Served up on a sliver platter.
Slivers have been a part of Magic for a very long time – since 1999’s Tempest block, where they were first introduced along with their various abilities, all of which affected all other Slivers on the battlefield. The way these abilities work has changed in more recent times, notably when M14 templated Slivers to only affect their controller’s side of the battlefield, for the somewhat rare Sliver mirror match. Throughout all this, however, Slivers have remained a popular type in Commander, essentially always played in five-color decks – decks that received a huge shot in the arm with the release of Commander Masters. Let’s get across some of the best Slivers in the business!
10. Galerider Sliver
Commander Masters, Rare
Sliver decks are very good at gumming up the board. You can generate a ton of Slivers and flood the battlefield pretty swiftly, but there’s one keyword in particular that’s useful in converting a big board into a big win: flying. Galerider Sliver is one of the very best ways to get your team of Slivers to connect with your opponents, and the best thing about it is it costs just a single mana. Unlike Battering Sliver and Groundshaker Sliver, which cost six and seven mana in order to give the squad trample, Galerider Sliver allows the team to get past blockers for just one mana.
9. Predatory Sliver/Muscle Sliver/Sinew Sliver
Every creature type needs their lords, and Slivers are no exception – there are a lot to choose from, the best of them being Predatory Sliver (as it doesn’t accidentally pump up opposing creatures). It doesn’t come up often, but Sinew Sliver and Muscle Sliver can sometimes be a liability! Most of the time, however, these three cards are marvellously efficient lords, juicing up the team for just two mana apiece. It doesn’t stop at the two-mana +1/+1 ones, either – there’s Might Sliver and Megantic Sliver if you really want to go big!
8. Sliver Gravemother
Commander Masters, Mythic
The newest five-color legendary Sliver has a lot of work to do in order to catch up to the heavy hitters that ordinarily lead the type, but it does open some interesting options for EDH Slivers. First of all, if you can find ways to clone other legendary Slivers, the nullification of the “legend rule” can be pretty potent (especially with something like Sliver Legion). The encore ability, however, looks pretty nuts – you can essentially flash back your slain Slivers for one last hurrah, and as you get multiple copies when activating encore abilities, Slivers like Predatory, Muscle and Sinew get even better than before. I don’t think Sliver Gravemother will overtake other five-color Slivers as the most-played commander, but I still think she has a sick set of abilities.
7. Quick Sliver
Commander Masters, Common
Flash creatures are always useful, allowing you to do things like play around sorcery-speed removal, get into mind games with your opponents, or otherwise thwart their plans with a bunch of open mana. Quick Sliver is a very powerful and very fun addition to Sliver decks, allowing you to dump creatures onto the field at the very last moment and mess up all the plots and schemes your opponents have been working on, as you untap with a ton of new creatures in play. Just be careful playing this card when your opponents have Slivers, or even changelings!
6. Hatchery Sliver
Commander Masters, Rare
There are some Slivers you don’t necessarily want multiple copies of. Maybe having a spare Galerider Sliver isn’t bad, but it’s not as impactful as, for instance, multiple Predatory Slivers. Hatchery Sliver is ridiculous alongside Slivers like Predatory – those with “stackable” abilities. Spiteful Sliver, Synapse Sliver, Ward Sliver, Lavabelly Sliver, the list goes on – there are a ton of slivers with abilities that are even better in multiples, and a terrific way to get multiple copies of these Slivers is with the brand new Hatchery Sliver and its replicate ability.
5. Harmonic Sliver
Commander Masters, Uncommon
There are lots of Slivers that have interactive and disruptive abilities. Necrotic Sliver, for instance, which can turn Slivers into Terminates, or Constricting Sliver, which turns them into Fiend Hunters. There’s one interactive Sliver that is especially important, however, and that’s Harmonic Sliver. Asking very little to maximize its potential, Harmonic Sliver gives all Slivers you play a Naturalize/Disenchant effect. In Commander, this is extremely powerful: even when you’re not going after Smothering Tithes and the like, you’re still blowing up Signets and Sol Rings.
4. Gemhide Sliver/Manaweft Sliver
It’s no secret mana dorks are immensely powerful, and having the option to use your entire team as mana dorks if you feel like it is absolutely bonkers. You can deploy Gemhide Sliver or Manaweft Sliver, then use them to deploy more Slivers, then use those Slivers to deploy even more Slivers… you get the picture. All this extra mana is very useful in casting protection spells like Teferi’s Protection or big finishers like Cyclonic Rift – your opponents will have to kill your Gemhide and Manaweft Slivers on sight, or risk letting you run riot with a ton of extra mana.
3. Cloudshredder Sliver
Commander Masters, Rare
The flying from Galerider Sliver is one thing, but what about flying and haste? Cloudshredder Sliver has got to be more or less the very best non-legendary Sliver out there, purely in terms of how big an impact it has for such a small cost. For two mana, you can chuck the squad into the air and get in with them the turn you play them. Haste combos marvellously well with Gemhide and Manaweft Sliver, and will keep your opponents on their toes as the pressure mounts up with every hasty, flying Sliver that comes after the Cloudshredder. A word of advice for anyone playing against this card: kill it on sight.
2. Sliver Overlord
The second-most popular Sliver commander, Sliver Overlord offers two abilities: one is absurdly powerful, and the other is largely irrelevant (although when it comes up, oh boy). The cheap, repeatable tutor ability on Sliver Overlord really emphasises the way in which Sliver lists can be built as toolbox decks, as you can fetch whichever Sliver is needed to deal with the problems at hand, and on top of this it means you’ll never have excess mana go to waste. Sliver Overlord could very easily be the best Sliver of all, were it not for the slightly more popular…
1. The First Sliver
Modern Horizons, Mythic
Entirely appropriately named, the most popularly-played Sliver commander is, indeed, The First Sliver. Sliver decks are built around having a huge board presence, and what better way is there to do that than have every single Sliver you play come with another one for free? Casting a Harmonic Sliver and getting a Cloudshredder Sliver for free sounds pretty good, and that’s just one example. With an unanswered The First Sliver, it won’t be long at all before you have an overwhelmingly large board – even if you can’t control which Slivers you end up with, there’s no such thing as a bad free Sliver, and The First Sliver is here to provide them in spades.