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THE FIRST SLIVER EVOLUTION 【Primer&VorthosThings!】

Commander / EDH* Casual Combo Haste Multiplayer Primer Sliver Stompy Vorthos

RA_HORAKHTE

Maybeboard



Welcome to my The First Sliver Sliver Tribal Multiplayer EDH deck!!!
The Sliver World (A collage Wallpaper I did just for fun some time ago, hope you like! Remember, slivers and their arts belong to Wizard of the Coast and all their hired artists)

BASIC DECK DATA
Construction ,date: 01/07/2019
Power level: 8,5
Format: Multiplayer EDH, non competitive
Budget: High (Many foil and promos)
Build restrictions: Mainly tribal, Non Food Chain combo, No expensive tutors, Lack some expensive lands.


INTRODUCTION

Hello there, sliver enthusiasts!

This is a
Sliver Tribal* Stompy build (With some backup combo plans), totally centered in the tribal aspect of The First Sliver. It doesn't use Food Chain combos. (About combos, this deck includes some alternate wincon combos using my Sliver Queen and Morophon, the Boundless, I think this can give, without being annoying, more flexibility to the deck for stuck games, and a bit more protagonism to the Queen, wich she deserves!)

I've been collecting and casually playing with slivers since 2004, shortly after when I started to play Magic, being my first owned sliver a Legion's Shifting Sliver. Since the begining, slivers have been my favourite tribe of MTG, even when when slivers weren't a powerful tribe, as a lot of key slivers didn't existed yet (like the mana generating ones, many of the new Sliver Lords...). Despite that, in that time slivers where very loved by the community in general, but they wheren't much playable, and EDH/Commander was a very underground and unknown format (at least in my country). But the times had changed, and slivers have received the chance to shine again thanks to the success of EDH. I pretend to develop a rich article about the lore of slivers and how to play them in casual multiplayer EDH.
Nowadays I still consider this article being improved, so I'll receive any help or ideas with much interest!


SLIVER BIOLOGY

IRL, I work as a biologist (Of course more specialized in the Earth's fauna rather than magical alien creatures!) so my interest on the sliver species is speculative - scientific too, rather than only artistic or in-game mechanical. As a Science Fiction fan I've always got fascinated by the speculation of how different kinds of life could exist in different enviroments than Earth, and how we could take inspiration from our planet's rich biodiversity to imagine new alien creatures.

Magic the Gathering Multiverse is mainly centered on different interpretations of magical fantasy, so the mayority of strange creatures we can find on MTG are usually driven by magical, elemental or divine forces. Slivers are a bit different. Although all slivers are related to magic and mana, he arts, flavor texts and references of them in the lore tells us about slivers being normal living beings of flesh, wich every marvelous ability they develop is explained by some solid biological and echological concepts like genetics, mutations, evolution, enviormental adaptation, mimicry of other species... That's why I find slivers so interesting from a biological perspective.

But... what really are Slivers?

Hunter Sliver by Kev Walker.

Slivers are a complex social species that lives in various planes of the Multiverse. They are a kind of sentient lifeform apparently based on carbon, as they are capable to consume normal carbon based nutrients from earthlike life. They are social creatures that coordinate themselves thanks to a telephatic hive mind, and can share their individual genetical features with other slivers, granting them their special abilities and adaptations. There are sliver asociated with all five colors of Magic.

Although slivers have many different subespecies or varieties, the majority of them shares a series of defining anatomical features (See for example Lancer Sliver): Slivers have an elongated wormlike body, ended in a long bifurcated whip-like tail, a fusiform and sharp head protected by a bony or chitinous hard exoskeletal cranial plate, and a single articulated appendage generally finished in a single sharp claw. Many slivers don't show visible eyes or bucal structures. Some pieces of art suggests that slivers have some kind of internal skelleton too, thing that could help us to consider them as some kind of Chordate or even vertebrate animal, although we don't have any phylogenetic proof of this, and they could have develop this internal skelletons via convergent evolution (the same way bats, birds and many insects have evolved into winged animals, but neither of their wings are genetically related).
Lot of slivers develop many variations of this basic anatomical structure, like aditional claws (like Spiteful Sliver), multiple heads (like Two-Headed Sliver), tails or tentacles (like Psionic Sliver), eyes (like Watcher Sliver), exoskeletal plates (like Battering Sliver), or even wings (like Winged Sliver), etc. Some varieties of the slivers from the plane of Shandalar seem to have evolved into a more humanoid bipedal forms (like Striking Sliver), probably mimicking other animal species like humans.

Sliver concept art from Wizard of the Coast's article "A SLIVER OF DIRECTION"on May 22, 2019, from the Modern Horizons set preview.

We totally don't know about their genetics and their phylogenetic relationship with any other animal species from the MTG Multiverse. They appear to be unrelated to any other lifeform, although their anatomy suggest they could be some kind of primitive vertebrate, as the have internal skelletons with a clear dorsal spine, but they also show many characteristics of other invertebrates. Anyways those traits could be related to their ability to assimilate or mimic other specie's genes. Their "geographic" origin also seems to be unclear, since we have found slivers in many planes of the Multiverse, but at least we can say that the first known slivers appeared on the artificial plane of Rath, but it's confirmed they weren't native of that plane.

