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Thread: [Deck/Primer] Countersliver (MeatHooks)

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    [Primer/Deck] Countersliver (MeatHooks)



    Legacy Countersliver

    "Slivers are evil and slivers are sly; And if you get eaten, then no one will cry." - Mogg children's rhyme.

    A Brief History of Countersliver (or "Back in the Day...")
    In 1999, Chris Senhouse and his team shook up the Extended format by garnering several top 8 PTQ berths with their “House of Slivers” creation, which was basically a port of the well-known Type 2 Countersliver deck. Employing the ever-potent trio of Crystalline, Muscle and Winged Sliver as his primary win condition, Senhouse filled out the rest of the deck with counterspells, card-drawers and utility spells. The deck was well-equipped to handle the powerhouse Extended decks of the time, with Crystalline/Worship lock to frustrate Sligh, countermagic to thwart High Tide combo and countermagic + disenchants to combat Necropotence. While Senhouse's initial version ran just three colors (UWG), the deck eventually evolved (with the help of other deck innovators) into a 4-color variant with black for Hibernation Sliver, Duress and most importantly, the overpowered (and now banned) Demonic Consultation. Countersliver continued to have good success until mid-2000, at which point it fell out of favor due to shifts in the Extended metagame. Once the Revised dual lands rotated out of Extended in 2002, the Countersliver archetype rotated out with them.

    Put out to pasture in the Legacy format, Countersliver languished in obscurity for several years, barely played, but not quite forgotten. Around 2006, it reemerged as "MeatHooks," a moniker derived from the pointy appearance of sliver appendages. Though it was never considered a Tier 1 power, it managed to gain some traction in the metagame for a while. Employing Plated Sliver alongside the usual cadre of Crystalline/Muscle/Winged, the deck's primary appeal was that it was very strong against Goblins, which was considered the strongest deck in the format at the time. However, nothing lasts, and it wasn't long before Goblins began to fade from power. As Goblins receded from prominence, Countersliver began to lose relevance. At the center of this was WotC's commitment to printing increasingly powerful creatures, such as Tarmogoyf. As individual creatures became stronger, more efficient, and fully capable of winning games on their own, the hive strategy of slivers became less and less enticing. However, WotC wasn't done with slivers, and with M14 and M15 came a batch of new sliver cards for us to play with. M14 was particularly bountiful, providing highly useful new slivers in the form of Galerider, Predatory, and Syphon. Combined with the printing of Cavern of Souls and Sliver Hive to bolster a traditionally fragile manabase, there may now be enough tools to breathe life back into this dormant archetype.


    Building Countersliver
    Any good Countersliver deck starts with blue and white, because Crystalline Sliver. Then you add green to give the deck the muscularity that it needs. You could stop there and have a potent countersliver deck. However, many would argue that the best version of the deck is UWGB, with black being added for access to Hibernation Sliver and Syphon Sliver. Below, I have provided some sample deck lists:


    Optimizing the Manabase
    You should have 16-18 lands that produce or fetch color. This includes basics, duals, fetches, Caverns, Hives, and other rainbow lands. Then you can add any number of Mutavaults (highly recommended) and Wastelands (optional) that you want on top of that. Typically, the deck runs 19-21 lands, altogether. As a rule of thumb, run 19 lands for Bant, and 20 for 4-color. Add 1 if you're playing Chalice instead of Brainstorm.

    Cavern of Souls: An absolute godsend for this deck. Makes your slivers uncounterable. Play 4 if you got em. If you don't got em, get em. They're too good.

    Sliver Hive: Another painless City of Brass for casting slivers. You will rarely have an opportunity to use the secondary ability, but if you just want another land to supplement your Caverns, this fits the bill nicely.

    More "rainbow" lands: Ancient Ziggurat, City of Brass, Mana Confluence, Reflecting Pool, and Undiscovered Paradise are all viable options, if used sparingly. Fill up on Caverns and Hives first, though.

    Mutavault: A land that becomes a sliver? Yes please. Make room for 2-4 of these.

    Wasteland: Combines well with Aether Vial, denying your opponent mana while you use Vial to cheat your slivers into play. That said, Mutavaults should be preferred, and it's difficult to make room for both. Maybe a 3-2 split if you just gotta.

    Basic lands: Always include a basic Island. This will often be the first land you fetch in the face of Wastelands. Island + cavern/hive casts every 2cc spell in the deck. If you're playing Bant Slivers, I would also recommend including a basic Plains. Never a basic forest, though.


    Automatic Maindeck Cards
    Aether Vial: Great for color-fixing and combat trickery. Also largely invalidates your opponent’s Counterbalance-Top strategy. Automatic 4-of.

    Crystalline Sliver: The backbone of the deck and still the best sliver ever printed. Listen to your opponent groan as Crystalline comes into play. Automatic 4-of.

