Commander Masters is the first “Masters Set” for the EDH format. It’s not only is it bringing some exciting reprints (which you can check out here) but it’ll also have four new Commander Precons. One of those precons is a five-color Sliver deck, “Sliver Swarm” and it is the topic of today’s article.
Sliver Swarm releases along with Commander Masters on August 4th, 2023. It has a WUBRG (White, Blue, Black, Red, Green) color identity and will contain 10 brand-new, non-reprint cards, including the commander.
With some of the basics out of the way, let’s move on to the good stuff. Today I’ll be covering Sliver Tribal in general, what I think we will and won’t see in the precon, speculate on some spicy reprints, and give you some suggestions for cards to pick up now that might go up in price when these decks drops. If you have any interest in Sliver Swarm at all, you’ve come to the right place. Without further ado, let’s jump in.
You can find all the most played cards and top commanders on the archetypes edhrec page found here.
What Is Sliver Tribal?
“Tribal” is a term that refers to a deck built around a particular creature sub-type. It will usually play cards that revolve around creatures of the given type, or cards that bolster those creatures’ abilities and/or stats. Here are some examples, Legion Lietenant is a Vampire tribal card, Champion of the Parish benefits from playing Humans, and The Scarab God wants you to play Zombies. And these are just a few examples, there are nearly countless tribes that you can build and several different ways to build many of them.
So, Sliver Tribal decks revolve around creatures with the Sliver creature type. And they have some of the most unique methods of going about rewarding you for playing Slivers. One of the main ones is ability sharing between creatures – Think of them as having a hive mind that lets them share their abilities.
The tribe is also fairly unique for being firmly in all five of the colors on the color pie. They’re not the only ones, Dragons and Humans for example also have good creatures of every color. However, most tribes are limited to a couple of colors. Not only do Slivers have a fair amount of creatures in each color, but they also have several cards that contain all five colors.
The First Sliver offers yet another way to approach the build by adding Cascade into the mix – Whenever you Cascade into one it triggers and can allow you to chain multiple spells together.
The New Precon – Possible Strategies And Cards
We don’t have any official details as to what the precon will contain, its strategy, or the cards it’ll contain. However, we do have the name. And while it’s not a lot to go on, I’m going to run with it and try and deduce a possible strategy and what existing cards may support it.
In my experience, there are two ways to build Slivers – Go wide or Combo. The “Swarm” part of the title implies a go-wide strategy to me. If this is the case, the deck will seek to assemble a critical mass of Slivers on
Cards I Expect To See
So, let’s assume that the precon won’t be combo based and therefore will care about attacking. Here are some cards that I think we’ll see and why. It’s important to realize that when you have a few Slivers on
You can’t beat evasion and giving your entire
This is another classic card for the tribe. If you’re keener on modern-day terminology, this says “All Slivers have Haste.” Yes, all Slivers, not just yours. They changed the wording around 2015 to where the newer cards would only affect your
As far as the effect itself goes, it’s good. But as I mentioned, the deck sort of plays with pseudo Haste anyways. So, it isn’t quite as powerful here as it would be in another archetype. There is also another card with a similar ability, Firewake Sliver.
If you thought either of the effects mentioned above was cool, you’ll love this one. Cloudshredder is Haste and Flying for all your Slivers for only two mana, which is pretty insane. I won’t go over the benefits of the two abilities ad nauseam since I covered them individually above. But in short, two great abilities on a single card is hard to beat.
I don’t know if all three of these cards will make their way into the deck but one or two probably will. They’re simple and can be effective under the right circumstances. There’s also Megantic Sliver and Might Sliver which give bigger boosts but cost more mana. In my experience with the Tribe, you actually don’t want too many of these lord effects. After all, there are only so many slots in a deck and there are lots of good effects other than +1/+1 boosts.
This makes life very hard for your opponent. Anytime someone attacks you, you’ll have a ton of damage to throw around if you have Spiteful Sliver in play and want to block. I once had a player attack me with an 8/10 Kemba, Kha Regent, and by chump blocking, I was able to KO another player with that damage. If you’ve played with or against Stuff Doll you’ll know how good effects like this can be.
Being able to blow up artifacts and/or enchantments is a must in EDH so I’m sure this will find its way into the 99 of Sliver Swarm. However, this isn’t a “may” ability so keep that in mind. What I mean by this is that with this in play, you’ll have to destroy an artifact or enchantment whenever this triggers… And if you’re the only player who controls one, well, you’ve still got to blow it up.
Gemhide Sliver & Manaweft Sliver
Both of these cards are insane in a devoted Sliver strategy (where else would they even see play?) and I hope that both make it into the deck. I think at least one should, but I hope WOTC includes both of them. They’re essentially mana dorks that turn all your other creatures into mana dorks as well. And each creature that was already on
Drawing cards is good in MTG, especially in Commander, and this card can do just that; Quite well I might add. If you’ve ever come across Reconnaissance Mission or Bident of Thassa this effect may seem familiar. It is just essentially a Sliver-specific version of them. Overall, the effect is straightforward and very powerful – Attack, deal damage, draw cards, and repeat.
