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Much Abrew: Chalice Vial Soldiers (Modern)

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Wizards has given us a ton of new Soldiers over the last couple of sets. While we've seen the tribe make its mark in Standard, today, we're going to find out if the new cards make the Soldiers tribe strong enough to make the jump to Modern, backed by the ramping power of Aether Vial and the disruption of Chalice of the Void! Can the new Soldiers from The Brothers War and Dominaria United win the battle against Modern Horizons 2 and the rest of the Modern powerhouses? Let's get to the video and find out on today's Much Abrew About Nothing!

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Much Abrew: Chalice Vial Soldiers

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  • Record-wise, we ended up going 3-3 with Chalice Vial Soldiers, going 2-3 in a Modern league and winning an extra one-off match, which is a solid, if unspectacular, record for a rogue tribal deck.
  • When it comes to tribal decks, we often talk about a tribe's competitive advantage. Why play Soldiers over other options like Elves or Merfolk? The big answer here is that Soldiers are a very disruptive tribe. While they might not offer as many lords as Merfolk or make as much mana as Elves, cards like Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Unsettled Mariner, Esper Sentinel, and Lavinia, Azorius Renegade make it really hard for some decks to execute their game plan efficiently. 
  • While there aren't a ton of payoffs for jamming a bunch of Soldiers together in a deck, there are two big ones: Valiant Veteran and Siege Veteran. Valiant Veteran offers Soldiers something they've never had before in a two-mana lord, while Siege Veteran gives us another way to grow our creatures as well as protection from removal and sweepers, thanks to the Soldier token it leaves behind as creatures die. Considering that many of our other Soldiers are strong enough to stand on their own, this is enough to make Soldier tribal a legit option, as compared to just playing a generic deck.
  • The card that made me want to try the deck, outside of the new Soldiers, was Chalice of the Void. After jamming a bunch of games with the deck, I'm still not sure if it is worthwhile in the main deck or not. We saw Chalice of the Void win some games all by itself, but we sided it out in a lot of matchups. Cards like Leyline Binding, March of Otherworldly Light, and Prismatic Ending becoming among the most popular removal spells in the format has made Chalice of the Void less consistent, but it's still absurdly strong in the right matchup. All things considered, I think Chalice might be better in the sideboard, along with more removal or Soldiers in the main deck, although it could also be that we just mostly ran into the matchups where Chalice isn't great.
  • One of the upsides of Solders is that the tribe has been around for forever, and there are a ton of options for customizing and upgrading the deck. While I'm happy with our creatures in general, cards like Ranger-Captain of Eos, Field Marshal, Preeminent Captain, and Tocatli Honor Guard all seem strong enough to be worth testing at least, while Harbin, Vanguard Aviator and Skystrike Officer might be better in the main deck than in the sideboard. If you decide to give the deck a try, feel free to toss in some of your favorite Modern Soldiers—some of them might end up being pretty good!
  • So, should you play Chalice Vial Soldiers in Modern? I think the answer is maybe. While I don't think Soldiers is quite in the top tier of tribal decks in Modern, it is competitive enough and fun; plus, you get to play with a lot of new cards! If my only goal were to win a Modern tournament, I'd probably look elsewhere, but Soldiers are solid as a unique semi-competitive deck, and they can be tough to beat in the right matchup!


Anyway, that's all for today. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at

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