Analysis of Naya Slivers in Pauper

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Analysis of Naya Slivers in Pauper

Today we'll discuss an aggro deck that has stood out in Pauper: Naya Slivers!

By Arinaldo, 02/01/20

Hey, guys! o/ This is Ari, and today we'll discuss an aggressive (or

aggro

) deck that has stood out in the Pauper format:

Naya Slivers!

For a while now, the traditional GW Slivers deck started

splashing

with the red color. The Modern Horizons set also gave the deck new life, with the addition of both

Winding Way

and

Bladeback Sliver

. The former was immediately incorporated into GW, with the latter being an integral answer to many

fog spells

in this format. The list underwent some minor adjustments to occupy the red color,

Gemhide Sliver

was naturally added, helping with the mana base and its

ramping

. The red color then became more than just a splash, as cards like

Hunter Sliver

,

Gorilla Shaman

and even

Electrickery

started appearing in the deck.

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Recently, player

mikamimtg

won the Pauper Challenge on January 12th with the following list:
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It's worth noting the number of Tron decks present in the Top 8 of this Challenge. We can really see that a strategy against

fogs

is necessary.
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I ended up building

mikamimtg's

list on MTGO, and although I haven't played many games yet, I will share my first impressions about the deck. After more than five years playing Pauper, I finally had the experience of playing with 12 lords. I think this is a worthy highlight, as Slivers are the only type in this format with such privilege. (Hey, Wizards... I don't ask much, but what about merfolk, vampires, goblins?) Setting up a 3 color deck on Pauper is a complex task, and it was one of my concerns using this list. But right from the get-go I realized that this deck was really well adapted to its red

splash

. It has only 1

Mountain

, but in most cases, we are not in such a hurry to find it. In a specific match, I ended up with this single Mountain in the graveyard (due to

Winding Way

), but thanks to

Gemhide Sliver

, this is not really a problem.

Gemhide Sliver

also has a fantastic synergy with

Bladeback Sliver

. On top of granting us red mana, it helps with casting a lot per turn, keeping our hand empty and enabling a combo with

Bladeback Sliver

's ability.

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This combo requires some important decisions, though. Often, we won't do any damage so we can cast our hand instead, setting up an oppressive battlefield to perform a powerful attack in the next turn. We may also stop our attacks to summon more lords and to escape from some removals like

Lightning Bolt

and

Galvanic Blast

.
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Winding Way

and

Lead the Stampede

are essential cards to maintain this deck's pacing, certifying we always have more Slivers than opponent's answers. Both cards also help us with keeping brief and succint. Many aggro players know about the curse that is drawing several lands in the mid and late game. Usually, lists use 4 copies of each, but I find it interesting that some use only 3 copies of

Lead the Stampede

, as it may be the "slowest" card in the deck and usually puts our "non-creature side" into the bottom of our library. The deck has 12

"1 drop"

creatures and I wouldn't decrease this amount, as the abilities of these creatures are very relevant.

Plated Sliver

is useful in matches that have mass removals, such as

Evincar's Justice

and

Swirling Sandstorm

. Personally, I also like to keep it against aggros.

Sidewinder Sliver

is great against faerie or bird decks. I also like to use it against

Thorn of the Black Rose

, as it avoids deathtouch. In the image below we have an example of how the

flanking

ability can turn "block" into a very unfavorable action to the opponent.
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Virulent Sliver

is important in matches where the opponent can gain a lot of life, or cancel out many creatures. But I don't usually use it in matches against aggro decks. Most lists don't have any removals, which to me is strange at first, such as when I faced a burn deck that cast a

Thermo-Alchemist

early in the match. Despite having only 1 on the main deck,

Hunter Sliver

is essential because it assumes this role of removals. As I said, I only played a handful games with Slivers, but I want to discuss some

matchups

:

Fog Tron

: It was a complicated game, the Fogs are very efficient against Slivers. Unlike Affinity or Bogles decks, we don't have a

Fling

+

Dispel

combo to end the game. We can try to use the best opportunity to put a

Bladeback Sliver

on the field, but the opponent usually has many

Hydroblast

s to answer.

Elves

: It seems like a Good Matchup to me.

Sidewinder Sliver

and

Hunter Sliver

stand out in this match, but as we have no removals, the priority is to cast

Hunter Sliver

as soon as possible, since the opponent can tap their elves to escape the block forced by the provoke ability. Besides that, going for an aggressive strategy also works well.

MBC and BW Pestilence

: I got good results by drawing and filling the battlefield with as many creatures as possible.

Crypt Rats

may complicate as it is a bit faster than

Pestilence

, but I didn't encounter any. I intend to test

Obsidian Acolyte

in this matchup.

Affinity

: GW Slivers used to be a smoother matchup for Affinity, the battlefield was often locked and

Fling

was very good in these situations. However, Slivers have the current advantage. In addition to

Hallow

and

Prismatic Strands

, the deck's red cards (

Gorilla Shaman

,

Hunter Sliver

and

Bladeback Sliver

) fare well against Affinity.

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Burn

: Definitely a Bad Matchup. The opponent can promptly deal with our lords and win the game by dealing damage with

Thermo-Alchemist

and

Firebrand Archer

. Even with

Hallow

and

Prismatic Strands

on the side, it's a complicated match. Prismatic Strands is a little too slow and Hallow doesn't protect our creatures very well, because the opponent can destroy them with another removal, and we won't even gain Hallow's life points. I really want to test

Crimson Acolyte

in this matchup.

Tron

and

Burn

are both really popular in the current meta, so maybe that explains why Sliver doesn't have much representation (%) right now, even though it has good results. That's all for today, I hope you guys enjoyed the article. I'm really enjoying playing with this deck, but I'm still learning the ropes, so why don't we discuss it further on the comments below? I appreciate any sort of questions, criticisms or suggestions!

Grade

0

deck tech
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Arinaldo

Analista de Sistemas em São Paulo. Jogador e produtor de conteúdo sobre MTG. Criador e apresentador do Canal e Podcast Mana Delver. Apesar de ser apaixonado pelo Pauper, também joga e aprecia todos os outros formatos.

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