So as I’m sure some of you know now, I got back into Magic: The Gathering. I didn’t want to. Card games were a big money sinkhole for me in high-school and university and with me landing a solid job for the first time in a long damn time I didn’t want my finances to fly out of the window.
But the problem was I knew, deep in my heart of hearts I wasn’t done with Magic. Despite having my teeth kicked in by players who could do laps around my deck building skills and the knowledge that I’d have to pay through the nose for the cards I needed to make my deck rise up, I wasn’t done.
Now normally, I can walk away most things when I’m done with them, but the problem is if I’ve ever not finished with a hobby when I walk away from it then it tends to nag in the back of my mind. That’s largely the reason why I am still hunting for a copy of RVD’s Unscripted for the now-defunct Raw Deal card game and why I plan to return to papercraft. The problem is, there’s a mechanic I never got to use in magic and it has always frustrated me that I never did.
They’re called slivers and they are awesome!
The slivers are a type of swarm creature much like the Tyranids, Zerg, Bugs from Starship Troopers, Flood, Headcrabs, you know. The legion of creatures that have a hive structure with a Queen somewhere out there breeding the things. The slivers are that, no question, but what makes them awesome in my mind is the mechanic behind them.
You see, each sliver creature has technically two abilities. An ability unique to it and the ability to share it with fellow slivers you control. The only exception is the Sliver Queen, Overlord and Legion but I’ll explain that later.
The idea is that the slivers are an adaptive race much like the Borg from Star Trek. However, while the Borg adapt to overcome the dangers of any particular environment (usually phaser blasts) thus removing a need for individuality, the Slivers thrive on individuality.
You see, when young slivers are born the have the capacity to adapt to their environment and learn new skills, this includes things like being able to fly or being immune to direct magic attacks. When the slivers reunite they share those abilities. And they are cheap! Most slivers only cost two mana!
The original design of the slivers was limited to those that came out in the Tempest and Stronghold sets with the latter consisting of six gold slivers (those being cards with two or more colors to them) five of which are built around the use of the sixth, Sliver Queen.
If you can read the text you know she basically allows you to make slivers to sacrifice and still keep the ones that actually give you abilities. She’s also the first creature in magic to be of all five colors. Which back then was an incredibly revolutionary thing and it made sense as if she was the mother of a species that had all of these adaptations then she as their mother would have all five colors.
Now when you have creatures with all five colors they can sometimes get a bit silly. I’m looking at you Progenitus!
But time goes on and more slivers have been made. Up in the rough 70s or so at this point if I’m not mistaken. And all of them work together. There are three slivers like the Queen which includes the Overlord (can search for slivers and control enemy slivers) and the Legion (all slivers get +1/+1 for every sliver in play) which are nicknamed the Sliver Gods.
And I’m going to get them all.
You see, this time I’ve set rules for myself:
1. With the exception of the Hivestone and Sliversmith, I shall only buy slivers. The only exception is the Legion and time spiral starter box sets that contains many slivers. (I’m kinda flexible on this when it comes to singles as I think I have some good self-control)
2. Any cards I do require that are not slivers shall be printed proxys for my deck.
3. I will NOT enter tournaments, especially draft tournaments.
4. I will not play against anyone at a significantly higher skill level.
5. If I must, I shall get their advice for my deck and improve it accordingly with proxys.
6. I will only play for fun against friends.
And that’s it. Aside from possibly picking up an Akroma (I used to run an angel deck) I don’t see much by way of problems with this.
So too does this work exist.