Monday, April 12, 2010

Sleepy Sleepy Slivers

After Ross departed for the evening, the Slivers (Mike) and the Wizards (Me) got into it for REAL. Like a bee hive and a wasp nest sealed inside a garbage truck, and thrown off the Empire State Building. Buzz!

There were 2 defining MVPs of the game.

In the Wizard Corner: Magus of the Arena

For 6 mana, you get the biggest, most spine-breaking human wizard in the contemporary magic player's arsenal. Unless you have a gravel-maker nearby to chuck this guy into, he's a pretty tough foe. I found most slivers well below the 5 power to put the exchange of damage happily in my favor. And he can do it repeatedly, every turn if need be. The ideal multiplayer effect.

In the Sliver Corner: Hibernation Sliver

The Slivers tend to start out inconsequential, and then become highly aggressive and problematic a second after you realize you should have done something about them. Hibernation Sliver was the breaking point here. At the beginning of the turn, all slivers were susceptible to removal, blocking, attacking, all that sort of thing.

After Hibernation Sliver, these options were largely denied to me. If the blocking situation got unexpectedly bad…"poof" he just pulls out the Slivers in trouble for a measly 2 life each. If his Sliver gets targeted by something (like the Magus), "poof" end of problem.

Eventually, I was reduced to targeting the Hibernation Sliver during the Sliver player's end step, and then blowing up something good during my next turn. I was destroying Slivers at the rate of 1 every other turn (not fast enough!), leaving the Sliver player plenty of room to keep casting Slivers, and keep up his offense.

Almost certainly would have lost if I hadn't top decked Vicious Shadows. This enchantment turned the tides, creating a synergy (in my favor) between the Hibernation Sliver returning Slivers and the Sliver player taking damage based on hand size when creatures went to the graveyard.

At the time Vicious Shadows came out, I was at about 8 life and certainly would have lost the following turn. I was on the edge of my seat, and the interplay between assigning blockers, targeting effects and layering responses keep my brain working on overdrive. Overall, a very fun game.

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