So.... How do I build a Sliver EDH Deck?

  • #1
    By now, I am sure you have seen the first M14 spoilers contain slivers. I am not sure why they put these in a core-set, but none-the-less... might as well throw in a new Sliver Legend or Planeswalker! Smile Seems like nobody is in the middle on this tribe, you either love them or hate them.

    Regardless, I have always been a fan of this unique hive and it has been quite strange for me not to have a sliver deck together. That being said, Queen, Legion, and Overlord are ready to come out of my trade binder and into EDH. Since I am relatively new to EDH, I have not seen a lot of Sliver builds...

    So, my questions for you...

    1) what are the support cards for tribal slivers? Is it just a 5 color good-stuff? Combos? Support cards for the sliver swarm? Removal? What are some Sliver EDH deck-types you have seen?
    2) I am assuming that Overlord is the general... do you still include the infinite Sliver Queen combo?

    I am not looking for "competitive" but simply a multiplayer build that will hold it's own. Comments or links to prior conversations are appreciated... Thanx!
  • #2
    check out the 1v1 and multiplayer stickied decklists built by peers. They give indepth discussion regarding how the decks works along with which commander does what.

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  • #3
    Generally speaking the slivers you'll want to run are the utility ones. Basal Sliver, Homing Sliver, Gemhide Sliver, etc. The p/t pump slivers aren't really worth your time, other than Sliver Legion for obvious reasons.

    Also, you'll want support cards like Wild Pair and Mana Echoes. Anything that can either get more bodies onto the board or generate large quantities of mana to abuse with Sliver Queen and Sliver Overlord.
    Last edited by AzureShadow: 5/7/2013 9:08:03 AM
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  • #4
    Put something in to help against board wipes. Sliver decks tend to hate those things.
  • #5
    Another thing that a friend of mine has in his Sliver Overlord deck is Astral Slide. He prioritizes getting Homing Sliver onto the board and protected, and at that point you can keep most threats off the board and protect your own guys from board wipes and spot removal, as long as you have the mana. It's a seriously under-appreciated card that doesn't really have a home in this format, but slivers can take advantage of it like crazy.
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  • #6
    Buy the premium Slivers deck ... and, ure done.
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  • #7
    Quote from Shmo40
    Buy the premium Slivers deck ... and, ure done.


    Well, you also need at least Sliver Queen and about $1000 worth of lands.
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  • #8
    Quote from AzureShadow
    ....and about $1000 worth of lands.


    riiiight, but no. Slant

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  • #9
    I would run Overlord as your commander. The Slivers that are an absolute must (in my opinion) are;



    There are, of course, other slivers you may want to play, but if I was designing a deck those would be my go-to slivers of choice. After that probably some tribal stuff, some other cards that might pump them, as well as some changelings.

    EDIT: Also, while the premium Sliver deck is a great starting point (I bought it just because I wanted it) it won't have every sliver you are going to want. It does have Overlord, which is great, and it will have quite a few cards that you might want for your deck, but many of these slivers are going to have to be acquired individually from other sources.
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  • #10
    Quote from ajprokos
    riiiight, but no. Slant


    Unfortunately this is one of the decks where you really do need to be able to shell out for the lands. You need to be able to reliably generate any combination of your mana colors in the first few turns, because you can't guarantee Gemhide Sliver without aggressive mulligans.
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  • #11
    Quote from AzureShadow
    Unfortunately this is one of the decks where you really do need to be able to shell out for the lands. You need to be able to reliably generate any combination of your mana colors in the first few turns, because you can't guarantee Gemhide Sliver without aggressive mulligans.


    That's not 100 percent true. While of course people will do their best to remove your Gemhide, you can pretty much get him every single game as long as you get your Overlord in place. The only sliver deck I had was on trice, my typical early move was to work towards generating one of each color (so yes, your mana base does need to be somewhat decent), Overlord, Root, Crystalline, Gemhide. Once that happened I had very little problems with getting whatever else I wanted out. Usually I'd go for the Queen, or Brood Sliver, start cranking out some tokens, grab Shifting Sliver or Shadow Sliver, and toss out Virulent and kill whoever I was going up against with a swarm of poisonous slivers. The plan doesn't always work, but with a moderately efficient mana-base and a well protected Gemhide you can do it fairly quickly.

    You should expect to spend at least 2-300 dollars on your manabase though. You are going to want all of the shocks; that should be a given. You have absolutely no reason not to run each of them. Fetches are also a must. You need to be able to dictate a little more what sort of land drops you are getting; fetches are going to help you get there. I would run those core-set checklands as well; a lot of the time you are going to get them into play untapped, so those are great. Those neat Shadowmoor lands are probably going to be next on your list; those are all about what, 10-15 bucks each? Fire-Lit Thicket for reference. Obviously things like Command Tower and Reflecting Pool should be on your list, same with Exotic Orchard (Conflux/Planechase 2012.) After you get those lands together, you will want to start to consider getting some of the original duals. By this point you are going to then start climbing into that thousand dollar mana-base mark.

