Tribal Fun in Modern #7: Silvery Slivers

sliver hivelord art

On with another week of Tribal Fun in Modern! This is going to be another fairly laid back week. This week I’ll try to make the best of the great casual tribe of slivers. Here is the deck:

[d title=”Slivers (Modern)”]

Lands
4 Mutavault
4 Sliver Hive
4 Cavern of Souls
3 Verdant Catacombs
1 Windswept Heath
1 Godless Shrine
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Watery Grave
1 Blood Crypt
1 Swamp
1 Forest

Creatures
3 Homing Sliver
3 Manaweft Sliver
4 Necrotic Sliver
2 Harmonic Sliver
4 Galerider Sliver
4 Sedge Sliver
4 Predatory Sliver
4 Sinew Sliver
2 Sliver Legion

Artifacts
4 Aether Vial

Instants and Sorceries
4 Abrupt Decay

Sideboard:
1 Harmonic Sliver
3 Thoughtseize
2 Relic of Progenitus
3 Leyline of Sanctity
2 Combust
4 Mana Leak [/d]

A deck somewhat similar to this did well in Grand Prix Milan towards the end of last year. As always, I am going to give you the run-down on card choices, strategy, play style, match-up and sideboarding guide, and some different versions of the deck.

[c]Homing Sliver[/c] and [c]Manaweft Sliver[/c] are the straight up utility cards. [c]Homing Sliver[/c] allows for you to fetch any sliver you need. [c]Manaweft Sliver[/c] allows for ramp, fixing, and blocking all day when combined with [c]Sedge Sliver[/c].

[c]Necrotic Sliver[/c] and [c]Harmonic Sliver[/c] destroys things. [c]Necrotic Sliver[/c] can do some work and allow all of your slivers (+3 mana) to trade with anything on the board. He is a real powerhouse. [c]Harmonic Sliver[/c] can do some work against Affinity and can be fetched if need be. He is not nearly as good as [c]Necrotic Sliver[/c] but still warrants an inclusion in the deck.

[c]Galerider Sliver[/c], [c]Sedge Sliver[/c], [c]Predatory Sliver[/c], [c]Sinew Sliver[/c], and [c]Sliver Legion[/c] are the slivers that win you the game. [c]Galerider Sliver[/c] allows for great early evasion. [c]Sedge Sliver[/c] likely provides a nice +1/+1 boost and allows for regeneration, which is very nice. [c]Predatory Sliver[/c] and [c]Sinew Sliver[/c] both allow for very nice aggression and are cheap anthem effects. [c]Sliver Legion[/c] probably just means that any sliver will get through for lethal. It is a [c]Coat of Arms[/c] effect.

[c]Abrupt Decay[/c] is the only spell-based removal in the deck and can get rid of problems. [c]Aether Vial[/c] allows for great aggression and acts as somewhat of a mana fixer.

The land base is pretty complex. [c]Mutavault[/c] is the only colorless land and acts as a big sliver. [c]Sliver Hive[/c] is a five color land and pumps out 1/1 slivers late game. [c]Cavern of Souls[/c] is as good as ever.

The strategy is a bit in-depth. I don’t know a ton about the deck, as I haven’t tested it a ton, but still, it plays all five colors, so make sure that you play your lands in an effective manner. As well, the deck is fairly aggressive. In general I like to keep [c]Aether Vial[/c]s at 2 counters, ticking up to 3 as I need it. The deck is fairly aggressive so try to dump out your hand and use your on a stick removal only when you really need it or to push in for some extra damage. As well, the deck has a decent late game.

Mulligans are tricky with this deck, especially game 1. Generally, if you feel a hand is too narrow I would generally probably still keep it, as that means that there are a lot of outs you can draw into to make the hand increasingly better.

The deck plays like a casual slivers deck. There is a lot of pumping of the whole team and games feel hectic but fast paced. I don’t really know any other way to describe it.