But, what about sliver distinctive trait? Sharing abilities. Any sliver (Except some special ones like the Sliver Queen, the sliver tokens or the artifact slivers (Metallic Sliver, Venser's Sliver) have a distinctive ability or keyword that it will grant to all other slivers (or at least to all other slivers it's controller controls). For example, Crystalline Sliver will grant "shroud" to all other slivers in addition to having that ability himself. Other slivers with no special abilities will share at least their raw power, like Sinew Sliver. This is an awesome flavor win as MTG is telling us how slivers are "incomplete" creatures that need to team up and share all their abilities between them to complete themselves. The beauty of this concept is that is a call of to many social insects like many "Hymenoptera", for example ants (Formicidae) and bees (Anthophila) that form very complex societies where diferent individuals with diferent abilities or roles complement each other. Some of them act as workers, others as soldier or guards, and others as reproductive individues. In fact, ethologists considerer that these species of insects are "Eusocials", the highest level of organization of sociality. Eusociality is distinguished from any other social system because each diferent caste of individuals usually lose the ability to perform behaviors or abilities characteristic of individuals the others castes, just to improve to the maximum their assigned roles, just like happens with slivers.

But slivers are even a bit more complex than that... they are truly diferent if isolated but they will became equal when they gather with the rest of slivers. And yes, surprisingly Biology also has a clear example to this in our Earth's life. The response is:

Horizontal Gene Transfer.

Horizontal Gene Transfer is the act of moving genetic material from one living organism to another. This is possible thanks to the existence of the Transposable Elements (also called Transposons or Jumping Genes), sections of genetic material that can be moved or relocated from on section of the genome of a living being to another, or to another diferent living being. We humans normally transfer our genetic material when we reproduce and we have offspring, this is what we call Vertical Gene Transfer, where the genetic material of the individuals is inherited to the next generations.
So, what living beings are capable of doing this impressive process?
THe answer is too many to mention all of them. We have examples like bacteria, viruses, plants... even humans, as animals, we have bacterian DNA in all our cells, due to the ancestors of the entire animal kingdom incorporated ancient bacteria in their cells in a process called "Endosymbiosis", and those bacterias evolved in our energy producing organelles: the mithocondria. Researchers have found hundreds of cases where genetic material from one individual has been found in another... many times even if being very different species!

But probably the best example of Horizontal Gene Transfer regarding it similarity with slivers is the Bacterial conjugation. Many bacteria can use special tube-like structures ("pilus") to transfer genetic material to the others bacteria of their colony,by conecting their "pilus" with the other bacteria's cytoplasm. Thanks to this, bacterias can share resistance to antibiotics and toxins and the ability of metabolize new substances! Maybe slivers have a similar method to transfer certain genes to grant their special abilities to the rest of the hive.



The Sliver Overlord, art by Tony Szczudlo.


SLIVER LORE

The first sliver cards appear on the set "Tempest" (1997), that takes place in the plane of Rath. The slivers where designed by the designer Michael Elliott, who take inspiration from the card Plague Rats to try to create some kind of creature that would growth and gain abilities when more creatures of their species appeared on the table. Originally the slivers where going to be introduced in the unpublished set "Astral Ways", where a hero tries to close the astral doorway that connected two parallel universes, resulting into that character getting sliced into thousands fragments of himself or slivers. This set was never released but many concepts like the slivers or the abilities "Shadow" and "Echo" where recycled to be used in real MTG sets.

Rath was an artificial Plane created (or at least transformed) by the Phyrexian leader Yawgmoth (A God-Like horror being, once an human from the Thran Empire of the plane of Dominaria, as we can see in his card Yawgmoth, Thran Physician). Phyrexians where a civilization of eugenetic and biomechanical horrors who seeked to invade Dominaria from the artificial plane of Phyrexia. To reach that they needed to prepare a safe way to transport their armies through the planes and set and effective invasion. Yawgmoth created or repurposed the plane of Rath for this matter. A powerful machine called "The Hub" in the center of Rath generated a living material called "Flowstone" (as seen in cards like Flowstone Slide), that spreaded through the plane terraforming it and increasing it's mass, until the moment Rath would have identical dimensions and mass than Dominaria, and some kind of planar overlay would merge both worlds and the phyrexians could be transported to Dominaria easily.
Yawgmoth assigend to Volrath (Volrath the Fallen / Volrath, the Shapestealer) the role of Evincar of Rath, becaming the ruler of the plane. Volrath had become a shapeshifter, expert on Flowstone manipulation and genetics. He was the one who found the slivers by traveling to an unknown plane, capturing the Sliver Queen and bringing her to Rath, with the objetive of study her and her offspring and the hope of using the slivers as biological weapons.

