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Monday, July 24, 2017

Tribal Theme – Sliver Legion

July 1, 2012 by  
Filed under Deck Ideas, FAQ, In-Depth FAQ

*Thus we shall begin our Annual Family Gathering*

Hi and welcome back to Tribal theme in EDH. Today we would like to talk about the Creature type – Sliver. A tribe of Creatures whose main strength comes in their numbers, they are unique in that they share their abilities with each other on the battlefield. If one flies, the entire species flies. If one has First Strike, the entire species has First Strike, if one…. you get the idea. It’s like, you mess with one of them, and you mess with the whole family. So just sit back and let us showcase to you these big family-mind Creatures.

 

Back History:-

Defend the Queen

First introduced during the Tempest block, they had spanned across three blocks so far (Tempest block; Onslaught block; Time Spiral block), each time further adding more abilities to their brood. Each block of Slivers were printed with some basic keyword abilities and then advance into other more advance abilities. Topping all that off is a 5c Lord (Sliver Queen Tempest block; Sliver Overlord Onslaught block; Sliver Legion Time Spiral block) for the whole brood for each block. Slivers, as mentioned earlier, shared their abilities. The theory behind this was that the Slivers have a hive mind mentality. So each Sliver will share its ability to another Sliver within close proximity to it. Due to this fact, a lot of the activated abilities on Slivers were designed to be activated using colorless mana. This is done so players who do not play the same colors are able to activate their Slivers abilities when another player played a Sliver. Slivers are the real deal which really talks about numbers count. One Sliver is not so much of a threat, but as more join the battlefield, the outcome will be terrifying. Imagine holding a standstill with an army of ground troops, then suddenly a Winged Sliver enters the battlefield and suddenly you are looking at an air force flying over your ground defense… Though the true strength of the Slivers come with their sharing of abilities, that same strength of theirs could also be the weakness for them as they do not distinguish who they shared their abilities. Meaning that when it comes to a mirror match, whatever abilities your Slivers have also means that your opponents’ Slivers have them too.

 

The Family Tree:

Since Slivers are actually quite limited in numbers as compared to other Tribal groups, but they comes with enough abilities to more than compensate for that. Since all the available legendary Slivers are 5c, if you decide to go all out Sliver Tribal, you could also look into all 5 colors for support spells. Below are the “Family Trees” for each block of Slivers.

 

Tempest Block:-

An Army by itself

The beginning of the Tribal group, the Slivers of this timeline were said to be experimental subjects of Volrath, who used them both for his twisted experiments and as guardians for his Stronghold. The mono color Slivers here provided the brood with some of the common keyword abilities back then. Naming of this group of Slivers was based on various body parts. The multi-color ones expanded into more advance abilities, ending with the Sliver Queen, which Volrath had captured and used it as the means to control the Slivers. Metallic Sliver back then was meant to be the gap in between for players who did not play all five colors to have a choice of another Sliver. Story wise, it was created by Volrath as a mean to get into the hive mind of the Slivers, thus the reason why it has no abilities. Below are the Slivers for this block.

Sliver Queen

Crystalline Sliver

Hibernation Sliver

Acidic Sliver

Spined Sliver

Victual Sliver

Talon Sliver

Winged Sliver

Clot Sliver

Heart Sliver

Muscle Sliver

Armor Sliver

Mnemonic Sliver

Mindwhip Sliver

Barbed Sliver

Horned Sliver

Metallic Sliver

 

Onslaught Block:-

The King is here…

Onslaught block was all about Creatures, the Tribal group had a chance to be reintroduced during the second expansion set of the block, Legions. The back story here was that remains of Slivers were found and brought back to Riptide Laboratory. After much study and through the combine efforts of the Wizards from both Riptide Laboratory and Cephalid Empire, they were able to recreate the Slivers. However these Slivers cannot be controlled without the Sliver Queen. Due to this, they went rogue and overrun the Island and rampage onto the main land, Otaria. It was then, drawn by the Mirari powers, the Slivers went to the site of battle between Akroma and Phage legions. It was here that with the same strike which created Karona, False God, a couple Slivers were also fused together and creating their lord for this timeline, Sliver Overlord. Slivers for his block are mainly divided into three rarities for each color. Each Sliver here further expands the abilities from Tempest block while some new ones. Standing on top of them all is again a 5c lord, Sliver Overlord, which serve as a Sliver tutor.