    Hibernation Sliver: For the 4-color variant, of course. Provides resilience to Terminus and Wrath effects. Can also serve as a poor man's Crystalline, allowing individual slivers to dodge spot removal. Unfortunately, the M10 rule changes put an end to the "damage on the stack" trickery that was arguably Hibernation Sliver's greatest quality. Still, the ability to declare a block, then bounce the sliver back to your hand before damage is assessed can be quite useful. Not only when dealing with large goyfs and the like, but also when dealing with creatures equipped with Umezawa's Jitte.

    Sinew Sliver/Muscle Sliver/Predatory Sliver: Make your slivers beefy! Start with 4 Predatory, then fit in as many Sinews and Muscles as you can.

    Galerider Sliver: The coup de gras. Break stalemates by flying over your opponent’s creatures or Moat effect.

    Mutavault: A perfect addition to the deck. Provides colorless mana when needed, and becomes a 2/2 sliver when activated. The fact that it's colorless can come in handy against Mother of Rune shenanigans.

    Force of Will: Puts the "counter" in countersliver.


    Brainstorm vs Chalice of the Void
    This is perhaps the central choice to make when building a Countersliver deck. Traditionally, the deck has always run Brainstorm in this format, and why not? Combined with the fetchlands that are all but necessary to the manabase, Brainstorm is a natural fit. More recently, however, it has been suggested that the deck could benefit more from running Chalice of the Void. The thinking goes that the raw power of shutting down all of your opponent's 1cc (and sometimes 0cc) spells outweighs the hand-sculpting utility of Brainstorm.

    Chalice does work well with the deck's strategy, shutting off many of the cantrips, tutors, and spot removal spells employed by the majority of decks in the format, while affecting us very little. The majority of our slivers cost 2cc, and and even Galerider can be slipped under a Chalice with the benefit of Cavern of Souls. Meanwhile, some prominent decks in the format all but roll over and die if you resolve a turn 2 Chalice. It's a bit of an ongoing experiment, but at the very least Chalice seems to be a viable option, if not preferred. See Cup O' Slivers above for an example of a decklist that employs this strategy.


    Possible Maindeck Cards
    Swords to Plowshares: Used to be an automatic 4-of, but the times have changed. More and better slivers have been printed, and it has become reasonable to play fewer Plows or forgo them altogether.

    Daze: Useful for sticking turn 1 Aether Vial, disrupting combo, and generally keeping your opponent honest. Requires an island-heavy manabase to be effective, though. If you want the extra disruption that Daze provides, you'll have to minimize the number of Hives and Mutavaults you include in your manabase.

    Echoing Truth: One or two, maybe. Useful for eradicating swarms of token creatures, or getting that problematic non-land permanent out of the way.

    Harmonic Sliver: A great answer for Affinity, MUD/Stax, and CB-Top decks. Especially effective when combined with Hibernation Sliver for bounce/recursion. Can be awkward when the only available target is your own Aether Vial.

    Winged Sliver: Inferior to Galerider Sliver, but there's a valid argument to be made that 4 Galerider isn't quite enough.

    Syphon Sliver: Deserves consideration in 4c builds. Giving all your slivers Lifelink will immediately change the complexion of many games. Races you were losing suddenly swing to your favor.

    Leeching Sliver: Serves as pseudo-lord. If you have multiples, the effect stacks. Especially useful in stalemate situations, where you can potentially punch through lethal damage by the simple act of declaring your attacking creatures.

    Plated Sliver: This guy doesn't get the respect he deserves. Yeah, he's just a 1/2 on his own, but having him in the deck (alongside his more muscular brothers, of course) will speed up the deck's clock by a turn. Just by virtue of having a sliver body, and being something else you can do with just 1 mana, he makes the deck more efficient. And don't kid yourself, that extra point on the ass end of the sliver is often useful!

    Sidewinder Sliver: Another reasonable 1-drop to consider, if you're looking for 1-drops. I prefer Plated, because the extra point of toughness makes it easier to survive Pyroclasm effects and play defense (i.e. block). However, this guy is no joke. And, yes, the Flanking effect does stack.

    Dark Confidant: Might be viable with the inclusion of Syphon Sliver to offset the loss of life. However, it's probably just going to draw all that removal that would otherwise sit uselessly in your opponent's hand because of Crystalline/Hibernation.

    Phantasmal Image: Best when copying a sinew/muscle/predatory sliver. It doesn't target, so you can copy any sliver, even with Crystalline in play. Can also copy your opponent's Marit Lage, Progenitus, Emrakul, etc.

    Standstill: This is one of the few pure card advantage options available to this deck, which makes it attractive. However, care must be taken to only cast it in situations that are advantageous to you.

