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Much Abrew: Four-Color Slivers (Historic)

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. One of the best parts of Jumpstart: Historic Horizons is that the set has powered up a bunch of lower-tier tribes and even brought some new tribes to the Historic format. One of these tribes is everyone's favorite horde of meat cleavers: Slivers! During spoiler season, I was skeptical that Jumpstart: Historic Horizons would be enough to make Slivers playable in Historic. After all, before Jumpstart: Historic Horizons, quite literally zero Slivers were legal in Historic. But Slivers are a really fun tribe, so I decided to put together a Sliver deck to see just how good they might be and was pleasantly surprised. While the tribe can be inconsistent at times, it's also incredibly expensive and can do some really crazy things with its best draws! So today, we're going to take the Sliver tribe out for a spin so you can see them in action. How good are Slivers in Historic? Let's find out on this week's Much Abrew About Nothing

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Much Abrew: Four-Color Slivers

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  • Record-wise, we went 3-2 with Slivers, which I was pretty happy with. We got to see both the good and the bad of the deck in Historic. The good is some crazy, combo-esque turns when we have haste from Cloudshredder Sliver and mana from Manaweft Sliver and basically dump our entire hand on Turn 3 or 4. The bad comes against removal-heavy decks. Because all Slivers are underpowered as standalone cards since their gimmick is that they all power each other up by giving all other Slivers their abilities, if our opponent can minimize the number of Slivers on the battlefield with removal, we're mostly left playing 1/1s and 2/2s that don't do much of anything. 
  • To head off a question that I'm sure will come up in the comments, why no The First Sliver? I really agonized over whether The First Sliver should be in the deck. It is probably the most powerful Sliver in the Historic format. But in the end, there were two reasons why it didn't make the cut. The first is mana. While we're technically Four-Color Slivers, in reality, we're Naya Slivers splashing Diffusion Sliver for protection. Without fetch lands, building a full-on five-color mana base (especially for an aggro deck) is tough in Historic. We can get away with adding Diffusion Sliver thanks to Sliver Hive and Unclaimed Territory. We can cast it if we draw just one of the five-color lands; plus, we have Manaweft Sliver to help. The First Sliver makes things even tougher since we'll need both blue and black mana, which basically means we need to draw two copies of Sliver Hive and / or Unclaimed Territory to cast it, which is asking for a lot. The second reason is that Collected Company is really powerful and much easier to cast than The First Sliver is. While we theoretically could play both, we want as many Collected Company hits as possible, and since we'd have to cut cheaper Slivers to make room for The First Sliver, the end result would be weakening our CoCos. I do think that The First Sliver will get there in Historic eventually. Once Cavern of Souls is added to the format (which I'm sure will happen eventually, and potentially fairly soon, considering how much people love tribal decks and how much people hate Memory Leak), it will get a lot easier to make the mana work.
  • Speaking of Collected Company, much like with Shamans, we often want to cast it during our main phase even though it's an instant. If we spin into a haste Sliver, we can attack with everything right away, which is huge. Plus, cards like Predatory Sliver and Belligerent Sliver are at their best if they are on the battlefield during combat. Against control, it's sometimes best to wait until our opponent's turn, in order to play around counters. But if counters aren't a concern, slam your Collected Companies during your pre-combat main phase.
  • Historic Slivers basically is the same as Modern or even Legacy Slivers, just much less consistent. All of the key pieces—mana Slivers, Sliver lords, and haste Slivers—exist in Historic. The big issue is that there isn't much redundancy. In older formats, there are at least two versions of most Slivers (for example, Gemhide Sliver basically is the same as Manaweft Sliver, Sinew Sliver and Muscle Sliver are the same as Predatory Sliver, etc.). This means that with our best draws, it feels pretty much like we're playing Modern Slivers. But thanks to the lack of redundancy, we don't get these draws as often as we do in other formats. 
  • The most powerful thing the deck can do is get Manaweft Sliver on the battlefield alongside Cloudshredder Sliver or Blur Sliver. All of our Slivers tapping for mana and having haste means that we can do some really crazy things, where we play a Sliver and immediately tap it for mana to cast another Sliver, allowing us to empty our hand at lightning speed and hopefully kill the opponent.
  • Maybe the most surprising Sliver in the deck was Spiteful Sliver. The ability to turn all of our Slivers into Stuffy Dolls is really strong against creature decks. On offense, it means we can chump attack into big blockers, and if our opponent blocks, they'll likely end up taking even more damage than if they don't block, essentially making our Slivers unblockable in some situations. On defense, it's a hilarious way to prevent huge attacks from things like Muxus, Goblin Grandee. If our opponent chooses to attack, we can chump block and throw a massive amount of damage back at our opponent's face!
  • So, should you play Slivers in Historic? The tribe was better than I expected, that's for sure, although they are also very inconsistent. With good draws, the deck feels close to unbeatable, but with bad draws, we don't do much of anything. I think Slivers are a fun lower-tier option for now, although as more Slivers are added to the Historic format (and more lands to improve the mana and make it easier to play five-color decks), the tribe should improve, and I wouldn't be surprised if we had a legitimate competitive Sliver deck eventually!


Anyway, that's all for today. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at

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