Category: Magic 2015

M15 Sliver Cards – Are They Good?

Much ado has been made about the Slivers from the Magic 2015 (M15) Core Set. Are they good? Actually, yes, they are all actually quite good. The only trouble is that there is only one in each color, plus Sliver Hive, and the Legendary Creature Sliver Hivelord. Today, we’ll take a look at each of them and see just how good each of them is, in WUBRG (White, Blue, Black, Red, Green) order.


We’ve taken a look at Constricting Sliver at Win Target Game, and came to the conclusion that 6 mana is a lot for Constructed. It has a great effect, though, turning all of your Slivers into Banisher Priests. SolemnParty pointed out some great synergies that it would have with commonly played Slivers in Commander. But for Standard and Modern, it’s fairly highly costed. It’s a new addition to the Sliver toolbox, but not one that really should see any play outside of “kitchen table” Magic or Commander.



Diffusion Sliver is one of the better Magic 2015 Slivers by far. It’s a bit similar to a Sliver from Time Spiral called Opaline Sliver, but with that card, you got to draw a card whenever a Sliver was targeted by a spell an opponent controlled. With Diffusion Sliver, you get to counter a spell or ability an opponent controls that targets a Sliver unless its controller pays 2 colorless mana. These abilities stack as well, meaning if you have two Diffusion Sliver, an opponent has to pay 4 mana. In Modern, this wouldn’t get around Abrupt Decay (which is also still in Standard until October 2014), but overall this card is a great way to protect your key Slivers from being targeted by removal. It’s one of the best of the bunch by far, and definitely Constructed playable.



Leeching Sliver is another strong Sliver from Magic 2015 that doesn’t look strong on the surface. It’s a 1/1 for 1B that says “Whenever a Sliver you control attacks, defending player loses 1 life.” Like Diffusion Sliver these effects stack. I did have this to say about Leeching Sliver previously:

“It has been mentioned by some players that Thorncaster Sliver is already in Standard and does pretty much the same job as Leeching Sliver, and in fact, is able to make Slivers deal damage to creatures as well. However, Thorncaster Sliver is 5 mana. Leeching Sliver is two mana, and their abilities stack as separate instances. So Leeching Sliver is overall a far more aggressive card and even though it’s only a 1/1, Thorncaster is merely a 2/2.”

I definitely like this card over the Thorncaster Sliver. As a two-drop, it may be fairly easy to remove, but it also is going to help deal its fair share of damage before it’s gone.



Belligerent Sliver is a fairly strong card that essentially acts as a Goblin War Drums for all of your Slivers. This means that any of your Slivers cannot be blocked except by two or more creatures. This is a very powerful effect. However, this effect actually did exist on a previous Sliver: Two-Headed Sliver, which cost one mana less at 1R. The difference is that prior to the Magic 2014 re-imagining of Slivers, all Slivers affected all Slivers on the board. That was a common from Time Spiral, so for Modern purposes, that card is actually better unless you’re in a Slivers mirror-match – which is  not incredibly common in the Modern meta-game. It’s probably worth running in Standard, though.



While deathtouch is not a new ability for Slivers, Magic 2015’s Venom Sliver is a definite improvement over Toxin Sliver, a rare from Legions that cost 3B to play for a 3/3. It gave all Slivers deathtouch, not just your own, but was created before Deathtouch was keyworded. Venom Sliver only affects your own Slivers and is much more cost-effective at 1G. It’s highly Constructed playable. That isn’t to say that Toxin Sliver is bad – it’s still extremely good. But it’s four mana, and not Modern playable, only Legacy-playable. (Doesn’t stop it from being about $12, though.) In Commander, it will pair well with Venom Sliver, a format in which reduncancy is perfectly fine. But for Constructed Slivers, Venom Sliver definitely wins here.



Sliver Hivelord is easily an auto-include in any Sliver Commander deck. Still, he isn’t quite the Commander that the other three 5-color Sliver Legendary Creatures in Sliver LegionSliver Overlord, or Sliver Queen are. The Legion and Queen, however, are quite pricey money-wise, and Overlord himself is about $20 USD. Also, only the Legion is Modern-playable, and he would definitely be played considering he’s a 7/7 for 5 mana (WUBRG) and the weight of his effect: “All Sliver creatures get +1/+1 for each other Sliver in play.”

That being said, making all Slivers you control indestructible is huge, especially in a Slivers mirror match-up – unlikely, but possible. Being able to survive most board-wipes definitely helps your cause. He’s also currently the least expensive of all of the Sliver Legendaries (at this time). He is definitely a potential Commander, but his best place is in Constructed.