    Envelop, Flusterstorm, Spell Pierce, Stifle, Swan Song: If you’re looking to squeeze more counter-magic into the deck, you should probably be looking at these spells. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, and I can’t definitively endorse one over the other, though the consensus is probably with Spell Pierce. Stifle combines well with Wasteland, if you're playing them. Envelop is great against most combo and Control decks. Spell Pierce is just generally useful, but it isn't a hard counter. Consider what kind of metagame you’re trying to combat and make your choice accordingly.

    Pithing Needle: Common namings would include Griselbrand, Sneak Attack, Pernicious Deed, Wasteland, Mishra's Factory, Sensei’s Divining Top, Karakas, Umezawa's Jitte, planeswalkers.

    Ponder: Recent countersliver lists have gone away from this card, but it can be helpful for digging out of 1-land hands, and digging for whichever piece of the sliver team you need at any given point in the game.

    Wasteland: Best when combined with Stifle and/or Standstill.

    Duress, Thoughtseize: Reasonable choices if you’re playing 4c and looking for more proactive disruption. Thoughtseize is more playable in conjunction with Syphon Sliver.


    Sideboard Options
    Extirpate, Surgical Extraction, Planar Void, Leyline of the Void, Tormod's Crypt, Relic of Progenitus, Grafdigger's Cage, Rest in Peace, Krosan Grip, Vindicate, Serenity, Harmonic Sliver, Syphon Sliver, Talon Sliver, Darkheart Sliver, Engineered Explosives, Engineered Plague, Ghostly Prison, Propaganda, Moat, Worship, Chill, Hydroblast, Blue Elemental Blast, Burrenton Forge-Tender, Stifle, Spell Snare, Spell Pierce, Annul, Divert, Misdirection, Flusterstorm, Steel Sabotage, Swan Song, Gilded Drake, Meddling Mage, Containment Priest, Runed Halo, Gaddock Teeg, Duress, Thoughtseize, Pithing Needle, Null Rod, Submerge, Mind Harness, Orim's Chant, Ensnare, Path to Exile.


    How to Sideboard
    This deck is built in such a way that you rarely want to take out more than 4-5 cards, so build your sideboard appropriately. Don't put 7 cards in your sideboard for one specific matchup, unless you know exactly what to board out for them.

    Slivers are how you win. Avoid taking out more than a couple of them out when sideboarding, unless you're replacing them with other creatures, i.e. swapping out Crystallines for Ethersworn Canonists against certain combo decks. Which slivers you board out depends on the matchup. Sometimes Crystalline, sometimes Galerider, maybe a Muscle; just don't go crazy.

    Dazes can come out for something better, especially if you're on the draw.

    It's sometimes appropriate to side Swords to Plowshares out. Should be pretty obvious when.


    FAQ
    Q: Should I keep this 1-land hand?
    A: Maybe. Generally, you want to throw back 1-land hands, unless you have an Aether Vial. If you have a Ponder and an island or fetch, that may be an acceptable keep as well. Be warned, however, that trying to work your way out of a 1-land hand with Brainstorm is not recommended. If you miss, you lose.

    Q: What about creature tutors? Like Living Wish, or Eladamri's Call?
    A: It's been tried. They're too slow.

    Q: Merfolk does is better.
    A: That isn't a question. I can tell because your voice didn't go up at the end. But, yeah, okay, maybe. What of it?

    Q: What about red?
    A: For what? Striking Sliver? Hunter Sliver? Lightning Bolt? Nah. Not worth it.

    Q: What about this really awesome sliver that costs 4 or 5 mana?
    A: Gosh, that's a really neat sliver, Timmy. Unfortunately, it's too slow and difficult to get into play. Even 3cc slivers are mostly unplayable, with Harmonic and Syphon being the rare exceptions.

    Q: Slivers are the coolest!
    A: Again, not a question. But yes, yes they are.


    Matchups
    Most of the following is based on second-hand reporting right now. Results are for a Uwgb list similar to the Patraw list above. I have only tested a handful of these matchups myself. I will update as I am able.

    Bad: Storm, Mud, BR Reanimator, NicFit, Sneak and Show
    50/50: Goblins, Elves, Infect, Burn, Canadian Thresh
    Good: Reliquary Retreat, DnT, 4c Cascade, Merfolk, Miracle, Pox, BUG Delver


    Tournament History & Proven Lists
    Click here for results.


    Credits
    Chris Lennon (Volt)
    James Hammer (Pinder)
    Brian Crownhart (Maverick676)
    John Thomas (xsockmonkeyx)
    Gordy Goetz (Tosh)
    Sam Blau (Kronicler)
    and the rest of Team InfoNinja.

    Also, special thanks to Kicks_422, who suggested 'MeatHooks' as an alternate deck name for Countersliver.


