Slivers in Modern

January 10, 2014

A guide to crushing your opponent in one…maybe two turns


24 Years old from Bonney Lake, Washington
Playing Magic for 16 years
Streams at

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What drives me to play Magic after all this time?
That is a question that after such a long time I think about quite a bit. I have never had the money to be competitive and attempt to make a push to try becoming a pro.
So why do I continue to trudge along? The easiest answer is: I enjoy the game.
Although the long answer will let you get to know me a bit better. After so long I now am trying to give back to the community, Currently I am a volunteer community lead of sorts for a big name magic forum and have been in that position for years (although as of late it’s been slow), and I enjoy streaming for the public on MTGO. Now though, thanks to the great folks at MTGMadness, I have been given the opportunity to write and provide articles for your enjoyment. Well, hopefully you enjoy them, haha.
All of this is just me trying to give back to a community I have grown up with. However small, each of these things is me trying to provide entertainment or something interesting for you to read. So I would like to thank any of you who enjoy these articles and take the time to read them. The magic community has always been amazing, and while the game changes, the people do not.
So after that little tidbit of information I will get on with the point of this article. While I have a few ideas for a few decks in standard post rotation (check back next month). As promised in my previous article I shall be going over a deck in Modern that has been a work in progress for me for quite some time. It has evolved and become an actual threat to the powerful decks in modern. I of course am talking about Slivers……..yes you did read that right. Slivers. Generally that is not something you would expect to see but as Merfolk has proven. If a deck and its creatures have strong enough synergy you can pull out the win even through tough odds. So today I present to you an article I will just call……..

Slivers: A guide to crushing your opponent in one…maybe two turns.

Alrighty so before I go into the most current list I think it would be wise to look at the evolution of this deck. When I first delved into trying to make this work it was before the release of M14. The deck itself was fairly underpowered and that was due to missing some superior tools. Here is the list that I originally wrote about.


4 Mirror Entity
4 Sinew Sliver
4 Sidewinder Sliver
4 Phantasmal Image
4 Gemhide Sliver
3 Essence Sliver
3 Shadow Sliver
3 Chameleon Colossus


4 Aether Vial
4 Path to Exile
3 Lead the Stampede


4 Hallowed Fountain
2 Sunpetal Grove
4 Temple Garden
4 Breeding Pool
1 Forest
3 Ghost Quarter
2 Cavern of Souls



This deck has many problems. The biggest being: for Modern it lacked the power to really win your games when you needed to win them and was very inconsistent. It had the ability to muck up some decks but ultimately fell flat.
This list was created knowing that fact though. I knew it was not that good but I wanted to make the groundwork for the one that I believed could actually win games and at least do well enough in testing and development to warrant the time spent looking at it and tweaking it. The big cards coming in with M14 were Predatory Sliver, Galerider Sliver, Mutavault, and the big bopper Bonescythe Sliver
What these four cards did for the deck was bump the power up a few notches. Modern Slivers became more streamlined and fluid, and started consistently picking up games and showing that it had a gameplan (which changed from the two lists) and that if you were not careful or realized what I was doing that you will find yourself either dead or on a one turn clock. So that being said I think before going further showing the deck is a must.


4 Galerider Sliver
4 Sinew Sliver
4 Predatory Sliver
4 Phantasmal Image
4 Mirror Entity
3 Bonescythe Sliver
3 Chameleon Colossus


4 Aether Vial
3 Path to Exile
3 Mana Leak
3 Lead the Stampede


2 Cavern of Souls
2 Hallowed Fountain
2 Temple Garden
3 Marsh Flats
3 Verdant Catacombs
2 Breeding Pool
1 Plains
1 Island
2 Forest
3 Mutavault