Lastly we have the Sliver-friendly land, Sliver Hive.


Modern already has Cavern of Souls and Ancient Ziggurat to help cast Slivers, but having yet another play-set of a land that fixes mana for any of your Slivers very much helps. In Standard, Sliver Hive and Mana Confluence is all you really have. The fact that it also can tap for 1 colorless mana is a nice bonus, and the third ability to create a 1/1 colorless Sliver creature token for 5 mana is just a nice little bonus you can use as a mana sink (as long as you control a Sliver, that is.) It’s a very strong non-basic land, even though its usage is so narrow.

So the problem right now is that Magic 2014 has a bunch of Slivers, too. Right now, Slivers would appear to be a playable deck with Galerider Sliver at a single Blue mana able to give all of your Slivers flying and Manaweft Sliver at 1G to help all your Slivers become five-color mana rocks. You also have Predatory Sliver at 1G to give all of your Slivers +1/+1 and Blur Sliver to give all of your Slivers haste. To top it all off, you have Bonescythe Sliver at 3W to give all of your Slivers double strike. All things considered, you could have an extremely nasty Sliver list. You even have Obelisk of Urd in Magic 2015 to help with Tribal! It’s 6 mana but it has Convoke and gives all creatures of the chosen type you control +2/+2.

So are the Slivers good in Magic 2015? I would say that Constricting Sliver is only Commander playable, and Two-Headed Sliver may be a bit better than Belligerent Sliver in Modern. Until October 2014, there is some potential for Slivers to make some noise. But unless the Khans of Tarkir block has more Slivers, they are going to be a curiosity for awhile. Most of these Slivers are quite Modern-playable, though, and they have all definitely strengthened Slivers in the Commander format. Five of them are also uncommon, which makes them easier to get, and the Hive is only a rare in a Core Set.

I like that Wizards put these new Slivers into the M15 Core Set, but it felt like a plant for Casual Constructed more than anything else. Slivers are not really a viable draft strategy in M15 Limited because there simply aren’t enough of them and there aren’t any at common. I do like all of the Slivers overall, however, and I’m excited to see them potentially start showing up in Modern on a more competitive basis. I love the tribe, and I wish they would bring back their original “hive-mind” flavor of affecting all Slivers, but I’ll live with these. After all, it’s always better when you get to enjoy the effects and not your opponents.

Final verdict: M15 Slivers are good. We’ll just need more in the Tarkir block for them to have much impact in Standard. But Modern needs to watch out: they have some new ammunition to play with.

– Elspeth for the Win





Cruel Sadist is another one of the designer cards introduced in M15, created by long time magic lover and creator of Binding of Isaac, Edmund McMillen.

As someone who actually has played Binding of Isaac, I see where the card is coming from. As you can see here, he actually talks through the card.

the cards name became Cruel Sadist, a psychotic child that feeds off the play to grow strong then unleashes it on creatures or players, i had pushed the idea of the card being a succubus or vampire type creature that would drink your blood and spit it at stuff, but wizards liked the idea of a crazed child assassin a lot more.

I like the flavor behind this card – she causes everyone pain, not just your opponent.  He compares the card he wanted to create to something like Guul Draz Assassin.

That being said, I’m not really a huge fan of this card. Let’s go over the card mechanically.

B for a 1/1 Human Assassin isn’t bad. Being a human gives it access to some human tribal stuff, though definitely not in M15 limited.

The abilities are where I get a little iffy on this card.

B, tap, and pay 1 life: put a +1/+1 counter on Cruel Sadist.

2B, tap, remove X +1/+1 counters from Cruel Sadist: Cruel Sadist deals X damage to target creature.

If the card was more like the original concept, it would be much more appealing.

Black Child
T: pay 1 life put a +1+1 counter on this
T: remove X counters from this to do X damage to target creature or player

While this is much more powerful than the other printing, I see why they powered down the original. With some untap tricks or just the ability to put +1/+1 counters on creatures (which several cards in green do in M15 limited) it would be at least moderately abusable in limited.

The added mana cost and the adjustment to the ability to only hit creatures is what really drains the ability of its flavor – if you’re paying your own life to satisfy your creature’s sadistic desire, and it doesn’t let you hit your opponent?

The main problem with the card is the fact that it’s at rare. At uncommon, this card wouldn’t get as much dislike, but all but one of the designer cards are printed at rare (Xathrid Slyblade is printed at uncommon).