    References & Additional Reading
    The Secret Life of Slivers
    A Sliver Story
    Sliver Me Timbers
    Sliver Anatomy
    Prisoner of the Skep; or, How I Encountered the Slivers—and Lived to Tell the Tale!
    Tales from the Crypt Sliver
    Take the Sliver Quiz!
    Sliver Pâté
    This Hive is No Mos Eisley
    A Sliver of a Chance
    Last edited by Volt; 01-06-2016 at 02:21 PM.
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    Re: [Deck/Primer] Countersliver (MeatHooks)

    Reserved.

    Old thread was old. Figured it was time for a reset. Primer has been overhauled.

    The old thread may be found here.

    Slivers never die. Discuss.
    Last edited by Volt; 12-05-2015 at 07:31 PM.
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    Re: [Deck/Primer] Countersliver (MeatHooks)

    Welcome in the new thread, fellow Hivelords!
    Fitting for the new start, I fiel like I've never had this much fun before while playing Magic ^^

    This weekend is Nebraska's War in Italy, one of the biggest European Tournament weekends, and I got 10th out of 103 in the Trial for the Legacy Main Event tomorrow :D

    The List I ran was - as I suggested - a Merfolk-like take on Slivers. I really loved it <3

    Creatures (28):
    4 Galerider Sliver
    4 Hibernation Sliver
    4 Crystalline Sliver
    4 Sinew Sliver
    4 Predatory Sliver
    2 Muscle Sliver
    2 Syphon Sliver
    1 Winged Sliver
    3 Phantasmal Image

    Spells (11):
    4 Force of Will
    4 AEther Vial
    3 Chalice of the Void

    Lands (21):
    4 Mutavault
    4 Cavern of Souls
    3 Sliver Hive
    3 Misty Rainforest
    2 Polluted Delta
    2 Tundra
    1 Tropical Island
    1 Underground Sea
    1 Island

    Sideboard (15):
    2 Harmonic Sliver
    2 Rest in Peace
    2 Submerge
    2 Echoing Truth
    2 Negate
    2 Flusterstorm
    1 Chalice of the Void
    1 Pithing Needle
    1 Containment Priest

    The Tournament was 7 rounds and then Top 8, which I obviously couldn't participate in.

    Round 1 against Nicholas with Aggro Loam: 2-1
    Game 1 I mulled to six and kept a mediocre Hand. After he started strong I conceded with him only seeing a Misty. Game 2 I simply spammed the board protected by Crystalline. Game 3 was close - after he discarded Crystalline Turn 1 and followed up with a turn 2 Liliana, I crawled back on Top of 2 Vial, a Hibernation and a Predatory, soon to be followed by a RiP and a Chalice on 2 (of which both didn't survive for long), staring at a Knight with Maze of Ith and no Lands to tutor up Depths for the Combo kill. When I finally drew more Slivers, I could overwhelm him.

    Round 2 against Frederico with Grixis Delver: 2-0
    Both very uninteractive Games. He won the Die roll, started both Games with T1 Deathrite into T2 Pyromancer, after which he dazed all my Slivers despite them being uncounterable through Cavern, just to get Tokens.

    Round 3 against Andrea with Miracles: 2-0
    Lost the Die roll again, oh well. He forced my Turn 1 Vial and didn't play anything else for the rest of the Game die to me slamming a Chalice on 1 Turn 2, except for a last effort Jace to bounce a Sliver. Didn't even buy him a turn. Game 2 it was Turn 2 Crystalline into Turn 3 Hibernation backed up by Lords, and I was able to Force a Terminus. These Games were over really quick.

    Round 4 against *didn't note the name* with Sneak & Show: 2-1
    Really nice guy, we had a lot of fun. I lost the Die roll again, and died to a Turn 2 Griselbrand. Game 2 I assembled a fast clock, and when he finally got a Griselbrand in, I copied it with Image from a Vial, he had to chumpblock, and I drew into a lot of cards, killing him. Game 3 was similar, only with a Containment Priest and a few Pyroclasms getting involved in the fun, making this Game 3 an extremely close one.

    Round 5 against Lukas with Storm: 0-2
    This guy ended up winning the Tournament. I finally won the Die Roll, but had to mull to 5 both Games into hands with no interaction. Game 2 I also made a silly misplay by countering the wrong Spell :/

    Round 6 against Lorenzo with Merfolk: 1-2
    Yeah, it really hurt to get pushed out of the Top 8 by the bigger brother. This Matchup feels like one of those that depends strongly on who wins the Die roll - which I lost.

    Round 7 against Luca with Storm: 2-1
    Lost Game 1, built a strong counterwall Game 2, and was really lucky Game 3 that he fizzled under a Chalice @0, while he had a Xanthid Swarm to blank my Countermagic.

