The idea is to use Darien to deter attacks while developing a board, then amass an army of tokens through self-damage lands and/or absorbing damage from attacks. Any Soul Sister + Darien immediately negates any non-lethal damage you take. With other effects like Sun Droplet, Angelheart Vial or a 2nd soul sister, damage you receive actually turns into profit.
The soldier tokens easily turn into a win via 10 anthem effects, Cathars' Crusade, and buffs from planeswalkers. They gain Vigilance from 3 sources (Intangible Virtue, Captain of the Watch, Mobilization), so they can play both defense and offense. They can be sacrificed to Knight-Captain of Eos to protect you from alpha strikes, tap to Catapult Master to remove pesky threats, and buff Twilight Drover when they die. They also conveniently survive 4 of your board wipes (6 if you include the 2 Elspeths), letting you take a 1-sided control over the board.
The deck is weak to Darien being tucked or repeatedly killed, so there are a few ways to protect him: Mother of Runes, Lightning Greaves, Swiftfoot Boots, Jade Monolith (which also synergizes with his ability), and even the random Sivvi's Valor. In the event that Darien is tucked or you lack the mana to cast him again, you can also win via tokens from Mobilization, Heliod, Twilight Drover or Conqueror's Pledge. Or you can try to win via planeswalkers or grind them out with your value fatties.
EDIT: Also notice the synergy between damage redirection (Jade Monolith, Sivvi's Valor) and abilities that trigger when you're dealt damage from an opposing source (Spear of Heliod, Michiko). You can use Jade to bounce any combat damage from one of your creatures onto you and then blow up their creature. Hopefully this acts as more of a deterrant than anything, encouraging people to attack other players (much like Darien's ability).
Nice deck! Most Darien builds I’ve seen (mine included) tend to go the tribal route so it’s nice to see a deck that go in a slightly different direction.
How much have you played your deck? The biggest/most recurring problem I’ve come across with mine is that sometimes I’ll have some tokens but nothing to really do with them. I run a similar number of anthem effects, but I would advise trying to squeeze in some more card draw to help you draw into more options. I have found Memory Jar, Slate of Ancestry, Mentor of the Meek and Skullclamp to provide useful card advantage for mono white. Endless Horizons is another great card, guaranteeing a land drop every turn while helping filter lands out of your deck for better draws. With all the life gain you are running you may also want to consider running Well of Lost Dreams
First Response Is like a mini Darien. It’s untested in my deck so I’m not sure how it actually plays out but I like the idea of it. It may serve as a nice backup plan for you since your deck is more focused on Darien. Scout’s warning is another card I’ve been considering. Untested, but I really like the idea of flashing in Darien when my opponents think they’re in the clear to attack. Plus it could have nice utility with other cards.
Thanks for the suggestions!
Yeah, I wanted to avoid just straight tribal.
I guess I am light on card draw (just Staff of Nin and Mind's Eye and Angelheart Vial). I haven't played this deck often enough to notice. I'll tweak that a bit.
Huh, I hadn't even heard of First Response but I will give it a try as a back-up plan. Mainly because it says "each upkeep", so you can still get a couple tokens per turn cycle, especially if you have more than one pain land.
Jinxed Idol is straight brilliant, doing double duty at making tokens and pressuring opponents.