, you’ll then get 5 soldier tokens out of the deal; those 5 tokens coming into play will make you gain 5 life out of the Soul Warden-type effect and bring you back to your original life points, just with 5 extra soldiers on the board. So yeah, cards like Soul’s Attendant, Suture Priest, True Conviction, Path of Bravery, Healer of the Pride, Auriok Champion & Blind Obedience are all good ways to keep a steady life-gain through the game; it doesn’t need to be the theme of the deck, but having a few cards like these are very helpful.

Hurting Yourself

So while you’re gaining some life with Soul Warden effects, you can freely abuse Darien’s ability by hurting yourself. This is a big part of the deck, having access to a lot of little effects that deal you damage (be careful, life loss doesn’t work, so Mana Confluence is a no-go) while doing their things. City of Brass, Nomad Stadium, Tarnished Citadel, Grand Coliseum, Staff of Nin, Jade Monolith, Mana Vault, Mana Crypt, Anhk of Mishra, Ancient Tomb, oh and the mix of Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth & Karma; dealing a bunch of damage to everyone, including you, but you’ll get some tokens which will gain you life & blah blah blah. 


A good way to take advantage of the fact you’re already making a bunch of tokens is by making even more tokens & embracing the Darien & Soul Warden effects. Entrapment Maneuver, Martial Coup, Hero of Bladehold, Precinct Captain, Brimaz King of Oreskos, Evangel of Heliod, Hanweir Militia Captain, Benalish Commander, Raise the Alarm, Militia’s Pride, Nomad’s Assembly, Deploy the Front, Decree of Justice, Kjeldoran Outpost, Conqueror’s Pledge & of course Increasing Devotion.

Soldier Tribal

You might have noticed that pretty much all the tokens made by those spells are Soldiers. It might be a coincidence, but it might not either. So why not embrace this and play some sweet Solider synergies? Captain of the Watch, Catapult Master, Knight-Captai of Eos, Field Marshal, Daru Warchief, Mobilization, Preeminent Captain, Ballyrush Banneret, Veteran Swordsmith, Rox Pikemaster, Veteran Armorsmith & Obelisk of Urd are all amazing cards that support the Soldier archetype!

Full-On Anthems

Now that all your Soldiers are boosted and strong af, you can really do things the right way and pump them up even more. Go grab those anthem effects and make your 1/1s into something really more menacing! Cathar’s Crusade, Honor of the Pure, Elesh Norn Grand Cenobite, Mirror Entity, Archetype of Courage, Crovax Ascendant Hero, Archangel of Thune, Jazal Goldmane, Thalia’s Lieutenant, Champion of the Parish, Paragon of New Dawns, Angel of Invention, Phantom General, Mikaeus the Lunarch, Angel of Jubilation, Spear of Heliod, Eldrazi Monument, Coat of Arms, Door of Destinies, Hall of Triumph, Call for Unity, Marshal’s Anthem, Dictate of Heliod, Intangible Virtue, Glorious Anthem, Crusade & Divine Sacrement. With ALL those anthem effects you’re really set to have HUUUUUGE tokens that will come into play consistently with your commander’s ability. Just hope you don’t get hit with mass enchantment/artifact removal… 


Speaking of mass removal, you need some answers yourself. Ideally stuff that only deals with your opponent’s stuff, or something that keeps your commander on the field. Also, sport removal & direct answers are important; you have plenty to choose from! Return to Dust, Grand Abolisher, Avacyn Angel of Hope, Mother of Runes, Path to Exile, Condemn, Swords to Plowshare, Oblation, Rootborn Defenses, Disenchant, Brave the Elements, Make a Stand, Mass Calcify, Austere Command, Fell the Mighty, Retribution of the Meek, Grasp of Fate, Oblivion Ring; also Lightning Greeves, Swiftfoot Boots & Darksteel Plate to protect Darien. 


This might sound weird, but playing mono-coloured decks provide you with a lot of ramp, even in white! You HAVE to utilize those effects to really accelerate your plays and make sure you can always cast Darien, because he is essential to the deck. Cards like Caged Sun, Knight of the White Orchid, Land Tax, Pearl Medallion, Sol Ring, Gauntlet of Power, Nykthos Shrine to Nyx, Marble Diamond, Thran Dynamo, Sword of the Animist, Extraplanar Lens, Mind Stone, Worn Powerstone, Gilded Lotus & Thawing Glaciers.


She deserves her own category. Elspeth just fits in this deck soooooooo well. Any of her cards are just amazingly good in here! Elspeth Tirel is probably the best by gaining you a bunch of life & creating some tokens; Elspeth Knight Errant is most likely the least good but it still creates some tokens and can make your stuff indestructible if not dealt with; Elspeth Sun’s Champion is amazing too since you can create a lot of tokens and destroy everything that’s too big!


There you have it! I hope you guys enjoyed this deck tech. If I missed anything let me know! I’ll see you guys next week for a Standard deck tech.