    I was really impressed by the Manabase, never had any problems casting my Slivers. What was a Problem, on the other Side, was keeping UU open to double counter against Storm or Sneak Show. Because of that I'll try replacing the Negates in my board with Meddling Mages - especially against Storm I can put one Cavern on Human, easing her Manacost a bit. Creatures are easier to cast than Instants, with all those Caverns ;)
    The rest of my board seems fine to me.
    Syphon Sliver never did anything meaningful the whole Day, and I got suggestions to replace it with Darkheart Sliver, because this one should be faster. Currently, Syphon's staring, but Darkheart might at least be worth some consideration.

    Have fun Slivering :P

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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Countersliver (MeatHooks)

    Quote Originally Posted by Volt View Post
    Legacy Countersliver
    "Slivers are evil and slivers are sly; And if you get eaten, then no one will cry." - Mogg children's rhyme.
    Great prime on Slivers! Thanks a lot for refreshing and summarizing information on the deck. Like this new illustration of Crystalline Sliver, by the way :).

    Would like to share a few thoughts:
    1. Mutavault will not be able to block Progenitus as Progenitus has protection from everything.
    2. Winged Sliver still can be a good choice because of its mana cost - 2cmc. In case of using Chalice of the Void (most likely with one counter) and having no Cavern of Souls in play, we won't be able to cast Galerider Sliver. And in most cases our Aether Vial will be set for two. So we would be able to cast or sneak into play Winged Sliver much easier and it can be a great surprise at the end of Declare Attackers Step.
    3. Perhaps, it makes sense to add this link http://mtgsalvation.gamepedia.com/Slivers to help unfamiliar with the Rath block players understand the history of Slivers. Just for gameplay fun :).
    ---
    Carpe Diem

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    Re: [Deck/Primer] Countersliver (MeatHooks)

    Welcome to the new digs, guys! Make yourselves at home.

    Thanks, Chronatog, for catching my error regarding Mutavault and Progenitus. I will update the primer.

    I have some tournament results to report, myself. I went to my local Saturday night Legacy tournament at Time Vault, in downtown Portland, OR. Kind of a light crowd tonight, only 11 players, but they were all pretty solid, with pretty solid decks. This place basically is the Portland Legacy metagame, as far as I can tell. I decided to give ol' Chalice Slivers a go. Here's the list I ran:

    4 Crystalline Sliver
    4 Hibernation Sliver
    4 Galerider Sliver
    4 Muscle Sliver
    4 Predatory Sliver
    4 Sinew Sliver
    3 Syphon Sliver

    4 AEther Vial
    4 Force of Will
    3 Chalice of the Void

    4 Mutavault
    4 Cavern of Souls
    4 Sliver Hive
    2 Ancient Ziggurat
    4 Flooded Strand
    1 Island
    1 Tropical Island
    1 Tundra
    1 Underground Sea

    SB:
    3 Containment Priest
    3 Faerie Macabre
    3 Harmonic Sliver
    3 Pithing Needle
    1 Echoing Truth
    1 Submerge
    1 Vapor Snag

    The sideboard wasn't ideal. I threw it together at the last second. Anyway, on to the games.

    Round 1 vs Sneak and Show.
    G1: I don't know what he's playing. He mulls to 5, and I think "yay!" He casts Show and Tell on turn 2. I don't have Force. He drops Emrakul into play. There's no way I can deal with that, so I scoop.
    G2: His hand is slower this time. He does eventually cast Show and Tell again, dropping Emrakul into play again. However, he's at 10 life, and I'm able to swing with my sliver team and punch through exactly 10 damage.
    G3: I get quick sliver beats. Around turn 4 or so, he taps out to play Sneak Attack. It resolves. On my turn, I play Pithing Needle. Has has the force. Damn. I swing with my team, bringing him down to 1 life, and pass the turn. On his turn, he sneaks Emrakul in to play and swings, bringing me down to 4 life and wiping my entire board. I have an Aether Vial in hand, but no land. I top-deck a land and play Aether Vial. He draws nothing for the next few turns, until I vial in a Crystalline and kill him with it. Whew!

    Never saw Chalice, but 1-0

    Round 2 vs UR Splinter Twin combo
    So, um, yeah, he was playing an updated version of the Splinter Twin deck from Modern. I lost to it 2-0. Kind of embarrassing. Moving on...

    Never saw Chalice, now 1-1

    Round 3 vs Tin Fins
    G1: On the first turn, he plays Mox Diamond, Probes me, then therapies the Force out of my hand, then dark rituals Liliana into play. A couple turns later, I scoop.
    G2: I didn't do anything special. His deck just kinda shit on itself, and I won.
    G3: I land Containment Priest on T2 and ride it to victory.

    Again, no Chalice. Zero Chalices in 3 matches, but I'm 2-1.