It’s a pretty cool card that could definitely see Commander play in something like Ghave, Guru of Spores that can put counters on it without having to pay life. Sadly, it does deal damage instead of -x/-x like Guul Draz Assassin does. When it comes to mono-black, I’ll stick to my assassin.

Until next time,

– SolemnParty



While I know this was spoiled quite a while ago, we didn’t get a chance to talk about it. To start, this was designed by Brian Fargo, who was the director of Wasteland and Executive producer of Fallout – but most importantly, he was the director of Bard’s Tale.

As this is a designer card, I want to look more into the source material behind it, and mention his story – but, DailyMTG already did that, along with the rest of the designer card, which you can read here.

To sum up, from the very beginning of the project, Fargo wanted to make a Bard. He first released a Blue “silver bordered bard”, and then a black bordered RWU bard. With some convincing from development, it eventually became the green creature we see now.

Yisan, the Wanderer Bard is a 2/3 Legendary Human Rogue for 2G. Decent stats, but what else does it do?

Well, it has an activated ability.

2G, tap, Put a verse counter on Yisan, the Wanderer Bard: Search your library for a creature card with converted mana cost equal to the number of verse counters on Yisan, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle your library.

Personally, this card reminds me of Birthing Pod, but I also played that deck in standard for quite a long time. That being said, it’s much closer to Hibernation’s End.


Yisan, however, is much more optional and reusable than this card was. Having a creature that is consistently better (but less accurate than) Worldly Tutor is very strong. It’s namely a question of what you play along with him, though.

Rather than mentioning cards that go well with him, I’m going to just mention creatures that work very well with him in his own deck. I’m mentioning green and artifact creatures only due to the fact he is a mono-green Commander.

Some cards to play in Yisan, the Wanderer Bard:

CMC 1:

CMC 2:

CMC 3:

CMC 4:

CMC 5:

  • Acidic Slime

CMC 6:

CMC 7:

CMC 8:


Yisan is best played with a solid CMC curve in the deck, so he doesn’t miss a drop with his ability. One small card I’d like to mention is Clockspinning.


While you can’t play it in a Yisan-led list, as it isn’t green, Clockspinning is a very strong card alongside Yisan, whether it be to remove counters to get another creature at the same CMC again, or to add counters to speed up the curve of what you’re pulling out. Adding blue and playing Simic along with Yisan gives him even more targets, and adds the ability to bounce your own creatures to reset Yisan after you get to the top of your curve with Yisan.

Yisan is definitely one of the cards that I’m looking forward to out of M15, and we’ll see if he can live up to the Commander format.

Until next time.





Kurkesh, Onakke Ancient is not the returning Krenko, Mob Boss that I was hoping for, but this Ogre is still fantastic.

Kurkesh is a 4/3 Legendary Ogre Spirit for 2RR, with an impressive ability. You can copy the activated ability of any artifact by paying R. Just 1 red mana lets you copy any artifact’s ability.

This automatically leads to all kinds of shenanigans, Gilded Lotus and Voltaic Key along with this guy produce infinite mana of any color after a certain point.



He also has very good synergy with Mimic Vat, which lets to make copies of creatures imprinted onto it.


Now, the question is, is he playable in standard?

Well, that’s to be left up to whatever artifacts will be in limited or standard.

As far as limited is concerned, we haven’t seen a whole lot of fantastic targets for this guy. In fact, at the moment the only target we have is Grindclock.


Now, as far as standard is concerned, we run into mostly the same problem. It just doesn’t have very mana relevant targets. The 5 weapons of the gods are the only really relevant ones in Theros, and the ones in Return to Ravnica block aren’t all that impressive. Unless there is more in Khans of Tarkir, this guy won’t see standard play.

Most likely, he’ll see a ton of commander play. Personally, I have a mono-red artifact deck headed by Slobad, Goblin Tinkerer that I play from time to time, but I think I just found my new commander for that deck. Plus, you can use Mycosynth Lattice to make all of your permanents into artifacts, letting you copy your creatures, planeswalkers, and land’s activated abilities too. I’ll leave that to my commanding opinion article, however.

If there are any other interesting interactions with him that show up in M15, I’ll revisit him sooner, and otherwise we’ll see him again when I talk about his Commander playability.

Until next time,




The Chain Veil is the card we’ve all been waiting for – a Legendary Artifact with Planeswalker interaction.

It reads as follows:

At the beginning of your end step, if you don’t activate a loyalty ability of a planeswalker this turn, you lose 2 life.

4, tap: For each planeswalker you control, you may activate one of its loyalty abilities once this turn as though none of its loyalty abilities have been activated this turn.

