As I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, I really like Slivers. They are one of my “collections” and I have to get all of them. In fact, at this time (until M15 releases) Slivers are my only complete collection. I also collect planeswalkers (missing two), and dragons (missing lots), but this article is about Slivers, so lets get into it!
M15 gives us six new slivers, one of which, the Sliver Hivemaster, we have already discussed. The other five slivers are a cycle of uncommon slivers, one in each color. M15 also gives us the Sliver Hive, a rare land which produces colorless mana, colored mana for the sole purpose of casting slivers, and has the ability to make sliver tokens for five mana. The white sliver is the Constricting Sliver, a 3/3 for six mana that makes all slivers into Oblivion Rings. Due to his cost, most of the time the cheaper slivers will hit the board before he does, meaning that the o-ring ability will likely not get much use, unless you can start bouncing your slivers! It is still a very powerful removal effect, and coupled with the other slivers in the set, will be very difficult to deal with. The blue sliver is the Diffusion Sliver which is a 1/1 for two mana that gives all slivers the Frost Titan counter clause. Spells targeting them cost two more mana for the caster. Thankfully this is one-sided, meaning that you don’t have to pay the extra mana if you want to play a combat trick. This guy is definitely getting added to my Animar deck. The Leeching Sliver is the black sliver and it is another 1/1 for two that makes all of your slivers deal one damage to the defending player whenever they attack. They don’t even have to make it through, they just have to be declared as attackers. Swarm deck anyone? Red gives us the Belligerent Sliver, a 2/2 for three mana that makes all of your slivers have to be blocked by more than one blocker. Hmm, black and red have a lot of synergy, as both of these effects are excellent for a swarm deck. Finally, the green sliver is the Venom Sliver, a 1/1 for two that gives your slivers deathtouch. Ok, ok, I’ll make a Jund Sliver Swarm deck! Perhaps Adun Oakenshield can give me some graveyard recursion to get the dead ones back?
It is nice that Wizards gives standard players this little bump, and I hope that we see a standard five-color sliver deck hit the tables! Sadly, it will only live for three months until M14 rotates. In terms of limited, the five uncommon slivers just aren’t powerful enough on their own to see much play, and all of the slivers are just too hard to come by in order to make a “sliver” deck in limited. Even the Sliver Hivelord, though he is very powerful, will probably not see much play (if any) due to being five colors.
This blog is about Commander though, and in my opinion, each of the new uncommon slivers are a bit over-costed for their abilities when that sliver is on its own. But as soon as you start putting out other slivers for them to play with, that cost becomes more and more fair. They each have their role that they fill, and in some cases that may not jive with the deck, but in most five-color sliver decks I could see all five making the cut. I also think that the Sliver Hivelord will probably make its way into most five-color sliver decks. Any deck with slivers in it at all should have the Sliver Hive. There just isn’t any reason to not include it.
Personally, the Diffusion Sliver is definitely going into my Animar deck, and the Leeching, Belligerent, and Venom Slivers are likely going to go into a new Jund deck (good thing I just took apart Kresh!) commanded by Adun Oakenshield (Until I can afford Adun Oakenshield, the part of Adun Oakenshield will be played by Xira Arien) with an emphasis on swarm! Let’s see… all the things that make sliver tokens and let’s throw in some populate cards while we are at it!
Long live the Hive!