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By: kelvinmai, Kelvin Mai
Aug 15 2013 6:25am
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So I've been feeling a bit uninspired in standard lately. I was considering writing about a Burn at the Stake deck with Young Pyromancer but felt that too many rogue deck builders are already raving about that and I didn't feel like saturating the market with yet another version of it. And then I considered Trading Post but of course that too is already getting exposure. So instead of constructing something for this article I decided to just jump into some M14 drafts. And surprisingly I have drafted slivers every time! 

Slivering up the limited queues.

Drafting Slivers

I was initially not impressed with slivers when M14 spoilers were still coming out and the vorthos in me hates their new look. I initially thought it would have been too hard an archetype to dive into while in limited. However every time I draft I just seem to accidentally fall into this deck. Once again the keyword is 'accidentally' because I never go into a draft planning on going into slivers, it just always seems to happen. What I do seem to always draft is green because it is a pretty powerful color. Most of you will know that I prefer black when it comes to just color but I felt that going black needs too much dedication in this format with cards that care about the number of swamps like Corrupt and Nightmare. I can't deny that the color has the best removal such as Doom Blade and Liturgy of Blood. But I believe that green comes in a close second in power level with strong creatures and versatile spells. So what pushes me into slivers?

This guy!

That's right, the new Gemhide Sliver is what pushes me into slivers. It really is the best mana fixing and ramp in the whole format. And it makes for some crazy things to happen in conjunction with other slivers. As you see above I was lucky enough to pull a Garruk which combines so well with this archetype, that game was easily won with a turn 4 Garruk which pluses to refill your hand with more slivers! And it is very rare for a sweeper to come so it's not hard to clog the board with an army that buffs each other. Groundshaker Sliver, Megantic Sliver and even Predatory Sliver are all basically game enders in green. Now the big question is what to splash? This deck is naya colors but it doesn't mean you have to have an even splash of white and red, instead you can go mostly two colors and cast one or two cards off of a Manaweft Sliver and Verdant Haven. In fact I went Green White and had a single Blur Sliver and in another game I went Green Red with a single Hive Stirrings, it really just depends on what comes your way.

Example draft deck. (Also hate how beta client can't sort by CMC sometimes.)

Standardizing Slivers

Cavern of Souls 
The heavy hitting lands.

Now that you're up to speed on Slivers in limited how are they in constructed? They are definitely much more vulnerable here because of sweepers, but sliver aggro is definitely an option. But I feel like if we're going to be a fragile deck, we might as well go out with a bang, so I decided on doing combo slivers. How do you combo off? You just need the Haste Sliver and Mana Sliver on the field and then cast Beck/Call and just go ham! 

Turn 1 - Breeding Pool untapped, Galerider Sliver
Turn 2 - Sunpetal Grove, Manaweft Sliver, Striking Sliver (paid with Galerider)
Turn 3 - Rootbound Crag, Blur Sliver
Turn 4 - Beck/Call, most likely playing 3 to 5 more slivers with a finisher on the next turn to win.
Finishers include Thorncaster, Megantic, Bonescythe or Syphon.

That is the equivalent of a RG aggro hand with a couple Burning-Tree Emissary. And don't worry even if we don't have the combo hand we can still power out aggression and basically play sliver aggro.

This is the deck that I have been working with, I'm sure there can be some improvements upon it but I'm pretty happy with how it's faring so far. And as slivers most of the deck is within reach when it comes to budget, the exceptions here is Cavern of Souls and Mutavault but the two lands are very important to the deck so it is a must to include them. Garruk is not entirely necessary but he helps out tremendously. Alternatively you could run Domri Rade in place of him if you don't mind slimming down on spells such as Hive Stirrings. Abundant Growth helps fix the mana of this 5 color monstrosity when we don't have our mana sliver and it's a cantrip also helps us dig for the mana sliver. Manaweft is definitely the most important sliver and I would say that if you don't have him in your opening hand you should probably mulligan. Legion's Initiative is our answer to a wrath, it may not be the best answer but it is still an answer. And the only black card is in the sideboard, syphon sliver brings in some life gain against some heavy hitting aggro decks. We may not be running any black lands but we have enough mana fixing in the form of slivers, Cavern of Souls and Abundant Growth to cast him consistently.