Volrath confined the slivers and their Queen in the carverns of the Furnace of Rath, and created the Metallic Sliver to spy and study them and using artifacts known as Hivestone to control them. Volrath also claimed to have genetically modified the slivers for his plans, but it is unkwnown what changes produced in them. He later used the slivers to attack the heroes of the Skyship Weatherlight that where traveling through Rath to find ways to defeat Volrath and the Phyrexians, but at the end Karn, Silver Golem (Who wasn't yet the Planeswalker we all know today, Karn Liberated) accomplished to negotiate and make peace with the intelligent Sliver Queen (see the card Change of Heart) and the slivers let the Weatherlight crew go and recover the Legacy Weapon, a collection of artifacts that later would be key to defeat Yawgmoth and the Phyrexians.

Years later the inevitable planar overlay between Rath and Dominaria and the Phyrexian invasion (During the Invasion block sets, 2000-2001) caused the extintion of the Rath slivers and the death of the Sliver Queen, as when the merging of the world occurred their underground hives were materialized into the heart of the Urborg volcano. But there was still hope for the rathi slivers to return...

A century after the Phyrexian Invasion, during the Onslaught block (2002-2003), a group of scientists and wizards from Dominaria, called the Riptide Project, recovered sliver fossils from Urborg and bring them to their Riptide Laboratory, and recreated them with Riptide Replicator. Unfortunately, they didn't find the remains of the Sliver Queen and didn't replicate her, neither found out the importance of a "Hive ruler" to control the slivers. That provoked the recreated slivers went rampant, escaping through all Dominaria.
The riptide slivers evolved again and adapted to Dominaria's enviroments, and many of them finally merged creating the Sliver Overlord, a new hive leader. However, this hive stability didn't last, as shortly after the magical planar cataclysm produced by the manifestation and sudden destruction of Karona, False God (an avatar resulting as the manifestation of all Dominaria`s magic energy), the Sliver Overlord and many of the surviving slivers where destroyed, becaming almost extinct again.

In the Time Spiral Block (2006-2007), after centuries of catastrophes like the Brothers war, the Ice Age, the Rath Overlay, the Phyrexian Invasion and the Karona's death, Dominaria became a dying and space-time unstable plane. Temporal rifts appeared randomly through the plane bringing places and creatures from the past, the future and from alternate timelines. Those timerifts where the salvation of many past slivers that could travel to the present and starting repopulating Dominaria and evolving again. But the still lacked a leadership as the Queen or the Overlord were long time death and never reapeared through any temporal rift. For this reason slivers traveled rampant across the destroyed Dominaria causing more chaos. Some powerful characteres, like the planeswalkers Lord Windgrace and Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury achieved to partially control the slivers of their respective homes. But their control on the hive didn't last as a powerful immaterial being, The Weaver King, managed to gain control of the slivers and use them as an army. The Weaver King was defeated by the artificer and wizard Venser, Shaper Savant, liberating again the slivers.

At the end of the Time Spiral events, the Sliver Legion, a new Sliver hive mind lord started to growth between the sliver hives, sequring their future leadership in Dominaria. That's all the know history about the Rath - Dominarian Slivers, but more planes of the multiverse have been colonized by slivers.

Shandalar is nowadays the second most important plane for the sliver population. Shandalar is a rogue plane. It drifts through the Multiverse moving away and getting closer from other planes, and that's why Shandalar has so many relationships with other worlds than the majority of Multiverse's planes that usually are well isolated ones from others. Probably Shandalar slivers are decendents of th Rath - Dominarian Slivers, wich traveled to Shandalar in one of it's multiple approaches to Dominaria. In Shandalar, slivers evolved again becaming slightly different than normal slivers. Shandalar slivers have two main separated castes: the Lessers are totally similar to an standar feral sliver: worm-like body, bifurcated tail, plated head and one single claw, as they can be seen in Hive Stirrings or Sliver Hive. The Primes are more antropomorphic, they are bipedal creatures with more humanoid heads that show insect-like eyes and tentacles resembling dreadlocks proturding from the back of the head (as we can see in Steelform Sliver or Manaweft Sliver). Shandalar slivers have developed some kind of complex chittering language that which is complemented by his telepathic abilities.
Shandalar slivers inhabit the "Skep", a giant hive wich is near the shores of the eastern Sea and the forest of Kalonia. All Shandalar slivers are ruled by their own hivemind: the Sliver Hivelord wich curiously retains its primal sliver appearance. Probably the humanoid form of some Shandalar slivers is only the result of mimicking other humanoid species to have a more efficient interaction with them, but is is something that the Hivelord hasn't needed at all for now.

