The response from many old-school Magic: the Gathering players to the inclusion of slivers in M14 has been mixed, as many of the purists believe the changes made to the sliver mechanic has ruined some of the appeal of the tribe. While in the past sliver creatures’ abilities affected every sliver on the battlefield (including your opponents’ creatures), the new mechanic only affects slivers that you own.
Most players, especially newer ones, are extremely excited about the idea of a relatively low-cost and powerful tribe that can be turned into an explosive deck of cards. This article is going to discuss the build play style of what is sure to be the most popular style of build for the tribe, Naya.
Although Naya consists of R/W/G, we’ll also be splashing in the sole blue and black sliver creatures. The inclusion of Cavern of Souls (while it is still standard viable) along with Manaweft Slivers allows us to play these creatures without needing to splash mana for those colors.
First we’ll take a look at a sampling of the creatures used in this deck, as well as the suggested quantity of these creatures. For this particular build we’ll use a total of 27 creatures. We will include the only available blue sliver (Galerider Sliver) in the main board, though we’ll save the black sliver (Syphon Sliver) for the sideboard.
- 2 Galerider Sliver – a single blue mana grants you a 1/1 flying sliver that grants all of your other slivers flying as well.
- 3 Blur Sliver – while three mana for a 2/2 creature isn’t anything to call home about, giving all of your slivers haste can certainly change the direction of the game – quickly.
- 4 Manaweft Sliver – this mana-dork is almost worthy of including in any deck that plays green. Two mana for a 1/1 creature that allows all of your slivers to tap for mana of any color, this card fixes just about any mana issues you’re experiencing.
- 4 Bonescythe Sliver – you can expect this card to be a primary target, as giving all of your sliver creatures double strike will make quick work of any opponent.
- 3 Megantic Sliver – you would have to be insane to include a six mana 3/3 in your deck, unless you’re playing slivers, that is. Adding +3/+3 to all of your slivers will bring your creatures up to par with any mid-range deck.
- 4 Predatory Sliver – two mana for a 1/1 that gives all of your slivers +1/+1, this is quite possibly the best sliver in M14.
- 3 Sentinel Sliver – three mana for a 2/2 creature, again, not very sensible by itself, though granting all of your slivers vigilance keeps you powerful on the offensive and defensive sides of the board.
- 2 Striking Sliver – a single red mana provies you a 1/1 sliver and gives all of your slivers first strike. This card will grow with your Predatory and Megantic Slivers, making it a useful one-drop throughout the entire game.
- 2 Thorncaster Sliver – this sliver basically turns every sliver you have into a Hellrider, only better. The damage directed from your attacking slivers can be directed to enemy creatures or players.
There are some obvious exclusions of sliver creatures in this deck. Let’s briefly discuss why they’re missing. Battle Sliver is a five cost 3/3 that grants your slivers +2/+0, the high mana cost simply outweighs the benefits of including this creature, as you can add Megantic Slivers for an extra mana, giving your creatures +3/+3 instead. Steelform Sliver only grants your slivers +0/+1 for three mana, and is better replaced with Sentinel Sliver. Sliver Constructs are 3 uncolored mana, excellent if you’re experiencing mana issues, but we have too many mana fixes in our current standard block to worry about that right now. Groundshaker Sliver offers the very attractive addition of trample, but at a ridiculous mana cost of seven. Thorncaster Sliver has a more immediate impact for two less mana.
Let’s take a look at the remaining cards we need to complete this Naya Slivers build. We will be including a single sorcery card and two instant spells. We’ll also be adding an artifact to the mix, providing sliver players with a tool that will only increase in power as the game progresses.
Artifact, Instant, and Sorcery Spells
- 2 Door of Destinies – this card will gain a counter every time you cast a sliver creature spell, and since 27 of your spells consist of sliver creatures, this could give you a huge advantage.
- 2 Hive Stirrings – three mana for two 1/1 slivers can prove to be a powerful tool once you have a few Predator Slivers and a Blur Sliver on the battlefield, be careful not to ignore this card.
- 2 Boros Charm – as long as Magic: the Gathering continues to be played, players will always play board wiping cards (such as Supreme Verdict), protect yourself by giving all of your creatures indestructability when they try.
- 2 Selesnya Charm – give trample to a creature to finish off the game, flash in a chump blocker, or get rid of a pesky creature that causes you problems. Selesnya Charm is one of the better cards to have at your disposal.
We’ll be including all the dual-land cards we can in this deck, including Stomping Ground, Rootbound Crag, Temple Garden, Sunpetal Grove, Sacred Foundry, and Clifftop Retreat, but let’s take a look at the key land cards in this deck that will make a big difference.
- 4 Cavern of Souls – name slivers when you play this land and you’ll be able to cast all game long without worrying about having your creatures countered. You can also tap Cavern for any color of mana, making your life a lot easier.
- 2 Mutavault – tap a mana and turn this into a 2/2 creature with all creature types – that includes slivers. This also makes a great turn-two 2/2 to swing with.
Slivers are going to be fun to play while they’re hanging around in the standard block. Hopefully we’ll see the inclusion of more slivers in the Theros, Born of the Gods, and Journey into Nyx releases to make the tribe even more interesting. I hope you enjoy playing Naya Slivers, and I’ll see you at Friday Night Magic.
Example Deck Build