Screw the fugly slivers, Shadowborn Apostle is the greatest card in regards to flavour in a long time.
There you go, a classic tribe has been defiled for the sake of reaching a bigger audience, facial expressions and change for the sake of change.Several of you have have asked:
“Why the art change to the new slivers?”
In case you hadn’t heard, today the official Magic Twitter account @wizards_magic tweeted pictures of some new sliver cards from the upcoming set Magic 2014. Slivers have evolved a bit since you last saw them.
Not everyone reading this was playing Magic when we saw slivers last, so for a bit of background: Slivers are a feared, uncontrollable race of rapidly-evolving predators. Their species is organized into a hive structure, much like some social insects. But slivers don’t just share food and resources — terrifyingly, they also share adaptations. Whenever one sliver innovates a new mutation, that mutation spreads rapidly throughout the entire hive, so that every individual can grow, and adapt, and hunt more effectively.
These slivers previewed for Magic 2014 are more humanoid than the beak-headed, one-clawed, one-tailed forms we saw before. The reasons are basically twofold.
First, the thinking in Creative was that the earlier sliver anatomical design was not really adaptable enough to meet the art needs of another batch of slivers. After Time Spiral block, the range of different body morphologies of the one-claw sliver was already in danger of being played out. We had already seen two-headed slivers, two-clawed slivers, two-tailed slivers, brainy slivers, leafy slivers, spiky slivers — a lot of variations on that one design, an anatomical theme that was never actually planned out beyond the first handful of slivers in Tempest and Stronghold. M14 adds a host of new slivers, and we decided it was time to broaden their range of potential morphologies.
Second, these new slivers were going to appear in the core set. The core set is of course meant for everyone, but it’s the set that we especially like to put in front of newer players. It was felt that slivers’ appeal would be greater for a wider audience if they could be given more of a personality than the eyeless, beaked creatures could support. We wanted them to be able to look you in the eye like other fantasy races, to be capable of a greater range of body language and even, sometimes, to generate facial expressions.
The visual evolution also helps differentiate the older slivers from the newer. The designers and developers felt it was important to have these slivers’ rules text work slightly differently than before, in that your slivers only “see” the slivers on your side of the board, and don’t grant abilities to your opponents’. From Creative’s end, that rules difference wasn’t a huge impetus for the visual change in itself, but it made for a logical time to make the change.
Between these reasons, the new super-adaptable-but-tends-to-be-more-humanoid morphology was devised for slivers. Many iterations were worked on. Many designs were tried and abandoned before this one in the attempt to get this race to a new evolution. This new design has these movable plates that lets the slivers rearrange their anatomies, and one of their arms is often elongated and sharpened, reminiscent of the sliver claw — it’s actually really clever what the guys have come up with. I wish I could show you all the concept art and backstory writing we developed for them. But I don’t have that here with me at home (I’m posting from ye olde laptop in my bedroom as per usual), and anyway I think it’d probably be too early to show. M14 previews won’t officially start for a while. But it would definitely make a good article on DailyMTG at some point.
I know you’ve only seen a few of these evolved slivers so far, but I’m curious to hear your initial thoughts. Whether you have thoughts about how you think they’ll be received by others, or it’s your own personal reactions, my ask box is open.
Did wizards even know that slivers are a popular tribe with casual player, their biggest audience?
Booooooooring,generic, uncreative and half-assed. Slivers were SPECIAL, this thing looks like every other creature. If you told me it was a reprint of Phyrexian XYZ I would have believed you without question.
This is a horrible mess.
They took an iconic casual tribe and raped it.
The new design is stupid as hell and it sure is creative to rip off Alien vs Predator.
The faces for the sake of character was very wtf. It's like, give elves more human eyes or not-pointy ears for the sake of character. I get the more humanoid morphology. But the beaked, eyeless head screams sliver. It's not lacking in character at all. ffs.
Omg, I thought it's impossible to hate a set even before the official Spoiler Season starts...
It's not the first time the art department basically threw their hands up and said fuck it.
But yeah, as a Legacy player I don't really care about any of this.
I fucking loathe New World Order. Maro's quest to keep acquisition up at all costs is just turning core sets into Portal. These new Slivers just reek of it.
Like I read this and know everyone else is like, "haha April fools" but they don't get that he isn't joking
And I try my best to not be the crotchety old man that I know I'm destined too, but if the plan is to get new payers hooked on easy to learn core sets so they can "move up", there has to be something there for them to move into.
EDIT: New for M15! Goblins that are all CMC 4 with janky power/toughness like 1/5! Because new players like Goblins, but not for any of the things that make them Goblins! Yay! -Maro
I love slivers. What I don't love is their re-imagining for this set. As others have pointed out, it does a great job of screwing with an old and iconic tribe.
Am I the only one that doesn't care? I hate slivers and I'll hate these slivers.
I will say that I agree on the points for the art change, wotc has burned out most the obv variance of slivers in the traditional worm with hooked claw and plated head motiff.
And affecting creatures you control is just something nwo pretty much guarantees, no one likes it when their creatures kill them and core sets are ultimately mean for beginning players anyway.
The art change kinda reeks of a disregard for their artists. Why not just say "look here's the basic design of a sliver, you're a creative person, make it look vigilant"?
I mean the point of the whole tribe was that they were SLIVERS! They're hive-based, quick-evolving, swarming creatures, they should look alien/insectile. They were the Zerg a year before the Zerg came out.
"Notions of chance and fate are the preoccupation of men engaged in rash undertakings."
Slivers are meh! Worst design ever (flavorless artificial creatures that can do anything)! And bringing them back is the dumbest idea ever! And changing their tiny bit of flavor is totally sick!
Sliver Queen will not come back. I am pretty sure of that, because WotC is so proud of their Reserve List.
I find it a bad idea in general to do a whole new core set with a lot of newly designed cards every year. That is not "core" and it is too much and it has no flavor.
Also if they don't put the Innistrad dual lands into the core set and keep it there, they miss a great opportunity to finally establish the complete "new" dual land cycle.
Step 1: Make stuff suckIt was felt that slivers’ appeal would be greater for a wider audience if they could be given more of a personality than the eyeless, beaked creatures could support.
Step 2: Say you want to appeal a wider audience
This is pretty much the equivalent of "we want the Call of Duty audience". Goddamn.
The whole point of slivers flavor-wise was
- they're an insect-like swarm
- they evolve at lightning speed
- they will slap your shit because of that
Making them look humanoid kinda takes away the feel of this faceless horror. If they wanted to give them faces, why not slap it onto the original design?
They completely took away made the tribe identifiable. I like the comparison with random Phyrexians.
The new slivers are insulting on multiple levels- the art, the mechanic ("you control"), casting cost, p/t size. They basically created a new class of creature, and gave it an iconic name because they were too lazy to develop a new creature type.
This is a should've been aborted version of the splicer/golem series from New Phyrexia in my opinion. Obvious difference being the slivers are their own lords instead of humans. Regardless, you're still asked to play an unwieldy number of colors, for creatures that aren't as impressive as they could be if costed correctly.
Need big slivers now? Wait till turn 5.
Back in the day, play 4 Muscle Slivers and have them beefy by turn 3/4.
The thing I dislike so much about it, are the new slivers being both infinitely worst, but better than the old ones. Old wizard pumps his team and your team. New wizard just pumps his team. Seems awkward. Someone should've stopped because that defies common sense.
miss the good old days, where you had to guess rarity because the expansion symbol only came in the color black.
Last edited by ahg113; 05-07-2013 at 05:58 PM.
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