Finally, several slivers seem to have appeared in more other planes. Tempered Sliver seems to have appeared in the plane of Mirrodin/New Phyrexia, since it was evolved imitating a mirran creature, the Slith Predator. The presence of slivers in Mirrodin/New Phyrexia is totally plausible, as Memnarch used "Soul traps" to capture creatures and sentient races from other planes and teleport them to Mirrodin, to populate the plane, which at that time was an artificial plane without organic life. These Soul Traps could have teleported some slivers to Mirrodin.
Alara could be another plane with presence of slivers: The First Sliver has the ability cascade, wich is usually associated with Alara's Maelstorm. We have another clues that could indicate that slivers are present in Alara: Dregscape Sliver has Unearth, a Grixis Alara's shard-plane ability, and it's native from the Dregscape a Grixis location, and the First Sliver's Chosen has exalted, other ability common in the Alara's shard of Bant. Alara is also a plane with a Multicolor identity, being the set "Alara Reborn" the first only-multicolor set of all MTG, and being Alara's main theme the idea that is a fragmented plane separated in lesser planes with tricolor identy wich merge again in the set "Conflux". Thoses aspects could mean that the original plane of the slivers could be in fact Alara, and Volrath could have found the original Sliver Queen by travelling to Alara, but this isn't confirmed for now.

The First Sliver, art by Svetlin Velinov.



WHY CHOOSE THE FIRST SLIVER AS COMMANDER?

Slivers are an awesome tribe to play in EDH, specially if you seek to play them casually. Many people claim that slivers are very powerful due to it's high collection of keywords and lords, but in a format where you have multiple opponents, with thousands of ways of wipping the board or removing key targets, and many ways of winning through infinite combos, slivers, a tribe that seeks to build a solid and stable board to overwhelm opponents isn't a top tier strategy at all. They can be fearful if not checked properly, but the similar happens with any proper aggro/stompy deck in the format. Slivers also have access to some infinte combos, specially if you own a Sliver Queen, so they also have a back-up plan when the aggro strategy is not enough. If you are trying to play the most competitive possible with slivers, you should forget the tribal part and center only in combos with the proper slivers. If you really want to make work this tribe in a real tribal way, just start collecting them, enjoy, and assume that slivers are awesome, but they are not the top!

So, why choose The First Sliver? We already have 4 more awesome Sliver Lords. Although any of them is useful enough to lead the deck, I'll explain my personal opinion of The First Sliver being my favourite.

Sliver Queen, our first sliver lord, it's more a combo piece than a sliver tribal card. She is also by far the most expensive sliver of all time, if you are lucky enough like me and could get she many years ago when she was more cheap, nice, but many casual players sadly can't even afford her. Sliver Queen decks should have less slivers to give space to combo pieces that can use the Queen ability of generating tokens to create an infinite flow of slivers and doing infinite damage or life loss to our opponents. For example, if you have Ashnod's Altar and Lavabelly Sliver in play you could create an sliver token, doing damage as it's entering the battlefield, then sacrifice it to generate two colorless mana and repeating the process until all your opponents have been vaporized. The same can be replicated with cards like Basal Sliver,Mana Echoes, or even Intruder Alarm if you have some mana dork slivers, to generate the infinite sliver ETB flow, and with cards like Zulaport Cutthroat, Blood Artist, Impact Tremors, Altar of the Brood or Bitter Ordeal to kill your opponents using those ETBs /Death triggers. So, as you can see, Sliver Queen can be an awesome deck, but it will be a combo deck, not an sliver tribal one. And we always can include her in our other sliver decks as a wincon!

Sliver Overlord has probably been the most played sliver commander of all time. This is because he is much more echonomicaly affordable, he truly cares about his tribe, and he has an awesome art. Having a Sliver Overlord in your table with enough mana can be very powerful, as you'll be able to tutor any sliver card of your deck and build the perfect sliver board, and also will take control of your opponents chnagelings, copies of your own slivers or stolen slivers, solving an important treath for any sliver player. You can also use cards like Amoeboid Changeling to start stealing your enemy creatures by transforming them in slivers, so fun!. Mana is the main Sliver Overlord issue. Most of the time, you'll have to gather enough mana to really afford search slivers and play them before one of your opponents obtains a proper way to remove you Overlord or even your entire board. I find Sliver Overlord a very awesome option to command the sliver deck, specially due to he will get access to the rest of the lords, but due to his slower speed I personally prefer The First Sliver as commander in front of him, as I'll later explain.

Sliver Legion came as the most stompy sliver lord of all. It trully cared about slivers, but in this case it asked you to go wide, the Legion wants a very big board of small slivers to transform them into an unstoppable force thanks to his Coat of Arms-like effect. Again the Legion became a very expensive card to buy due to it was only printed in the set "Future Sight". Luckily now you can get one in "Time Spiral Remastered", so take advantage of it and get yours!. Why Sliver Legion is the less played sliver commander? My theory is because it's more a powerful payoff than a enabler, and in a Pentacolor tribe build, you'll need some solid way to secure you have access to mana ramp, mana fix, enough slivers, iteration cards to protect against enemies... The Legion can't give you that, so I recommend to use it in the 99s.

