2 Aug 2013

From Across the Ocean


Everyone's favourite. Perhaps you've tried it. Perhaps you're no fun. Or perhaps you want to win. Because no matter how much you try, you just can't seem to get them Slivers working in a deck.
Well, with my terrible, terrible opinionated advice, I'm here to help you.

Firstly, do you have the bare essentials? I'm talking about a working body. You need one of those. Additionally, there are a certain few cards you should definitely have. Here's the bulk of them.

Bonescythe Sliver - these are probably the best win out of nowhere, although redundant in multiples, I'd still have at least 3
Cavern of Souls - 4 of these is a must, for amazing mana fixing as well as being able to avoid counters
Domri Rade - you'll quickly find that Slivers run out of cards fast - Domri is there to help you not run out, I'd suggest having at least 3
Galerider Sliver - arguably the best Sliver ever printed (second best in my opinion), again redundant in multiples, but again still try to get at least 3 in
Garruk, Caller of Beasts - the +1 works like a super-Domri Rade, and the ultimate will be crazy - defintely worth having at least 1
Legion's Initiative - allows your Slivers to not be ruined by Supreme Verdict and even avoid Terminus as well as plain Murder, so not a bad idea to have at least 2
Magnetic Sliver - you're main win condition, I'd suggest at least 3 again
Manaweft Sliver - great ramp, 4 of these
Predatory Sliver - will speak for itself, 4 is the best idea
Syphon Sliver - lifelink will save you as many times as it will simply put you far ahead, but another redundant multiple, so at least 2

If you go through these cards, you'll likely have about 8-16 places left for nonland cards (aim for 22-24 lands), so here are a few options to fill out the rest of the deck as well as the sideboard.

Abundant Growth - helpful for fixing your mana, obviously
Azorius Charm - good combat removal to save a vital Sliver and the lifelink is a great alternative to Syphon Sliver if you don't choose black
Beck // Call - with Blur Sliver and Manaweft Sliver, you can create a short "ball" of Slivers, each entering, drawing a card and then being able to tap for mana to cast the next Sliver you just drew
Battle Sliver - almost as powerful as Magnetic Sliver, but a bit cheaper, either as a replacement or as additional "copies"
Blur Sliver - if you want a faster approach or the Beck combo-ey thing
Bonfire of the Damned - amazing if you have Manaweft Sliver, and good when miracled even without Manaweft SliverBoros Charm - mostly just good for avoiding removal spells, though in an aggressive deck the 4 damage can help
Burning-Tree Emissary - good with Beck and if you want a faster deck, but remember there are simply better decks for it
Descendant's Path - easily a free Sliver every other turn, but more of a personal choice if you want it
Fog - don't underestimate it
Gruul War Chant - gives you a great advantage in combat, a possible cheaper replacement for Magnetic SliverMutavault - taking only a land slot makes it maleable, however it can mess with your mana by not providing color (normally)
Sentinel Sliver - vigilance is useful if your Slivers are resilient, but may not be as good as other choices
Simic Charm - protect from generic kill spells, get some extra power and toughness or return something - it does so much
Striking Sliver - good if you want to be aggressive or great in conjunction with Beck
Thorncaster Sliver - potential replacement or addition to Magnetic Sliver - remember it can hit creatures and will stack with multiples

A few cards you might be thinking about including, but I would normally not suggest...

Door of Destinies - Slivers help themselves well enough that there are simply better options, however this can be amazing in the sideboard against slower decks
Hive Stirrings - you get extra creatures, sure, but they add nothing to your existing Slivers and would be better off as another Sliver, however if you decide to run Beck, this is actually very good with it
Steelform Sliver - too expensive for not enough gain, though maybe it'll be just what you need

As for sideboard help, there's not much I can give you except to try having extra copies of cards you don't have 4 of in the deck itself, and be sure to have some cards that will help against certain "archetypes" (combo, control and aggro, if you want more info, just ask - I may do a blog post on that triangle). Briefly, cards that stop your creatures being killed help against control decks, lifegain will help against aggro decks and combo decks will require specific answers (e.g. anti-hexproof against "Bant Hexproof Auras" [note: Glaring Spotlight is not good in a Sliver deck]).

Some disclaimers...
I'm not trying to bring you a decklist, here, I'm merely giving my opinion on good choices of cards to use.
Do not expect Slivers to be a winning deck. They're strong, inherently, and can have impressive hands, but in the current state of Standard, there are simply better decks. However, I'd definitely be on the lookout for Sliver decks after Theros (depending on what's in Theros).
I'm well aware there is no Magnetic Sliver... I'm just trying to use real words, unlike Wizards of the Coast.

Nathan, Gambit Games USA

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