FABLES FROM KITCHEN TABLES – LET’S BUILD PART 18

Greetings, readers! To usher in my month-long string of content based on my Let’s Build series, I’m putting the series’ routine end-of-the-month entry. For those unaware, the Let’s Build series focuses on breaking down the deckbuilding process, highlighting specific generals or strategies and the card choices involved with each.

This week wraps up my month-long dedication to articles on Magic’s newest expansion, the 2015 Core Set, by talking about a general from the set I’m sure has been on a lot of people’s radars, Sliver Hivelord.

A lot of people might question why I chose the Hivelord as my focus for a Sliver deck. Arguably, Sliver Overlord is the superior general for its flexibility and raw power as a tutor. However, while the Overlord is a 7/7 for 5 that tutors, he’s not Avacyn, Angel of Hope for 5. Whereas the Overlord has more power the longer the game goes, the pressure and staying power Hivelord gives is just impossible to outright overlook, and while tutoring is powerful, ensuring the safety of your board is an option to at least consider, and it’s one powerful enough to build a deck around, in my opinion.

Like always, we’ll first consider the advantages and disadvantages of Sliver Hivelord:

+He gives an effect that’s absolutely busted at 8 mana, at 5 mana.
+General damage is extremely easy to punch through with multiple enablers for evasion and insane damage
+You have both pressure and board control through various effects that both boost your damage and remove opposing resources
+With all five colors at your disposal, you have access to cards such as Prophet of Kruphix, Maelstrom Nexus and Maze’s End
+Cavern of Souls is not just a one-trick pony in your deck

-Being as dependent on sticking your general as you are, Hinder and Chaos Warp are not your friends
-Not being able to reliably cast Hivelord until turn 5 can be a pain as your blue matchup is subpar without Root Sliver
-You have a pretty wild best-case/worst-case, as some Slivers, while silver-bullet in nature, can fall flat in certain matchups
-Often times, you can find yourself running out of spells to cast without some sort of draw outlet

Obviously, the good outweighs the bad, but the list I’ve created is aggressive through and through, so the typical outs to your aggro matchups can seriously screw with you. That being said, this deck can do a ton of damage incredibly fast, so decks that spend their first few turns screwing around not doing much can get blown out by how quickly you can deplete life totals.

CHOOSING YOUR GENERAL

Sliver Hivelord, Magic, Magic 2015 (M15)

Hivelord, unlike its legendary kin, fits an aggressive playstyle much more fluidly. While Sliver Legion has superior pressure, what it lacks is staying power, making it fall flat to a Wrath of God. Staying power goes a long way in maintaining pressure and momentum throughout a game, and I can’t reiterate enough how insane getting Avacyn, Angel of Hope for 5 mana is.

With all of the collateral effects every other Sliver you play pumping the Hivelord, it’s also paltry to make him a must-answer threat for your opponents. When ahead, you’re almost impossible to stop, as a fast Sliver Hivelord cast into Crystalline Sliver as a followup makes the options your opponents have few and far between when it comes to stopping you.

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO WITH THE DECK?

The goal of this deck, like many other aggro decks, is to cast a consistent stream of threats while maintaining the pressure required to kill the table. Usually, consistent draws will bury the table in a ton of damage extremely quickly, whereas at the very least, inconsistent draws will still have you casting your general and attacking and blocking with an indestructible army of Slivers.

Overall, spamming the board with Slivers and having each give the rest an absurd ability on offense or defense is the typical game plan, and there are certain Slivers that accentuate both the offensive and defensive abilities, letting you play both game plans pretty seamlessly. As the game goes on, interaction with you can get harder and harder, though there are still things like Terminus or Cyclonic Rift that can screw your board up pretty hard.

CARD CHOICES

As an aggressive Sliver shell, the first thing we’ll establish is the Slivers which allow for a more offensive line of play through attacking, evading opponent’s blockers, or just allowing fast starts.

In-
Bonescythe Sliver
Bonesplitter Sliver
Brood Sliver
Essence Sliver
Frenzy Sliver
Galerider Sliver
Gemhide Sliver
Heart Sliver
Leeching Sliver
Manaweft Sliver
Megantic Sliver
Might Sliver
Mirror Entity
Muscle Sliver
Predatory Sliver
Sedge Sliver
Shadow Sliver
Shifting Sliver
Sidewinder Sliver
Sinew Sliver
Synapse Sliver
Syphon Sliver
Thorncaster Sliver
Two-Headed Sliver

Next, we establish the more defensive, utility, and removal Slivers, used to disrupt and defend against the opposition.