Sliver Hivelord is similar to the Legion in the fact that he doesn't allows us to support or complicated pentacolor tribal board construction. He is more a defensive powerhouse: he will grant all our slivers indestructible, one of the most powerful keywords of MTG for any permanent. Sadly, in commander there are thousands of ways of surpasss this indestructibility: Exile, return to hand, gain control, making something to lose it's abilities... So the Hivelord can protect our small board, but only a little. A friend of mine has Sliver Hivelord as his sliver commander, and we even have played the mirror match just for study what kind of crazy things can happen when two sliver decks clash. The problem with his Hivelord was that he got a little sliver board with their indestructible boss, and then ran out of gas, staying exposed before any misfortune that could wreck his board, lacking the ability to tutor or find new slivers and the power to really end the game. Don't get me wrong, a Sliver Hivelord can draw the perfect cards and create a imparable sliver army, specially if he finds more sliver Pentacolor Lords, but this is just more difficult to happen for it than other builds.

The First Sliver curiously came as the most new of the sliver lords about getting a card. Anyone could imagine that a "First Sliver" should exist by logic, but many of MTG players just assumed that this First Sliver was actually the original Queen, so getting a more primeval and mysterious sliver lord in the set "Modern Horizons" (2019) was a very awesome moment!
It's design also gave us something we couldn't have imagined a sliver could grant: Cascade. Cascade was a very powerful ability that appeared in the "Shards of Alara" block, and has became one of the most competitive abilities of all time in multiple formats. Why? Because cascade gives you the two most important things of all MTG: Card Advantage, as it is technically granting you a "card draw", and Tempo Advantage, as it will play that card for free saving us time and mana. If you have played with or against a Maelstrom Wanderer in EDH or a Bloodbraid Elf in Modern you will undestand me easily. Of course Cascade has some limitations, as "cascading" with an spell can only giving us a lesser mana cost spell, and this spell will be totally random if we didn't alter our library order before or desgin the deck carefully.
Many people of the cEDH enviroment have found in The First Sliver an awesome pentacolor commander to play combo with a Food Chain shell, using it combined with Eternal Scourge, Squee, the Immortal or Misthollow Griffin to produce infinite mana. Why? It's because he grants pentacolor identity, allowing to include any existing MTG card needed in the deck, he gives a cascade in the Command Zone to help finding the combo pieces and tutors, and when you get the Food Chain combo online, obtaining infinite mana of any color, you'll be able to cast The First Sliver infinite times to play all your deck by Cascade. I'm not into the Competitive EDH meta, so for me this build doesn't fit the kind of games I want to share with my friends.

So ignoring his other non-tribal build with Food Chain.... Why the The First Sliver is my favourite Sliver Tribal commander? Simply because the card and tempo advantage he grants trough cascade. A The First Sliver deck can deploy in a record time a big army of slivers creatures, and using much less mana than a Sliver Overlord would need to achieve that. The First Sliver will grant you a cascade trigger when you play it, so in the worst scenarios (being targeted by removal or counterspells) you still get something. Once the First Sliver is in game, it will give all your sliver spells cascade... this means that if you play a 6 cmc sliver, it will do cascade into a 5 or less spell.... and if that spell is another sliver, it will also trigger its own cascade and so go on. So once The First Sliver is online, you can get 1, 2 or even 3 or 4 (if you are lucky) cascade triggers with every sliver you play from your hand. This can mean a lot of slivers with cool abilities or at least some nice free ramp, card draw or removal spells. None of the other extant sliver lords can build for you a board full of relevant slivers that fast, or at least give you resources to keep going. And if you get board wiped, you can be sure that playing again The First Sliver will help you to repopulate the board pretty easily. Cascade is a random effect, yes, this is objectively a negative thing, but in the other hand you will always receive strange and fun combinations of slivers to work, and this randomess will give you much less repetitive, boring or predictable games. Thats why The First Sliver is that amusing, solid and fair at the same time, and so recommendable for leading de hive. Sliver Overlord can grant you the perfect sliver for 8 total mana.... The First Sliver will not be so accurate, but will give you much more value for much less mana. And with cascade, Worldly Tutor always will be found in any game (believe me, with only cascading one 2 cmc sliver the chances are very high!) and you will get any sliver too, for example the Sliver Overlord himself.




STRATEGY

Our summarized gameplan is simple in appearance: ramp and set up your mana base, play The First Sliver, and start playing more slivers after it to obtain their cascade triggers, gaining advantage with every sliver we play... and probably more slivers!. Once you reached a fearful board with powerful boosts and keywords, you'll be capable to use your army of slivers to stomp your opponents. But building and playing this deck is a bit more complex than that, specially due to the high variety of slivers available to choose in all MTG history, the structure of the deck to favor the use of cascade, and our support cards (removal, control, protection) that must synergize well with cascade to if we don't want to lose resources by playing inapposite spells in unfavorable situations.

AN ECOLOGICAL NICHE: RAMP AND MANA BASE

Slivers have evolved in the 5 colors of MTG, so any well designed sliver deck must work it's early turns to reach a rich and varied mana base capable of offering the needed to cast any kind of sliver. A perfect pentacolor mana base is something expensive to reunite, in fact I'm still improving mine due to echonomical reasons. Mine matchs to a mid-budget status: I play some Fetchlands, Shocklands and expensive pentacolor lands, but I lack the perfect 10fetchland + 10 shockland / classic Dual Land structure, although I would like to reach in the future.