    Round 4 vs Burn
    G1: I land turn 1 Aether Vial, turn 2 Chalice (about friggin time!) and coast to victory.
    G2: He Smashes my early Aether Vial, then lands a Sulfuric Vortex the turn before Syphon Sliver was going to hit the board. I get him down to 2 life, but he burns me out.
    G3: This looked bad. I mulled to 6 and kept a 1-land hand with Aether Vial. It stuck for 1 turn before he blew it up with an Ingot Chewer. I had 1 land and a Galerider in play, but Crystalline and lots of muscle in hand. I needed to topdeck a land NOW. Luckily, I did. Crystalline hit the board, followed by Sinew, Sinew, and I outraced him.

    And that was it. I finished 3-1.

    Comments: I saw one Chalice in 11 games, but it was amazing in that one game. Syphon Sliver almost mattered in one game, but otherwise was a no-show as well. I've really liked it in my on-line playtesting, but it was a non-factor tonight. I was pretty happy with the manabase. I upped the land count to 22, and included a couple of Ancient Ziggurats. The Ziggurats don't help with casting Chalice, obviously, but otherwise work pretty well. They're actually the best lands for casting hate-bears in games 2-3.

    Kind of a weird night as far as my draws, but a pretty decent result. Way too small a sample to make any sort of determination as to whether Chalice > Brainstorm in this deck.

    ED: Nice job on your tournament result, Khamul!
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    Re: [Deck/Primer] Countersliver (MeatHooks)

    Just to chime in, here is my latest build

    1 Ancient Ziggurat
    2 Horizon Canopy
    2 Mana Confluence
    2 Reflecting Pool
    2 Tundra
    4 Cavern of Souls
    4 Mutavault
    4 Sliver Hive

    1 Winged Sliver
    2 Muscle Sliver
    2 Syphon Sliver
    3 Phantasmal Image
    4 Crystalline Sliver
    4 Galerider Sliver
    4 Hibernation Sliver
    4 Predatory Sliver
    4 Sinew Sliver

    3 Chalice of the Void
    4 Æther Vial

    4 Force of Will

    SB: 2 Ethersworn Canonist
    SB: 2 Thorn of Amethyst
    SB: 2 Echoing Truth
    SB: 2 Harmonic Sliver
    SB: 2 Faerie Macabre
    SB: 2 Meddling Mage
    SB: 1 Chalice of the Void
    SB: 2 Containment Priest


    I still don't know whether the mana base with fetch+blue dual lands is better than the one I use:

    - You might get flooded a bit more with my mana base (but I believe that the odds of drawing a business card instead of another land when it matters is after fetch n°3 or 4) but you will be able to fully use Mutavault (more likely to at least), every turn.
    - You are stifle proof with mine
    - I dunno what mana base is best for playing a hatebear oriented sideboard.

    Keep rocking guys !

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    Re: [Deck/Primer] Countersliver (MeatHooks)

    I can tell you that I've tried Reflecting Pool before, with very mixed results. I suspect you'll find them unsatisfactory over the long haul. And pain lands? Man, I dunno. Good luck, though.
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    Re: [Deck/Primer] Countersliver (MeatHooks)

    why not cut 1 pool, 1 zigg and play 2 more confluence? is the life that important in this kind of deck outside of the burn matchup?
    -rob

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    Re: [Deck/Primer] Countersliver (MeatHooks)

    Quote Originally Posted by mistercakes View Post
    why not cut 1 pool, 1 zigg and play 2 more confluence? is the life that important in this kind of deck outside of the burn matchup?
    As a matter of fact, yes.
    Hibernation Sliver is no joke and you end up using a lot its ability.

    @ Void:

    The 2 reflection pool are outstanding right now (I think 2 might actually be the best number to not be screwed):
    - you have very little odds to open a starting hand with the 2 of them and with so many rainbow lands your chances to be screwed by a wasteland are also pretty low.
    - as a matter of fact RP are rarely "wastelanded", so any rainbow land draw put you right back in the game.

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    Re: [Deck/Primer] Countersliver (MeatHooks)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralf View Post
    As a matter of fact, yes.
    Hibernation Sliver is no joke and you end up using a lot its ability.

    @ Void:

    The 2 reflection pool are outstanding right now (I think 2 might actually be the best number to not be screwed):
    - you have very little odds to open a starting hand with the 2 of them and with so many rainbow lands your chances to be screwed by a wasteland are also pretty low.
    - as a matter of fact RP are rarely "wastelanded", so any rainbow land draw put you right back in the game.
    forgot about hibernation, good point.

    drawing 2 reflecting pools shouldn't be the only concern. drawing reflecting pool + mutavault can also limit you, there will be games when you only draw 3 lands, and if the only color producing land is wastelanded, that would be a bad way to lose.
    -rob

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    Re: [Deck/Primer] Countersliver (MeatHooks)

    I think I'm pretty much all-in on the Chalice strategy at this point, guys. Is there a valid reason not to run 4 as opposed to 3?

