How They Brew It – Mind Hives

Michael Celani • April 13, 2022

Sliver Overlord | Illustrated by Justine Jones

Welcome! If this series of audiovisual images is flooding through your consciousness in a manner incongruous with your previous lived experiences, then let me be the first to say “Congratulations!” You’ve been deemed capable enough to be assimilated into the Sliver Hivemind in a manner other than as sustenance. We’re proud to have you as part of our winning team!

The success of our business isn’t just thanks to our world-class quality, blazing-fast service, or squeaky-clean facilities. We succeed because we’ve embodied our core values for over one hundred thousand years, which allows us to live up to the high standards our customers have come to expect from us. We strive to make every encounter with the Sliver Hivemind a memorable and satisfying experience for all of our patrons. None of this is possible without you, our humble drone, so keep watching to learn the ins-and-outs of your new livelihood!


Fried Sliver

Good afternoon, everyone! My name is Michael Celani, and I take pride in my position as your new general manager. Though some may find our advertising and hiring practices to be a bit extreme, you can’t argue with over 65 million served daily.

All this is thanks to our Sliver Overlord, who started the original Sliver Queen restaurant in Idaho in 1997. They were great at finding and keeping the talent that makes for a successful hivemind, and with enough threats of physical violence behind it, the franchise grew to the multi-billion dollar enterprise it is today!

 

Employee Handbook

Think of your coworkers as your new family, and remember to treat them with the same respect you’d want for yourself. Technically, they are, because you’re part of one single, interlinked being now!

Our employees are the lifeblood of our business, because we use them to coerce more customers to visit our restaurants and they’re also what we serve when they do. Our Sliver Overlord can fish up any one of these up tasty creatures on the fly:

  • Muscle Sliver, Sinew Sliver, and Bonesplitter Sliver are all standard Slivers that make the typically weak creatures a bit more powerful in combat.
    • Of course, these buffs are just a side dish to Sliver Legion‘s (and Coat of Arms‘s) filet mignon, which boosts the stats of your Slivers based on how many of them there are.
  • If your opponent is walling you off and you want to avoid direct confrontations, try getting past their defenses by summoning Winged Sliver or Shifting Sliver.
  • You might prefer forcing blocks by threatening a huge Magma Sliver activation, too. Swing wide and pump those that are unblocked to deal some significant damage!
  • Alternatively, if you need extra mana, Manaweft Sliver can do the trick by turning all your creatures into dorks.
  • Crypt Sliver works the graveyard shift, in that it prevents the rest of your Slivers from going to the graveyard. It’s extraordinarily cheap to cast, and the activation is free!
  • All three of those Slivers benefit from Heart Sliver, which will let you activate those abilities as soon as they hit the battlefield.
  • Slivers will be entering the battlefield a lot, too; you’ve got Hibernation Sliver as a way to bounce your creatures in response to a threat, and you can even pair it with Harmonic Sliver and Dormant Sliver for some extra value.
  • Sliver Hivelord straight-up makes your Slivers indestructible, which helps against one of their traditional counters in board wipes.
  • Finally, Morophon, the Boundless is technically a Sliver, so you can search it up to make some Slivers entirely free – including Hibernation Sliver and even your commander!

 

New Hires

Occasionally, you’ll need someone with a special set of skills outside your Sliver selection, so use Arcane Adaptation and Maskwood Nexus to turn all the creature cards in your library into Slivers. This means Sliver Overlord will be able to fetch them using its activated ability!

Once you find those cards, try to search up Biomancer’s Familiar as soon as you can so you can slash the price of finding new talent to . I can’t stress how powerful this feels; it literally triples your ability to pull cards from your library!

You may also find Artificial Evolution useful to you. Target Tyrite Sanctum to change the word God to Sliver, so you can sacrifice it to give any Sliver you want an indestructible counter, or turn any creature into a Sliver. Alternatively, if you’ve got the budget for it, try changing the word “Faerie” on Bitterblossom to Sliver – Bitterblossom itself becomes a Sliver, meaning the effects of Crypt Sliver and Magma Sliver apply to it, too!

