Slivin’ Away

Typically, the success of tribal decks is predicated on the existence of either a powerful lord or card advantage engine. Cards like Goblin Ringleader, Glimpse of Nature, and Lord of Atlantis, for example. In Pauper, there are a number of exciting tribal decks featuring engines like Distant Melody and Goblin Matron, but there’s really only one tribe that has a high density of lords:

Predatory Sliver
Slivers is a relatively straightforward tribe with a lot of interesting options. The core of the deck is the twelve lord effects in Muscle Sliver, Sinew Sliver, and Predatory Sliver. It’s interesting to note that most builds play zero copies of cards like Gemhide Sliver or Manaweft Sliver, as you’re more focused on beating down than splashing for interesting keywords. You also don’t have access to most of the expensive, haymaker slivers, as those are relegated to higher rarities.

Instead, the key here is to utilize Plated Sliver and cheap pump spells like Vines of Vastwood, Mutagenic Growth, and Thrill of the Hunt to keep your early slivers out of burn range until you can deploy enough lords that you’re insulated from Red removal. Beyond that, you have Sidewinder Sliver to make it easier for you to attack into your opponent’s large creatures, as well as Virulent Sliver as a way to both steal games if you have multiples early or to fight against lifegain-heavy archetypes.

Part of the power of slivers is the flexibility of the non-Sliver slots. There are a myriad of things that you can do depending on what you’re expecting to see. This build opts for Mutagenic Growth and Vines of Vastwood for protection, Lead the Stampede to recover from removal, and Epic Confrontation as removal. It’s also reasonable to play Commune with Nature to dig for more lords early, Prismatic Strands to protect from burn spells or win messy combat steps, or even Travel Preparations or Sigil Blessing to ensure that your team is bigger than whatever your opponent is trying to do.

If you’re looking for an aggressive tribal deck that’s relatively straightforward but still has plenty of techy options depending on what you expect to see across the table, maybe Slivers is the deck you’ve been looking for.

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