Archetune-Up – A Sliver of Creativity

(Lavabelly Sliver by Mark Behm and Shadow Sliver by Warren Mahy)

Sliver Me Timbers!

Hello, and welcome back to Archetune-Up, a weekly article series devoted to tweaking a deck with the help of the EDHREC Theme pages!

This is an article I have been holding onto for nearly two-and-a-half months. I originally wrote this for my birthday back in April, but with all of the Jeskai goodness going on in Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, I thought pushing it out at that time may be too much of am overload on the good ol’ white, blue, and red. As such, I bring you a deck that has been months in the making!

Jeskai has no real tribal support, aside from Giants maybe…? As such, today I thought that I’d take a crack at a tribe some might not expect for this color combination: Slivers!

It isn’t often that you see a Sliver deck that isn’t all five colors, but I want to break that trend. We certainly don’t need black and green for this deck to function, so stay out of our decks, you scoundrels!

There are 61 Slivers in Jeskai colors to choose from, all with a diverse array of abilities to spread around. By cutting out two colors, the deck can really focus on the Slivers and synergies available and not stretch the list too thin.

This deck will want to win through combat and will be leaning heavily on white and red to get us there. Then, while those colors do the heavy lifting, blue will function as a powerful support color for the list, providing tools that help supplement the aggressive strategy. The deck functions as a Boros deck with the ability to splash blue to help get us to end game and protect our investments.

The next thing to think about is which commander would fit this build the best. I also want to reiterate that this deck was brewed prior to Ikoria and Commander 2020‘s new Jeskai legends, and, as such, none of them were in the running to helm this deck. Despite that, I still think that the correct choice was made in terms of which legend should be commanding our chittering forces…

really like Pramikon for decks like this. Pramikon’s ability to completely muck up combat for our opponents can really tilt the odds in our favor. If we can redirect opponents at one another, that gives our deck more time to deploy our Sliver army with minimal interference.

Another option for this deck very well could have been using Morophon, the Boundless and restricting ourselves to simply Jeskai colors, but I really enjoy the way Pramikon plays with the board. If you prefer saving mana on your creatures and an anthem, then you can easily swap Pramikon out for Morophon and run it instead!

Unsurprisingly, there aren’t any average Pramikon Jeskai Slivers decks in EDHREC’s database, so for this article we’re doing something a bit different. We’re building the deck from the ground up in its entirety using EDHREC’s theme pages. We’re going to use the average Pramikon’s mana base as a starting point, and tune it to how we see fit.

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A blank slate can be one of the scariest things for any creative mind, so by starting with the mana base first, we give ourselves a good foundation to build the deck around. Doing so also allows us to edit it on the fly during the deckbuilding process in case there are any interesting inclusions that EDHREC suggests.

Slivers Slivers Everywhere, and…Way Too Many to Spare

From the Sliver Tribal page, I curated a total of 42 cards, split between Slivers, themselves, and noncreature spells to help support them.

When choosing the Slivers to include, they were herded into three main groups: Slivers whose abilities stack, Slivers with unique abilities, and those whose abilities didn’t.

Since the deck really loves to go wide, the first group of Slivers I prioritized were those that provided anthem effects and ways to help us in combat. The majority of Slivers that provide a power/toughness bonus are found in green, such as Muscle Sliver and Megantic Sliver. Luckily for us, though, red has a plethora of power-pumping Slivers, friends like Battle Sliver, Blade Sliver, Bonesplitter Sliver, Cleaving Sliver, and Magma Sliver. All of these together make our Sliver army much more dangerous and much harder for our opponents to block unless they want to start trading creatures.

We aren’t looking to trade creatures with our opponents, though. We want to provide evasion to our team or outright win in combat. Due to this, we have abilities attached to our creatures that will help us triumph in, or avoid, combat. Most of these effects don’t stack with one another, so the deck does not include every one of these Slivers available, just the best of the best.

Due to only running a single Sliver who pumps our toughness in Sinew Sliver, first strike and double strike are very important keywords for us in order to triumph in combat. To that end, Bonesplitter Sliver, [el]Lancer Sliver, and Striking Sliver are all great inclusions here. These abilities won’t stack, which is why I only included three of the available Slivers with these keywords, but they are extremely important.

To go along with them, evasion-granting Slivers are incredibly important to force bad blocks for our opponents and ensure our damage gets through. Cloudshredder Sliver, Galerider Sliver, Shadow Sliver Telekinetic Sliver, Two-Headed Sliver, and Ward Sliver do this all in their own ways. Whether it is granting flying, protection, or forcefully tapping creatures down, we have plenty of ways to make sure we get the desired outcome in combat. There are even more Slivers that we could add if we find that the board state in your personal meta often gums up; feel free to add things like Winged Sliver and Belligerent Sliver, since they’ll help greatly in situations where you can’t easily swing through on the ground.

