New Sliver Tribal Deck CRUSHING In Modern

Competitive Modern 
Genoslugcs · May 5, 2023 · 4 min
New Sliver Tribal Deck CRUSHING In Modern

Gameplay Video By Electricbob31

Slivers have long been a beloved tribe in MTG. That said, they mainly see play/success in Commander. Don't get me wrong; they have shown up in other formats (like Modern) but never particularly successfully. With cards like Furyimage and Solitudeimage being heavily played, it's not surprising that the deck would struggle. Until now, when out of nowhere, a hot new Sliver deck top-8'd in the Modern challenge. So, what changed? Well, let's take a look.


Sliver Tribal By SouthernSliver

Main 60 cards (20 distinct)
Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (8)
Creature (32)
Land (20)
Side 15 cards (6 distinct)

The Deck

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So, what's allowing this deck to perform well against the plethora of cheap/free removal in play? Cards that make those free spells more expensive! First, there's Unsettled Marinerimage, which is a Sliver, thanks to changeling. He essentially makes spells that would target you or your creatures cost one more to play.

This is great because it protects your Slivers from targeted removal and also edict effects (such as the -2 of Liliana of the Veilimage), which target you. Remember that it also says "permanent," not just creature. So, this also goes a long way in protecting your Aether Vialimage or Engineered Explosivesimage from the sideboard too.

Next up, we have Diffusion Sliverimage, which does the same thing but only for your Slivers, and the tax is two mana instead of one. The one extra mana is phenomenal, considering these effects are mainly to protect the creatures anyways. With Diffusion Sliverimage in play, now even an evoked Furyimage will cost two mana. Exiling a card from their hand and paying two or three is a considerable slowdown compared to just the card.

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Lastly, a newer card is Surge of Salvationimage. Not only does this give you and your team hexproof, but it also negates the damage that would be dealt to red by black sources. Not only is this great for protecting your board, but it can also blank burn spells and hand disruption like Thoughtseizeimage.

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All of this is further backed up by Force of Negationimage and Frenetic Sliverimage. Force needs little explanation, just like Furyimage and Solitudeimage are great because they're essentially "free"; force is a pseudo-free counter spell for any removal that does make it to the stack through the other layers of defense.

Frenetic Sliverimage would be the last ditch effort to keep a creature alive. If someone does manage to cast a spell and you don't have a FoN, with this in play, you can flip a coin - If you win, you flicker your creature and save it. If you lose, you sacrifice it. And it was a goner at that point anyways, so a 50/50 shot at salvation is pretty good.

You've also got a full playset of Cavern of Soulsimage and Aether Vialimage (as well as FoN) to protect you against Counterspellimages.

The Combat Slivers

We've been over the cards that keep everything alive. Now, let's take a look at what we're actually protecting. There are a total of 23 Slivers (aside from the ones mentioned above) in the deck, and they are as follows.


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These are both old-school Slivers and are pretty straightforward - They give your Slivers (including themselves) a +1/+1 boost. Two mana lords are the cornerstone of good tribal, and both of these are great. With such a critical mass of Slivers in the deck (and paired with some of the other cards in the deck) they can quickly represent quite a lot of damage.

Ability Granters

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Cloudshredder Sliverimage is the newest (and perhaps most powerful) of the bunch here - Each one of these gives your creatures some powerful abilities. Galerider Sliverimage gives some much-needed evasion in the form of flying, while Cloudshredder gives flying and haste.

The mix of flying and haste is already great, but it gets even better when paired with the unearth from Dregscape Sliverimage. Should all of the measures mentioned above fail, and you actually have a creature go to the graveyard (perhaps from dying in combat), you can bring it right back for only two mana, thanks to the Dredgescape here.

Not only will it likely return with boosted power and toughness, flying, and be able to attack immediately, but you'll also get whatever boost it grants for the turn. This is particularly nasty with the one Sliver I haven't covered yet - Leeching Sliverimage. With it in play, all your attackers drain your opponent for one life. I love effects like this, and this is perhaps my favorite Sliver of all time.


You're making it nearly impossible for opponents to target you or your things; you're forcing them to have consistent blockers on the ground and in the air, and with Leeching Sliverimage, even that isn't enough. Because now they're being drained as soon as you attack. It's not uncommon at all for this to leech opponents for 3-6 life per combat phase, and that's if they manage to absorb all the actual combat damage.


Overall, the deck manages to be grindy, yet aggressive. Offensive and defensive simultaneously - Proactive but also able to disrupt the elements of opposing strategies that would hinder the game plan. And generally quite resilient despite the efficiency of Modern's creature removal.

Most creature-based aggro (aside from perhaps Merfolk) doesn't have the luxury of playing a ton of disruptive spells since removing threats for them oftentimes weakens the overall strategy of "put things on board, make them big, and turn them sideways" watered-down to the point of diminished returns. But fully committing to the board leads to blowouts by Furyimage and Solitudeimage or even more traditional removal like Lightning Boltimage, Fatal Pushimage, Path to Exileimage, Unholy Heatimage, etc.

The numbers that the deck is putting up don't lie - And for now, it seems that this new incarnation of Modern Slivers has managed to solve all of the problems I just mentioned and find a winning recipe for success. As someone who loves tribal strategies, I hope this continues to do well. Now, to work Unsettled Marinerimage into my Vampire list for some testing!



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