Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
What Are Sliver Cards in Magic?
Nope, we're not misspelling the color "silver"—slivers are a scorpion-like subtype of creatures whose effects build off each other, empowering not just themselves, but all members of their clan. Thus, slivers are the most tribal clan in all of Magic and a popular commander theme.
But with dozens of slivers of all shapes, sizes, and colors, which bugs are most crucial to your victory? These are the ten best sliver monsters in Magic: The Gathering!
10. Sliver Hivelord
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 5
Of your several options for rainbow commander slivers, Hivelord remains one of my favorites. He needs one of every mana type, arriving with a respectable 5/5 stats, and he grants all slivers you control (including himself) the valued indestructible trait, making them immune to the most common form of removal.
Use this to fortify your army, letting you safely assault foes and intercept hits.
9. Sliver Legion
Like Hivelord, Legion is a legendary creature who serves as an excellent sliver general in EDH. While he doesn't grant your army indestructible, he wields monstrous 7/7 stats and grants all slivers (including himself) +1/+1 for every sliver in play.
Legion can potentially score a commander damage win with one or two hits, and your other insects will enjoy a similar increase. Be sure to apply trample with "Horned Sliver" or "Battering Sliver" to pierce excess damage through blockers, but remember that opposing sliver decks will also benefit from Legion's boost.
8. Crypt Sliver
Crypt Sliver carries a disappointing 1/1 for his price, so be sure to fortify him with other boosts. However, he lets slivers tap to regenerate a target sliver, saving it from death that turn by tapping it and removing all damage!
Using the often-overlooked block-tap technique, you can defend against any invaders without fear of death. When your opponent plays attackers, declare your untapped slivers as blockers. Then, use Crypt's tap ability to regenerate them; even though they're now tapped, they'll still block (they were successfully declared as blockers), guarding your enemies and regenerating themselves if they would fall in combat.
A great defense, but like Legion, Crypt Sliver has the unfortunate downside of also boosting enemy slivers, so be on guard against similar themes.
7. Homing Sliver
Homing Sliver's stats are a weak 2/2, but you might not even want to summon him; his unique "slivercycling" trait lets you discard him from your hand and pay three mana to search any sliver from your deck, and at instant speed!
That's a great way to tutor sliver aces, and if you do cast Homing, he gives other slivers in hand the same effect. But yet again, his ability boosts all slivers in hands, so opposing sliver decks will profit as well.
6. Sliver Overlord
Overlord used to be my preferred Sliver commander, enjoying excellent 7/7 stats and the ability to pay three mana to add any sliver from deck to hand. He can also pay three to permanently take control of a sliver, useful for pilfering enemy troops or reclaiming creatures your opponents stole.
Overlord's still a great card, but you can use Homing for tutors and another rainbow sliver for swarming—more on that soon.
5. Harmonic Sliver
Harmonic Sliver can be risky, as he's pitifully weak at 1/1 and his effect isn't optional: whenever a sliver enters the field, its controller must destroy a targeted artifact or enchantment.
This can end up nuking your own cards if you're not careful, but in the creature-heavy decks of slivers, you're unlikely to run many artifacts and enchantments anyway. The effect also triggers when Harmonic himself enters, so he's really a three-cost removal, creature, and sliver support all in one.
4. Sedge Sliver
Like many of his kind, red's Sedge Sliver is rather weak for his price, bearing just 2/2. However, he grants your team two excellent boosts as long as you have black mana.
While you control a swamp land, Sedge grants your slivers +1/+1, and he lets you spend a black mana at instant speed to regenerate a sliver, an excellent substitute or supplement for Crypt's defensive powers. Now, you're probably not running basic swamps in multi-color sliver decks, but you can use non-basic swamps (like "Overgrown Tomb") to satisfy Sedge's first effect.
3. Bonescythe Sliver/Fury Sliver
Bonescythe and Fury Sliver both grant your slivers the valued double strike trait. This lets them hit twice with each attack, and since the initial one resolves at first strike speed, your slivers might even avoid a counterattack. It can really pile on the commander damage and combos especially well with the shared deathtouch effect from "Venom Sliver".
Bonescythe is cheaper at four but is only 2/2; Fury costs six but has 3/3. Both are great, but if you have to choose one, I recommend Bonescythe; his effect only boosts your slivers (Fury empowers all) and his cost is just low enough to be cascaded into by...
2. The First Sliver
My new preferred sliver commander, The First Sliver enjoys outstanding 7/7 stats and an amazing effect, giving your (and only your) slivers cascade, including himself. When you cast one, cascade reveals cards from your deck until you find a non-land with cost less than the cascading spell, you may cast the revealed card for free, and you place the other revealed cards on the bottom of your deck in a random order.
So, casting the First Sliver gives you another free spell (saving both the trouble of drawing and casting it), and since other slivers have cascade, you can really swarm with this effect. That said, The First Sliver doesn't grant your other slivers cascade until he hits the field, and when you cascade with him, the cascaded spells arrive first. In other words, any slivers casaded with First Sliver won't also have cascade, but anything cast afterwards will.
Easily my favorite sliver commander, The First Sliver is also surprisingly cheap compared to other legendary slivers (who often cost dozens of dollars), often selling for less than $10!
1. Manaweft Sliver/Gemhide Sliver
Manaweft is an upgraded version of "Gemhide Sliver," bearing the same great effect but only sharing it with your own slivers. While disappointing at 1/1, Manaweft and Gemhide only require two mana and grant your team an excellent ramp, letting your slivers tap for a mana of any color.
This affords sliver decks a surprising amount of speed, and the ability to collect any hue helps access the mana colors whose land types you haven't yet drawn. You can also use the block-tap maneuver to declare untapped slivers as blockers, then tap them for mana to use instant-speed spells or effects.
How to Support Your Sliver Commander Deck in Magic
Since nearly all slivers boost their entire faction, they themselves are their best supports, but they still enjoy a few non-creature spells. The land "Sliver Hive" can tap for any color when used to cast a sliver, and the artifact "Hivestone" grants all your creatures the sliver subtype, letting anyone make use of sliver family abilities.
With every color available on their legends, you can place whatever other supports you like in your deck (pay special attention to green's creature assists), but for now, as we eagerly await Wizards of the Coast's next expansion of tribal slivers, vote for your favorite card, and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2018 Jeremy Gill
Rex H on November 17, 2019:
I have had “Striking Sliver” for some time now. To be honest, I thought it was ’silver’. It’s a 1/1 that gives all slivers first strike. It’s kind of pointless, being my only sliver.
Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on January 15, 2019:
Good observations! I narrowly went with Hivelord because I prefer her free indestructible over Overlord's potential tutoring (which requires additional mana). And I rarely include financial cost as a factor when ranking, but you're certainly right that Overlord makes a great choice for budget players.
Picking one over the other isn't easy, as they're both great cards. Overlord feels riskier but potentially more rewarding while Hivelord is the safer (if not quite as powerful) play.
Solaris on January 14, 2019:
Pretty good list, I particularly like that you included Sidewinder Sliver. Flanking is practically nonexistent in magic these days and its super useful in dealing those pesky 1/1 death touch spammers.
That being said, I am a bit critical of the lack of Sliver Overlord's inclusion. Not only is he currently the cheapest legand monetarily, but as a 5 drop 7/7 with a built in "tutor" effect, He can make a fantastic commander that can speed up commander game play significantly.
Not to mention that he can combo with any creature type changer for an easy "1,2" mind control.