So the first thing to notice from this list is that I cut the fat from it. That being Sidewinder Sliver, Essence Sliver, and Gemhide Sliver. Shadow Sliver was just replaced with his buff younger cousin Galerider Sliver, who did his job roughly ten times better. That being said, I needed to make the deck have a more focused goal and those cards did nothing to really win me the game on the level I needed them to be on. So with this list all I wanted to do was force in as much damage as I could in a small time frame. So it is not really aggro (but it can aggro out) but more of an “I will make my perfect turn and either kill you or put you in a position where you cannot recover”. You can do that in many ways, but alot of them involved AEther Vial, and just knowing when to play your creatures. Mirror Entity mixed with a two or three Sliver lords will force in a high amount of damage and that puts your opponent on the defense very fast. With this version we also added in Mana Leak so we could interact with problems we would otherwise not be able to touch. Lead the Stampede is arguably one of the worst cards in the deck but it is essential as it gives us the most potential value, and allows us to refill the Sliver supply for those longer games.
I will briefly go over a quick summary of each of the creatures and their jobs:

Galerider Sliver: This is what makes many a kill possible. With how cheap it is and the great evasion it provides. Also being able to start chipping away at your opponent early if you believe you can get away with it while setting up.
Sinew Sliver / Predatory Sliver: This is the glue of your deck. The cards that will push your damage to lethal levels. Whether it is synergy with Mirror Entity or just swarming and beating with a ton. They work in all areas of this deck.
Phantasmal Image: Image is a card that I personally love. Great on offense or defense and to be perfectly honest it adds more play to the deck. You need to really look at your options with Image in your hand as the best play might not always be the obvious one.
Mirror Entity: At first glance you may not know why Entity has made this list and that would most likely be because you have never read the card. Entity works gangbusters with your lords due to the pump from them applying after using Entity’s ability and really sets up big turns playing end of turn with vial. Generally if you can sneak one in and not have it instantly removed you should be able to race or go straight through any threat.
Bonescythe Sliver: This is easy. It gives everything double strike and will just win you the game.
Chameleon Colossus: CC just adds some much needed beef to the board. Four toughness combined with pro black makes this generally harder to remove. So it has a better chance of sticking around. This, combined with the lords you’re playing, means you can get some good damage in.
So why play this deck?
That is a hard one. Do I believe this is an optimal deck at this point in time? I doubt it. It’s a work in progress trying to make it more fit for such a diverse field. What I have learned through general playtesting. Is that while this deck has problems with certain combos and burn, The rest of the field you have decent play against. Surprisingly, Tron seems to be a great match-up as during playtesting I played many versions and while I dropped a few games I do not recall losing one match. Some games were close though, fighting through Wurmcoil Engines and Karn Liberated and so much more. You can generally get enough damage in or play around many game ending threats. Depending on your local metagame you have a very open SB to put in the tools you need to come out ahead. Although it will require some creative solutions on how to make some match-ups better.

What is the difference between this and Merfolk?
Not a huge difference, but Merfolk is more into wearing you down and interrupting your tempo. While Slivers is more about forcing in a large amount of damage. Also you have more tools at your disposal in Slivers being a three color deck but if you looked at them they both have strong points but the end result is achieved differently.

What to look forward to next and conclusion:
All in all, I have been very happy with Slivers having taken it from concept to this. To those who were watching my stream during its creation they saw it taken from idea to reality and that is a great thing for me to show and to include people in the creation of a fun and interesting deck that actually has play against many top decks in Modern. If most of my ideas went this far and performed as well I would be one lucky man. So here is looking to the future and to what my next article is going to be about.
Theros is coming out soon and I have a few ideas on day one standard decks. The full set has now been spoiled and after reviewing what was missing. The first thing I have to say is. Darn you Wizards! Farseek is rotating and we have no viable replacement ramp spell at two or three mana to fill the void. That being said my next article will focus on one of my ideas that takes a more definitive shape. So far I have been looking at G/R Big mana, and have a rough idea for a pseudo combo deck that could take shape. So here is hoping on that. Also since I was a tad late on my article this month. As an apology to MTG Madness and the readers I will write something else this month and I will let you the readers choose it. So until then
I plan on writing another article this month, and I want you, the readers, to choose the topic!
So please write the topic of your choice in the comments, as I said, the reason I am writing is to give back to the community.

Benjamin Rude

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