Fantasy Card Game

 

Magic: The Gathering - Premium Deck Series: Slivers

Strong by Themselves, Unstoppable Together

Publisher: Wizards of the Coast

Reviewed by Jon Minners

 

            Wizards of the Coast has released the perfect stocking stuffer for fans and newcomers to the Magic: The Gathering franchise – a 60-card premium foil deck that features one of the most devastating creatures to ever be created for the popular collectible card game.   

            In October 1997, with the release of the Tempest set, the world of Magic: The Gathering was turned on its head.  One of the most highly regarded set in Magic’s history, what separated Tempest from the rest of the pack was the introduction of a brand new creature set – The Slivers. 

            With a hive-like mentality, each Sliver creature card possesses its own ability, but also grants that ability to every other sliver-type creature in play.  For example, a Muscle Sliver is a 1/1 creature (It deals one damage on offense and can absorb one damage on defense).  However, its ability grants an addition 1/1 to all slivers in play.  That means that upon entering the battlefield, a Muscle Sliver is 2/2, and the 1/1 Metallic Sliver you have in play also becomes a 1/1 creature. 

            Needless to say, the Slivers, which were also featured in the Onslaught and Time Spiral sets, became a popular creature set with Magic fans creating some inspiring, intricate decks.  With the release of the Alara block, creating five-color Sliver decks, perfect for both single- and multi-player, became easier and more common.  But as popular as it was to put together, with so many Slivers to choose from, putting together a deck with the right combinations was a complicated process. 

            Wizards of the Coast makes it so much easier by doing the work for everyone with the recent release of its latest Premium Deck Series.  Not only does the deck include a wide assortment of Slivers, it also includes supplemental cards many deck-builders might never thought to use, in addition to varying ways in which to obtain the right colored-mana to cast the menacing creatures and take down your opponent quickly and decisively. 

            First, the deck includes five rare cards – Coat of Arms gives each creature in play +1/+1 for each other creature on the battlefield that shares at least one creature type with it (translation – the more Slivers you have in play, the more damage they cause); Rootbound Crag is a land card that provides both red and green mana on one tap; Fungus Sliver is a Sliver that allows his brethren to grow by +1/+1 for each point of damage it is dealt, providing that damage doesn’t kill it (translation – opponents will think twice when attacking); Brood Sliver, which allows opponents to put 1/1 colorless Sliver tokens into play for each Sliver that deals damage to them (play this card carefully in combo with a Sliver Overlord); and Wild Pair, an enchantment that is expensive, but allows you to bring in another Sliver creature with the same total power and toughness from your hand whenever you cast a Sliver into the battlefield (that’s like a two-for-one special). 

            The deck also includes a mythic rare in the form of a Sliver Overlord, which costs one of each colored mana to cast.  This creature is bad-ass.  Once in play, you can tap three mana of any color and either search your library for a Sliver card and put it in your hand, or gain control of another target Sliver like the one your opponent put into play after you attacked him (understand the possibilities?). 

Other favorite Slivers:

Virulent Sliver – All Slivers have poisonous 1.  Whenever a Sliver deals combat damage to a player, that player gets one poison counter.  A player with 10 or more poison counters automatically loses a game.  This card is amazing when playing against decks built around life-gaining.  It doesn’t matter if your opponent has 100 life or pulls an infinite loop and claims he gained 1 million life; all you have to do is hit him for 10 poison counters and you win. 

Homing Sliver – This allows all Slivers in your hand to have Slivercycling, which means that for 3 mana, you can discard the card from your hand and search your library for any other Sliver card, put it in your hand and cast to your opponents’ dismay. 

Gemhide Sliver – Gives every Sliver the ability to add one mana of ANY color to your mana pool. 

Crystalline Sliver – With this card in play, none of your Slivers can be the target of spells or abilities, leaving your opponents virtually defenseless against your growing army. 

Fury Sliver – All Slivers gain double strike, which means twice the damage will be dealt to an opponent.  Considering how big Slivers are, if played right, you can eliminate more than one opponent during a multiplayer on any given turn. 

Quick Sliver – This card allows you to play any Sliver card from your hand at any time, allowing you to surprise an opponent when he attacks you with a creature. 

            Other Slivers grant their comrades flying or allow other Slivers an opportunity to regenerate after a lethal attack (like the Energizer Bunny, they keep going and going), while a majority of the Slivers allow their controllers to pump up their enemy’s power, or toughness, or both.  You can either sacrifice Slivers to deal two damage to other creatures or players; destroy permanents, or gain life or pay 2 life to return a permanent to its owner’s hand. 

            And then there are cards that are not Sliver related, but seem perfectly suited for the deck.  Amoeboid Changeling is every creature type and can make a creature gain all creature types until end of turn, which means you can turn an opponent’s large creature into a Sliver and then take control of it using your Sliver Overlord.  Genius!  Aphetto Dredging allows you to return up to three target creatures from your graveyard to your hand, which could make a difference if three of your major creatures were killed just before you could take advantage of their abilities.  Heartstone is an artifact that decreases the cost of your Sliver’s activated abilities by 1 mana.  And Distant Melody allows you to draw a card for each permanent you control that is a Sliver.  Think of the possibilities here. 

            Getting these creatures out is a lot easier, too.  In addition to basic land cards producing their corresponding mana color, other lands allow you to sacrifice them to search for the land you need while other land produces mana of any color. 

            A strategic insert, in addition to a Magic “learn to play” guide and an exclusive Spindown life counter, comes with the deck to help users get a handle on their Sliver army.  This is a must-have and once you get the hang of it, go online, purchase more Sliver cards and tweak your deck into even more of a lethal killing machine.  My suggestion – A Sliver Queen and an Ashnod Altar, which combined with your Heartstone will allow you to create an infinite number of Sliver creatures.  There are other great cards that you can add into this deck.  With Christmas,  Magic: The Gathering and Slivers, the possibilities are endless.   
 

 

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