With seven new cards in M15, Slivers aren’t back in a big way, but at least there is some way to expand the hive a little, while the new Uncommon Slivers are also reasonable on their own. Despite what is shown on the Sliver Hive card, these are all ‘predator’ style slivers, from Shandalaar, which is a shame. But maybe Wizards still had some art around from the last Core Set. So, what are the new toys we’re going to get? Let’s take a look at the new adaptations of the hive.
First up is the white one, Constricting Sliver. On it’s own, it’s a twice as expensive, but slightly bigger Banisher Priest. But he makes other Slivers priests as well, and if you have multiples, they will start exiling multiple times as well. is a lot to spend on one Sliver though, and het doesn’t directly beat an opponent. You might just as well use Megantic Sliver or Bonescythe Sliver and bring the beatdown at this point. There are some situations you’d need to remove something, so this helps. The cost just hurts the ‘strength by numbers’ philosophy the Slivers thrive on. At least the rest of them are quicker to play:
The blue entry is a lot more affordable, and does it’s best to channel Crystalline Sliver, which made counter-sliver a deck at some point. Not quite Shroud, not quite Hexproof, but experience with Frost Titan learns that sometimes opponents forget about it and get the math wrong and see their spells countered. With spells that can target multiple Slivers, like Frost Breath, it’s even easier to fall into this trap. And if they are paying attention, even then it simply makes removing your Slivers slightly more difficult, which is a good thing as Slivers tend to work best when you have a lot of them on the battlefield.
Also affordable, with an ability that grows exponentially is Leeching Sliver, which has assimilated the Pulse Tracker ability into the hive. Having two attack already drains 4 life before they’re even blocked and it helps Slivers to get around Fog effects. So, it’s another Predatory Sliver/Muscle Sliver with some upsides, while being worse in creature combat. That’s okay, because there is also:
It’s the Sliver version of Goblin War Drums. While it’s not completely foolproof, it’s extra evasion. This and the ability of the green Sliver won’t stack like the other effects. It’s a tribal-relevant Grey Ogre that may force some difficult blocks and it keeps some of your Slivers alive in combat. It also combines quite well with the new green Sliver:
While it seems just a small thing, deathtouch is an amazing thing for Slivers. It makes attacking very lethal with Thorncaster Sliver, when you can ping potential blockers and kill them on the spot. Striking Sliver‘s First Strike combines with deathtouch both offensively and defensively, and the mighty Groundshaker Sliver combines deathtouch with trample, making blocking Slivers costly and futile. Venom Sliver’s ability doesn’t stack in any meaningful way, but redundancy is not a bad thing.
I can’t see how Hastric, Thunian Scout ran into some problems here. Only the Constricting Sliver seems to suffer from it’s cost, the rest is spot-on. Especially the Slivers from the Jund () colours, which have a lot of synergy in dominating combat.
It would have been cool if, like the cycle of ‘Soul’ creatures, there was a 6th one in artifact, but at least there is a Sliver land and a new Hive Lord, and these 7 cards are far more than expected from this set. Now there’s hoping eventually Wizards comes up with a card for poor Hastric.