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[[Primer]] - Sliver Overlord, The Godfather (cEDH) (EDH / Commander)

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    Sliver Overlord, The Godfather

    "Enjoy slivers, embrace evolution."


    > Theme

    Sliver tribal deck.

    > Introduction

    Slivers are THE BEST tribe that WotC has ever made in the whole magic history. They are (mostly) small creatures that create synergies between each other. Slivers' main peculiarity is their ability, since they all start with "Slivers you control have ..." or "All slivers have ...", which means that having 3 or 4 slivers on the battlefield, will result into 3 or 4 creatures with 3 or 4 abilities each! So, as you can understand, things can evolve really quickly when you start dropping those little Zerg-like creatues on the battlefield, forcing your opponents to deal with them as soon as possible. Yes, of course, slivers bring a lot of hate to their owner, so prepare to be the first target in your pod! With this deck we're going to see how to deal with this hate in order to reach our goal: outlast your opponents while evolving your army until the game's climax. I know that many of you are probably thinking "tribal and cEDH are not compatible", and somehow I can agree with you, since there are 5 colors commander that are better then Sliver Overlord. But my goal is to have a tribal deck as much competitive as possible, with cards that I own. Competitive is not only a matter of cards, it's a state of mind: you play because you want to win.

    > Commander

    Sliver Overlord is the only serious choice here. Why? Your commander can tutor for other slivers. Instantly, without tapping him. Training Ground is a huge help here, because with the original ability cost of {3} you can now tutor for 3 slivers, or just ramp a little and play your commander at turn 5, using its ability in the same turn: pretty badass uh? And of course he can also steal other slivers from other players. They don't have slivers? False. Amoeboid Changeling can turn them into slivers as well, so you can steal them. Oh, almost forgetting: you can also tutor for it, since it's also a sliver. Sliver Overlord also can be seen as a sliver card draw engine due to its main ability, so don't forget about that: tutoring for slivers will thin your deck and can help you avoid dead draws. Generally we can cast our lord on turn 3 with a right start, but I suggest waiting a little longer in order to have some protection for him. If something wrong happens, it will then cost 7 mana, which is a lot.
    In the past I've also tried Sliver Hivelord or Sliver Legion as our commander, but they are too casual compared with to tutor in your command zone. they might work if you want to lower down your deck power, but generally you'll have to fix your list in order to draw/tutor more. Sliver Queen can be a great commander, but not for a sliver tribal deck. That way you can build a deck to fully support combos around her without wasting slots on slivers or on cards that support the tribe. Same goes for The First Sliver: the best Food Chain commander ever. He can access all the colors in order to support a really solid combo and let you to cast your whole deck for free.

    > Protecting your babies

    Like every tribal deck, one of your weak points are board wipes and single target removals. Let's see how we can deal with those.

    The lock:

    Sliver Hivelord + Crystalline Sliver is one of our key synergies here, since the first provides indestructible and the second shroud. With those on our field, our weakness will be sac and mass exile.

    Bounce:

    Hibernation Sliver is very important for us, since it allows us to bounce back our slivers without using mana. In response to a mass sac or mass exile, we can use its ability in order to save some of our key pieces.

    Interactions:

    One of the best and easiest ways to protect your army and gameplan is to interact with other players. "The Brood Superiority" package provides a bunch of counters and spot removals that can help you win the game or prevent you from losing. For example, some protection can be provided by cards like Pact of Negation, Mana Drain, Delay, Dovin's Veto, Swan Song, Fierce Guardianship and Deflecting Swat. We’re also running a bunch of spot removals, in order to stop our opponents’ combos or to remove hate pieces. Those are Assassin's Trophy, Nature's Claim, Cyclonic Rift, Swords to Plowshares and our friend Necrotic Sliver, which can transform all of our babies into super cute kamikazes. Don't be afraid to use Toxic Deluge if you have some graveyard interaction spells like Yawgmoth's Will or Noxious Revival in your hand. If someone on your pod is on a wild ramp because of green dorks, you can always rely Engineered Explosives, and sac it in order to kill all 1 CMC mana dorks and Sol Rings. Also, when you're going to combo out, Silence and Veil of Summer can really do the work for you.

