A Maverick’s Observations

Welcome back to the ‘Zenith! 2024 is already two months down and Legacy is in arguably the best position it’s been in years. There’s an abundance of choice when it comes to viable strategies, and those who have dedicated the time to specific archetypes are being rewarded.

Maverick is one of those decks, maybe not the choice of a tier 1 strategy, but without question one that rewards pilots with reps under their belt.

We’ve seen Harry Hackett, Mark Strassman and Connery Knox putting up results with the deck throughout 2023 and I suspect they’ll all continue to do well this year.

40K comes to MTGO

Thankfully 40K has finally come to MTGO. This means Legacy playable cards like Mawloc, Triumph of Saint Katherine, Canoptek Scarab Swarm and Chaos Defiler will now be accessible for the first time online.

Mawloc is an easy include for Punishing / 4C Maverick as well as Naya Depths. Mawloc being a tutorable removal spell is a huge perk, especially against Magus of the Moon decks.

As simple as it sounds, Mawloc being most likely a 2:1 (deal with a threat then get removed by a spell) is a small but great upgrade for Maverick. Wasteland, Swords to Plowshares and another removal is typically a straight 1:1 trade so the more 2:1s we can get, the longer Maverick holds steady.

I’m sure we’ll also see Maverick’s testing out Triumph of Saint Katherine and Canoptek Scarab Swarm too. Scarab Swarm and Triumph will need to be respected, as both are looking to cause some havoc for Maverick players.

New Printings

Doorkeeper Thrull is an upgrade for Maverick compared to other cards we’ve played in the past. Although Torpor Orb can’t pressure opponents via combat damage, it isn’t open to creature removal. It has the small upside of being able to be cast off any colour of mana, although 1 white mana isn’t too hard to get online.

Hushbringer has been seeing play in both Maverick and Depths sideboards, more frequently since the addition of the initiative.

Although lifelink can be relevant in creature-based matchups, flash and the ability to also stop artifacts is an undeniable upgrade. As a Maverick, making your opponent commit to casting a spell only to find out that plan is going to flop is exactly where you want to be. Torpor Orb and Hushbringer give away information while they are in play, while Thrull can catch your opponent off guard.

Non-creature artifacts that come to mind include;

– The One Ring
– Chrome Mox
– Kaldra / Batterskull (+ any other living weapon triggers)
– Coveted Jewel
– Portable Hole
– Soul-G Lantern
– Clown Car

Pick Your Poison


For the drawback of being sorcery, you’re getting flexibility here with PYP. At first it seems like this hits most decks you’re going to face in Legacy, but there are some clear misses and downsides

  • If your opponent has multiple options, they most likely aren’t going to remove the permanent that’s causing the real issues (Sacrifice Insectile Aberration or their 3/3 DRC leaving Murktide on board or get rid of an artifact land and keep Kappa Cannoneer)
  • Against Library-less versions of Maverick, this is a removal spell in your sideboard that does next to nothing (BoP and Scryb Ranger are the likely hits)
  • Same can be said for Elves, UB Scam and most likely for Turbo Goblins (hitting Chrome Mox is likely too late)
  • Even against a deck like Sneak & Show, being sorcery speed doesn’t do anything against them the turn they are likely to put in a creature with Sneak Attack (while deploying Sneak the same turn).

Typically I stay away from cards that give my opponent a choice. For me, you’re better off running straight creature removal (Path, Dismember, Snuff Out) alongside artifact & enchantment removal (Force of Vigor) than trying to find something that’s half as good at either task.

Rampaging Yao Guai

Rampaging Yao Guai

RYG is a really unique printing. GGG is a hard ask even in Maverick but can be done if you know your plan is to move towards it. It’s typically going to be a green creature you don’t want to GSZ for, unless you’re wanting to take out a bunch of 0 mana artifacts / enchantments (potentially a board controlled by Urza’s Saga & Constructs).

I feel this is a little harder to setup than our current answers in cards like Collector Ouphe, Outland Liberator and Force of Vigor.

I feel like this is could be fantastic when you have everything lined up (Cradle in play) but weak when you’re wanting to deal with specific targets (obviously Blood Moon).

Surveil Lands

lush portico

A land coming in tapped is a huge cost – look at Triomes and their inclusion (or lack there of) in the format.

Surveil is pretty interesting for Maverick;

  • Creatures for Ooze to eat or to make Fiend Artisan bigger
  • Lands for Ramunap to play or to grow a Knight
  • To make your top draw live (to the best of your ability)

As these are Forests, you can sac them to Knight but also can get multiple triggers over time thanks to Scryb Ranger. Clips4Lyfe sees some potential with this small engine and I agree – cool space to work in.

Flexibility vs Power

This has been a struggle for years, and not just for Mavericks. Do you opt for the flexibility of Prismatic Ending or Council’s Judgment, or want the specifics of Force of Vigor or Dismember?

Snuff Out vs Dismember vs Path to Exile has been a backroom argument in the Maverick community for some time now. All 3 have hits and misses and their viability really comes down to your understanding of the metagame you play against and where you’re happy to cut corners.

Have a lot of Magus of the Moon? Dismember is most likely your best additional removal spell.

Is UB Scam / Shadow all around? Maybe then Path to Exile is your best bet to deal with a 6/6 or larger Death’s Shadow.