    The main thing to figure out at this point seems to be exactly how to fill out the rest of the manabase, once you get past 4 Mutavault, 4 Cavern of Souls, 4 Sliver Hive. Ziggurats are pretty good, except you can't use them to cast Aether Vial or Chalice. I'm running 2 at the moment, but looking for better options. I doubt pain-lands are the way to go, but maybe it's the best of a bunch of less-than-ideal options.

    Also, I'd like to suggest that 22 might be the correct number of lands to be running, given our complicated color demands, lack of cantrips, and the amount of Wastelands in the format.

    I've updated the primer to include some discussion of Brainstorm vs Chalice.
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    Re: [Deck/Primer] Countersliver (MeatHooks)

    Quote Originally Posted by Volt View Post
    I think I'm pretty much all-in on the Chalice strategy at this point, guys. Is there a valid reason not to run 4 as opposed to 3?

    The main thing to figure out at this point seems to be exactly how to fill out the rest of the manabase, once you get past 4 Mutavault, 4 Cavern of Souls, 4 Sliver Hive. Ziggurats are pretty good, except you can't use them to cast Aether Vial or Chalice. I'm running 2 at the moment, but looking for better options. I doubt pain-lands are the way to go, but maybe it's the best of a bunch of less-than-ideal options.

    Also, I'd like to suggest that 22 might be the correct number of lands to be running, given our complicated color demands, lack of cantrips, and the amount of Wastelands in the format.

    I've updated the primer to include some discussion of Brainstorm vs Chalice.
    1) I'm running the 4th Chalice in the Board (instead of my lone Thalia). I don't know what to cut MD to play the 4th and I'm not sure the deck needs that kind of commitment.

    2) Ziggurat does not tap for Mutavault (as well). And this is rather annoying (this explains why I play only one).

    3) Pain lands are pain lands. I lost between 2 and 3 lifes on average using them. The earlier you get them the more they will hurt you (but fixing color is key). With your manabase, I would try -1 Ziggurat +1 Pain land/Undiscovered. It will ease casting chalice T2 (and echoing post board). I believe we can sustain no more than 2 pain lands.

    4) Playing a blue dual lands + fetch manabase might be the best choice in a vacuum but this has to be tested:
    - against stifle decks
    - against merfolk
    - against bloodmoon decks
    - against burn
    - against the meta

    I feel the key for Slivers to be T2 /1,5 lives within the manabase configuration; if we don't resolve a slivo per turn in the very first turns, we are doomed.

    We could proceed like that to determine the best manabase:

    What is mandatory to be cast ?

    T1= Vial / Galerider
    T2= Chalice / Hibernation / Crystalline (lords might not be mandatory here)

    Etc...


    5) I got flooded a bit last week-end playing my former 21 lands build (-2 horizon canopy +1 Trop +1 undiscovered paradise). So definitely a 22 lands config seems to be a "tad" much. To be explored anyway with 4).

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    Re: [Deck/Primer] Countersliver (MeatHooks)

    I actually upped my Brainstorm build to 21 lands a while ago, and it never felt like too many. I figured if I'm cutting Brainstorms for Chalices, I really oughta add another land. But it's basically impossible to tell the difference one land makes. You can get mana-flooded running 20 lands, and mana-screwed running 21 lands. There's a lot of statistical noise in the short term. You have to play zillions of games to get a feel for what's right. Anyway, I'm encouraged by the progress we're making.

    ED: Let's discuss sideboarding strategy, particularly in regards to Chalice. When is it appropriate to side them out?
    Last edited by Volt; 12-07-2015 at 04:36 PM.
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    Re: [Deck/Primer] Countersliver (MeatHooks)

    Quote Originally Posted by Volt View Post
    I think I'm pretty much all-in on the Chalice strategy at this point, guys. Is there a valid reason not to run 4 as opposed to 3?
    I think 3 CoV in MD and 1 in SB is a good combination. My logic is simple - mana base is an issue and it is important to resolve Vial early in the game (turn one, ideally); and many decks play around CoV anyway so I wouldn't hold to it as a lifesaver.

    I'm still assembling my Slivers deck, so will be able to test it later. So please take my commentary as a theoretical exercise based on practical application in Merfolks.
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    Re: [Deck/Primer] Countersliver (MeatHooks)

    Quote Originally Posted by Volt View Post
    I actually upped my Brainstorm build to 21 lands a while ago, and it never felt like too many. I figured if I'm cutting Brainstorms for Chalices, I really oughta add another land. But it's basically impossible to tell the difference one land makes. You can get mana-flooded running 20 lands, and mana-screwed running 21 lands. There's a lot of statistical noise in the short term. You have to play zillions of games to get a feel for what's right. Anyway, I'm encouraged by the progress we're making.
    Perhaps, if Braninstorm does not work well with CoV, we can try Impulse?