    > Finding the right tool when needed

    We're using some tutors here, since our commander might be not enough. Vampiric Tutor, Diabolic Intent, Finale of Devastation, Enlightened Tutor, Worldly Tutor, Eladamri's Call, Demonic Tutor and our friend Homing Sliver, which, if played, can transform all of our slivers in our hand into sliver-tutors as well. Most of the times you will use Homing Sliver on the spot, but don't forget that our main tutor is right there, on the command zone. Tutors are used in order to build our strategy; we will look for Gemhide Sliver / Manaweft Sliver if we want to speed up the cast of our commander, or we will find for combo pieces / card draw cards if we plan to run out of cards soon.

    > Fixing our mana base and ramping

    Arcane Signet and Fellwar Stone are our most mana expensive rocks, but help us anyway. There are other 0 CMC rocks like Mox Diamond, Chrome Mox, Mana Crypt, which can really help us play our commander before turn 5. A huge ramp can come from Gemhide Sliver and Manaweft Sliver, which can transforms our babies into mana dorks. Utopia Sprawl, Birds of Paradise and Carpet of Flowers are also a pretty fast ramp, very nice if played T1. Dockside Extortionist isn't a sliver but it does provide one of the greatest ramp and mana fix ever. It also prevents some of the common stax situations.

    > How to be hated and win your games

    Emiel Lines:

    • Emiel the Blessed + Dockside Extortionist (when it can create at least 4 treasures) = infinite colored mana
      This combo is so powerful that itself it will makes you win the game. With infinite colored mana you can basically cast whatever sliver you like since you can cast Sliver Overlord first, then tutor for slivers, then cast them and win. This is generally the fastest way to win a game, since it's an easy 2 card combo.
    • Emiel the Blessed + Mana Echoes + 3 slivers on the battlefield = infinite sliver etb
      This combo can also be abused in different way. If Lavabelly Sliver is on the battlefield, you can kill your opponents just out of it. If Dormant Sliver is on the battlefield, you can draw your deck. If Cloudshredder Sliver / Heart Sliver and Gemhide Sliver / Manaweft Sliver are on the battlefield, you can generate infinite colored mana, cast your commander, tutor for everything and win.

    Slivers Combo:

    Here you can find a list of combos that make you win the game:

    Generally these combos may happen around turn 6-7+, depending on how good your starting hand was and regardless of interaction, Emiel lines can be quicker. You can easily block someone else's combo and protect your strategy.

    > Starting Hand

    We generally want a couple of lands (at least one with green), at least 1 ramp card, 1 or 2 slivers, a tutor or draw card and 1 protection/interaction card. Our plan is to benefit from our commander as soon as possible, and sometimes we tutor for a Gemhide Sliver / Manaweft Sliver asap, so we can have a lot of mana in the early turns. Having some protection will help us live longer. If you have fetches in your opening hands, the first land you will fetch into will be Breeding Pool, since green/blue are great colors for early turns. As a second pick I would fetch into Watery Grave / Overgrown Tomb, depending on what fetches we have and what cards we kept, for example Utopia Sprawl or Vampiric Tutor. Depending on our starting hand, we must understand which endgame we would like to reach. Sometimes going for an Emiel line would be quicker, sometimes not.

    > Single Card Discussion

    Disclaimer: this is my current paper deck, so everything that I've included is because I own a copy of that card. Some obvious exclusions, like all dual lands, are due to budget, since right now I don't own and I don't have any plan to buy them.

    > Inclusions

    The Primordial Soup:

    Lands have been picked up in order to fix mana for a 5 color deck. I've prioritized fetch lands and shock lands, then all the lands that provides mana of any type for everything.

    The Brood Fertilizer:

    For the ramp package, I've picked the most powerful cards in order to provide any kind of mana color in the cheapest way possible.

    The Brood Superiority:

    It's a package of 15 interaction spells that should be used in order to not lose the game or in order to win it. Don't waste them for things that are not a real threat, since we're not running a control deck, we're just running those as protection.