Commanding Slivers

Sliver Queen Sliver Overlord Sliver Legion

Now I'm venturing into unfamiliar territory with commander on MTGO. Now there are three different sliver commanders, Sliver Overlord, Sliver Queen and Sliver Legion. And each lends itself to a different type of deck. Sliver Legion is the aggro deck with it's innate buffing, Sliver Queen is the heart of the swarm by pumping out tokens, and Sliver Overlord is the combo fiend with its built in tutor. So of course I'd pick the overlord, but its not just because of it's combo potential, its also because he comes in the premium deck series. And MTGOtraders has a great deal with selling them for 2 bucks each. This premade deck is also helpful because it jump starts us into the format. 

Gemhide Sliver Heart Sliver

With the release of M14 it makes the combo more consistent because we now have redundancy within the slivers. We now have 2 mana slivers and 2 haste slivers! Now how does the combo work? Well we need to make infinite mana with something like Intruder Alarm or Mana Echoes and then use that infinite mana for the kill with one of the following: Psionic Sliver, Acidic Sliver, Necrotic Sliver or Cautery Sliver. Now the built in tutoring of the overlord makes this much more possible because we can find these slivers whenever we want. The only hard part of this deck is the mana base. We want to bring out the overlord as soon as possible to make it all happen if the pieces aren't already in our hand.

Unfortunately I'm not an expert on this deck so if you want more information you can go to the MTGSalvation forum here. However I can post the decklist that they use below.

Sliver Overlord
1 Basal Sliver
1 Crystalline Sliver
1 Dormant Sliver
1 Gemhide Sliver
1 Ghostflame Sliver
1 Harmonic Sliver
1 Heart Sliver
1 Hibernation Sliver
1 Homing Sliver
1 Necrotic Sliver
1 Quick Sliver
1 Pulmonic Sliver
1 Root Sliver
1 Sliver Legion
1 Sliver Queen
1 Academy Rector
1 Amoeboid Changeling
1 Eternal Witness
18 cards

Other Spells
1 Chromatic Lantern
1 Coalition Relic
1 Crucible of Worlds
1 Darksteel Ingot
1 Rings of Brighthearth
1 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Sol Ring
1 Manaweft Sliver
1 All Is Dust
1 Catastrophe
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Hull Breach
1 Hunting Wilds
1 Living Death
1 Maelstrom Pulse
1 Patriarch's Bidding
1 Skyshroud Claim
1 Vindicate
1 Wargate
1 Bant Charm
1 Cryptic Command
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Hinder
1 Mana Drain
1 Mortify
1 Pact of Negation
1 Plasm Capture
1 Putrefy
1 Render Silent
1 Rewind
1 Spell Crumple
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Voidslime
1 Intruder Alarm
1 Mana Echoes
1 Mana Reflection
1 Mirari's Wake
1 Mirri's Guile
1 Phyrexian Arena
1 Rhystic Study
1 Sylvan Library
1 Training Grounds
1 Unnatural Selection
1 Cavern of Souls
43 cards
1 Badlands
1 Bayou
1 Blood Crypt
1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All
1 Breeding Pool
1 Cabal Coffers
1 Command Tower
1 Flooded Strand
1 Gaea's Cradle
1 Godless Shrine
1 High Market
1 Krosan Verge
1 Marsh Flats
1 Maze of Ith
1 Minamo, School at Water's Edge
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Plateau
1 Polluted Delta
1 Reflecting Pool
1 Sacred Foundry
1 Savannah
1 Scrubland
1 Steam Vents
1 Stomping Ground
1 Taiga
1 Temple Garden
1 Thespian's Stage
1 Tropical Island
1 Tundra
1 Underground Sea
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Volcanic Island
1 Volrath's Stronghold
1 Watery Grave
1 Windswept Heath
37 cards

1 Sliver Overlord
1 cards
Sliver Overlord


Well that's all I have for the sliver article. For more brews you should sliver on over to my other articles at Brewing on a Budget.
MTGO: kelvinmai
twitter: @kelvinmai


Just a note on the Commander by Leviathan at Fri, 08/16/2013 - 12:50
Leviathan's picture

Just a note on the Commander deck, if you plan on playing this online, expect to wear out your wrist clicking a ton. Infinite combo online is a pain to run. I've noticed that people don't like it when you force them to go through it, but they want to win, so they'll spend the 15-20 minutes clicking through everything to get their win anyway.