Hello again, everyone. Goblins, Elves and Rebels are all very strong tribal decks in Premodern, but what if you’re looking for something a little more…spicy? This week we’re going to explore one of the most beloved creature types from the early days of Magic: Slivers!
CounterSliver was actually one of the most popular tempo decks in the Extended of old. It used the synergy and efficiency of Slivers, backed up by disruption and cheap countermagic to play a classic aggro-control game. Let’s take a look at my Premodern version:
This build is pretty similar to the old Extended deck, except Force of Will is gone, and the manabase has to be rejiggered without the original dual lands. Fortunately, we have another good tempo card to replace Force of Will that also helps a lot to smooth out the mana in a five-color deck: Mox Diamond. Mox Diamond helps a lot with casting our Slivers, and makes them come out of the gate even faster, starting on turn one.
The Slivers are what makes the deck tick, so let’s break those down. No Sliver Queens or Sliver Overlords to be seen here, in fact nothing in the maindeck is over 2 CMC!
• Crystalline Sliver is probably the best Sliver in the deck, as it makes all your Slivers untargetable and thus very difficult for your opponent to remove.
• Hibernation Sliver gives your Slivers another form of resilience to removal, allowing you to bounce them back to your hand at the cost of two life.
• Muscle Sliver is our Sliver “lord”, pumping all of our Slivers and turning them into even more formidable threats.
• Winged Sliver is another one that I decided to max out on with the full four copies, because flying is incredibly strong in Premodern. There are not a lot of fliers that regularly see play in the format, making flying pretty close to “unblockable”.
• Acidic Sliver slots in as a one-of, giving you some reach to finish off your opponent, or the ability to take out key creatures when needed.
• Meddling Mage is our honorary “Sliver”, and although it doesn’t benefit from any of the Sliver synergies, it makes our disruptive game plan even more robust, along with the four copies of Duress to check the opponent’s hand. There are quite a few combo decks that have a very hard time beating a resolved Chris Pikula pre-board.
Rounding out the deck we have Counterspells, Swords to Plowshares and Seal of Cleansing to deal with whatever our opponent might throw at us.
The sideboard is pretty straightforward, but note the three copies of Worship, along with an extra land to help get up to the 3W casting cost. Worship + Crystalline Sliver is nigh unbeatable for some aggro decks.
I realized that I haven’t really done any budget decks yet, so as a bonus I wanted to throw out this Red/Green Sliver beatdown deck. It’s super cheap to pick up and can play a pretty robust aggro game. Play Slivers, pump them up, beat down or burn them out for the win!
That’s all for today. As always, please feel free to hit me up with feedback in the Premodern Facebook group, or on Instagram @mtgdojoera.