As I said I haven’t tested this deck a ton and it seems like it is fairly high variance so it is fairly 50%/50% in most matchups. It generally does a little better against Tron and Twin. The extra [c]Harmonic Sliver[/c] is for Affinity. The [c]Thoughtseize[/c]s are if you need early disruption, such as a Twin, control, or combo matchup. The [c]Relic of Progenitus[/c] are for anything graveyard and anything that runs [c]Tarmogoyf[/c]. The [c]Leyline of Sanctity[/c] is for the burn matchup, the [c]Combust[/c] against Twin, abzan, and anything white or blue, and the [c]Mana Leak[/c] is if you can slow down and want to take more of a control/tempo route.

There are so many slivers out there to change up the deck but those I recommend are [c]Bonescythe Sliver[/c], [c]Darkheart Sliver[/c], [c]Diffusion Sliver[/c], [c]Fury Sliver[/c], [c]Hibernation Sliver[/c], [c]Leeching Sliver[/c], [c]Megantic Sliver[/c] and [c]Sliver Hivelord[/c]. These all could potentially find a home in the deck. As well, of course you can play with the numbers and reduce to possibly 3 colors (jund, abzan, mardu, naya).

Thank you for the continued support of the series and I hope you have some fun times playing with this sliver deck! I can talk to you about any choices in the comments! Feel free to ask.

-Dylan

 

Commander Corner: Horde of Notions

Welcome Back,

On the plane of Lorwyn, how elementals are created is an interesting thing. The grander elements are actually ideas. They are manifested dreams and ideas that have taken the form of bizarre and often animalistic beings.

One of these manifestations is [c]Horde of Notions[/c]. This being is known to many as the eldest elemental. It has been around for many years, even older than the oldest treefolk and elf.  It contains the answers to many of Lorwyn’s deepest and darkest secrets. It is the embodiment of these truths that have been a part of the underbelly of Lorwyn since the beginning of time.

Its whereabouts are a mystery. No living mortal has been able to spot this bizarre creature in the wild. Its power over nature, though, goes without question. Let’s take a dive into this manifestation of all that Lorwyn was, is, and ever will be.

Horde_of_Notions

This unique creature reminds me of a whale, a bear, and a tree merged together into some unique otherworldly being.

[d title= “The Leader of the Elements (EDH)”]

Commander

1 Horde of Notions

Land

1 Azorius Guildgate

1 Blood Crypt

1 Bloodstained Mire

1 Boros Guildgate

1 Breeding Pool

1 Cavern of Souls

1 City of Brass

1 Command Tower

1 Dimir Guildgate

1 Flooded Strand

1 Forest

1 Godless Shrine

1 Golgari Guildgate

1 Gruul Guildgate

1 Hallowed Fountain

1 Island[/d]

[d]

Lands Cont.

1 Izzet Guildgate

1 Mana Confluence

1 Maze’s End

1 Mountain

1 Orzhov Guildgate

1 Overgrown Tomb

1 Plains

1 Polluted Delta

1 Primal Beyond

1 Rakdos Guildgate

1 Reflecting Pool

1 Sacred Foundry

1 Selesnya Guildgate

1 Simic Guildgate

1 Steam Vents

1 Stomping Ground

1 Swamp

1 Temple Garden

1 Watery Grave

1 Windswept Heath

1 Wooded Foothills[/d]

[d]

Creatures

1 Animar, Soul of Elements

1 Ashling, the Extinguisher

1 Birds of Paradise

1 Brighthearth Banneret

1 Composite Golem

1 Flamekin Harbinger

1 Forgotten Ancient

1 Fusion Elemental

1 Incandescent Soulstoke

1 Ingot Chewer

1 Inner-Flame Igniter

1 Liege of the Tangle

1 Maelstrom Wanderer

1 Mulldrifter

1 Nevermaker[/d]

[d]

Creatures Cont.

