Sliver Hivelord Commander Deck Tech

Unsummoned Skull • May 30, 2024

Sliver Hivelord by Aleksi Briclot

Sliver Hivelord provides the perfect commander to unite the colors of Magic, old and new. Join the Hive Mind and connect telepathically with those who have known for years the power of the hook-faced horrors and their predator-esque descendants.

In the nascent days of Commander, the original forms of the multicolored menace shared abilities with all members of the creature type, tossing around keywords like Coat of Arms buffs. It got to the point where players would run silver bullet (or Sliver bullet) creatures to either share in the buffs or, in the case of Shadow Sliver, sneak in their own sleeper agents, secretly making the Slivers unable to block! Slivers have changed a lot over the years, adding more and more tools, resulting in gaining resilience, selfishness, backup plans, and a new body type. 

Keyword Slivers

If there's one thing Slivers are known for, it's sharing keywords. Trying to unpack a Sliver board takes a special kind of talent... or a notepad. Better yet, use an InfiniToken (not a paid spokesman; just a fan). Some provide defensive abilities, like the indestructibility from our commander and the ever-frustrating shroud from Crystalline Sliver. Others enable the beatdown, like haste and flying from Cloudshredder Sliver and double strike from Bonescythe Sliver.

Sliver abilities are incredibly versatile, enabling the hive mind to use all five colors to take advantage of opponents' vulnerabilities. Opponent gaining lots of life? Virulent Sliver adds poison to the mix. Dealing with a board of blockers? Galerider Sliver and Shifting Sliver give flying and a form of unblockability. No matter what, Slivers find a way, and they communicate that way to each other for big damage.

As insectoid and alien as they look, never forget that Slivers have heart. Heart Sliver, that is! Giving haste is a powerful ability, especially when several have abilities that require tapping. Even without that, though, haste enables beatdowns, and being able to add keywords and power to the board without players being able to adjust adds to the unpredictability of facing Slivers!

Some abilities straddle the line between offense and defense, enabling Slivers to absorb some of the heat they send other places. The deathtouch from Venom Sliver dissuades opponents from both blocking and attacking. If they attack, deathtouch assures that they trade at best, and if they don't, they still won't have profitable blocks, and we can attack with impunity.

Power Slivers

Adding abilities is wonderful, but adding power is where the real gameplan of Slivers coalesces. Small creatures with evasion or defensive abilities can be found in other colors, but Sliver Legion enables Slivers to have access to exponential power increase without the risk of a Coat of Arms. There are also several lords, like Predatory Sliver, that pass out layers of buffs.

Regal Sliver adds another level to the buffs, being a lord if we have the Monarch and allowing Slivers to regain it if it's lost. As a go-wide strategy with several ways to grant evasion, most turns should end with an extra card, and encouraging opponents to attack each other to take the monarch means more damage we don't have to deal.

Firewake Sliver is another source of haste as well as a way to bring the beatdown. Back in the day, Fires of Yavimaya was a dominant beatdown card. It turns out, putting its ability on a creature type known for beating down is pretty solid. It does cost a generic mana to sacrifice a superficial Sliver for damage, but it can be activated at instant speed. That means that we can declare attackers, wait for opponents to pass priority in the declare blocks step, then pop our blocked creatures to deal extra damage!

Firewake gets even better when we can tap our creatures for mana to use for the generic cost. Manaweft Sliver and Gemhide Sliver both provide this ability, as does Cryptolith Rite, albeit on an enchantment. Not only does this fix our mana, but it accelerates the gameplan, powering out the most powerful goldfishes.

Card Selection

Slivers are a deceptively complicated deck to pilot. Mixing and matching abilities, trying to find just the right cocktail of evasion and power to remain the beatdown when the table knows exactly what you're doing, and kajiggering a five-color manabase is a tough balancing act in a power-crept world. Being able to swap irrelevant Slivers for ones with the right abilities for the situation is what Homing Sliver specializes in, ironically giving Slivers of the future what they need to compete using a blast from a past set called Future Sight.

Shamanic Revelation is a bit of a "Rich get Richer" or "Win More" card, as having enough bodies to draw a decent amount of cards means that we should already be doing pretty well. Unlike its usage in an Elf deck, however, we need specific cards to enable attacks, not just a critical mass of bodies. Even if this is used to draw a small amount of cards, it can still be the difference between fizzling and regrouping. Just don't be opposed to not getting full value out of it.

Elven Chorus might seem a bit out of place in a Sliver deck (an Elf card? Blasphemy!), but it's not an actual Elf, so it gets the benefit of the doubt. What it does, however, is exactly what the deck wants. It's another copy of Cryptolith Rite, but it also allows us to look at the top card of our library and cast it if it's a creature. The combination of acceleration, fixing, and card advantage makes this a monster of a card in this strategy.

The First Sliver is one of the most exciting cards in the deck. Being able to churn out the advantage and cast multiple spells in one turn is awesome, but the randomness that comes with cascade is what provides the reminder that this is still Commander, after all. There are many ways to tutor for the exact abilities we need, but venturing out into the unknown is part of what makes the game worth playing.

As a whole, the deck is looking to beat down with a hodgepodge of different abilities. Keeping track of the complexity of the board is part of the mini-game that comes with Slivers and is a major aspect of what gives a seemingly simple and rote creature type a ton of replayability. After all, no two games will be exactly alike!

Commander's Herald Sliver Hivelord Deck Tech

View on Archidekt

Commander (1)
Lands (40)
Creatures (42)
Artifacts (3)
Instants (3)
Sorceries (3)
Enchantments (8)

Buy this decklist from Card Kingdom
Buy this decklist from TCGplayer
View this decklist on Archidekt

Teacher, judge, DM, & Twitch Affiliate. Lover of all things Unsummon. Streams EDH, Oathbreaker, D & D, & Pokemon. Even made it to a Pro Tour!