Monday, October 22, 2012

My decks #2: Sliver Queen

It's been a couple of months since I posted about my Experiment Kraj deck.  I figure it's high time to write about another deck I love to play--my token-themed Sliver Queen deck.

I don't focus on just one type of token, and I'm working on every token type to make, and carry with the deck.  There's no infinite token tricks, just things I can pump a lot of mana into for a large number of token creatures.  Return to Ravnica added some very fun cards to this deck, and the synergies of the deck make for a fun game.

I was surprised at the resilience this deck has to board-wipes.  Sure, a stack of tokens will die, but there's a lot of cards in here that can make a horde of tokens all by itself.  There's a lot of synergies that are a delight to exploit.  A basic tenet of EDH, to me, is 'Can your deck deal with the silly token deck at the table?'  There's always one.

Without further ado:

For the Swarm!

Section #1: Mana fixing/acceleration

As a five-color deck, this is important.  This deck is base-green, secondary-white, with touches of the other three colors.  I've been deliberate in choosing (mostly) cards that don't need double red, white, or blue, so if I can get one of each color, then I start adding green and white land. 

Everflowing Chalice - This is scalable mana ramp, especially since a lot of this deck runs on colorless mana.
Yavimaya Elder - Classic mana fixing, and a card to draw! 
Cultivate - Another classic piece, and something you have to want to not play, if you're in green.
Kodama's Reach - The original Cultivate.
Explosive Vegetation - This is another worthy card, grabbing two lands and throwing them into play.
Darksteel Ingot - Fixing and acceleration, so you can go from three to five, and cast...
Gilded Lotus - And now you can do anything, like cast...

Boundless Realms - I have yet to lose a game where Boundless Realms got cast.  It's that amazing, as long as you're playing enough basic lands.  The general requires all five colors, so I wanted to make sure that I could consistently cast her, and then start doing degenerate things.

Section #2: Single-Card Armies

My idea was that I wanted cards that had a bigger effect than just one card.  Lots of tokens have to come from one of these.

Sacred Mesa - Flying tokens, on the cheap, and sacrificing one per turn is no problem at all.
Mobilization - Vigilant tokens, on the slighty-more-expensive.
Garruk Relentless - People forget that this version can just churn out 2/2 tokens until you need to deal three damage.  It's also pretty handy to have the tutor effect when he flips.
Nemata, Grove Guardian - One of the original token swarmers, someone who can churn out tokens turn after turn and even sacrifice new tokens to help the attackers.
White Sun's Zenith - Instant-speed spell, massive infusion of tokens, and potentially recastable.
Selesnya Guildmage - Simply amazing.  Make an army, then make it bigger.
Garruk Wildspeaker - Acceleration, tokens, and then finishing move.  Can't ask for more!
Elspeth Tirel - Lifegain, tokens, and her ultimate is so very unfair in this deck.
Hornet Queen - A bit expensive to get four tokens, but this is a lot of fun.
Orochi Hatchery - Just ridiculous.  I tend to hold this until ten mana.
Crush of Wurms - BOOM.  AND BOOM AGAIN
Dragon Broodmother - Every upkeep, a new token, and as big as you need it to be.
Dragonlair Spider - Free tokens?  Thanks!
Nacatl War-Pride - This is an amazing card.  If you attack with it, and some number of tokens, the tokens are all hitting.  It's true that I could use Golgari Decoy or something like it for a similar effect, but this makes tokens!
Gelatinous Genesis - Your policy should be to never cast this for less than nine.  Take it from me.
Twilight Drover - Once you get some tokens, this guy is about to get silly.
Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage - Just like Selesnya Guildmage, this is a win condition all by itself. 
Verdant Force - A very traditional card in multiplayer, on a big fat body.
Increasing Devotion - Five, then ten.  Go forth and conquer.
Decree of Justice - You can cast this for Angels, or you can cast it for instant-speed Soldiers.  And draw a card.
Jade Mage - Cheap saprolings.  Done.
Garruk, Primal Hunter - Beasts are good, mega-card-draw is better, WURMS ARE BEST.
Avenger of Zendikar - God forbid you ever lay this down with a Doubling Season.
Ghave, Guru of Spores - Yes, he's exactly as degenerate as feared.  He's not infinite in this deck, but he's frustrating.
Ant Queen - More cheap tokens!
Elspeth, Knight-Errant - Not just free tokens, but her ultimate is a real goal, and very achievable.

The planeswalkers are all capable of repeated token generation, and that's a goal of the deck.  I've had an occasional struggle casting Broodmother, but the ability is so great that I'm very loath to remove her.  Same for Dragonlair Spider.  What's really great is how well some of these cards work with what I call the enabler cards.

