Modern Horizons spoiler season is hitting its peaks, and players are seeing the set full of callbacks and shout-outs dig even deeper. This new set was pitched as a successor to Time Spiral, a set built on nostalgia that homaged past sets. The following spoilers — Cloudshredder Sliver, Scuttling Sliver, and Hollowhead Sliver — all follow up on that theme.
The Sliver tribe debuted in the 1997 Tempest set and have been fan favorites ever since. Every Sliver grants an ability to the other Slivers in the hivemind, which makes their gameplay beloved by fans for their ‘tribal” playstyle. We have already seen The First Sliver, a very powerful legend for Sliver Decks, and cards such as Dregscape Sliver that gave old keywords to Slivers. But the Modern Horizons group does something new.
The original Time Spiral set had several Slivers that were designed after older cards. Each one gave an ability that matched an older card to all Slivers. For example, Fungus Sliver was a card that made all your Slivers into Fungusaurs.
These Slivers follow that trend.
Cloudshredder Sliver has the same abilities as Skynight Legionnaire from the set Ravnica City of Guilds. This year’s Guilds of Ravnica set reprinted the knight for being such an icon for the Boros Guild. Cloudshredder Sliver not only mimics the effect but has an art and flavor text that reference the original printing.
Hollowhead Sliver gives the effect of Rummaging Goblin to all of your Slivers. The goblin gave the name “rummaging” to the effect of discarding then drawing. This effect has become a staple for red cards for years.
Scuttling Sliver is a Sliver with two types that homages the classic Horseshoe Crab. Horseshoe Crab was used years ago in combos with cards such as Hermetic Study (in Urza’s Saga draft) and Presence of Gond (in masters 25 Draft) to tap creatures for effects and then untap them for a massive advantage. As Horseshoe Crabs are visually similar to Trilobites, this was a slam dunk nod.
For Scuttling Sliver, the ability’s cost was changed for one blue mana to two mana of any type. This allows players to use it more easily in multiple Sliver decks. It also pays tribute to how the abilities granted by Slivers in the BLANK set cost 2 generic mana as well.
These Slivers all are good for nostalgia, but their effects are very functional for Sliver decks as well.
Slivers are a creature deck, so finding a way to get your board past blockers is important. The only two Slivers legal in Modern that granted flying were Galerider Sliver and Pulmonic Sliver, and the latter’s high cost made it unviable. Cloudshredder Silver also gives haste, so for decks that use legends like The First Sliver and Sliver Queen to play lots of Slivers at once, being able to instantly have your army fly in for the kill is a valuable asset.
Scuttling Sliver’s ability to let your Slivers untap is valuable because several Slivers give your board tap abilities. Cards like Screeching Sliver and Psionic Sliver can be reused. Add in Training Grounds to halve this ability’s cost, and you can combo kill an enemy with little setup.
Rummaging Sliver shows an example of one of these tap abilities. Slivers being a creature type of many colors and abilities means finding the specific cards you need becomes critical. Hollowhead Sliver lets you trade in cards in your hand you don’t need to dig through your deck for a better Sliver to deal with the situation at hand. If you have a Sliver that you can’t cast with your current mana or one that has an unneeded ability, you can trade them in for a new card.
What do you think of these new Slivers? Will you be putting them to use in your own decks? Let us know down in the comments below! For more coverage of all coming and past Modern Horizons spoilers, keep up on our Magic: The Gathering page or check out our daily recaps!
Jim Harbor is a writer of articles, plays, comics, songs and animation.