Other Honorable Mentions
Here are a few more cards that are generally good for a Slivers deck when it’s on the attack/go-wide game plan. Much like the ones mentioned above, each of these bestows some gift to your
Cards I don’t Expect To See
There’s not really much that I think couldn’t go into the precon but there are a few things.
I know what you’re thinking, “Of course, this won’t be reprinted… It’s on the Reserved List.” Correct. It is. But I still included it here for newer players who aren’t familiar with the RL or anyone who may not have known it was on the list at all. That said, maybe Wizards will give us a special gold-backed, non-official, Commander Masters version that will circumvent that restriction. That’s sarcasm but I suppose you really never know these days.
Sliver Overlord is one of the OG Commanders for the archetype and has a price tag to reflect that, at around $40. So, first, I don’t think this will find its way into the deck based on its value but it would be cool if I was wrong. But I doubt it because even aside from the price having a repeatable tutor effect in the command zone might be a little much right out of the box.
I don’t think this would break the precons but they usually don’t include tutors in these decks. And I don’t know if they’ll start now. Perhaps if each deck has a cheap tutor it would be fair but unless that’s the case I think they’ll leave this one. After all, being able to run a toolbox-style strategy where you discard whichever cards aren’t what you want and replace them with your best Slivers is pretty powerful.
Dryad of the Ilysain Grove
This archetype is almost always run with all five colors and Sliver Swarm is without question. Therefore, mana-fixing and making sure you have access to all five colors is very important. There will be 100% will be cards that serve this purpose (Chromatic Lanten for example) but I don’t the Dryad will be one of them.
Sliver Legion, Sliver Hivelord & The First Sliver
I think we will see one of these cards show up as the secondary commander for the deck. If I had to guess, I would say it’s most likely to be The First Sliver. However, I could make a small case for Sliver Legion too. If WOTC wants this type of anthem effect in the deck I could see them adding this as it’s actually cheaper than Coat of Arms at the moment.
That said, I don’t think it’s the kind of backup commander they’ll be looking for. Overall, The First Sliver is the more intriguing choice and would allow the deck to be piloted in a different way. So, I think it’s favored for a reprint. Regardless of which one gets it though, the two won’t be included.
Nowadays most commander precons have a reprint value of around $95. Given that Commander Masters is a special set, I’m going to say these decks are going to have an overall reprint value somewhere north of that. For simplicity, I’ll say $100. Here are some of the high-value cards that may help hit that mark.
- Vanquisher’s Banner – $13
- Kindred Discovery – $8
- Crystalline Sliver – $6
- Galerider Sliver -$5
- Syphon Sliver – $8
- Horned Sliver – $6.50
- The First Sliver – $25
- Sliver Hive – $13
Cards You Should Pick Up Before Sliver Swarm Releases
Assuming that you want to buy the deck when it releases and upgrade it here are a few cards I recommend getting before the deck releases. To be clear, these are cards that I don’t think will get reprinted in the deck that you’ll definitely want to include. If my guesses are accurate, you should save some money by buying them now.
There are some many possible Slivers that may or may not see reprints here that it’s somewhat hard to speculate on single cards. Be that as it may, I have a few really solid picks.
Jegantha, the Wellspring
This one is as close to a shoo-in as it gets folks. If you haven’t noticed, Slivers meet this requirement naturally. There really are no Sliver that shares more than one of the same mana symbol. This means that Jegantha is all upside and has very little downside. Most people buying the precon and upgrading it are going to want to run this as a companion. And there’s almost no chance it gets a reprint here. So, get it while the getting is good.
As mentioned above, I don’t think we’ll see this reprinted because it offers a bit too much versatility and consistency for a reconstructed deck. As a result, you’ll definitely want to slot it in once you get the deck. It’s only $0.25, and I don’t imagine it’ll have a huge spike but I’m sure it’ll go up some.
WOTC just printed a ton of poison counter related stuff into the format with the recent Corrupting Influence precon so I don’t see them going out of their way to add to it with this card. Like the one mentioned above, this card is cheap but if you’re looking to splash some Infect into your Sliver build after release it doesn’t hurt to get it now.
Related: Corrupting Influence – Commander Precon Upgrade Guide
Official Deck List
We don’t have deck lists just yet. However, when they drop, you’ll find them here.
More Commander Masters Content
Here are similar articles for the other precons if you’re interested:
I’m stoked to have a Sliver Tribal precon on the horizon. All of the Legendary Slivers have been quite expensive, and considering you need a five-color mana base as well, this was an expensive tribe to build. Assuming the Commander Masters precons don’t get too crazy in price, this will give a lot of people a chance to play the archetype at a reasonable price point.
I hope you’ve found today’s article helpful in understanding how the archetype works and what we’re likely to see from the precon. Until next time, get out there and play some commander!