People weren’t too far off on what this card would do – we thought it would be an equipment for planeswalkers, but this is definitely the next best thing. 4 mana to double up on all planeswalker abilities is pretty damn cool. It is, however, very clunky. 4 mana to play and 4 mana to activate the ability to get double planeswalker triggers is expensive for all formats and is completely/nearly useless in limited.

So where will this card be played?


Honestly, I’ve just keep talking and talking about this deck during this set. Ajani Steadfast is another huge support card for planeswalkers, and in a set with 6 planeswalkers is the only reasonable place to put this – but it’s clear where this card wants to be.

Any deck that can manage to play tons of planeswalkers will love playing this card, and I’m excited to see it being used in Superfriends Commander decks.

There are other things to get to tonight, however.

Until next time,




M15 Spoilers – Stain the Mind

Now, Cabal Therapy is one of the strongest cards in Legacy at the moment. The first one scouts, and the flashback hits exactly what you know they have.



In some cases, it’s then followed up with one of these two cards:

74 84

Essentially the same card, but they both finished up the job of Cabal Therapy.


Stain the Mind is the new contender for targeted hand removal. 4B, declare any card name – search that player’s graveyard, hand and library for any number of cards with that name and exile them.

The fact that it hits hand, library, and graveyard all on just a declaration of name.

Then again, 4B is a little expensive for eternal formats. The convoke, however, can help with that quite a bit. Playing a hybrid black creature in your deck lets you play it in any deck, and you can always reduce that cost to some extent as long as you’re playing creatures.

Could it see eternal format play? Possibly, if there are decks with the mana equipped for it. Modern Pod may be able to make use of it due to the number of creatures the deck plays. Standard will be the most likely place to see it. Jund could afford to play this in the main deck if it wanted to. As it isn’t a turn 1 play like Thoughtsieze, the player can wait on playing it until they have more information. Even if they have no idea what they’re playing against, the first one lets them see their entire deck and hand – and possibly drop a declared card. Even Commander can make space for it in some decks, due to the fact it hits the library too, if you know that player is playing a certain combo, you can pull out their combo piece and kill it.

I feel as if the card is a strong play in standard, and we’ll see if it extends to other formats.

Until next time.




Here at Win Target Game, we typically don’t review all that many common cards as feature articles. However, Generator Servant is interesting enough that it just has to be looked at. As someone who’s always been fond of Pauper and the Pauper Commander formats, I see potential for this card. It’s also a card that I can definitely see being a strong Limited pick and perhaps even more.

First of all, I don’t see Generator Servant running all over Standard. It’s not quite that good. But what it does is definitely interesting. It basically puts the effect of Hall of the Bandit Lord on a creature, and in this case, you’re sacrificing a creature instead of paying 3 life and in fact you even get 1 more colorless mana out of it.


Hall of the Bandit Lord is a very useful utility land from Champions of Kamigawa that sees some Commander play in decks that care about giving its big creatures haste. But first of all, it comes in tapped, and you have to pay 3 life to use its ability, which does give that creature haste, but only gives you 1 mana.

But Generator Servant is actually a bit better. Albeit its effect isn’t so reusable, but it gives you 2 colorless mana only at the cost of itself. That mana can be spent on any sort of spell, much like Hall of the Bandit Lord’s mana, but without the life cost. It’s sort of a ramp card in Red on a 2/1 body. Plus, if you happen to use even one of that mana on a creature spell (it doesn’t specify that BOTH of that mana need be used on a creature spell) that creature gains haste.

At common, this effect on any sort of body is pretty useful. In Limited, it’s great, because say you no longer need the 2/1 creature, you can turn it into 2 mana to either play some utility or removal spell, or cast a bigger creature and give it the added value of haste. Is this effect good enough for Standard? Of that I’m not positive yet. But there’s a lot of potential here. I can think of many Pauper Commander decks that could use its utility and Standard Pauper lists will definitely find room for this. A two-drop that can essentially pay for itself is pretty awesome.

There are definitely some potential ways to abuse a card like this. Marchesa, the Black Rose comes to mind as a Commander that could use this card a great many times, and that’s certainly a Commander who cares about her creatures having Haste. In Limited, it makes cards like Siege Dragon into a 3 mana Dragon with Haste. Granted, it is a weak body, and will probably die before its ability becomes relevant, but forcing removal on this guy would mean one less piece of removal for something else later.

Also, he’s an Elemental, which means Brighthearth Banneret makes him a one-drop. Definitely relevant in Pauper and some mono-Red Commander lists.