1 Nova Chaser

1 Shriekmaw

1 Skullbriar, the Walking Grave

1 Slithermuse

1 Smokebraider

1 Soul of the Harvest

1 Spitebellows

1 Spitemare

1 Supreme Exemplar

1 Thicket Elemental

1 Thornling

1 Vigor

1 Voice of Resurgence

1 Whisperwood Elemental

1 Wispmare[/d]

[d]

Instants

1 Dismember

1 Eladamri’s Call

1 Enlightened Tutor

1 Hero’s Downfall

1 Lightning Bolt

1 Path to Exile

1 Swords to Plowshares

Sorceries

1 Conflux

1 Cultivate

1 Demonic Tutor

1 Kodama’s Reach

1 Shard Convergence

1 Sylvan Scrying

1 Titanic Ultimatum[/d]

[d]

Enchantments

1 Genju of the Realm

1 Heartbeat of Spring

1 Maelstrom Nexus

1 Mana Flare

1 Mana Reflection

1 Mirari’s Wake

1 Oblivion Ring

1 Prismatic Omen

Artifacts

1 Chromatic Lantern

1 Commander’s Sphere

1 Darksteel Ingot

1 Door of Destinies

1 Fist of Suns

1 Gilded Lotus

1 Obelisk of Urd

1 Oblivion Stone

1 Quicksilver Amulet

1 Sol Ring

[/d]

Just like its commander, this deck is a little weird. It sort of lends itself to a toolbox strategy with a heavy tribal theme. Many elementals do different things, and the only thing they share in common is that they can attack decently and have the same creature type in common. So to leverage this, we make a simple yet effective toolbox.

You do have ways to deal with a multitude of different permanents while having recursion of your tools via [c]Horde of Notions[/c]. He creates a fun and interesting style of tribal deck that’s not just focused on smashing your opponent as quick as possible. It also doesn’t fall into the same trappings that normal tribal decks do. It can actually survive mass removal, which is key when going into the later stages of the game.

This deck pretty much does it all. It has bits of card advantage with [c]Slithermuse[/c] and [c]Mulldrifter[/c], ways of dealing with non-creature permanents via [c]Ingot Chewer[/c] and [c]Wispmare[/c], and ways of smashing your opponents face with [c]Liege of the Tangle[/c] and [c]Maelstrom Wanderer[/c]. Each card has some specific use that you can tutor up with this decks various tutoring effects. These tutors go a long way to keep the deck together and make sure you have what you need at the right time.

There are two ways to win with the deck. One is by beating your opponent down with all of your powerful threats. The other is by using [c]Maze’s End[/c].

[c]Maze’s End[/c] wasn’t originally intended to be in here as a win condition, but as a mana fixer. During testing though, this card did come up a handful of games. More often than not you’re going to be winning through combat damage, but sometimes the board just gets clogged up and it’s nice to still have a viable way to win over the course of the game. It’s more of an incidental win condition, but it’s still a win condition all the same. The importance of [c]Maze’s End[/c] does highlight one of the decks major shortcomings, which is its mana base.

As with any five color deck, the mana base is generally not the best. As I was tweaking it, I found that this is the most ideal mana base I could come up with without spending a ridiculous amount of money. You have enough fetchlands to be able to search for what you need and, as I said before, [c]Maze’s End[/c] will definitely help you fix your mana. There are a handful of five-color lands in here as well which will help smooth things out for you. You really have to put in a lot of effort to make these mana bases work, and even then they still might not cooperate.

There are some games that you simply won’t get the right color you need at the time and just lose the game. It’s the risk you have to take whenever you play with a deck with five colors. If you can make it sing though, you will have a hard time losing.

Once you can establish your mana base, you can pretty much handle whatever comes your way. This deck has the tools it needs to survive almost any situation. What leads to this resiliency is its commander. [c]Horde of Notions[/c] makes this deck shine. Having the ability to reanimate your threats and answers is wonderful, as you basically get to do what not may tribal decks get to do, survive into the late game. With Horde in play, you will be able to beat your opponent down after they cast their wrath effects.

It puts you into an interesting position. Sometimes you almost want them to wrath the board, which is why I included [c]Oblivion Stone[/c] in the list as a way to break stalemates. You get to wrath the board and then easily bring back your threats and crush your opponents.

This deck can be tons of fun for people who are looking for a different style of tribal. Its toolbox nature helps it last into the late game by providing flexibility, which not many other tribal decks have. This is not a linear strategy. It’s about answering your opponents’ threats and surviving.

Once you establish yourself, it’s time for the beat down. Or you can just clog up the board and win with [c]Maze’s End[/c]. It never ceases to put a smile on my face when I win with that card.