    At the very least though, I wouldn't attempt this without the fetches, checklands, and the shocks. That won't set you back 1000 dollars, but it won't be cheap either, depending on your idea of what cheap is.
    Last edited by Scott: 5/7/2013 10:19:07 AM
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  • #12
    Patriarch's Bidding is a great recovery card. I honestly think that all in slivers is the most fun. Taking the flavor to the max. But if you want the deck to be a little more powerful you want to include a large number of support cards and have a more combo-aggro finish.
  • #13
    Conspiracy is a good card too, almost forgot about that. It can make things like Farhaven Elf and Wood Elves even more useful, not to mention any other creatures you would want to run that aren't slivers. Token producers with Conspiracy out can be devastating.
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  • #14
    Quote from Scott
    I would run Overlord as your commander. The Slivers that are an absolute must (in my opinion) are;


    There are, of course, other slivers you may want to play, but if I was designing a deck those would be my go-to slivers of choice. After that probably some tribal stuff, some other cards that might pump them, as well as some changelings.

    EDIT: Also, while the premium Sliver deck is a great starting point (I bought it just because I wanted it) it won't have every sliver you are going to want. It does have Overlord, which is great, and it will have quite a few cards that you might want for your deck, but many of these slivers are going to have to be acquired individually from other sources.

    This. On both accounts. Also, Coat of Arms, because Sliver Legion can't be your only thing eh?
  • #15
    This. On both accounts. Also, Coat of Arms, because Sliver Legion can't be your only thing eh?


    Slivers are actually one of those few times where I think Coat of Arms is a definite must; a lot of the time unless you know for sure you are going to be generating overwhelming odds, Coat of Arms can backfire. In this deck? Drop it and win.
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  • #16
    Quote from Scott
    That's not 100 percent true. While of course people will do their best to remove your Gemhide, you can pretty much get him every single game as long as you get your Overlord in place. The only sliver deck I had was on trice, my typical early move was to work towards generating one of each color (so yes, your mana base does need to be somewhat decent), Overlord, Root, Crystalline, Gemhide. Once that happened I had very little problems with getting whatever else I wanted out. Usually I'd go for the Queen, or Brood Sliver, start cranking out some tokens, grab Shifting Sliver or Shadow Sliver, and toss out Virulent and kill whoever I was going up against with a swarm of poisonous slivers. The plan doesn't always work, but with a moderately efficient mana-base and a well protected Gemhide you can do it fairly quickly.

    You should expect to spend at least 2-300 dollars on your manabase though. You are going to want all of the shocks; that should be a given. You have absolutely no reason not to run each of them. Fetches are also a must. You need to be able to dictate a little more what sort of land drops you are getting; fetches are going to help you get there. I would run those core-set checklands as well; a lot of the time you are going to get them into play untapped, so those are great. Those neat Shadowmoor lands are probably going to be next on your list; those are all about what, 10-15 bucks each? Fire-Lit Thicket for reference. Obviously things like Command Tower and Reflecting Pool should be on your list, same with Exotic Orchard (Conflux/Planechase 2012.) After you get those lands together, you will want to start to consider getting some of the original duals. By this point you are going to then start climbing into that thousand dollar mana-base mark.

    At the very least though, I wouldn't attempt this without the fetches, checklands, and the shocks. That won't set you back 1000 dollars, but it won't be cheap either, depending on your idea of what cheap is.


    Well you can't get Overlord out if you don't have a consistent manabase, that's what I mean. Slivers is the one 5c deck where you really need to land your general with protection and start using him ASAP, as well as get other key cards in the turns leading up to dropping him. Without at the very least a full compliment of duals, fetches, and green-inclusive shocks with some ramp spells, a lot of opening hands won't go far enough. Especially considering a lot of the important slivers are 3-4 drops and some are two colors.
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  • #17
    I had a rough draft of an Animar Slivers deck, where the rough plan was to get to Dormant Sliver, cast every Sliver you can with Animar reducing the costs, then either burn them out with Psionic Sliver (first getting enough toughness that your slivers don't die from the backlash), delete the Dormant Sliver with Frenetic Sliver and swing out, or hand Animar a Runed Salactite and let him be a gigantic Sliver too. Bonus points for running the best Sliver ever printed, Chameleon Colossus.

