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Slivers are creatures that share a hive mind, which allows them to share their abilities with other nearby slivers. Cards with the creature type Sliver have an ability or characteristic that they share with other slivers. Early slivers share with all slivers in play, while later slivers only affect the player's own side of the board.

History[edit | edit source]

The creature type was introduced in Tempest. It was originally designed by Mike Elliott for the unpublished expansion Astral Ways. Slivers were inspired by the card Plague Rats from Alpha.[1]

The original Slivers were depicted with an armored vertebrate body, a long, bifurcated whip-like tail, one arm with a single talon for a hand, and a head with an armored crest. Variations on this appearance existed in accordance with the abilities each has to offer to the hive. [2] [3] An evolved form has humanoid features. [4]

Storyline[edit | edit source]

Rath[edit | edit source]

The first slivers shown in the storyline lived in Rath. It's unknown from where they originally came. Volrath is said to have genetically modified them, but to what extent is also unknown. He attempted to create artificial slivers, but these were a poor approximation of the real thing and had no innate abilities to share with the hive.

Volrath used the hive to guard the Legacy and to attack Weatherlight and her crew on their quest to retake those artifacts and their captain, Sisay. Thanks to Hanna, who realized how the slivers' hive mind worked, the crew defeated them in the Furnace of Rath and Karn was able to convince the Sliver Queen to release the Legacy to him, arguing that the artifacts were as much a part of him as the slivers were a part of her. [5] [6]

Dominaria[edit | edit source]

Rathi Overlay[edit | edit source]

During the Rathi Overlay the slivers were transported to Urborg. Most of them were killed when they materialized in the heart of a volcano, and all the others were killed in the subsequent battles of the Invasion.

Riptide Project[edit | edit source]

One hundred years later, wizards involved in the Riptide Project on Otaria discovered sliver fossils on their journeys and planned to bring them back to life in order to study them. The Riptide wizards did not know the importance of the Sliver Queen, however, and didn't recreate her. Without her, the slivers went rampant and overran the island housing the project. [7]

At the same time the Mirari was causing havoc all over Otaria. The magical waves it produced accelerated the slivers' growth, but it also lured them to the mainland since they confused its call with that of their deceased queen. Most of the slivers were therefore present at the battle at Sanctum and were killed in the magical explosion that created Karona. A small group of slivers survived, however, and fused into the ultimate manifestation of the hive mind, the Sliver Overlord.

After the apocalypse[edit | edit source]

Slivers that survived the apocalypse caused by Karona's destruction and a few breeds that were "timeshifted" into the present by the violent upheavals of the time stream belonged to the few creatures that were able to flourish on the dying plane of Dominaria. As other species fought for survival in a world almost completely drained of mana, the slivers continued to multiply and mutate into new forms. Some of these new breeds mimicked traits of other life forms in the multiverse; the vampiric sliver fed upon the life essence of its prey and was strengthened in return, much like the dreaded Sengir clan and their ilk. The gemhide sliver adopted an ability similar to that of the fabled Birds of Paradise, creating mana of any color whenever it wished. Basal slivers possessed the innate drive to sacrifice themselves to provide for their nestmates, similar to the way the master breeders of the Ebon Hand used Basal Thrulls for their dark rituals. Another new strain present during this time was the shadow sliver, trapped between two worlds when the nest within the bowels of Volrath's Stronghold was overlaid on Urborg. Presumably, this breed was a terror to the Rathi Tribes who were also caught in the overlay in their home, the City of Traitors. Without the leadership of their Queen, these sliver swarms raged across the plane, largely unstoppable when gathered in great enough numbers. The destruction caused by the slivers was not necessarily malevolent, the hive-minded creatures only sought a new queen, new leadership to guide their numbers.

For a time, the planeswalkers Freyalise and Lord Windgrace maintained some control over the slivers in their respective realms. Once the Weaver King discovered the simplicity of their hivemind, he quickly took control of them for his own purposes and used them to wage war on their former masters. Since his destruction, the slivers are presumably once again without leadership, though it's indicated that the slivers' hivemind is slowly becoming sentient and self-aware, negating further need for a Queen.

The Hivestone, a strange artifact discovered within the ruins of the Stronghold, was later found to have been used by the various evincars of Rath's past to control the seething sliver hive and its Queen. Upon its rediscovery however, the device became a curse to its wielder, bending its possessor's will to the will of the swarm.

Slivers are implied to survive well into the future of Dominaria, taking on even more new and bizarre abilities.

Shandalar[edit | edit source]

On the shores of the eastern Sea of Shandalar, an evolved race of Slivers build the "Skep", a great nest or hive. The Slivers had gleaming, gemlike eyes and "hair" more like the squirming tentacles of a jelly-fish or polypod. Many still had a bestial appearance, but a few could generously be considered humanoid. All were covered with chitinous plates that glistened and slid about like oiled pieces of machinery. The creatures use a chittered speech. [8]

The slivers on Shandalar are divided between the human sized "less brood", with tails and singular claws, and "primes", which are bi-pedal and humanoid, looking like sentient races of Shandalar. One sliver, the hivelord, rules over all slivers of the hive. The hivelord is around 20 times the size of a human. [9]

As cards[edit | edit source]

Sliver is a creature type found in the Tempest block, the Onslaught block, the Time Spiral block and Magic 2014 sets. Most Slivers have an ability that grants all Slivers the same ability. Exceptions to this rule include Metallic Sliver, Sliver Overlord, Sliver Queen and Venser's Sliver.