Section #3: The Enablers

Here, I'm listing the cards that are win conditions, cards that turn tokens from cute into terrifying, and cards that are amazing when I've got a token army.  Austere Command is my only wrath effect, and that's just because I can set it to kill high-cost things without losing my army.  Hour of Reckoning just isn't good enough.

Austere Command - Board wipe, semi-selectively.
Craterhoof Behemoth - Game over.
Epic Struggle - I love playing this early, and playing a game-within-a-game.
Mimic Vat - Perhaps a weaker card, but it makes tokens, and takes advantage of the utility creatures that die all the time in EDH games.
Crescendo of War - I love this card.  It builds every upkeep, and goes bigger and bigger and just ends the game.
Spidersilk Armor - A mainstay of token decks, giving a little toughness and the ability to block flyers.
Intangible Virtue - Pump and vigilance, for just two mana!
Cathars' Crusade - This is one of the sillier cards that can be around token decks.  If you get one token, then another, then another, then you'll have one creature with three +1/+1 counters, one with two, and one with one.  The trick is to activate an ability without giving priority, or in response to the Crusade's trigger, so that all three creatures have three counters.  Casting Increasing Devotion with this out gives you five tokens with 5 counters each.
Healer of the Pride - This allows me to build an army and not get dead.
Eldrazi Monument - Super-sweet if you have a source of tokens.
Mentor of the Meek - The deck needs a little card draw.
Collective Blessing - Eternal Giant Growth is just overpowering.  4/4 Saprolings will end a game fast.
Seedborn Muse - Unfair as cards can be in this deck.  In a turn cycle, you can build a very large swarm.
Slate of Ancestry - Don't flinch on using this card.  Draw nine and discard two or three to get there.
Aura Shards - This answers so many problems that it's just unfair.
Congregate - While you can use this for someone else, just watch out for the False Cure.
Elder of Laurels - Roughly, if you have six or more creatures out, you can hold someone's fate in your hands.
Beastmaster Ascension - You don't need multiple attack steps to get this powered up.  If you have seven creatures out, attack with them all and they are RAWR!
Rhys the Redeemed - Traditionally, this is the general of a token deck, but I like the Queen more.
Nullmage Shepherd - A spare mega-answer.
Ajani Goldmane - The lifegain isn't relevant, giving counters to tokens is great.  Or try for an avatar!
Necrogenesis - A graveyard answer that also makes tokens!
Growing Ranks - More free tokens, though you need tokens in play.  This might not be as good as I want.
Heartstone - There's plenty of activated abilities that need to cost less.
Training Grounds - Never play this if the 'stone is out--wait till they kill the stone.
Parallel Lives - Tokens are good, Double tokens are better!
Doubling Season - QUAD TOKENS!  Or immediately ultimate your planeswalkers.

Finally, three long-game cards that are great if a game takes too long and you have mana to spare:

Section #4: The Inevitability

Conflux - A silly, silly card.  Remember that you can find multicolor cards, you don't have to just search for single-color cards.
Praetor's Counsel - This mega-Regrowth is great if someone's managed to wipe you out a couple of times.
Increasing Ambition - I've come to think that this is better than Diabolic Revelation, because I'm greedy when it comes to the DR.  I always want an extra card.

Section #5: Nonbasic Lands

Vault of the Archangel - This is a powerful card with just a few tokens on board, allowing your tokens to be deadly and you to get very healthy.
Transguild Promenade - Always nice to have an extra of...
Rupture Spire - This card!
Evolving Wilds - Find what I need?  I'll take that.
Terramorphic Expanse - And in redundancy too!
Krosan Verge - If I were running shocks or duals, this would be even better.
Selesnya Sanctuary/Orzhov Basilica/Gruul Turf/Simic Growth Chamber - I'm not running all ten bouncelands, but I probably should.  There were what I felt I needed most.
Command Tower - Just amazingly elegant design, and a card they can't print enough.
Savage Lands/Jungle Shrine/Arcane Sanctum/Crumbling Necropolis - Four of the five Alara tri-lands, because I can't find a spare Seaside Citadel.
Temple of the False God - We've all been in the uncomfortable space of having this be our fourth land.
Gaea's Cradle - Buy this card now if you might ever need one.  This was $60 in April, and it's gone up $20 since.  That's not counting the $250 judge foil.

Section #6: Basic Lands

I am playing a slightly higher percentage of these, so that I can use my 'find basic land' spells frequently.

10 Forest
3 Plains
2 Mountain
2 Swamp
1 Island

That's it!  There's a lot of discussion I've had with myself on assorted cards, but since I haven't kept those separate, I can't recall them.  I'd be more than happy to answer questions in the comments.

Keep drafting those shocklands!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome deck! Miss you on the MTGS forums though :\