Lazotep Sliver – Commander Masters
Date Reviewed: August 15, 2023
Commander [EDH]: 4.13
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
This is one of the most Time Spiral-ish cards I’ve ever seen outside of Time Spiral (the Modern Horizons sets are basically addendums to Time Spiral). And where some such cards are merely cute or nostalgic, Lazotep Sliver combines all its historical references into something highly dangerous to opponents. You’re usually playing it in a deck with lots of other Slivers, in which case whoever they’re attacking has a no-win scenario when it comes to blocking and a hard time coming back into the game. Amass is a much better ability than its original, comparatively limited War of the Spark cards showed, as we’ve seen in the Sauron- and Saruman-themed version of it; past expansions set on Otaria and Shandalar portrayed Slivers as an apocalypse-level threat, and giving them access to it makes them feel similar in gameplay too.
The MTG Multiverse Project hasn’t posted an article for Commander Masters yet, but I can’t wait to see if they try to classify this card. Maybe it’s non-canon or some kind of alternate timeline shenanigan, but I would find it quite interesting if a future expansion on Amonkhet had Slivers. Maybe their unimaginably high level of resilience could provide an example for Hazoret and the other survivors in their quest to rebuild.
Multiplayer: 4 (afflict and amass both help aggressive decks deal with multiple opponents, with speed and resilience respectively)
Commander [EDH]: 4
There’s probably a joke about Nicol Bolas making a mistake in his machinations on Amonkhet, or the reforming of the Multiverse creating new and perverse abominations, like more Slivers, but those can come later. Lazotep Sliver is an interesting enough creature, serving both as an insurance policy and a way to move the clock forward quickly.
On its own, Lazotep Sliver is a decently-costed body that sort of replaces itself when it dies. Afflict 2 means that it’s going to exact a price when it gets blocked, and as a 4/4, it’ll trade favorably with a fair few creatures. Amass Slivers 2 means that it’ll slough off a 2/2 when it dies…or, alternatively, make that Sliver Army token even bigger. Or any Army token, be it the standard Zombie variation or the Orcs from The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth.
The key word, however, is “on its own”. Lazotep Sliver is rarely ever on its own as a Sliver, and this can put a lot of pressure on opponents when it comes to how they react to your hordes. Maing each of your Slivers bleed an opponent for 2 guaranteed life loss is very nice in a pinch, as is them replacing themselves to be buffed by even more Sliver goodness in short order.
At four mana, I doubt Lazotep Sliver makes it into the extant Sliver decks in Constructed, since those want to be very low and to-the-ground. Being confined to Legacy also does not help its prospects, since Slivers aren’t much of a Thing there. But it definitely can make the Commander and casual builds featuring the fan-favorite tribe even more obnoxious to play into, and never underestimate the ability to recover from a board wipe by just getting an Absolute Unit.
Constructed: 2.75 (not confident it’s good enough for Legacy…or that Slivers are good enough for Legacy)
Limited: N/A (probably a 4 in a Sliver-light format, which goes up if there are lots of them)
Commander [EDH]: 4.25
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