After a long wait, the first of the four Commander Masters preconstructed Commander decks have been revealed! Not only do these decks cover four of the most popular archetypes in all of Commander, but each deck includes ten new cards that have never been seen before. With all things considered, its understandable that a ton of anticipation was in place for this release.
Unfortunately, however, some players’ first reaction to the Sliver Swarm preconstructed deck was that of disappointment. For the elevated price point that Commander Masters product is demanding, there are a lot of Sliver staples that are missing. Don’t get me wrong, the new cards being introduced in this deck are incredibly cool, but since these Sliver Staples are missing from the preconstructed deck, prices for the cards could become unbearably expensive.
Without further ado, here are the biggest Sliver staples, which will inherently become upgrades, that the Sliver Swarm Commander deck is missing!
Why on earth is Sliver Hive not a part of the Sliver deck!? Sliver Hive is everything that a Sliver deck wants to do in a land. Able to tap for any color when casting a Sliver, Sliver Hive can also create 1/1 colorless Sliver Tokens for five mana. Since Slivers are known to grant buffing abilities to oneanother, chances are this Sliver will be doing a lot more than just being a 1/1. The cost of having a Sliver in play is negligible since a majority of the deck is Sliver creatures.
Making things more awkward is the number of awkward tap lands included to support a five-colored deck. Players who want to upgrade the Sliver Swarm Commander deck will need to look towards this first.
As a rare that has only seen one printing in Core Set 2015, Sliver Hive has already seen a huge uptick in interest after the Sliver Swarm Commander deck was spoiled to the world. Expect this card to rise in price over the coming days. At the moment its around $12.
Of course, if you want to flex on your opponents with the most expensive cardboard available, there is an extended art Sliver Hive available as a Bonus Card in Secret Lair product. $220 seems to be the entry point for these, however, with many copies selling for closer to $400.
The First Sliver
The First Sliver is widely considered to be one of the most powerful Sliver card that Magic has to offer. The card is definitely the most popular Commander that the archetype has to offer, and its not hard to see why.
For WUBRG, The First Sliver gives each Sliver you cast Cascade. This seems strong at first glance, but is likely even better than you think. If you’ve played against this Commander before, this is not new news, but your Slivers can Cascade into other Sliver spells. Those Sliver spells will also have Cascade. This means that a five-mana Sliver could actually end up being three or four different cards – all of which will likely give the entire team additional abilities.
Do note that you’re not guaranteed to hit Sliver cards off The First Sliver. This Commander also incentivizes you to play zero mana spells like Mana Crypt since you can Cascade into them with one-mana Slivers, which can make the deck even more powerful.
Even though this is the most popular Sliver Commander to-date, its not available in the Sliver Swarm preconstructed deck. This card only has a few printings, all of which are available for around $20-25 and are found in Modern Horizons sets at the time of writing.
Sliver Legion’s ability is pretty easy to understand. This should also mean that understanding why Sliver Legion is a strong inclusion in a Sliver deck isn’t too difficult. This Sliver simply buffs ALL your Slivers by the amount of other Slivers you control. If you have three Slivers, they all get +2/+2. If you have five, they all get +4/+4. So on and so fourth.
Fortunately, thanks to a reprint in Time Spiral Remastered and recent Secret Lair product, Sliver Legion isn’t too expensive. The doodle-art pictured above is the cheapest copy currently, retailing for about $10. It should also be noted, however, that someone just bought 82 of these in one order, so prices may not stay there for long.
The most expensive Sliver that could’ve been printed into this product, Sliver Overlord is missing from the Sliver Swarm preconstructed Commander deck. Considering the card retails for around $35 at the absolute cheapest, Sliver Overlord could have been included in the deck without many issues.
For WUBRG, Sliver Overlord lets you search for any Sliver in your deck and gain control of any target Sliver. This, on a surface level, can play double-duty against opposing Sliver strategies, which may become popular thanks to the Sliver Swarm preconstructed deck, but is also just a powerful tool to assemble the correct combination of Slivers to deal with any board state. Expect this card to rise in popularity overall.
Sliver Queen is the most expensive Sliver card in all of MTG, but the card could never have been printed into the Sliver Swarm preconstructed deck. This is because Sliver Queen is on the Reserved List. To recap, the Reserved List contains many, if not all, of the most expensive cards in MTG history. Long story short, an agreement was made from Wizards of the Coast to not reprint any of the cards on this list in a form that can see sanctioned play, or reprint strictly stronger versions of the card.
Sliver Queen’s placement on the Reserved List has driven its price up to obscene heights. Finding one of these will cost your in the neighborhood of $200-300 thanks to extreme scarcity. You can find these for cheaper, but those cards are generally in damaged conditions, and are a dime a dozen.
Honestly, for the immense price tag, Sliver Queen probably isn’t worth it. This is a powerful ability worth including in a Sliver deck, but at a $200 price point, you’re better off buying a Mana Crypt. That said, Sliver Queen is an incredible mana sink that can snowball your Sliver boards out of control. If you really want this card, buying it as a thematic piece to your Sliver deck or even as a potential investment/collector piece is a better perspective than buying a $200 game piece. Your money can simply be better spent in the context of the Commander format.
Other Typal Staples
All of the biggest Sliver cards that this deck is missing have been shown, but some other typal payoffs could be worth shouting out as well. Code of Arms executes exactly what a Sliver deck wants to be doing, but is not presented in the preconstructed list. Honestly, this isn’t as confusing since it doesn’t seem like an auto include. Regardless, even though this card has a ton of reprints, it still demands around a $15 value at the cheapest.
Urza’s Incubator is another worthwhile shoutout that got a recent reprint in Dominaria Remastered. For three mana, Urza’s Incubator will reduce the casting cost of all your Slivers by two mana, which is incredibly powerful. Just note that if you have a lot of slivers that cost two or less, or are running a lot of Slivers with WUBRG casting costs, Urza’s Incubator will not reduce those casting costs.
Thanks to its direly needed reprint, Urza’s Incubator is down from $50 to about $20.
Will the Remaining Decks be Better?
Hopefully, this isn’t an indication of what’s to come for the Commander Masters preconstructed decks. I don’t think anyone is expecting Eldrazi Titans in the Eldrazi preconstructed deck per se, but players expecting expensive staples to some of the archetypes may need to reconsider their expectations. The Chain Veil, for example, seems like an obvious inclusion in the Planeswalker Party deck but, because the card sees a lot of constructed play in Pioneer’s Mono Green Devotion deck, it may not see a reprint there.
Either way, I remain incredibly excited for what cards will be revealed in the upcoming Commander Masters preconstructed decks, especially the new ones. If you want to take a look at the new cards revealed in Sliver Swarm, we wrote about that here. If you want to take a look at the Sliver Swarm reveal, you can find that here.