I remember in high school playing a game during the breakfast period when a member of our play group throw down the latest copy of InQuest. It was talking about Tempest, the set that was coming out next. See in the long long ago, before the Internet connected nearly everyone, nearly everywhere, magazines were a thing that existed. It’s how we got spoilers for the newest sets, and hype was built off the glossy pages. Of course, stuff like UseNET existed, but none of us really used it, and for my group, we were rapidly approaching that exciting time where everything was a whirlwind and colleges needed to be visited. I however, had everything figured out. I accepted a scholarship to the University of Louisville before my senior year started and did just enough work to actually graduate that year. Everyone else was busy, I however, was drawn to the idea of Slivers as a creature type. InQuest (which called Necropotence one of the worst cards every printed, and tried to make the color purple a thing in an earlier issue that year) hyped up Slivers. They were a never before seen creature type. They all had abilities that made each other creature of the type stronger.
It was a super cool thing for a 17 year old to daydream about. Especially in one of the many elective courses I took my last year.
Slivers went on to be the real deal. They found tournament success across multiple formats. Modern has an Aether Vial based Sliver list that from time to time comes up. Extended had CounterSlivers, which I think eventually turned in to Meathooks in Legacy. Either way it was a tempo based deck that took advantage of the cheap creatures that got better with others, and the cheaper (free) countermagic that the formats offered. There was even a Premium Deck Series for Slivers as well!
Pauper has been the best home for Slivers recently. While the format is overwhelmed with blue decks, this little Green white deck does the best job that it can. Featuring a full twelve lords, the creatures start small and grow at an alarming rate. Let’s check out the deck!
This deck exists because Muscle Sliver, it’s colorshifted cousin, Sinew Sliver, and its weird uncle, Predatory Sliver all do the same thing. For two mana either 1G or 1W, you get a 1/1 that depending on which one you cast, either gives all slivers +1/+1 or all slivers you control the same bonus. So you’re getting 2/2s in essence, and then they just grow from there. Plated Sliver gives a defensive bonus, just a +1 on the toughness, and Sidewinder Sliver gives all Slivers flanking, which gives blocking creatures -1/-1, making blocks harder to do to actually kill in combat. Standard Bearer is here as well, as a one of. It makes certain matchups a bit easier, Hexproof has a hard time winning for example, when all the auras that they would play on their Bogle instead go to the Standard Bearer. Having it as a one of with Adventurous Impulse and Commune with Nature seems fine. Those are quality spells when it comes to either fixing your mana or finding a threat, though they are not a true tutor.
The rest of the deck is filled with pump spells. Mutagenic Growth is a Phyrexian Mana costed instant that gives +2/+2, and Vines of Vastwood naturally gives your creature “hexproof” and kicked a +4/+4 bonus. Journey to Nowhere rounds out the deck as a bit of removal, which is nice, because you should be wrapping the game up quickly after storming out of the gates with a growing insect army.
If you’re looking for something cool to play in Pauper, I would recommend this. Growing armies in a can can be hard for decks in the format to deal with, especially when mass removal seems to be damage based, and as long as your team has a higher toughness, those mass removal spells are pretty much dead draws right?
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