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Modern Slivers – Fear the tribal

With Merfolk’s recent return to popularity, Elves dominating at modern GPs and Goblins just on the horizon, the words on every brewer’s lips seems to be Tribal. Who better to put the fear of tribal back into spikes and net-deckers alike than the most feared tribe in magic. Slivers.

Hi there, my name is Nicholas Lloyd. I’m a guest writer based in the UK and when I’m not running between classes and preparing for exams you’ll find me at my computer, brewing up whatever crazy idea decided to pop into my head that day. Today though roguedeckbuilder.com has given me the opportunity to talk to you about a tribal deck that has stuck with me over the last couple of months.

It’s fair to say, as it is with most brews you will find online or make yourself, this isn’t a T1. The meta will heavily determine how far this deck can take you and how much splash damage you are receiving from sideboard hate. Can you jump into mtgo two-mans and win your fair share? Of course. Can you conquer an 8 man tournament or two? Absolutely. Will you have an absurd amount of fun as your opponents time and time again stare down your board full of flying, huge, indestructible monsters? Hell Yes!

Let’s start where most tribal decks start, the lords.

predatory-sliver

Predatory Sliver and Sinew Sliver are the pure Sliver lords we currently have access to in modern that sit at the 2 mana slot, they give every Sliver (including themselves) +1/+1 and for that reason alone we run a full playset of each. I should at this point take the time to mention that some Slivers, such as Sinew Sliver, will also give your opponent’s Slivers +1/+1. Not a big deal right, I mean how often are you going to run into a mirror match with this deck? But it is something you need to keep in mind especially when your opponent may be playing mutavault.

Our one of half Sliver lord in the deck is Sedge Sliver. Even though this guy sits at the 3 mana slot he can be so game changing that you could easily make the argument for going up in the number of copies in the deck. Not only does Sedge Sliver give all your other Slivers +1/+1 as long as you have a swamp in play, but even if you don’t, being able to protect any sliver from most removal for just one 1 black is incredibly valuable when you’re going up against a deck with lightning bolt.

Our other ways to pump our slivers include Mirror Entity (he is technically a sliver) and the big daddy himself, Sliver Legion. Mirror Entity is just a great way to pour any extra mama you may have laying around to hit your opponent in the face even harder or keep your mana open so that you can protect your board from any potentially Anger of the Gods nonsense. Sliver Legion is just a game ender, if this gets out on the board and your opponent doesn’t deal with it quickly the game won’t be going for much longer.

Ok so we have ways to pump our Slivers, so what? Every tribal deck can do that. Why would I run Slivers over any other tribal deck? While I could rant on about the answer to this question, the simple answer is – Utility and synergy.

Your opponent clogging up the ground so your Slivers can’t get through? No problem, drop Galerider Sliver and fly on over to your opponent’s life total. Life total getting low? Syphon Sliver will patch you back up. Want to crush the soul of an Affinity player? Sideboard in Harmonic Sliver and watch them slowly shrivel as they pause to read and then re-read your card as it hits the board.

Put Simply Slivers is the toolbox of tribal decks, each sliver earns its place in your deck by giving you another potential out to a problem you may encounter when playing and the card that enables your toolbox of creatures to run smoothly? Homing Sliver.

hellsing-homing-sliver-14268986380

Not only does Homing Sliver allow you at instant speed for 3 mana to get any Sliver in your deck into your hand, but if you decide to put him into play then any Sliver in your hand is potentially any other Sliver in your deck. This can become huge when you combine it with AEther Vial, as most of your Slivers sit at 3 CMC, you can keep your opponent constantly guessing what you’re going to throw down next. Collected Company is another card that allows you to change the board state at instant speed, although a little more random than Homing Sliver, in such a synergy based deck it can change the tide of a losing game.

There is a lot to talk about with this deck, I haven’t even touch upon some of the crazy synergy you can get out of Slivers like Manaweft Sliver + Sentinel Sliver + Sedge Sliver, but one of the things I must mention is the mana base.

sliver-hive

Due to this being a 5 colour deck I have to recommend your mana base always has 4 Sliver Hiver, 4 Cavern of Souls and 4 Mana Confluence/Reflecting Pool to make sure creatures don’t get stuck in your hand. Personally I was always play 4 Mutavault as well, because an uncounterable Sliver that dodges sorcery speed removal is always nice, but beware of Blood Moon, it is not your friend. That’s 16 of your 22 lands and the rest is really up to you.

This is one of the main reasons I love this deck, it’s so customisable. You can have your mana base lean towards green and white like I have to give you access to collective company and all the great sideboard hate that comes out of white, but there is nothing stopping you from going into red for burn or blue for counters. You can build the deck your way with the Slivers you want to play with and still have similar results.

I could rabble about this deck for another page or two and in fact the deck probably deserves its own video series, but for now instead I will leave with the fact that back in May 2015 Bryan Dubois took 5th place at a SCG Premier IQ in Dallas with a Slivers deck. This deck definitely has potential and room to grow, although we may not be as lucky as Goblins and getting something like Crystalline Sliver reprinted back into the format, I am very excited to see what the future may have in store for Slivers.

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