Yes, this one should’ve appeared yesterday. My bad there. I’m afflicted with a hideous man-flu, and instead of finishing my article yesterday, my body decided it’d be better for me to fall asleep on the couch for four hours. Thanks, body!
As for the “fun” I promised you earlier this week… there’s been a hiccup there. Oh, the article is written. The only problem is the pictures. I’ve a number of photos to add to the piece, without which the content is severely compromised. And my scanner, my glorious scanner… is buggered. There’s another on the way, and I’ll have the article up in a few hours (I hope). And as it’ll be late, I’ll not be charging for my services for that one. That’s how much I love you guys.
So you’ve two installments of the daily today… one up now, and one coming later on Friday when I have sorted my abovementioned scanner issues. I hope you enjoy them both.
There are a number of Constructed ideas that spring out to me in the new set.
- Akroma’s back… so Reanimation looks a possibility. Damn you, Tormod’s Crypt and Withered Wretch!
- We’ve an option on four Chars and four Psionic Blasts… will CounterBurn be a contender?
- Sangrophage, Avatar of Discord, Bad Moon… Black Weenie might make a devilish splash.
But overall, I think I like the creatures that’ve powered pre-teen decks across the globe for nigh-on fourteen years: Slivers.
Today’s edition of the SCG Daily will take a look at all the slivers available for Time Spiral Standard play, and throw out a first-pass aggro sliver build as a bonus to those hardy enough to wade through to the end. Before you get your hopes up, I’ll level with you: I’m no great shakes as a deckbuilder. Lord knows I’ve tried… and lord knows I’ve failed. That’s why this one is shelved down here in the “Casual” basement. That way I can largely avoid the slings and arrows of outrageous criticism. Anyway, enough chunter. Let’s more onto the slivers themselves.
From the top, in alphabetical order…
The old favorite from Legions. A fine, swingy effect on a decent body. However, it this guy a “win more” sliver? Maybe great against aggro, if we can stop them killing it. Yeah, right.
This guy grants evasion and mad recursion stupidity. Even so, five mana for a 3/3 flier is a Limited cost. Maybe good as a finisher… cast him, take to the skies, and win. There are other potions here, though.
Again, a Limited ability. Cheap, and sliversome, but niche at best. This guy is good when you’ve loads of Slivers in play, as combat becomes a nightmare… but if you’ve loads of slivers in play, why aren’t you winning immediately?
This is a much better sliver prospect than its Quilled cousin. The thing is, I don’t see slivers strictly winning through combat — not the White slivers at least. And if we do wanna go down that route, surely Shadow Sliver is a better choice?
Could be a nice combo with the Psionic Sliver… frankly, though, I’d rather not. Four mana for a 2/4 is hardly stellar.
I like this guy a lot. Of course, he’s at the top of the sliver curve… but once he’s down, he’ll end the game. If he’s got a few mates around, naturally… and if they’ve done some damage beforehand.
Too slow, methinks. With the love available from other slivers, I think I’d rather be doing something with more of a definite impact on the gamestate.
Another fine sliver. This allows a decent alpha-strike once topdecked mid- to late-game. He is fragile, of course… beware the removal once you’re all-in.
Possibly the best sliver of the bunch. Coupled with little slivers, this Opposition-with-legs can lock down an opponent with relative ease. It’s funky, but he’s a huge target. Expect removal to target him in their upkeep.
Vanilla Sliver. Worth considering if you need extra beef, and he’s strictly superior to Venser’s Sliver below. Nothing great, but he’s a warm body that can swing for the fences.
A 2/2 for three that sacs to generate mana… there’s probably some comborific use for this guy, but I can’t see it. Saccing slivers to create mana doesn’t really fit the theme of the other slivers, as none of their abilities require a great deal of mana input. Maybe useful to provide regeneration mana for the Sedge Sliver boosted guys when tapped out.
Cheap, which is nice… but the drawback is symmetrical. I think thi guy could be a fine madness or reanimation enabler, but for a dedicated sliver deck he’s not the first on the team-sheet.
Juzam Djinn is still good, right? … right? … right?! Yukora has left the building to nary a whisper, and the Plague Sliver appears to take his place. My, how Magic has changed… Still, I reckon this could see play in a couple of decks. The first is as a sideboard answer should slivers become dominant. The second? Some sore of control-heavy Red/Black build, with Sledge Slivers and Plague Slivers and removal and burn. Would you pay two life a turn for a 3/3 and a 6/6 regenerator on turn 4? Sounds like a good deal to me…
Another strictly Limited ability tacked onto a semi-decent body for its cost. I suppose it’s better than Mistform Ultimus, so if Blue and Black are paired and that call is made, the winner will be the ground-based Sengir wannabe.
