Modern Horizons brings with it another iteration of the fan favorite synergy-based Slivers tribe. 5-color Slivers is a deck that has had a smattering of appearances throughout the years in both Modern and Legacy. It plays in a similar style to Humans and Spirits in that it is a multicolor tribal deck using Aether Vial. In this article we'll take a look at the new Slivers that Modern Horizons adds to the card pool.
Let's start simple and update an old aggressive shell using the best aggressive new Slivers:
5c Aggro Slivers:
1 Breeding Pool 4 Cavern of Souls 4 Mutavault 1 Overgrown Tomb 4 Sliver Hive 3 Verdant Catacombs 1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth 1 Unclaimed Territory 1 Swamp (339) 4 Cloudshredder Sliver 2 Tempered Sliver 2 Diffusion Sliver 4 Galerider Sliver 1 Gemhide Sliver 3 Manaweft Sliver 2 Necrotic Sliver 4 Predatory Sliver 1 Cleaving Sliver 4 Sedge Sliver 1 Sentinel Sliver 4 Sinew Sliver 4 AEther Vial 3 Collected Company 1 Dismember
This deck aims to take advantage of the incredible racing power provided by Cloudshredder Sliver. The Sliver tribe doesn't have access to as much disruption as Humans or Spirits, so it needs to be able to goldfish quickly in order to have a chance against combo opponents. Haste was previously available in the form of Blur Sliver, but now it is available at a much better rate. The redundancy between Cloudshredder Sliver and Galerider Sliver may seem like overkill at first, but having multiple instances of flying prevents your opponent from blowing you out in combat by blocking after a removal spell.
One of the biggest tensions in this type of list is balancing the raw power of Sedge Sliver against the need for a Swamp and black mana. Previous versions have seemed to find with success with around six sources, so we've stayed close to this manabase. If we move away from Sedge Sliver, it would be possible to run a perfect 5-color manabase and even squeeze in a few of the new Horizon Canopy-style lands. If we pursue this build we might want to streamline for a faster goldfish with more 1-drops like Striking Sliver and Sidewinder Sliver as well as the aggressive Frenzy Sliver.
Dregscape Sliver appears to be the most exciting new tool to build around and could spawn an entirely new dredge-style "Combo Slivers" archetype. The first layer of combo potential begins with Frenetic Sliver. The unearth ability only cares that the creature is exiled upon leaving the battlefield, so with a successful coin flip the Sliver will return for good.
Basal Sliver combines neatly with Dregscape Sliver, allowing you to chain through every creature card in your graveyard in a single turn. With any static enters-the-battlefield effects, each Sliver will produce an advantage. Dormant Sliver is the most powerful of these options, and we can get around its drawback by either sacrificing it before a lethal attack or simply combo killing with Lavabelly Sliver. Screeching Sliver and Manaweft Sliver / Gemhide Sliver allow you to convert each unearth activation into more fuel or more mana as needed, allowing you to chain through your entire deck.
Modern Combo Slivers
4 Dregscape Sliver 3 Frenetic Sliver 4 Dormant Sliver 1 Gemhide Sliver 4 Manaweft Sliver 2 Diffusion Sliver 2 Lavabelly Sliver 4 Screeching Sliver 3 Basal Sliver 2 Necrotic Sliver 2 Homing Sliver 2 Darkheart Sliver 4 AEther Vial 3 Collected Company 4 Cavern of Souls 4 Unclaimed Territory 4 Sliver Hive 4 Mutavault 1 Overgrown Tomb 1 Forest (347) 1 Nurturing Peatland 1 Waterlogged Grove
This list certainly needs some tuning, which we plan to do as soon as Modern Horizons is released on MTGO. However, it serves as a good starting point for what the graveyard-based Slivers can do. This particular build should shine against an opponent who is trying to play a fair game using removal, as the creatures threaten to combo-kill whether they are on the battlefield or the graveyard. However, we will likely struggle against more aggressive decks as all of our creatures are pretty small and the interactions can take a bit of time to get going. It is likely that the best build includes some of the generically good Slivers such as Sinew Sliver, Predatory Sliver, and Galerider Sliver in order to be able to win a "fair" game using combat. This also hedges against opponents who are sure to have graveyard disruption in sideboarded games.
Our next build of Combo Slivers is likely to include one or more of these cards, most likely Rally the Ancestors. Stay tuned for videos with various builds of these decks! And of course, if you enjoy our Modern content, be sure to check out that sidebar and subscribe to our Modern feed!