Monthly Mailbag – Slivers, Why Does It Always Have to Be Slivers?

Indiana Jones Slivers

Ah, the mailbag. It’s where a writer goes when he/she runs out of ideas or wants to talk about a variety of topics without putting a small post out. Today, I talk about my “favorite” creature type, why Wizards needs to slow it down, and card drawing in colors other then Blue. Time to use this thinly veiled concept.


I like slivers. You’re bashing them on MTGSalvation for their new promo set: Premium Deck Series: Slivers? What gives?

In case you haven’t heard, Wizards is printing another special set (more about this in a moment), this time with Slivers. The new collection, called Premium Deck Series, are going to be all foil (premium is what Wizards calls foils) with some new slivers that have yet to be in the new-border and a Mythic sliver. What’s my beef?

I don’t like slivers, I really don’t. I am a Johnny (well, Johnny/Spike), and MaRo even recently posted about designing cards for Johnny saying this:

In my Timmy article, I explained that many Timmies are drawn to linear cards—that is they like cards that help give them definition. Johnnies, in contrast, seem to be pulled in the opposite direction, to modular cards. Johnnies like modular cards because they don’t dictate a path. Johnnies want to discover their own way so they are less interested in cards that do the thing they were hoping to provide themselves.

Slivers are a linear cards (cards that work together, like Goblins or Affinity) and you just throw them together and boom, you have a deck. Sometimes those decks can be fun and a nice change of pace (I built a R/G warriors deck during LOR/SHA block), but 99% of the time I don’t do that. In fact, my R/G warriors deck was using the Battle-Axe in fun various ways even though it was a linear deck.

I don’t believe that Slivers offer me to opportunity to build fun, interesting decks and that’s why I don’t like them. Plus when they show up they show up alot, taking up space for other interesting cards. You have to have a sliver with the set mechanic, then you have to have other slivers for pumping various powers and toughness, then you have to have to have some sort of evasion, etc. They haven’t been printed in several blocks so fans of slivers want there to be more, right now.

But the other deal is the fact that there is another special set being printed: Premium Deck Series. So, besides the actual sets there are this subset of cards that are being printed: Duel Decks, From the Vault, Planechase, and now this. People can say, “Hey, if you don’t want it, don’t buy it. They’re just reprints anyway.” And that’s true. I’m not interested in this concept so I won’t be spending my money on this product. Wizards are printing these set for various groups of people (like the people who want foil Slivers).

Duel Decks PvN
Sure, it was a joke then. But in 1 year?

But this whole concept was started by Ken Nagle (I believe) who I met at Alara Reborn Pre-release and we talked about these decks. He said that he wanted to Magic collectible again and with these sets, it feels like it. But it does feel like too much if someone wanted to collect all of the promo sets. Too much, took quick. While I like the concept of these, Wizards, please, space out the sets. We’ve come to expect 1 From the Vault every year, 2 or so Duel Decks every year, but when you make these sets so close to the release of a product, it can be hard. If you want these to be Holiday gifts, most of the people who would buy them for their loved ones (parents, significant others) won’t be able to find them since will be out of stock since they were in high demand. Sure, the gift givers could be given where they need to be, but not everyone is that attentive.

Overall, not a fan of slivers and I believe that Magic is trying too much at a time. I’m not saying it isn’t needed or wanted, just not at the moment.

This is still a mistake.

Card draw is so important, all colors should have access to it at some level. Do you agree or not, and why? – mtgsalivanth

See ladies and gentlemen (mostly gentlemen): you ask a question and it gets answered (mtgcolorpie on twitter or @

Yes, I believe that all colors should have access to card draw, it just has to be in different ways. Not every color should have a spell that says: “Draw three cards.” The different colors in Magic are different because they each have different strengths and weaknesses. And so should their card drawing spells. Here is a real quick rundown of how I believe the colors should get card draw and actual examples:

– Paying life for cards. Black can do anything as long as they pay a price.
Examples: Necropotence, Yawgmoth’s Bargin, Sign in Blood
– Sacrificing creatures for cards. Ritual sacrifice for knowledge, very Black flavor.
Examples: Diabolic Intent, Dredge, Reprocess

– Blue has the ability to cast spells that just draw.
Examples: Ancestral Recall, Stroke of Genius, Train of Thought
– Using creatures to draw cards. They’re powerful enough to gain knowledge.
Examples: Archivist, Mulldrifter, Thieving Magpie

– Using creatures to draw cards. This is different than Blue because Green is harmonious with nature so it gains cards based on the bond it shares with creatures.
Examples: Collective Unconscious, Elvish Visionary, Regal Force

– Sacrificing the future for the present.
Examples: Mindmoil, Winds of Change

– Paying a tax to draw cards (either to opponent or hindering yourself for self-sacrifice)
Examples: Armistice, Pursuit of Knowledge
– Related to Enchantments
Examples: Mesa Enchantress

Every color should have access to cantrip spells (deal 1 damage, draw a card) whenever it would make a weak card less weak. I believe that Red should also have a randomness to its draws (choose one of the top three cards of your library at random. Draw that card and exile the other two). As you see, not every color is equal in its card draw, nor should it be. That’s what makes this game of Magic so great, having to do different things with different colors.

That’s it for today. Remember, if you have any questions you want answered for the next mailbag, send them to me on Twitter ( or e-mail them to me (mtgcolorpie_@_gmail_dot_com). Until then.

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