Building_on_a_Budget

Slivery Trickiness

Building On A Budget - Slivery Trickiness

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Slivers are one of the more beloved Magic creature types, especially considering that it was the only creature type that really mattered for the six years or so. Using an elf or a goblin netted marginal benefits -- akin to two weeks vacation and sick days. However, slivers...they got all the perks. Flying first class, health care; heck, they were practically untouchable. If you needed to get something done, you called on a team of slivers to do it. Back in the day, slivers could do it all. Then the exterminator came and apparently wiped them all out.

I guess slivers are like bugs -- they always come back. Even though just about every Standard-legal sliver comes out of the Legions set, they are still fun enough for a comeback. They might not be flying, shooting, and untargetable, but they have learned a few new tricks since the old days. The new slivers prefer not being blocked, being poisonous, and provoking things. Some things don't change, like gaining life, growing bigger, and regenerating, but everything is done in a whole new way.

At the heart of any good sliver deck is a bunch of slivery trickiness, and this deck is no different.

Building on a Budget - Slivery Trickiness

Main Deck

60 cards

Barren Moor
Forgotten Cave
Mountain
Plains
Secluded Steppe
Swamp

24 lands

Blade Sliver
Crypt Sliver
Essence Sliver
Hunter Sliver
Magma Sliver
Spectral Sliver
Toxin Sliver
Ward Sliver

30 creatures

Shock
Volcanic Hammer

6 other spells


Did you see all of the mad trickiness? Let's go through the list of cool things you can do.

But beware -- the slivers can trick you too! Be careful about what color you name with Ward Sliver, because it can turn off some of your effects as well.

Playing The Deck

Slivers may be powerful, but they aren't the most efficient beating machines in the world until you have a couple out. It feels kind of stupid playing a Hunter Sliver on turn two, but then you notice how important it is to the deck three turns later. Overall, I think Crypt Sliver may be the most vital, because it lets you do the trickiest of tricks.

You have to be sure to watch out for Wrath of God effects. Don't over commit, because you have no way to come back from a big Wrath. It's fine to put out slivers with new abilities, but try to hold back the duplicate slivers unless you need bodies for pumping with Magma Sliver.

Overall, your strategy should be to stall the board and pick things off with provoke until you're able to swing for the win.

Sidebording Tips

Patriarch's Bidding
I always like putting Patriarch's Bidding in my Tribal decks, and I think it might be okay to sideboard in against non-Zombie decks, because you can get Ward Sliver back and it's also really hard to attack into a horde of toxic regenerators. Sideboarding more Ward Slivers may also be a good idea against slower decks -- it works especially well with the Bidding.

If you don't want to deal with the Tribal headache of Bidding, try Balthor the Defiled against non-Red-Black decks.

Smother
Smothers are always nice to have against those people playing Wild Mongrel or Psychatog. You actually might want to run these maindeck if you plan on playing in 8-player tournaments.

Worship
Worship is good against many decks since your slivers become rather hard to kill between Crypt Sliver and Ward Sliver. This is especially true against decks that don't run Wrath effects.

Visara the Dreadful
Visara the Dreadful is great versus creature decks -- just bog down the early game and follow up big in the late game with a Gorgon Legend. Decks that plan on winning with creatures aren't going to be happy seeing Visara on the other side of the table.

Persecute
Persecute will help you beat any monocolor deck, but is especially useful against blue.

Adding More Money To The Deck

Well, a three-color deck will never have a lack of expensive lands that can be added, but besides that I think Coat of Arms is particularly useful in this deck. Now, Coat of Arms is one of those cards that's scary to play in Tribal Wars, but you can play it when you have creature advantage and then provoke down all your opponent's creatures at once. Played well, it can turn into a one-sided Wrath of God. You can also win in a single turn if you have a Ward Sliver that lets you sneak past your opponent's army.

You can always run Engineered Plagues, but I don't recommend it unless you like people hating you for hosing their fun.

Slivers have this sleekness about them that doesn't let you deviate from the deck too much or it starts to crumble. Your main goal when adding cards to this deck is to make the game last as long as possible. When the game lasts longer, your sliver horde not only grows larger, but smarter as well. As we all know -- smart slivers are mighty tricky!

Until next time, may all your elves be mutants.

Nate Heiss
Team CMU
nateheiss on Magic Online
nateheiss@yahoo.com

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