Finally, we have some strong one-off effects that our creatures adore. These include card draw from Synapse Sliver, repercussions for damaging our creatures from Spiteful Sliver, mini-Lightning Helixes on Lavabelly Sliver, recursion from Pulmonic Sliver, disruption from Crystalline Sliver, or even turning our team into Oblivion Rings thanks to Constricting Sliver! This just scratches the surface of the diversity of effects available to us. There are plenty of different Slivers and effects to really personalize your deck to fit your needs!

While the primary gameplan may be to be aggressive and attack, it’s support from Slivers like the ones above that really allows our deck to function properly and not fall apart. Without them, the list is a bad aggressive deck that is way too linear. These friends help round the deck out nicely and give it a lot more depth.

Themes, Dreams, and Screams

While the deck is a Sliver deck, the entire deck cannot consist of the little critters. They need support. In order to do this, I looked in a variety of places…

Despite being done with adding Slivers to the deck, the Sliver Tribal page still held a lot of useful pieces. From tribal payoffs like Kindred Discovery, Coat of Arms, Mana Echoes, and Vanquisher’s Banner, to necessary disruption spells like Negate, Dovin’s Veto, and Teferi Protection, there are a bevy of different options available to suit our needs. Beating face is all well and good, but we need ways to support it, and unsurprisingly, this theme has the most abundant options for that. I ended up using three other pages on the site to round the deck out, but I was able to find 12 great cards from this page, alone.

Taking inspiration from my Scarab God Clone article, why not include some cards that help us double up our creatures since we have so many that we would love to duplicate? While they won’t be great in every Sliver in the deck, Cackling Counterpart, Rite of Replication, and Quasiduplicate are fantastic options for copying creatures like Battle Sliver, Synapse Sliver, or Lavabelly Sliver. While not included in the deck, Clone Legion is an explosive power play that can really end games, especially if you copy all of the Slivers you have in play!

Since this deck is combat-focused and we’re using Pramikon as our commander, I thought it would be good to look into one of their most-built themes: Forced Combat. Only three cards were picked from here, but that was due to available deck space, not lack of options. The three inclusions were Boros Charm, Unbreakable Formation, and Bident of Thassa. The first two are self-explanatory; they’re each versatile options to push through damage or save our creatures, while Bident, on the other hand, works with Pramikon to force opponents into unfavorable combats while also rewarding us for swinging into open boards by drawing us cards!

The last spot I thought to check was Pramikon’s average deck list. Due to the deck being a bit niche, there were only three cards from this section that I added. Needing some more card draw, I decided to throw in Rhystic Study and Sphinx’s Revelation, two solid, personal favorites of mine. The last inclusion was Venser, the Sojourner. Venser plays two roles here. First, his +1 gives us the option to reset Pramikon if we need to change the flow of combat, letting our deck pivot whenever necessary. Conversely, if we are pleased with the way we’re forcing players to attack, his -1 will make our entire team unblockable, giving us another form of evasion to hit our opponents and easily push the game to a close.

Creative or Cumbersome? You Decide!

There we have it, friends! We were able to complete the herculean task of building a Jeskai Slivers deck from the ground up! I may be biased, but I actually think it came out pretty well!

Building a deck like this was quite fun, and it also shows the potential for other Sliver decks in your favorite three-color combination. Jund Slivers? Sure, you got a lot of sweet options there to out-value your opponents! Esper Slivers? Maybe you can throw in some neat artifact synergies while you’re at it! Maybe you can go four colors and bake in some +1/+1 counter synergies with Atraxa, Praetor’s Voice? The only limit to a deck like this is your own creativity! The more flexible you are, the more fun you’ll have with this, I’m sure!

If you’d like to reach me I’m active on Twitter (@thejesguy), where you can always hit me up for Magic- or Jeskai-related shenanigans 24/7. Do you have any comments, questions, or concerns? Please don’t hesitate to leave them below or get in touch! Stay safe, and keep fighting the good fight. I support you. No justice, no peace.

Archetune-Up Jeskai Slivers

Commander (1)
Creatures (30)
Enchantments (5)
Artifacts (12)
Instants (11)
Sorceries (3)
Lands (37)
Planeswalkers (1)

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Angelo is a Connecticut native who started playing Magic during Return to Ravnica, and has made it his mission to play Jeskai in every format possible. With at least 20 EDH decks constructed at all times, it's an understatement to say that he loves Commander. Angelo trusts counterspells over creatures, and is still hurt by Sphinx's Revelation rotation out of Standard.