Sliver Overlord

Plated Sliver

Mistform Sliver

Crypt Sliver

Hunter Sliver

Quick Sliver

Ward Sliver

Shifting Sliver

Spectral Sliver

Blade Sliver

Root Sliver

Essence Sliver

Synapse Sliver

Toxin Sliver

Magma Sliver

Brood Sliver

 

Time Spiral Block:-

Final Evolution… The Hive itself

The story at this point of the timeline was that the Slivers survivors from all previous Apocalypses had evolved to adapt to the new harsh environment, resulting for all the cool new abilities. As Time Spiral block was a throwback to the past set, a lot of Slivers here were in fact functional reprints of older cards. Due to the demise of the previous two lords, Sliver Queen and Sliver Overlord, there was again no leader for the hive, and therefore the Slivers made a final evolution to unite the brood; by evolving the whole hive into the leader known as Sliver Legion. The main theme for the mono color Slivers in Time Spiral set was to update them with old and new abilities from past sets at common and uncommon. Moving up to rare, these Slivers were actually functionally same as famous Creatures of the past. A couple of old Slivers (Essence Sliver & Spined Sliver) were also reprinted in the set too. The multi-color allied colors ones were mainly Enchantments except for Dementia Sliver. The next expansion set, Planar Chaos, mono color Slivers add back basic abilities left out in Time Spiral set. The multi-color enemy colors ones were reference to older enemy color cards functionally. Moving into Future Sight, the Slivers were given new keyword abilities, which as Wizards puts it, may see light some day in future expansion. Topping all that, we have Sliver Legion, the true leader of the Slivers. As with the case of Metallic Sliver, Venser’s Sliver plays the same role for this block as an additional Sliver should players who did not play all five colors.

Sliver Legion

Lymph Sliver

Mesmeric Sliver

Frenzy Sliver

Homing Sliver

Virulent Sliver

Poultice Sliver

Spitting Sliver

Synchronous Sliver

Battering Sliver

Reflex Sliver

Sinew Sliver

Necrotic Sliver

Darkheart Sliver

Frenetic Sliver

Cautery Sliver

Dormant Sliver

Sidewinder Sliver

Screeching Sliver

Basal Sliver

Bonesplitter Sliver

Gemhide Sliver

Watcher Sliver

Shadow Sliver

Mindlash Sliver

Two-Headed Sliver

Spinneret Sliver

Quilled Sliver

Telekinetic Sliver

Vampiric Sliver

Fury Sliver

Might Sliver

Pulmonic Sliver

Psionic Sliver

Plague Sliver

Sedge Sliver

Fungus Sliver

Opaline Sliver

Dementia Sliver

Ghostflame Sliver

Firewake Sliver

Harmonic Sliver

Venser’s Sliver

 

Functional Twin

As mentioned earlier, a lot of the Slivers in Time Spiral block were functional reprints of old cards made to benefit the whole brood. Here is what some of them were referenced to.

Slivers

Function Reference

Sidewinder Sliver

Mtenda Herder

Watcher Sliver

Castle

Quilled Sliver

Crossbow Infantry

 

Sinew Sliver Muscle Sliver
Pulmonic Sliver Avenging Angel
Telekinetic Sliver Opposition (Enhanced version….)
Psionic Sliver Psionic Entity
Basal Sliver Basal Thrull
Plague Sliver Juzam Djinn
Bonesplitter Sliver

Bonesplitter (Giving the pump bonus to the whole brood….)

Two-Headed Sliver

Goblin War Drums

Sedge Sliver Sedge Troll
Gemhide Sliver Utopia Tree
Fungus Sliver Fungusaur
Opaline Sliver Reparations
Dementia Sliver Nebuchadnezzar (tweaked a bit but the basis of the ability is there…..)
Ghostflame Sliver Ghostly Flame
Firewake Sliver Fires of Yavimaya
Harmonic Sliver Aura Shards
Necrotic Sliver Vindicate (sort of….)
Frenetic Sliver Frenetic Efreet (less the flying part….)
Darkheart Sliver Dark Heart of the Wood

Cautery Sliver

Goblin Legionnaire (tweaked a bit to make it work the sliver way….)

Dormant Sliver

Jungle Barrier (except the big butt part…….)

Sliver Legion Coat of Arms

 

Evasion:

Attacking under the Radar

Number is strength for the Slivers. Each new Sliver on the battlefield is a new ability to the whole army. Slivers are not short of evasion abilities to get to your opponents. A beatdown tactic is achievable as long as the total power of your Sliver army if equal to an opponent’s total life, you could just drop a Sliver with evasionkability and go in for the kill.