In-
Constricting Sliver
Crystalline Sliver
Darkheart Sliver
Diffusion Sliver
Harmonic Sliver
Homing Sliver
Hunter Sliver
Necrotic Sliver
Quick Sliver
Quilled Sliver
Root Sliver
Sliver Overlord

Of course, as good as Slivers themselves are, the deck runs a few specific non-Sliver creatures to accentuate both the offensive and defensive lines of play the deck can make.

In-
Athreos, God of Passage
Edric, Spymaster of Trest
Erebos, God of the Dead
Iroas, God of Victory
Mother of Runes
Novablast Wurm
Prophet of Kruphix
Sigarda, Host of Herons
Trygon Predator

Of course, the deck is backed by a few choice noncreature spells as well, either to accelerate the mana or help remove problem permanents from the board.

In-
Austere Command
Genesis Wave
Patriarch’s Bidding
Wargate
Cyclonic Rift
Swords to Plowshares
Worldly Tutor
Chromatic Lantern
Darksteel Ingot
Fellwar Stone
Sol Ring
Maelstrom Nexus
Mirari’s Wake
Garruk, Caller of Beasts

Now that we’ve established the spells, we move onto the lands. As always, the color enablers come first.

In-
Ancient Ziggurat
Arcane Sanctum
Azorius Guildgate
Boros Guildgate
Cavern of Souls
City of Brass
Command Tower
Crumbling Necropolis
Crystal Quarry
Dimir Guildgate
Evolving Wilds
Exotic Orchard
Golgari Guildgate
Gruul Guildgate
Izzet Guildgate
Jungle Shrine
Maze’s End
Orzhov Guildgate
Rakdos Guildgate
Reflecting Pool
Savage Lands
Seaside Citadel
Selesnya Guildgate
Simic Guildgate
Sliver Hive
Terramorphic Expanse

Past that, there are the utility lands as well.

In-
Alchemist’s Refuge
Bojuka Bog
Homeward Path
Tolaria West
Vault of the Archangel
Windbrisk Heights

Lastly, we establish the basics!

In-
Plains
Island
Swamp
Mountain
Forest

And with that, we’ve arrived at the final product!

Sliver Aggro EDH

General (1)
Creatures (48)
Sorceries (4)
Instants (3)
Artifacts (4)
Enchantments (2)
Planeswalkers (1)
Basic Lands (5)
Nonbasic Lands (32)

(This list as posted in this article will not be final. If you want to see what changes might have occurred to the list since the posting of this article, check out the decklist posting on TappedOut here.)

CLOSING THOUGHTS

And there you have it, my take on a Sliver Hivelord EDH deck! Next week will be my first entry into Let’s Build Month, so I’ll be taking consensus from you, the readers, to decide which four generals or cards to build around! Until then!
~L

Check out my previous articles here:

Adapting to EDH Metagames:
Part 1 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1177
Part 2 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1252
Part 3 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1317
Part 4 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1370
Part 5 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1454

Building on a Budget:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1522

Choose Your Champion:
Part 1 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1594
Part 2 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1868
Part 3 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2539

Dragon’s Maze Prerelease Weekend:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1810

Guidance:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2548

Hits & Misses of:
Dragon’s Maze -http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1870
Innistrad - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2586

M14 –  http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2295
Theros - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2508
Born of the Gods - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2800
Journey into Nyx - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3101
M15 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3174

Legen-Wait for It-Dary:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2264

Let’s Build:
Part 1 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1606
Part 2 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1595
Part 3 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2214
Part 4 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2278
Part 5 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2303
Part 6 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2310
Part 7 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2323
Part 8 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2336
Part 9 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2341
Part 10 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2525
Part 11 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2617
Part 12 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2691
Part 13 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2822
Part 14 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2933
Part 15 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3086
Part 16 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3134
Part 17 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3153

Let’s Talk Conspiracy:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3138

Let’s Talk Journey into Nyx:
Part 1 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3015
Part 2 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3030

Let’s Talk M14:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2228

Let’s Talk M15:
Part 1 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3159
Part 2 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3167

Let’s Talk Theros:
Part 1 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2362
Part 2 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2378

Oh My God:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3118

Painting a Target:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2631

Planeswalking and You:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2184 

Resource Management:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2200

Stacking Up Commander 2013:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2561

The Slippery Slope:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2440

The Top Soldiers Of:
Azorius - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2640
Bant - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2907
Boros – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2854
Dimir - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2653
Esper - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2957
Five-Color - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3156
Golgari - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2760
Grixis – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2984
Gruul - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2669
Izzet- http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2710
Jund - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3124
Naya - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3146
Orzhov - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2681
Rakdos - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2663
Selesnya - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2677
Simic - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2900

Trial & Error:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2089