Overall, this is a fantastically designed common with an effect from the past made even better. How will you use Generator Servant?

– Elspeth for the Win



Magic 2015 will actually have two pretty good game day promos, both of which are definitely playable. We’ve already gone into quite a bit of depth about Chief Engineer. The card I’m more excited about is actually the card everyone will get for playing Game Day, the uncommon Reclamation Sage.


Besides having gorgeous art on the full art promo, Reclamation Sage is an Elf Shaman that is basically a better version of Viridian Shaman, which had a mandatory ability to destroy an artifact when it entered play. The Sage is a 2/1 rather than a 2/2 for the same mana cost (2G), but its ability isn’t mandatory and it also can hit Enchantments. Not only is this going to replace the Shaman in Legacy Elves, but it is definitely Standard Playable.


Plus, Reclamation Sage may perhaps even replace Harmonic Sliver in Modern Pod as a more inexpensive removal card, both in mana cost (1GW) and money ($3-4 USD). Also, the Sliver has a mandatory ability, and blowing up your own Birthing Pod isn’t really that good.

In Commander, she’s even better, having the dual types of Elf and Shaman. Elves, obviously, are very popular in the format and there are cards in the format that care about the creature type Shaman like Sachi, Daughter of Seshiro as a Commander, and of course, Coat of Arms.


Those that make the Top 8 at Game Day events will also rece3ive a full art foil Chief Engiener. The art is pretty fabulous, and we’ve discussed the card at great length already. He’s going to be a sought-after promo in any case due to his Commander play-ability, so he’s a strong card to pick up even if his Constructed value doesn’t become what it hypothetically could. Decks are going to have to center around Chief Engineer for his value to skyrocket, which as we’ve discussed is definitely possible in Modern. However, Standard will have to add tons more Artifact support for him to really see his potential maximized.

I won’t be playing in any Magic 2015 Game Day events personally, as I do not play Standard, at least at this time, but I’m actually more excited about the Sage than the Engineer as a promo, as the Sage will see lots of play.

Which card are you more excited about?

– Elspeth for the Win




Sliver Hivelord was just spoiled by Gavin Verhey – and it’s definitely impressive.

Sliver creatures you control have indestructible.

Well then. I don’t even know what to say about this one. While I don’t agree with Gavin in saying this is the most powerful 5-color sliver, it’s definitely a very, very strong card. 5/5 that makes all of your slivers, including itself, indestructible is just incredible. The only reason slivers are as vulnerable as they are is because they never had access to indestructible. They had Shroud in the form of Crystalline Sliver, and with this it’s just ridiculous that your board is practically invincible.

Also, at WUBRG, 5/5 is decent due to the fact it’ll always have other sliver buffs – whether it be getting +x/+x, flying, trample, or whatever, it’ll always be impressive.

Now, the question is, will this see standard play?

Well, the main problem is that this and the M14 slivers will only be in together until September, but it’s still enough time to play for a bit. Between Mana Confluence, Sliver Hive, and the pain lands and shock lands all being in standard make the deck somewhat consistent, and the abilities of the M14 slivers support this one well. We still don’t have any idea what the slivers in this set do, however. I’ll talk about him again when we have the whole set.

Now, casually, this will definitely get a slot in Commander Slivers, though most likely as an additional sliver and not as a commander. Making everything indestructible is a fantastic ability, and searching it out with Sliver Overlord is definitely terrifying.

Overall, while I don’t think it’s quite as powerful as Gavin thinks, it’s still very impressive, and I’m looking forward to getting one.

Until next time.




chordofcalling 156

Chord of Calling is getting a reprint in M15!

For those of you who don’t know, Chord of Calling is one of the centerpieces of Birthing Pod decks in Modern, after the banning of Green Sun’s Zenith, and is another very expensive reprint.


Original Ravnica ones are sitting at 36 dollars as of this moment, but they’ll be going down any moment now due to the reprint.

This reprint was very needed, and due to our returning mechanic for the set being Convoke, this is probably the only opportunity they’d be able to put this card back into standard.

To actually explain what the card does, it searches for a creature converted mana cost X or less and puts it into play – clean, simple, and effective. In fact, it’s actually better than Green Sun’s Zenith due to the fact it doesn’t have the limitation on what it can search, but at the disadvantage of being 2 green more. However, that’s easily solved with the magical ability of Convoke! With enough on board, you can tap out to search out combo pieces, or just to search whatever you need to pod into, instead of podding into it.

This set is just cranking out surprise after surprise! I’m excited to see what else lies in the last 80-so cards of the set.

Until next time,



%d bloggers like this: