When I began playing shortly after the release of Fallen Empires, I fell in love with what I consider one of the coolest creatures in the game, the Antiquities Yotian Soldier. In my early playgroup, he was a very valuable companion, a creature that could attack for one damage and still be available for a formidable block.My first deck was a bllack/white deck that focused around Pestilence, which Yotian Soldier could survive several activations of.
In the Magic Lore, Yotian Soldiers were created by the planeswalker Urza. They were fast on foot and highly mobile. Very capable of attacking a distant location but returning to defend if needed. This quickness was illustrated in the automation’s vigilance ability. During the early days of Magic, it almost always took at least two cards to kill him, a Lightning Bolt and something else. I loved this creature so much, I called the Wizards of the Coast hotline and talked to them at length about how great it was and even found a little backstory on it. During development and play testing he was named “Toy Soldier” and the name reversed to “Yot” to sound more exotic.”Yot” then turned to “Yotian” to describe where they came from. I also asked for some play testing versions of the card and was denied.
Sometime after my friend “Yotie” was reprinted in Chronicles and the base sets, he was cut from printing and deemed “to good” to be reprinted by Wizards of the Coast. I was devastated. I collected all I could find.
Years later, Wizards printed Standing Troops, a white creature featuring barbarians with the traditional casting cost, ability and power/toughness. I was irate at the thought that some brainless barbarians had replaced a highly creative robotic artifact creature. I snagged as many Standing Troops and tortured the cards in any way I could find, Weed whackers, bleach, even bottle rockets and firecrackers. I hole punched one copy and put it on my cats collar. He ate half of it. I duct taped one copy to my car tire and spun out. My friends became concerned and I eventually stopped for the safety of everyone involved.
Then it happened, Mirrodin was released and my friend Yotian Soldier was back again. It was a great and triumphant revival of my childhood pal. Because of this reprinting, Yotian Soldier is Modern format legal.
Mirrodin Besieged printed Priests of Norn, very similar to Standing Troops but with the infect ability. Considering I’m a sucker for infect as well as great art, Priests of Norn escaped my wrath and made it to many casual decks.
As of today, I have over 80 copies of Yotian Soldier. He will forever be a paer of my Magic: The Gathering Experience.
Aiokii once played a game of Magic with a deck of only basic lands and Yotian Soldiers vs. a deck with Prodigal Sorcerers. He won decisively. Contact him at https://twitter.com/TheAiokii , Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thepaperchampionblog or post in the comments below. Check out http://www.reddit.com/r/budgetdecks/, for Magic: The Gathering on a budget discussion.