aquiline ascension

published: 2010-11-22
author: Hans Nowak

Underrated Magic card of the day: Frenzy Sliver

The other day I acquired all the cards of the Tempest Slivers deck in MTGO. (Well, almost all the cards. Counterspells are hard to come by. I replaced them with Arcane Denials.)

Although I won a game or two with this deck, I did notice that some of the slivers didn't really pack much of a punch. I was especially unimpressed with Clot Sliver, Mindwhip Sliver, and Mnemonic Sliver. I don't play a discard deck, and even if I did, a single Mindwhip Sliver isn't going to come up too often. Mnemonic Sliver's card drawing ability is cool, but I don't want to sac a sliver every time I do it. And Clot Sliver just seems fairly useless.

So, I replaced the Clot Slivers with 4 Frenzy Slivers, and the other guys with Shifting and Spectral Slivers, and two Sliversmiths.

I think I made some other, minor changes to the deck, but these were the most important. The backbone of the deck is now formed by the Winged, Frenzy and Metallic Slivers, of which there are 4 each. (Backed up by countermagic and black removal spells.)

The Frenzy Slivers have been extraordinarily useful. Admittedly their ability doesn't seem like much at first. The ratings on Gatherer reflect this (2.9 out of 5 stars), and it's a common, which are usually not the most powerful cards. So it does one extra damage if unblocked, big deal. Also, being a Future Sight card, it's the only card so far that features the "frenzy" keyword, so it's easy to overlook.

The deck is full of cheap slivers though, which means that before long there will be a lot of them on the table, especially with a Sliversmith in play, which can add one every turn. With a Winged Sliver on the "battlefield", all of them will have flying, which makes them harder to block, so the frenzy ability becomes more useful.

What people might not realize though, is that the frenzy ability is cumulative. In other words, if you have two Frenzy Slivers on the table, all slivers essentially have frenzy 2. Suddenly it's looking a lot more interesting -- 4 flying 1/1 slivers would deal 4 damage total if unblocked, but 4 flying slivers with frenzy 2 would deal 12 damage in the same situation!

So, if you draw the right cards, and can stop your opponent from setting up a sturdy defense, it's lights out pretty fast. (I suppose I should improve this deck by adding a few "tutor" cards that fetch the desired slivers for me, in case they are hiding out...)

Next time I try a blue/green sliver deck... ^_^

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