Evasion Ability Slivers
Flying Pulmonic Sliver; Winged Sliver
Shadow Shadow Sliver
Trample Battering Sliver; Horned Sliver
Protection from chosen color Ward Sliver
Can’t be blocked except by Slivers Shifting Sliver
Cant’ be blocked except by two or more Creaures Two-Headed Sliver

 

Combat Tricks:

Strike first talk later

Slivers are also very strong in combat too. Considering that they share all abilities they have with each other, it makes it harder to deal with them. As mentioned before, if one Sliver has First Strike, the whole army of them has it, if one Sliver has Vigilance, all of them have it too, etc; they have many combat tricks to help them survive in combat.

Combat Trick Slivers
Double Strike Fury Sliver
First Strike

Spitting Sliver; Talon Sliver

Flanking Sidewinder Sliver
Haste

Firewake Sliver; Heart Sliver; Reflex Sliver

Vigilance

Synchronous Sliver

 

Power Ups:

*Let’s PUMP up the Muscle*

Besides sharing abilities, some Slivers also pump up the whole brood. In other words, Slivers are not short of “lords” to pump them too, either for as long as they stayed on the battlefield or temporary pump till end of turn.

Slivers Power Ups
Armor Sliver 2: +0/+1 until end of turn
Barbed Sliver 2: +1/+0 until end of turn
Blade Sliver +1/+0 to all
Bonesplitter Sliver +2/+0 to all

Firewake Sliver

1, Self sacrifice: Target Sliver +2/+2 until end of turn
Frenzy Sliver Frenzy 1 (When it attacks and isn’t blocked, +1/+0 until end of turn)
Fungus Sliver +1/+1 counter whenever dealt damage
Magma Sliver T: Target Sliver +X/+0 when X is number of Slivers on the battlefield
Might Sliver +2/+2 to all

Muscle Sliver

+1/+1 to all

Plated Sliver

+0/+1 to all

Sedge Sliver

+1/+1 to all as long you have Swamp, added bonus B: Regenerate

Sinew Sliver

+1/+1 to all

Sliver Legion

+1/+1 for each other Sliver on the battlefield to all

Spectral Sliver

2: +1/+1 until end of turn

Spined Sliver

+1/+1 until end of turn for each Creature blocking it.

Watcher Sliver

+0/+2 to all

 

Solutions and Controls:

*You got a problem there? Let me handle it for ya~!!*

With the Slivers of Time Spiral block, Slivers also come with their own brand of Solution and Control cards. Although some of this means require the Sliver to be sacrifice for the effect, you might have to weigh the importance of that Sliver. Or just sacrifice one Sliver token created with Sliver Queen….

Slivers Abilities
Acidic Sliver Sacrifice for 2 damage. Could be used to throw your whole army at your opponent literally.
Dementia Sliver Random discard, dependant on luck though.
Harmonic Sliver Each Sliver that enters your battlefield is now a Naturalize

Mesmeric Sliver

Fateseal your opponent to ensure they don’t get what they want

Mindlash Sliver

Discard for everyone

Mindwhip Sliver

Random discard on one

Necrotic Sliver

Destroy problematic permanent in question

Telekinetic Sliver

Tap down on problematic permanents

 

Card Draw:

*Give me your MIND*

There are not a lot of them, but the available ones provide quite flexible ways to allow you to draw cards just by attacking or playing a Sliver.

Mnemonic Sliver2, Sacrifice: Draw a card

Slivers Method of Card Draw
Dormant Sliver Each Sliver entering the battlefield is a card draw
paline Sliver Draw a card when targeted by spells from opponents
Synapse Sliver Draw a card when dealing combat damage to players

 

Tokens:

Breeding out of Control

Since most of the Sliver abilities require you to sacrifice them to be activated, it is hard to determine which one to sacrifice. It would serve you better if you could produce Sliver tokens to sacrifice.

Name Abilities
Brood Sliver Whenever a Sliver connects to a player, you get a 1/1 Colorless Sliver token
Sliver Queen 2: Put a 1/1 Colorless Sliver tokens onto the battlefield

 

Alternately, you could also use these Artifacts to produce the tokens you need.

Name Abilities
Riptide Replicator 4, T: Put an X/X token of chosen color and Creature type onto the battlefield. X is number of charge counters on Riptide Replicator.
Soul Foundry Although risky, as you need to exile the Sliver, due to imprint, to use it.
Volrath’s Laboratory 5, T: Put a 2/2 token of chosen color and Creature type onto the battlefield.

 

“And that’s how you make a Sliver Pie.”