    I don't like the idea of running Sliver Overlord because if someone else snags him, they have the keys to your entire deck.
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  • #18
    you could build a land base with all the gates, Karoo lands, and various uncommon bi-color lands previously printed for a lot less, it just won't be as fast.

    10 shocks, 10 checks, 10 fetches, 10 original duals IS the best land base to run, but it doesn't mean it's the only one. It's just a lot faster.

    Edit: This is a great website to figure out what your land base options are in each color, visually.
    Last edited by Shmo40: 5/7/2013 10:50:58 AM
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  • #19
    Quote from Shmo40
    you could build a land base with all the gates, Karoo lands, and various uncommon bi-color lands previously printed for a lot less, it just won't be as fast.

    10 shocks, 10 checks, 10 fetches, 10 original duals IS the best land base to run, but it doesn't mean it's the only one. It's just a lot faster.


    Well I mean, that isn't a great landbase either because you'll want utility lands and 5c lands as well. All of the shocks and all of the duals is too much, most decks will run all the duals and only a few shocks, along with one of each basic and most of the fetches. It takes a lot of fine-tuning.

    The problem with a slow manabase that has a lot of ETBT lands is that Slivers is always seen as a massive threat, and if you can't keep a board position without other people being ahead of you you'll generally just get locked out with removal, counterspells, and worst of all mind control effects on Overlord.
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  • #20
    Quote from AzureShadow
    Well you can't get Overlord out if you don't have a consistent manabase, that's what I mean. Slivers is the one 5c deck where you really need to land your general with protection and start using him ASAP, as well as get other key cards in the turns leading up to dropping him. Without at the very least a full compliment of duals, fetches, and green-inclusive shocks with some ramp spells, a lot of opening hands won't go far enough. Especially considering a lot of the important slivers are 3-4 drops and some are two colors.


    I never ran into the problems you are talking about, and I never ran the duals. I didn't say the manabase was going to be cheap, just not thousands of dollars. You can construct a fairly solid manabase;

    Shocks (RTR versions, they're cheaper.);

    Blood Crypt - 8$
    Hallowed Fountain - 10$
    Overgrown Tomb - 9$
    Steam Vents - 8$
    Temple Garden - 11$
    Breeding Pool - 9$
    Godless Shrine - 10$
    Sacred Foundry - 11$
    Stomping Ground - 13$
    Watery Grave - 9$

    Checklands;

    Dragonskull Summit - 4$
    Drowned Catacomb - 4$
    Glacial Fortress - 3$
    Rootbound Crag (Also comes in the Premium Deck) - 4$
    Sunpetal Grove - 5$
    Clifftop Retreat - 9$
    Hinterland Harbor - 8$
    Sulfur Falls - 5$
    Woodland Cemetery - 8$

    Okay, so far we are at 148$. Not too bad, right? We have all of the shocks, all of the checks. You can run this deck with these lands, especially if you throw in some rocks that produce colored mana, and a few other lands like the Shadowmoor lands. Should you run your manabase this way? Ehh. Depends on your budget. Will you be as successful as you would with the fetches and the duals? No, of course not. I wasn't implying that you would. I was merely saying that you would be fine. Run those, ramp spells and creatures, and you will probably be fine.


    Bloodstained Mire - 38$
    Flooded Strand - 60$
    Poluted Delta - 80$
    Windswept Heath - 45$
    Wooded Foothills - 37$

    260 dollars or so for all five of the Onslaught fetchlands.

    Arid Mesa - 25$
    Marsh Flats - 25$
    Misty Rainforest - 35$
    Scalding Tarn - 35$
    Verdant Catacombs - 25$

    145$ for the Zendikar fetches.

    I won't go over the original duals, we all know they are expensive. If you start with the shocks, the checks, get some of the shadowmoor lands, Reflecting Pool, Exotic Orchard, some rocks that produce multiple colors... You'll be fine. If you get serious about the sliver deck you should start working on the fetches first, then the duals. In the end, minus the duals, you're looking at...

    About 600 bucks, give or take a few. The duals are going to make it a lot more expensive, but as Azure has pointed out getting them is going to make your deck a lot more consistent.
    Last edited by Scott: 5/7/2013 11:14:03 AM
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  • #21
    I might be missing something, but why do Slivers "need" an expensive mana base? Are they too slow with it? Or is it just because it's a 5 color deck? You could always make it mostly green and play lots of ramp and then your slivers. One thing I'd watch out for is Ruination and Blood Moon. I personally don't like focusing on an expensive mana base until I have the rest of the deck.
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  • #22
    Quote from alblaster
    I might be missing something, but why do Slivers "need" an expensive mana base? Are they too slow with it? Or is it just because it's a 5 color deck? You could always make it mostly green and play lots of ramp and then your slivers. One thing I'd watch out for is Ruination and Blood Moon. I personally don't like focusing on an expensive mana base until I have the rest of the deck.