A Giant Cockroach is a Giant Cockroach, but this guy may be necessary in a beatdown sliver strategy. Coupled with a Shadow Sliver, this guy can send the game pretty quick.
Double Strike! Now that’s an ability! But six mana… damn, so close! At five mana, this would be great. Drop the Cockroach, follow with this guy… sweet. As he is, he’s just too damn costly.
Now this is more like it! Three mana for a 3/3 with regeneration, almost always. Follow this with Plague Sliver, or Bonesplitter Sliver… or hell, any sliver. Yep, this guy looks like he could do the business.
Ted doesn’t like this guy. Me? Maybe I’m biased because of Limited play, but this, Sedge, and Bonesplitter combined make either a ridiculous clock or a source of two-for-one/none card advantage guaranteed. Again, beware the Wrath of God… but you’re slivers. You need to beware of the Wrath at all times.
A 2/2 for four is not great for a beatdown strategy, especially as this will be the first guy to die. Maybe with some pump to boost its stats…? I’ll probably leave this guy out of a beatdown build, but I’ll not deny it has promise somewhere.
Two mana, 1/1, Utopia Tree mana producing ability… love it. This actually might be the key to a speed ramp for a beatdown sliver deck, opening the way to turns 3 and 4 Humongous Slivers like the Furious Fella. He also enables the true multicolored strategy, which may or may not be viable.
He’s not Muscle Sliver… but then again, a 4/4 for five that makes your entire army hideous to deal with isn’t too bad… is it? It might be good… Get it? “Might” be good…? Hah! I’m funnee!
A 2/2 body for two mana, this guy would make the cut in an aggressive sliver strategy even if his ability were rubbish. Good thing, really.
Dementia Sliver — U/B
This guy seems ridiculous to me. Drop him on turn 5, with three other slivers on the pitch? That’s two cards you can nab for sure, or three if you hit with the first. And you can name land too. Yeah, this guy has its uses, that’s for sure.
Firewake Sliver — R/G
I love this guy. A 1/1 for 3 ain’t great, but granting all slivers the luxury of haste is wonderful. This, coupled with almost any other sliver with a relevant ability, will make for speedy games. A true “enabler” sliver.
Ghostflame Sliver — B/R
All slivers are colorless? Wow! Helps us get around Story Circle! … … … … Next!
Harmonic Sliver — G/W
Sliver of Cleansing… nah, this isn’t special. I mean, he’s a 1/1 for three mana, and his ability triggers when he himself comes into play… even so, there’s nothing truly special that needs such sliver overkill just yet. Maybe a board card if the need arises… but with both Naturalize and Disenchant available, I feel there are better options.
Opaline Sliver — U/W
Hmm… he’s card advantage, that’s for sure. He’ll be the first to die, and he’ll net you a card on his way out. Thing is, the best way to batter the slivers is with board sweepers. For the dedicated U/W sliver mage only, I feel.
A vanilla 3/3 sliver for five mana. Mistform Ultimus does the job a mana cheaper, if you’re a Blue mage. If you’re not playing Blue, then I suggest there are likely more proactive sliver choices for your buck in the colors you desire.
The runners and riders are gathering at the tape… it’s time to set the race in motion.
For an aggro sliver build, we need removal and, well, slivers. Utility comes from the sideboard in these matches. So, here’s where I’d go with this…
- 3 Bonesplitter Sliver
- 4 Firewake Sliver
- 4 Gemhide Sliver
- 3 Might Sliver
- 2 Psionic Sliver
- 4 Sedge Sliver
- 2 Shadow Sliver
- 4 Spinneret Sliver
It’s rough around the edges, I know, and I doubt that a straight aggro sliver build is actually the way to got in this Extended-level power Standard we’re currently approaching. Still, it has its moments.
- The key is an early Gemhide sliver, followed by an early Firewake Sliver. Suddenly, all your slivers are hasted Birds of Paradise, and can ramp out to the big lads pretty quickly.
- Turn 2 Gemhide Sliver, turn 3 Firewake Sliver (and Spinneret, attack for 2), turn 4 Might Sliver (attack for 11), turn 5 Psionic Sliver (attack for 19, or burn/ping for 10 and have all bar one sliver ready to do it again the following turn). Or even turn 5 Shadow Sliver, swing for 18 unblockable. Sounds good?
- Hell, let’s throw some Gemstone Caverns in there, get it all done a turn earlier!
- Maybe the Sedge Sliver is a luxury too far… it certainly screws with the manabase, essentially meaning I can’t run Gemstone Mine. I hate making manabases. That’s obvious, I know, from the abortion I’ve posted in the decklist.
Come to the forums and share your own aggro sliver builds. In fact, come share your thoughts on the slivers in general.
Well done for trawling through the hive with me… now go read my other article (if it’s up yet).
Anyone wanna buy a broken scanner?
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