 

Combos:

EDH…. Where Infinite Combo is an Everyday Affair

 

Here are some combos you could consider playing with these guys: –

Cards Combo
Mana Echoes + Sliver Queen Combo goes as follow. Activate Sliver Queen; Sliver token enters battlefield; 2 colorless mana from Mana Echoes for Sliver Queen & new Sliver token; use the mana to activate Sliver Queen again; gets 3 colorless mana this time from Mana Echoes for Sliver Queen & 2 Sliver tokens; rinse and repeat for infinite mana and Sliver tokens. All possible at the end of opponent turn.
Heartstone + Sliver Queen + Ashnod’s Altar An old school combo when it first came out, this combo effective goes infinite when active. Combo is as follows: All pieces on the battlefield; sacrifices any other Sliver (or just make one with Sliver Queen) with Ashnod’s Altar and get 2 colorless mana; use the mana to make 2 Sliver tokens due to activation cost reduction from Heartstone; sacrifice the new tokens for more mana and tokens; rinse and repeat to go infinite. Again all this is possible at anytime, even outside of your turn. Additionally, Training Grounds could also be used in place of Heartstone.
Cryptic Gateway + Sliver Overlord + Intruder Alarm + Gemhide Sliver The first part of the combo (Cryptic Gateway + Sliver Overlord) allows you to put the Sliver you searched with Sliver Overlord directly onto the battlefield without using mana. The second part of the combo (Intruder Alarm + Gemhide Sliver) provides you with the mana to continue searching with Sliver Overlord. At a minimum you will need an active group of Gemhide Sliver with 2 more Slivers (possible combination: Gemhide Sliver; Sliver Overlord; any other Sliver). Difficult combo to pull off, but once its active, it would be an infinite combo whereby you could pull all your Slivers from your library onto the battlefield, all at the end of your opponent turn.
Sliver Queen + Doubling Season / Parallel Lives It’s breeding time!!!
Sliver Overlord + Amoeboid Changeling / Unnatural Selection Sliver Overlord only cares if the Creature is a Sliver or not when it seizes control of it. This combo will allow you to steal any Creature on the battlefield which is not protected by Shroud or Hexproof.
Wild Pair + Any Sliver All Slivers are designed in such a way that their power and toughness are the same number, making a lot of them have same total of power and toughness with each other. This turns all your Slivers into tutors for each other. A very powerful combo especially for EDH.
Conspiracy / Hivestone / Xenograft + Awakening Zone Since a lot of the Slivers abilities require them to be sacrificed to be used, this would provide the fodder needed for this purpose plus some amount of mana acceleration.
Virulent Sliver + Rite of Replication Since Virulent Sliver’s Poisonous ability is cumulative, the more you could have on the battlefield the merrier. If you could manage to pull this off, you only need two Slivers to kill one guy, as each Sliver then would have Poisonous 6.
Virulent Sliver + Shadow Sliver / Shifting Sliver Any other evasion abilities can work with this combo, but these two stands out as the most lethal ones. Anyone who doesn’t plays Shadow Creatures or Slivers will not be able to block your army.
Psionic Sliver + Watcher Sliver + Fungus Sliver This set of Slivers will allow you to grow your army power. Watcher Sliver will protect most Slivers from killing themselves from Psionic Sliver’s ability and survived to gain the +1/+/1 counters off Fungus Sliver ability. Eventually your Slivers will be big enough to not need Watcher Sliver’s toughness pump and have enough power to plow your opponents down.
Hunter Sliver + Toxin Sliver An obvious combo. Helps get rid of irritating blockers by sending your fodder Slivers (a token Sliver maybe…..) in for the attack and Provoke the target to block the fodder.

 

Recommended Generals: –

Sliver Overlord – This General alone shall glue together all the Sliver part of the combos in the deck. It would be like once you have the other parts of the combo; you could call in Sliver Overlord and go ahead to search for the Sliver needed for the combo, thus making it the best over all the other legendary Slivers and most suited as a General for Sliver EDH decks.

 

Concluding the Species:-

Although Slivers are a small Tribal group as compare to other Tribal group, they more than make it up with their ability sharing quality. The limited card pool so far is more than sufficient to form a decent Tribal EDH deck, with support spells from all colors since all the available Commanders are of all 5 colors. As always, with all the great powers they have to offer, they also bring along the blight of their ability sharing which is giving their ability also to your opponents’ Slivers. Thus mirror matched (if it ever occurs) could prove a headache to play.

 

Thus with all that, we shall end off today article for you to digest all the information and maybe build your own Sliver army. Till the next article, shall the best Sliver Legion win the day.

 

This is yours truly, Edward “Reaper King” Leong, signing off.

:D~

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