Thank you for checking out this week’s Commander Corner. If you have any suggestions for commanders that you want featured in a future article, please let me know in the comments below. Next week, I work with one of my enemies.

See you soon, my friends.

-Steven Gulsby

Legacy on Mondays: Cascade Reforged

Welcome Back!

Alright, everyone everywhere seems to be flooding articles and speculation about all of these new Fate Reforged cards. I did one about Ugin, the Spirit Dragon last week, and I do not want to torture you with any more. Content like that gets old in my humble opinion. That being said, if you want speculation, post a comment below.

Anyway, I have an update for you this week. After some more testing and tweaking, I have edited my Cascade Creature Aggro deck into something that is a bit more playable. It is certainly not ready for GP Vegas, but maybe a Daily event or FNM. Here is that with which I am working (FYI if that sounds convoluted to you, I had to circumlocute to prevent ending my sentence with a preposition :) Yes, I am a grammar Nazi.):

[d title=”Legacy CascAggro V2″]
Creatures
4 Baleful Strix
4 Bloodbraid Elf
4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
4 True-Name Nemesis
4 Shardless Agent
4 Tarmogoyf
1 Dryad Arbor
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Vexing Shusher
Non-Creature Spells
4 Ancestral Vision
2 Abrupt Decay
1 Sylvan Library
3 Green Sun’s Zenith
1 Vindicate
Land
3 Verdant Catacombs
4 Polluted Delta
2 Misty Rainforest
3 Tropical Island
1 Bayou
2 Underground Sea
1 Taiga
1 Savannah
1 Volcanic Island
1 Scrubland
1 Badlands
2 Ancient Ziggurat
Sideboard
1 Grafdigger’s Cage
1 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Sower of Temptation
2 Thoughtseize
2 Engineered Plague
1 Gilded Drake
1 Mana Maze
2 Qasali Pridemage
1 Wurmcoil Engine
1 Meddling Mage
1 Vexing Shusher
1 Gaddock Teeg
[/d]

In a nutshell:

If the opponent has a way to deal with my threats, I lose, if they cannot, I usually win. I have not been keeping exact count, but I believe I am about 50/50 with the deck. It’s not bad.

Changes

A few cards were rather underwhelming; ergo they were cut. [c]Domri Rade[/c] was alright, but was not performing at the desired level. I do not thing he is worth the spot. I also lessened the number of [c]Abrupt Decay[/c] in the deck down to two. I just hate getting multiples in the matchups and game 1’s when they are superfluous. Also, [c]Deathrite Shaman[/c] is gone. This is an experiment, and I have played 1 game without them against Miracles. I was glad to have my other cards and not DRS in this matchup, but they may come back.

Additions

So that’s what I cut. Several of my replacements are new additions to the deck that have not received much testing. The [c]Green Sun’s Zenith[/c] package, for example, is only 2 games old. It won me the game against Miracles handily by getting first a [c]Vexing Shusher[/c] to cut off his counters, and then a [c]Gaddock Teeg[/c] to stop [c]Entreat the Angels[/c] and [c]Terminus[/c]. In the sideboard, the Pridemages are more effective, and the Teeg has replaced a [c]Mana Maze[/c]. I have been impressed so far, but this does require further testing.

Some of my other additions are a bit older. I was experimenting with 2 [c]Scavenging Ooze[/c] as an out to graveyard decks and to just make a large dude that gains a little life, but cut down to 1 when I added the Zeniths. He does a decent job, and will probably stay. Cutting down on Decays was another move I wanted to remedy a bit. I wanted 1 more piece of removal, and [c]Vindicate[/c] fit the bill perfectly. It is very handy, and is just a [c]Stone Rain[/c] at the worst in matchups where it does nothing else.

The only other real change was to remove a fetch land and a [c]Bayou[/c] to make room for 2 [c]Ancient Ziggurat[/c] in the main deck. I like Ziggurat in that it lets me play all of my creatures and comes into play untapped, but I do not want too many, since I also want to be playing my non-creatures. The count on this has increased, but I am happy with the changes that have resulted.

Well, that’s all for this week. If you have any suggestions, please let me know! I love to hear from the community. If you have had enough of my crazy brewing, you can always request something else, too. Thanks for reading!

/Peyton