    Because most of the best slivers aren't all the same color, and you need to hit five colors as fast as you can, because, at least in Overlord decks, you are going to rely on your general since he serves as your primary tutor for slivers.

    Generally you want to hit five colors as early as you can, cast Overlord, and then start tutoring out your utility slivers like Crystalline (which will protect your slivers from most things except wraths), and Gemhide which, as soon as it hits the board, will almost immediately start smoothing out your mana.

    Coincidentally, as far as order of importance goes, I'd be focusing on;

    Green
    Black
    Blue

    and then white and red after those. Green for ramping, black is great for tutoring and some other fun shenanigens, blue for control. White and red have useful slivers, so you shouldn't neglect them, but balance is key.
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  • #23
    I have a friend that runs Overlord as his general but also runs all basics for his mana base. He is heavy green and uses stuff like Harrow, and other fetch spells. He rarely has any trouble landing his general.
  • #24
    Look at Sliver Legion, too. There's enough solid duders to make him a reasonable aggro commander; I've never really cared for Sliver Overlord, which I've always felt was a durdley, mana-intense commander to begin with.

    If you must run Overlord, at least look at Amoeboid Changeling and Unnatural Selection. Overlord's theft ability won't save you from Wraths, but at least you'll be doing something more interesting than tutoring every turn.

    Finally, for the love of all that's decent, don't run a 10-10-10-10 manabase. You need basics (unless you like getting blown out by Back to Basics, Blood Moon, Magus of the Moon and Ruination). Checklands are basically budget cards, and they're generally worse than five-color lands (you can't fetch 'em to fix your mana, after all). Fetches are the most important part of the manabase; if you can afford to drop some cash, do it here first. Shocks are just as good as duals in most situations; don't feel like a chump for running shocks. Once you get some fetches, pick up some shocks/duals; the two types of cards synergize hugely. Finally, don't build your base to some checklist (10 duals, yup, 10 fetches, yup, etc.). Look at your mana costs; finesse your deck and your manabase so that you can reliably hit your 1, 2 and 3 drops. Think ahead when you fetch – don't just fetch based on what's in your hand, but think about what colors you'll need over the next 4 or 5 turns. Think about what's in your deck and what your gameplan is, and fetch with those in mind. Careful deck construction and methodical play will let you get a lot more out of manabase than some derpy 10-10-10-10 split ever will.
  • #25
    Quote from Mewens
    Look at Sliver Legion, too. There's enough solid duders to make him a reasonable aggro commander; I've never really cared for Sliver Overlord, which I've always felt was a durdley, mana-intense commander to begin with.

    If you must run Overlord, at least look at Amoeboid Changeling and Unnatural Selection. Overlord's theft ability won't save you from Wraths, but at least you'll be doing something more interesting than tutoring every turn.

    Finally, for the love of all that's decent, don't run a 10-10-10-10 manabase. You need basics (unless you like getting blown out by Back to Basics, Blood Moon, Magus of the Moon and Ruination). Checklands are basically budget cards, and they're generally worse than five-color lands (you can't fetch 'em to fix your mana, after all). Fetches are the most important part of the manabase; if you can afford to drop some cash, do it here first. Shocks are just as good as duals in most situations; don't feel like a chump for running shocks. Once you get some fetches, pick up some shocks/duals; the two types of cards synergize hugely. Finally, don't build your base to some checklist (10 duals, yup, 10 fetches, yup, etc.). Look at your mana costs; finesse your deck and your manabase so that you can reliably hit your 1, 2 and 3 drops. Think ahead when you fetch – don't just fetch based on what's in your hand, but think about what colors you'll need over the next 4 or 5 turns. Think about what's in your deck and what your gameplan is, and fetch with those in mind. Careful deck construction and methodical play will let you get a lot more out of manabase than some derpy 10-10-10-10 split ever will.


    I wasn't suggesting that he run a 10-10-10-10 split; however running all of the shocks and all of the fetches are going to get him where he needs to go. Of course he should run some basics (although, oddly enough, the primer sliver list runs no basics, so?) but I don't agree about the checks. They are budget, yeah, but they can be really good until he can replace them with duals. I guess that was my point too; if he is looking for a budget manabase, the checks are going to be useful. Especially if he is running basics/fetches to grab shocks.

    Also, while I don't agree that Overlord is "durdly," whatever that is supposed to mean, Legion can be a lot of fun as your commander. He encourages a more "go with the flow" style of play rather than spending each turn fetching exactly what you need. That said, if you are trying to make a more competitive deck Overlord is going to be your best option since you will be able to snag exactly what you need, when you need it.
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