 

Goadin’ Arches

Remember, the first thing a patron sees when they pass through those double doors is a terrifying, fleshy monstrosity. A positive attitude goes a long way in getting our customers to come through that door again and again!

Sometimes, our potential sales will have too many blockers competitors in front of them for us to make a substantial impression. That’s okay! All we have to do is goad all their creatures, and by the time it’s your turn again, we’ll be able to easily serve up some smiles.

  • If there’s one creature you want out of commission no matter what, attach Bloodthirsty Blade to it. This is especially effective against Voltron players if you can catch their commander with it before they get hexproof or shroud.
  • Komainu Battle Armor can attach itself directly to a Winged Sliver to goad all the creatures of whomever it hits. It’s also a decent attacker on its own thanks to menace.
    • Marisi, Breaker of the Coil works in a similar way, but extends the effect to any creature you control. Get three dorks through with Shifting Sliver, kick your feet up, and watch your competition knock eachother out while you wait to strike back.
  • Kardur, Doomscourge is our best goad creature, since it affects all of our opponents at once, has a huge payoff for attacking creatures dying, and if you turn it into a Sliver with something like Amoeboid Changeling, you can return it to your hand using Hibernation Sliver‘s ability to do it all over again.
    • Disrupt Decorum is a decent one-time effect here too, though it’s substantially harder to recur.
  • If all that doesn’t work, your opponents will have significantly fewer ways to handle Geode Rager, since it’s much easier to play a land than it is to hit them in the face and you’ll always have priority after it hits the battlefield for you to play a land.

 

A New Franchise

We here at the Sliver Hivemind believe that a direct mental connection with all of our drones is the best for our customers, our overlords, and most importantly—you. If you notice any early warning signs of organization, including any demands for a living wage or not to be mentally connected to their superiors, contact your nearest hunter squad immediately.

So you might think that all we do now is swing out with our Slivers to take out our opponents, right? Wrong! Think about it: why Heart Sliver instead of Blur Sliver? Why Bonesplitter Sliver instead of Cleaving Sliver? Why Winged Sliver instead of Galerider Sliver?

It’s time to learn about our motto, which is A.B.A: Always be assimilating.

Sure, goading all our enemy creatures may remove blockers for us next turn, but why let that attack go to waste? With Sliver Legion or Coat of Arms on the field, all we’d have to do is cast Shields of Velis Vel to turn all of our opponent’s attacking creatures into Slivers, tremendously increasing their danger. Make sure you cast it only after attackers are declared, because otherwise they may decide to wimp out by tapping everything to something like Crypt Sliver.

The best part? Since Shields of Velis Vel is itself a Sliver, Sliver Overlord can search it out at instant speed!

The second best part?

You can just take your opponent’s creatures after combat. They’re Slivers, after all.

Sliver Overload

For those of you keeping track, the word Sliver appears 95 times in this article, meaning those of you who bet under on 100 won! Of course, gambling is strictly prohibited within the hivemind. We do not assimilate addictive personalities for this reason. You wouldn’t happen to be addicted to opening packs, would you?


Mind Hives (Sliver Overlord EDH)

Commander (1)
Creatures (24)
Sorceries (9)
Instants (12)
Artifacts (14)
Enchantments (3)
Lands (37)

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Newly appointed member of the FDIC and insured up to $150,000 per account, Michael Celani is the member of your playgroup that makes you go "oh no, it's that guy again." He's made a Twitter account @GamesfreakSA as well as other mistakes, and his decks have been featured on places like MTGMuddstah. You can join his Discord at https://discord.gg/xWWqD2G8Fj and vote on which decks you want to see next. In addition to writing, he has a job, other hobbies, and friends.