    But again, if we cannot win without CoV and it is so critical to have it, perhaps we need to adjust the entire strategy?
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    Re: [Deck/Primer] Countersliver (MeatHooks)

    Impulse used to see play in Countersliver, actually, back before the deck graduated to Legacy. This will be giving away my old age, but I used to play Countersliver back when it was a Standard (or Type II, as we called it back then) deck. Also, Wall of Blossoms got played in that deck, so... Yeah.

    I don't think we "need" Chalice to win, at least not all the time. I mean, just look at my tournament report a few posts up. I drew it once in eleven games, which is kind of freakish, and still went 3-1 in matches. But, I mean, Chalice for 1 is such a goddamn beating against a lot of decks, especially in game 1 when they typically don't have an answer for it. I guess I'm just trying to figure out the logic behind playing 3 and not 4. I mean, do we care that duplicates may be dead? As long as we resolve one, we should be favored. Delver decks, for example, just roll over and die if you stick a turn 2 Chalice. Then there's Elves, Burn, storm combo, etc. And even against decks where it's not so great, do we really think having that 4th Chalice in the main is going to be the difference between winning or losing game 1? I understand that 3 seems to be the accepted number for Merfolk decks (right?) but I'm not sure how that was arrived at.
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    Re: [Deck/Primer] Countersliver (MeatHooks)

    Might be time to update my sig here. I like to think my salvation sig is much more helpful, because it includes links like this:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...#gid=892927662

    I apologize if comparisons to other decks are getting old, but I feel like I should make them as long as they're relevant.

    3 Chalices main: the reason why Merfolk tends to run 3 main is because it also runs generic answer/threats in the form of Echoing Truth, Clique, Jitte, and Image. Running a fourth Chalice (1) increases the chance of opening on a pair (when you can't cast any T1) and (2) reduces the number of these arguably more generic cards that can be run (i.e. my sig). Do you really need the full playset in the main when you never need to see one one turn 1? I'd say no.

    Search/sift: Merfolk has Adept and Clique to draw and replace cards. Compared to us, I'd say they're slightly more redundant (the lords, Nemeses, Images, and Cliques all provide evasive beats, the Adept will often draw into evasive beats). As a counterpoint, we have beats, evasion, protection, but they're less redundant because they only come one at a time. In other words, we might have an ideal set of 4 creatures that's quite powerful, but most random selections of 4 creatures from Merfolk will be a pain. If we're to increase the consistency of our threat package, we may need to add some search/sift to ensure we can field the correct assortment of slivers.

    Second comparison would be to Death and Taxes, where all recent innovation has pointed towards splashing, and the primary reason why is for library manipulation.

    And lastly, it confuses me that Sylvan Library doesn't get any love here. I would play 2 Sylvan Library before even considering the first Impulse assuming we're on a fetchland manabase.
    Most people blindly suggest new cards for decks. True contributors also suggest what to remove. It's not about what's good, but rather what's better than the current selections.

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    Re: [Deck/Primer] Countersliver (MeatHooks)

    Actually, I'd be willing to consider Sylvan Library, but you should realize our manabase isn't particularly good for casting colored non-creature spells. Especially non-blue spells. Impulse would be easier to cast, at least, but I don't think it's worth seriously considering.

    Quick note on Merfolk and D&T, since you brought them up. My playtesting suggests we have 50/50 or better matchups vs both. Doesn't necessarily mean we have a "better" deck vs the overall metagame, but just thought I'd point that out.

    I seem to be on the wrong/unpopular side of the Chalice debate, so I'll let it go. And by that I mean I'll try running 4, until enlightenment comes to me.
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    Re: [Deck/Primer] Countersliver (MeatHooks)

    Quote Originally Posted by Volt View Post
    I seem to be on the wrong/unpopular side of the Chalice debate, so I'll let it go. And by that I mean I'll try running 4, until enlightenment comes to me.
    Your list is running 3 !

    Chalice is there because with FOW we have 7 cards that matter against fast combo G1 (which could be seen as "enough" protection for a G1 or at least not completely naked should you face a nasty T1/T2 combo deck).
    Against fair decks chalice is just a mean to slow down the opponent's game's pace (At least enough for us to be able to build a lethal board).
    It can also be seen as virtual cards' advantage in a deck where we don't pack any draw spells.

    The main issue with Slivers is that we are (like Merfolk) a slow aggro deck. It takes time to build a board.
    Blanking on average 2 cards in an opponent's hand is virtually 2 cards advantage / 2 more turns to kill your opponent.

    If you take a sample hand of Slivers, you don't get to the lethal point until T6 /T7. Chalice gives us at least 2 more turns (and straight kill our opponent sometimes; that's what you get for playing unfair, niark)

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