    The Army:

    • Amoeboid Changeling: it's a great tool combined with our commander's second ability, it allows us to steal other players' commanders or key creatures. Since it is considered as a sliver, is a cool +1 on your board with other slivers. I suggest you do not tutor for it if not really needed. For example, if an opponent is about to win with their commander or a really big creature you can steal it before they win.
    • Basal Sliver: this is a key combo piece with Sliver Queen. It works like a black Ashnod's Altar.
    • Bonescythe Sliver: powerful sliver that gives double strike to our army. Can be a key card when attacking with our creature of with voltron damage using our commander.
    • Cloudshredder Sliver: key slivers in many strategies. With haste it allow us to actively use our slivers when they ETB, and flying makes our army a real threat.
    • Crystalline Sliver: works as a protection for our slivers from spot removal. Remember that we can't target slivers anymore when this baby is out there, so Amoeboid Changeling strategies don't work anymore.
    • Dormant Sliver: it's a great draw engine, with the setback of having an army of walls. If we need to attack and win the game and this baby is on the battlefield, Basal Sliver, Hibernation Sliver and Necrotic Sliver helps to get rid of it.
    • Galerider Sliver: low CMC and great synergy ability.
    • Gemhide Sliver / Manaweft Sliver: two of the best slivers ever. Mana fixer, ramp, combos. 100% love.
    • Harmonic Sliver: Really great artifact/enchantment removal. Be aware that it's not a "may" ability, so you can find in the situation where you'll have to destroy one of your pieces.
    • Heart Sliver: haste ability is great, redundancy for it is good here since it allows combos.
    • Hibernation Sliver: provides a manaless ability that "protects" our slivers from wipes and spot removal. Remember that lifepoints are a resource.
    • Homing Sliver: used mainly as a tutor for Gemhide Sliver / Manaweft Sliver, or a sliver for a particular situation if our commander isn't out yet.
    • Lavabelly Sliver: combo piece with Queen combo, can help gaining back some life when in needs, while pinging other opponents.
    • Necrotic Sliver: when you don't have a spot removal in your hand, we can use him or slivers that are less "good" in that situation, in order to get rid of threats.
    • Quick Sliver: this sliver is really, really fun. I like to tutor for it when Overlord is out and play it, before my turn, on opponent's end step. In this situation we can just play slivers that way lleaving mana open for responses or for situational slivers, depending on what our opponents are playing.
    • Sedge Sliver: helps with spot removals and generally saving a few of our army when a wrath occurs, it also have a great passive ability with a swamp on the battlefield, which is easily fetchable.
    • Sentinel Sliver: attacking and keeping our babies untapped is good when you have slivers with activated abilities.
    • Shifting Sliver: great finisher if we've enough fire power to kill someone or the whole board with our army.
    • Sliver Hivelord: works great with Crystalline Sliver for the soft lock, prevents a lot of removals and death from combat damage.
    • Sliver Legion: personal walking 7/7 Coat of Arms. It can be a good card in order to finish one or more of our opponents.
    • Sliver Queen: also called "The Queen of Combos", it's ability can be used when you need more numbers on the battlefield. Remember that every token on our battlefield is a token with some abilities!
    • The First Sliver: great body, it can help with casting free slivers and pieces from our deck.
    • Venom Sliver: giving deathtouch to our army means that people will attack you less and block you less, which is great.

    The Evolution Flow:

    The Arch-Hive:

    • Emiel the Blessed: it's used to combo out with Dockside Extortionist or Mana Echoes. It can be also used to blink our commander and save it from a removal.
    • Intruder Alarm: a Paradox Engine post ban replacement: it's used to combo out with dork slivers and our commander. Be careful, as your opponents can sometimes benefit from creatures untapping.
    • Mana Echoes: great combo card with the queen, generally it can provide colorless that can be used with our commander in order to find other slivers.
    • Mystic Remora / Rhystic Study: draw spells that can give us card advantage or slow down opponents.
    • Noxious Revival: great instant that can be cast for free. It can be used if one of our combo piece is in the graveyard.
    • Sylvan Library: great top deck filter, provides card advantage. Don't be afraid to pay life in order to remove dead draws.
    • Training Grounds: pure gas for our commander's ability! Paying just 1 for tutoring is just amazing. It also makes Emiel lines quicker, since it also reduces its ability to 1.
    • Wheel of Fortune: can be great in order to fill your hand and ruin other players hand after a tutor or two.
    • Yawgmoth's Will: great way to cast slivers or combo cards from our graveyard if they were removed. Can also be good to cast a tutor again.

    > Exclusions

    As a general rule about exclusions, the deck evolved into cards that are low in CMC, with some exception on cards that I consider really powerful. When playing competitive you want to do as much as you can on early turns so, for example, playing too many 5 CMC cards can be a problem: sliver lords and commander are really heavy (5 CMC, one of each color), and those are mainly the only heavy cards that I allow in my list.