But I'll talk about my current land base just to explain it: I play 9 Basic lands (2 Forests, 2 Mountains, 2 Islands, 2 Swamps and 1 Plains). Basic lands are essential for fetch (as not all fecth effects search for non-basics) but we can also play too many of them as drawing multiple basic lands of the same color can be very painful, specially at the beggining of the game. Next I play the classic Shockland (like Breeding Pool) + Fetchland (like Flooded Strand) combination, although as you can see, it's unfinished. Currently I only play 6 Shocklands and 2 fetchlands, just because echonomical issues. In the future I'll seek to play all the 10 shocklands and at least 4-5 fetchlands (maybe even the 10 if money reaches!). Complementing the Shocklands y also play the 5 Ikoria's Triomes (Like Ketria Triome), Why? Although they are taplands, they add 3 color of mana, they have 3 land tipes (PLains, Forest, Swamp, Mountain, Island) ideal for fetching them, and in lat game the also have cycling (3), helping you to obtain a bit card draw if you have enough lands. I totally recommend play them, even if they enter tapped. I also play some of the classic tri-lands from Alara/Tarkir, (like Frontier Bivouac, but I'll change them for better options in the future. They are awesome if you play budget, but when you have a bit more money, better to change them for Shocklands, Fetchlands, untapped multicolor lands or Triomes. I also play more fetchlands like Fabled Passage, Terramorphic Expanse and Evolving Wilds. Again, Terramorphic and Evolving for budget reasons. And last I also play some multicolor untapped lands, like City of Brass, Mana Confluence, Exotic Orchard, Ancient Ziggurat and Unclaimed Territory.

Talking about Ramp Spells, this deck mostly relies in mono green land ramp to do the job: Nature's Lore and Three Visits will search any forest card, including forest shocklands and triomes, and will put them into play untapped if the land allows it. Search for Tomorrow, Rampant Growth and Sakura-Tribe Elder will work a bit slower but do the job early too searching basic lands for us. Cultivate, Kodama's Reach and Migration Path are a bit high CMC, but will grant us great ramp and fix, something essential in this deck. I also play Sylvan Scrying, although it isn't proper mana ramp, will help us to tutor one of our best lands, wich it always be useful.

As you can see, I don't rely on artifact mana ramp: I don't even play Sol Ring or Arcane Signet! This is because I wanted to experiment not using mana rocks that can be easily destroyed (I play in a meta with almost no Mass Land Destruction). About the lack of sol ring: For The First Sliver, Sol Ring doesn't help to play it sooner, and is also a 1 CMC spell that would reduce the probability to reach key low CMC spells with cascade! Sol Ring can fit better in sliver decks like The Overlord and The Queen (to help pay their abilities and support cards). (Despite my personal experiment, it's a fact to say that cards like Sol Ring or Arcane Signet are powerful mana base choices in every commander deck, don't stop using them except for justified causes ).

Talking about mana, we have to mention two of our key slivers, Gemhide Sliver and Manaweft Sliver, wich they will grant us a lot of mana if we have more slivers in play, and will also be key in late game combos and hyper-synergies.
And last, although they are more combo pieces than proper mana resources, I play Mana Echoes and Intruder Alarm. Mana Echoes will generate insane amounts of colorless mana for each sliver we cast, helping us to play more cards or activate sliver abilities, and Intruder Alarm will work perfectly with our mana generating slivers, allowing us to play more slivers, untap all our slivers, and keep generating more and more mana.

ENRICHING BIODIVERSITY: CASCADE

One of our main engines in our deck is the "Sliver Cascade Chain" that The First Sliver will grant to all of our slivers. This is what makes The First Sliver so unique to build against other sliver decks, as you'll try to structure your deck CMC, interaction cards and other slivers to fit into this big Cascade engine. Cascade is awesome and powerful, but is also difficult to control due to it's randomness.

The first thing we have to do to make a Cascade deck: cut Counterspells. Yep, cascading into a counterspell is one of the most disappointing things that you can experience. You'll obviously not play the counterspell, but the loss of playing a free card will have already occurred. If you love to play counterspells, at least you can try Modal Counterspells like Cryptic Command or Sublime Epiphany, wich allow you to use them in different ways if you reach them with cascade, but in my case I don't play them in my build.

The second thing we must do it's try to include a proper "Sliver CMC Curve". In this deck, having many slivers of many diferent CMCs will increase the probability of cascading into a bigger "Chain of Cacades", reaching more slivers or auxiliary cards. For example, playing Morophon, the Boundless could cascade into Fury Sliver, wich could cascade into Sliver Hivelord, this one into Root Sliver, this one into Frenetic Sliver, this one into Hibernation Sliver.... and so goes one until we reach a non-sliver spell or we can't cascade more low. The last example is unlikely, it's very dificult to obtain that much cascading slivers from a single cast, but if we work into the "Sliver CMC Curve", we'll be able to hit more slivers with each try. This is why this deck have a bit higher CMC slivers than other Sliver Commanders. For The First Sliver, the biggest any sliver is, the more probability to bring more friends will have. In other sliver decks, a high CMC sliver means a slow and underperforming play in EDH. With The First Sliver, it means card advantage and tempo advantage at the same time. Of course we don't want to abuse of high CMC cards, but having a bunch of big slivers to start bigger cascade chains will do the work.