Tempest[edit | edit source]

Slivers first appeared in Tempest.

Stronghold[edit | edit source]

Stronghold included another uncommon cycle and the rare Sliver Queen.

Legions[edit | edit source]

Slivers returned five years later in Legions, the second set of the Onslaught block. [13] [14] [15] [16]

Scourge[edit | edit source]

Scourge had only Sliver Overlord, which was printed in homage of Sliver Queen, a very popular card in casual Magic. Sliver Overlord was meant to be a "Sliver King" of sorts, but that does not fit with Sliver biology, so it instead became an overlord. [17] Like Sliver Queen, it shares both its 7/7 size and WUBRG cost. Its activated abilities represent its ability to call and control other Slivers, which can be used with other type changing effects and abilities to take control of opponents' creatures.

Time Spiral[edit | edit source]

Another three years later Time Spiral added 26 new Slivers, as well as reprinting Essence Sliver and Spined Sliver as "Timeshifted" cards. The set included two commons, one uncommon, and one rare of each color; one uncommon for each of the allied color combinations, and one artifact Sliver.

Planar Chaos[edit | edit source]

Planar Chaos added another eleven: [18]

Future Sight[edit | edit source]

Future Sight had one cycle, one legendary sliver and two cards that referred to slivers:

Magic 2014[edit | edit source]

Six years later, Slivers once again returned in Magic 2014. [20] [21] These partially humanoid Slivers now only affected the player's own side of the board. [4][22] 14 Slivers were printed.

Magic 2015[edit | edit source]

Only one year later, Slivers returned in Magic 2015. [23] Notable is the return to the original art style in Sliver Hive. [24]

Future[edit | edit source]

Slivers were considered for the return to Dominaria, but were considered too problematic in that they required a significant commitment to space that wasn't available.[25] Next time we see Slivers there’s a good chance that they will resemble their original body shape. Asked if they will affect all Slivers in play, Mark Rosewater has declared that that ship has passed.[26] Slivers are scheduled to reappear in a future product.[27]

Sliver tokens[edit | edit source]

Token Color Type P/T Additional Rules Source Printings
Sliver Colorless Creature — Sliver 1/1
named Metallic Sliver
Colorless Artifact Creature — Sliver 1/1

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Mark Rosewater. (October 12, 2018.) "Have any more delightful Sliver trivia?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  2. Magic Arcana. (December 12, 2006.) “Sliver Anatomy”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Doug Beyer. (August 10, 2011.) “Magic's Exclusive Creatures”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. a b Doug Beyer. (May 6, 2013.) "Slivers Evolved", A Voice for Vorthos, Tumblr.
  5. Rei Nakazawa. (March 08, 2004.) “How they fit into Magic's storyline. A Sliver Story”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Mark Rosewater. (February 16, 2015.) “Kings & Things”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Magic Arcana. (March 22, 2006.) “Riptide's Secret Experiment”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Jennifer Clarke Wilkes. (June 26, 2013.) “Prisoner of the Skep; or, How I Encountered the Slivers—and Lived to Tell the Tale!”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Matt Knicl. (July 9, 2014.) “The Bard and the Biologist”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Magic Arcana. (March 10, 2004.) “Sliver art gallery 3”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Magic Arcana. (March 09, 2004.) “Sliver art gallery 2”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Magic Arcana. (March 08, 2004.) “Sliver art gallery”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Randy Buehler. (January 31, 2003.) “Tales from the Crypt Sliver”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Mark Rosewater. (March 8, 2004.) “Sliver Me Timbers”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Randy Buehler. (January 24, 2003.) “One Part Ophidian, One Part Sliver”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Magic Arcana. ( April 05, 2005.) “Sliver Ability Swaps”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  17. Randy Buehler. (June 13, 2003.) “Designing Legends”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  18. Magic Arcana. (January 29, 2007.) “Planar Chaos Sliver Sketches”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  19. Blake Rasmussen. (April 29, 2015.) “Sliver Quiz”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  20. Mark Rosewater. (July 01, 2013.) “Sliver Pâté”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  21. Mark Rosewater. (August 05, 2013.) “Twenty Things That Were Going To Kill Magic”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  22. Mark Rosewater. (February 24, 2017.) "Why is it that later slivers dont have symmetrical effects while early slivers do?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  23. Aaron Forsythe. (June 23, 2014.) “Magic 2015—It's In There”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  24. Bruce Richard. (June 24, 2014.) “This Hive is No Mos Eisley”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  25. Mark Rosewater. (March 07, 2018.) "With the us going to Dominaria, are we going to be seeing slivers again?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  26. Mark Rosewater. (August 05, 2017.) "The only thing I'm hoping for is real slivers returning.", Blogatog, Tumblr.
  27. Mark Rosewater. (June 18, 2018.) "Are slivers players going to have to wait for M20?", Blogatog, Tumblr.

See also[edit | edit source]