Slivers is a deck I have been itching to play with, but there aren't that many quality lists out there. The deck doesn't see much play, but that doesn't mean it's not powerful enough to warrant more play.
There are a lot of midrange and control decks in Modern, which Slivers is capable of preying upon. One-for-one removal is not effective against Slivers. What this deck is vulnerable to is fast combo decks. A reasonable Slivers draw often ends the game around turn five, but that is a turn slower than most of the combo decks in the format. This is the working list:
This list is my own, based off of some of the other ones that have done well recently. There are a bunch of Slivers that are clearly more important than others here, which helps dictate some of the numbers. The pump Slivers are the most important ones. That said, each Sliver has an important role. There are a few singletons, which might seem a bit random, but in a deck with Collected Company, having singletons that matter is important.
The deck is creature-based; the only spells in the deck support the creatures. Both AEther Vial and Collected Company go in decks that are creature-dense, and the creatures in this deck are only powerful because there are a lot of them. The fact is that a linear creature deck like this is going to have some pretty tough matchups because of its lack of ability to interact with the opponent, as can be seen in the match against Infect.
Infect isn't a good matchup for Slivers, but there are a few specific cards the deck has access to that allow it to interact. Unfortunately in the games those cards didn't materialize. Blighted Agent in particular was a rough card to deal with. Spellskite is great, especially when Infect doesn't have removal.
Instead of drawing the Spellskites against Infect we drew them in spots against Valakut where they were okay, but nothing special. Even though Valakut is a combo deck, it is not very fast. The Sliver deck is capable of racing this sort of strategy, and it doesn't seem like a bad matchup.
One lesson learned is that land sequence is important. The manabase is fragile, so knowing when to play Mutavault, as opposed to a Swamp to turn on Sedge Sliver, is important. There aren't that many lands in the deck, and it is difficult to untap with a Manaweft Sliver. There are spots where Slivers are going to be stuck in hand.
There are only three fetchlands in the deck, and not that many fetchable lands. There are two basic lands to help protect against Blood Moon, but if your opponent does play Blood Moon, finding one of those basic lands isn't easy. These factors mean that AEther Vial is important, as it is a colorless card that turns the entire deck on. The manabase is likely what is preventing Slivers from being a Tier 1 deck.
That said, Slivers can still be a successful metagame call. Cavern of Souls shuts down Counterspells, and the deck has the potential to have some pretty explosive draws. Looking at the match versus Jeskai it felt like they were completely helpless. Even thinking about the best possible card our opponents could be holding, it still didn't matter. Getting to resolve a turn three Collected Company and finding Blur Sliver off that Collected Company feels pretty unfair. If Jeskai Control is the deck to beat then a tribal creature deck like this one seems like the way to go. The control decks don't seem to be playing that many sweepers, which is what this deck is most worried about.
Thanks for reading,