The third key for the "Sliver Cascade Chain" abuse is the Cascade End. i'll explain myself: Any Cascade Chain will end into a 1 CMC /0 CMC cascade try. Any 2 CMC sliver we play (or we reach with cascade) will grant us this 1 CMC /0 CMC cascade. If we construct our deck thinking on this fact, we can put key cards on it that cost those low CMCs to consistently "tutor" them every game! In my case, I currently run only 3 cards with 1 or 0 CMC to do this: Ancestral Vision, to draw me 3 cards free, Worldly Tutor to tutor any Sliver I want free, and Galerider Sliver wich will give flying my slivers, but most important, will always cascade into Ancestral Vision. But you can seek any other strategy. Maybe you want to cascade into Brainstorm, Ponder, Mystical Tutor, Enlightened Tutor, Swords to Plowshares, Mox Tantalite, Wheel of Fate, Tormod's Crypt, Sol Ring, Mana Crypt.... there are many nice options. I just prefer Worldly Tutor just because it can give me the sliver I need in any game, and the 3 card draw from Ancestral Vision is TOP, almost feels like play Ancestral Recall hahaha! ;)

BREAKING EVOLUTION: THE COMBOS

Slivers are a nice stompy tribe, specially thanks to the First Sliver cascade, but not always is possible to win through combat. Many enemies will play control decks that can wipe the board multiple times or eliminate our most powerful slivers, or just making attack more difficult, and other times opponents will play lifegain decks that can make them survive until is too late for an stompy deck to win. But the high variaty of abilities slivers have means that certain combinations of slivers and other cards can build awesome combos to help us winning. In general I find combos a totally legit way of winning in any EDH Tier, although I also think they can be boring or anoying if abused, or specially if a commander deck can only always win through the same exact combo again and again. That's why combo isn't the main objetive of my First Sliver deck, but an alternative way of unlock games that are unfavorable for aggro or stompy decks. Here you have the combos I run:

1- The First Sliver + Hibernation Sliver + Morophon, the Boundless: Disclaimer, this isn't an infinite combo in all scenarios, but can become infinite or at least be gamechanging. With Morophon you can play The First Sliver free, getting cascade, and returning it to your hand with Hibernation Sliver by paying 2 life. You'll get a <4CMC cascade trigger every time you repeat this (only payign 2 life), but playing a big part of your deck, probably reaching Lavabelly Sliver, Syphon Sliver and Essence Sliver, obtaining an infinite way of gaining 2 life to infinitely bounce an sliver and play it free with Morophon until your opponents die with the Lavabelly damage, or just finding many dangerous slivers with haste and other useful abilities to do a powerful surprise attack. This combo works even better if you also have another Sliver Lord in play, as you will be able to bounce them instead the First Sliver, obtaining even more cascade triggers.

2- Sliver Queen + Basal Sliver + Lavabelly Sliver: With Sliver Queen, you can put a 1/1 sliver token, then sacrifice it using the Basal Sliver ability to generate and dealing damage to our opponents with Lavabelly Sliver. Then using those 2 manas, create another token and and so indefinitely until all your opponents die.

3- Sliver Queen + Mana Echoes + Lavabelly Sliver: With Sliver Queen, you can put a 1/1 sliver token, triggering the mana generation ability of Mana Echoes. Then using that mana, create more tokens indefinitely until all your opponents die thanks to the ETB effect of Lavabelly Sliver. If you don't have access to Lavabelly sliver, this combo also works with Cautery Sliver, just you have to wait a little until you have so many slivers and Mana Echoes generate so much mana that pay the sacrifice effect of Cautery Sliver isn't limiting.

4- Sliver Queen + Mana Echoes + Cloudshredder Sliver / Heart Sliver / Blur Sliver: Very similar to the previous combo, just this time instead sacrifying our sliver tokens, we just generate enough of them to attack with them later thanks to the haste one of our haste slivers grant.

5- Sliver Queen + Intruder Alarm + Mana sliver (Gemhide Sliver / Manaweft Sliver) + Haste sliver (like Heart Sliver, for example). This combo will grant you infinite mana and infinite sliver tokens. In general Intruder Alarm can be gamechanging if we have ways to make slivers enter the battlefield and we have mana slivers, but be careful as it can also help our opponents to assemble their own combos if they have synergies with it!

Those are the basic combos, but as you can imagine, they are capable of merging together or to find alternative ways of working by adding different slivers. Just be very aware that some slivers can make powerful abilities combinations too, even if they aren't infinite at all!