    • Cavern of Souls: I think this land is too expensive for what it does. For sure being able to cast slivers and preventing counterspells is great. I might consider it in the future if I'll have a chance to grab one.
    • Sliver Hive: same thing as Cavern for this land too; it's active ability is too high in mana cost, and for what it does I prefer lands that always add a mana of any color instead of sliver specific mana.
    • Coat of Arms: indeed this card is huge and very very strong. What I found is that sometimes it helps opponents and its CMC is too high for me. Sliver Legion works the same for our purpose, it can be tutored with our commander, and it benefits from all the sliver synergies on the battlefield.
    • Kindred Discovery: another bomb. I used to play it in the past, but then I found that that's too heavy due to its CMC. It can combo out with other stuff, but we're talking about many pieces on the battlefield.
    • Kindred Summons / Morophon, the Boundless: CMC is too high.
    • Shared Animosity: the card itself is good, but doesn't provide a real wincon itself. For the same CMC I can play Intruder Alarm, which can help me to win the game in many ways, not only combat damage but also infinite slivers ETB.
    • Farseek / Nature's Lore / Three Visits: I know that all of these spells can search for shock lands, but they are all 2 CMC. With 2 CMC I can have artifacts that can provide mana of any color and I can have better options for 1 CMC.
    • Fire Covenant: right now I'm using it in other decks and i found Engineered Explosives and Toxic Deluge more efficient in term of resources.
    • Cryptolith Rite: I used to play it in the past, but there are 2 CMC mana generators that are better. Dropping this T1 or T2 doesn't create "ramp" unless you're going to play some creatures. It can be great in a more casual meta.
    • Distant Melody: really great card draw, but I see it better for a more casual format. In order to be efficient we need like 5/6 slivers, spend 4 mana, then have other mana in order to use what we draw.
    • Harsh Mercy: same CMC as Toxic Deluge, it will save our slivers but it will not kill indestructible creatures.
    • Herald's Horn: great card, but it's just a partial ramp. It only benefits creatures and doesn't help casting our commander earlier.
    • Mirror Entity: Sliver Legion is more efficent. With 5 mana you can pump our army way more then spending 3 on casting Mirror Entity and then spend other mana that will makes our lords "weaker".
    • Wheel of Misfortune: since Hullbreacher is a cEDH staple, I think the better version that I'm currently running is enough.
    • Sensei's Divining Top: if you can't shuffle often, it's ability can create filtering advantage only once.
    • Patriarch's Bidding: It's CMC is too high, even if the benefits of it are great.
    • Striking Sliver: I still think this is a great and cheap sliver, but unfortunately it didn't make the cut.
    • Root Sliver: this baby was on my sideboard for a while, but I saw I never "included" it in my games. Probably it's a meta call, but generally people control key cards instead of every single sliver I cast.
    • Brood Sliver / Constricting Sliver: great abilities, but their CMC is too high.
    • Crypt Sliver: I'm playing a better version of it, which is Sedge Sliver. Crypt is useless with summoning sickness, with Sedge you can always tap for mana, and with Gemhide Sliver / Manaweft Sliver on the battlefield, it works same as Crypt.
    • Diffusion Sliver: it's a weaker version of Crystalline Sliver, and in this case I didn't want redundancy for this kind of effect.
    • Essence Sliver / Syphon Sliver: I think that those 2 slivers are more suitable for a casual meta. Right now having tons of hp doesn't make us win, and 40 life points are enough. Sure, life is a resource, but I don't think those 2 should be in the list.
    • Megantic Sliver / Might Sliver / Muscle Sliver / Predatory Sliver / Plated Sliver: these are more suitable for a casual meta, when you can "pump" your creature without combo or expensive cards; over time I removed each one of these, since there are more valuable cards to be played in the format.
    • Synapse Sliver: great card draw engine but its CMC is too high. It will also require our army to be unblockable or flying in order to fully benefit from it.
    • Realmwalker: it's something like an underperfomant version of our commander. Even with infinite mana, you can't really do whatever you like, and you would just play your commander, search whatever you need, and win the game. For general utility I feel like I have to cut something that is way more valuable.

    > Credits

    A huge thanks to Morganator 2.0 since he helped make this primer more clear and detailed!

    > Changelog


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