There are also much more ways of combo with Sliver Queen, but I didn't include them in this deck as they involve the inclussion or many non-sliver cards, and I prefer to play a more tribal path. But just to give you ideas, look for cards like: Training Grounds, Heartstone, Ashnod's Altar.... I'll not explain the combos but by just reading the cards I'm sure you can get the idea of how create infinite slivers/mana or damage with The Queen and some other slivers, specially the haste ones and the mana ones. And of course, remember that The First Sliver work very well in a Food Chain build, but this version of the deck will also need the inclussion or many non-sliver cards, and is also meant for a more cEDH enviroment.

AGONISTIC BEHAVIOUR: INTERACTION SPELLS

Being a feared tribe, slivers need to defend themselves from many control and removal cards. Due to our cascade engine, we had to cut some kinds of defensive spells like counterspells, and take advantage of the existence of many defensive slivers.
In my current deck, I've decided to go straight by playing fast and kill players suddenly, thanks to a fast ramp and an explosive board construction thanks to cascade chains, offering a powerful sliver army or just assembling one of the combos. That's why this deck has less interactive spells (Specially talking about removals). This is something than I'm still studying to balance in the future, experimenting if I can change some less important slivers for a bit more of removal and control spells.

Let's start with the control and removal cards:
Necrotic Sliver can use your slivers as bombs to remove any target permanent. Very useful in any situation. Constricting Sliver will transform your slivers into Oblivion Ring, helping to control temporarily any permanent. Austere Command is currently our only Mass Removal. Why? It's because is a Modal card, wich will fit in any situation, becoming many times an assymetric mass removal, as we can choose what modes benefit us more.
Harmonic Sliver will become an Aura Shards for slivers, capable to destroy bit by bit entire boards of enchantments and artifacts. Harmonic Sliver ETB isn't a May, so be careful: if there aren't more valid targets, it will destroy your own stuff. Fortunately, this deck plays only 3 enchantments and 0 artifacts, so this situation won't happen frequently. Some players fear to use Harmonic Sliver, but if you use it wisely, you will not have problems. If you cascade on it and you don't want to destroy your own stuff, no problem! cascade is a May. If you already have Harmonic on table and this will cause the destruction of an important enchanment of yours? No problem, use Cautery Sliver, Basal Sliver, Necrotic Sliver or Hibernation Sliver to get rid of him! Slivers always can adapt.

The mayority of our interaction section if occupied by deffensive cards, as our goal is to maintain our board of key slivers and combo pieces:Hibernation Sliver will save any sliver from death, exile or mind control, and is also both a way to replay slivers for cascade and a combo piece. Root Sliver will become a pain for any counterspell control player. Ward Sliver will give protection from one color to our slivers! Ideal to fight against boards with a prevalent color, or just monocolored decks. Sedge Sliver will pump a little our slivers but most importantly will give them a regeneration ability. Crystalline Sliver will aslo prevent our slivers being targeted by any removal or control spell or ability. Sliver Hivelord will make them our slivers indestructible, very powerful specially in combat situations. Spiteful Sliver will punish damage-based removals, transforming them into a danger for their users. In addition to our defensive slivers, Teferi's Protection and Heroic Intervention will protect our board from catastrophes, and Release to the Wind will save one of our permanents from anything, letting us to play it later. Release to the Wind is specially usefull in this deck: Can delay our opponents by targeting a permanent they control, can save a permanent we control, and if we have the bad luck to cascade on it, we can use it to reuse an sliver freely later, granting us another cascade or ETB effect.

We also have two slivers to try keeìng our life total high: Syphon Sliver, Essence Sliver will transform all the damage we deal with our slivers into large amounts of life. Due to wording, Essence Sliver doesn't give slivers lifelink, so this means that it will stack with any lifelink effect like Syphon Sliver!

Another wat to protect the Hive in a more drastic way are sacrifice outlets: Cautery Sliver, Basal Sliver, Necrotic Sliver. It seems silly but having a sacrifice outlet to prevent a key sliver to be stealed or exiled it's very soothing. Sure, it will go to the graveyard, but we can finds in this deck to recover it, for example Patriarch's Bidding and Pulmonic Sliver. Patriarch's Bidding is a very powerful card in this deck to recover a late game. It's common to face slowed games due to Mass Removal, but this usually means that tons of slivers will amass in our graveyard, and Patriarch's Bidding will transform this into a probable victory, specially if we hit some haste slivers or some of the combos of the deck.

Last, we have to mention that this deck has access to some creature tutors: Homing Sliver, Sliver Overlord, Worldly Tutor and Congregation at Dawn. These tutors will help us find specific slivers to fight against specific threats.



Hi, thanks for taking a look, I pretend to develop this article in the future! I'll appretiate if you comment to give more ideas both about decktech and lore!

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54% Casual

46% Competitive

Top Ranked
Date added 11 months
Last updated 2 months
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

7 - 0 Mythic Rares

52 - 0 Rares

18 - 0 Uncommons

14 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.38
Tokens Sliver 1/1 C
Folders 1- RA_HORAKHTE EDH DECKS, Good decks, Other's Commander Decks, EDH
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