Initiative everywhere? The advantage of Snuff Out really proves itself in this matchup as you’re able to build out your board while also removing opposing threats.

Here’s a visual guide on what each piece of removal is best to deal with individual threats.

πŸ“’ Huge shout out to Connor Folse aka. LoamerBoy and his continued innovation and support towards the 4C Loam community. Always a pleasure to have him sharing his insights in the Maverick Discord.

Get Lost and Force of Despair have also seen an uptick in play and discussion. Although it’s an additional mana to Path to Exile, Get Lost deals with a wide variety of permanents Maverick cares about. It doesn’t deal with The One Ring or Kaldra, but otherwise you’re going to be pretty happy with the flexibility of this card. The downside of your opponent getting two Map tokens isn’t actually much of a downside either (compared to your opponent sometimes getting an early basic land off Path to Exile).

Force of Despair is pretty cool tech. vs strategies like Muxus Goblins and Rhinos.

The issue I’ve had with this card is having a high enough count of black cards in your deck to reliably pitch this. Once you’re at 3 mana you can hold this up which is a small cost for the devastation this card can cause. However, it can cause time walk scenarios for you if it’s not the turn your opponent wants to ‘go off’.


Choke lost a lot of points when Prismatic Ending was printed and even more so with Leyline Binding ticked up in play. Recently versions of BUG Beanstalk have been pretty soft to Choke with only 1 or 2 answers in the 75, but a new card has peeked my interest in the card.

Choke fans you can be happy that players (especially Rhinos) have started toying around with Leyline and Scion.

What this means is all lands your opponents control are now Islands, a similar situation that pops up with Dryad of the Ilysian Grove. But you’re not here for words, you’re here for proof.

Legolas’s Quick Reflexes

While LQR hasn’t lived up to the hype, it still has its moments. I do like the odd 1-2 (most likely 2 copies) in Maverick and Depths decks, but it sadly just isn’t a card you want 4 copies of.

This was a pretty sweet spot that gave me a unique way to stop Cephalid Breakfast from comboing off.


The most underplayed creature in Maverick?


I don’t think I’ve seen Animar in Legacy before, and there’s probably something to that. It does need to be built around to some extent, but it plays around some serious current removal in:

Swords to Plowshares
Prismatic Ending
Leyline Binding
Orcish Bowmasters
Snuff Out
Witherbloom Command
Murderous Cut
Fatal Push
Touch of the Spirit Realm

It also fogs and can’t be blocked by a large number of threats in the current format, so potentially there’s something there in a 4C version of Maverick.

A shout out to my Patrons:

Where’s Depths gone?

A few things have come up for me that’s steered me away from Depths and towards Maverick.

4/5C Beans has so much interaction with not only your 20/20 but also Reclaimer / Knight. Unless you’re able to save them consistency from their removal, you actually don’t have many ways to get through.

Safekeeper is pretty key in that matchup, more specifically in the mid-late game when you have the lands to throw but more importantly through a GSZ (as Safekeeper being Forced makes it much more difficult to get the win). Also Solitude with the added text of drawing a card is just unbeatable value.

The deck is linear to an extent, Maverick just has a lot more game to it IMO while still offering some ‘free wins’ in Thalia + Wasteland / Ouphe / Teeg / Endurance / Ooze (which I’ve been really enjoying on its comeback tour)

Abzan rose thanks to the power of Bowmaster, but it doesn’t add that much to the main goal of the deck. I’m a big fan of going ‘all in’ (other than a Prismatic Ending or Outland Liberator from here and there to get me out of G1 pickles) in G1 and then using G2 & 3 to fight off the interaction / disrupt your opponent brought in.

With a large portion of the Depths team move to Abzan > Naya, I felt the archetype slowed down a turn or two as you’re most likely wanted to get Bowmaster down early on, which doesn’t advance your DD plan.

Sprouts recently Top 8’ed a Challenge with a version of Abzan Depths with 4 Thoughtseize MD – no Bowmaster. I really like this type of build as Thoughtseize does much more for you seeing if the coast is clear, while also interrupting the game plan of opponents.

Initiative is also a tough one, so with that and Beans coming strongly into the winners metagame it can be an uphill battle from R1

I think it still has a place in the metagame, but potentially now is the time to look at GW or Naya and ‘Newton it’ (a little like what he did with Glimpse Elves)
Also really nice to scroll back to the start of November and catch up with the Maverick scuttlebutt – hope you all finished 2023 on a high!

In saying that I did write this during the end of Jan / start to middle of Feb.

Since then;

  • GonΓ§alo Fernandes won an ELM qualifier with Abzan Depths and
  • Good friend of the Zenith Toya Yanagi was able to take down God of Legacy with GW Depths!

You got this far

Honestly I’ve been in a real fight with writing for the past few months. It’s sadly a battle to work 9-5 in front of a computer, then find the drive after I’ve spend ‘life time’ to get back in front of the screen and write from typically 9 or 9:30pm onwards.

I love magic. I love that I get to speak to and on behalf of some of the community but I absolutely hate letting people down when it comes to producing content.

The Maverick Discord makes me so happy. It’s active, friendly, knowledgeable – everything you want from a dedicated group of players who form a welcoming community. If you’re looking for some of the latest innovation and tips – it’s just your best source right now.

I wanted to get something out there just to break the drought. Put pen to paper (or fingers to keys) and just get SOMETHING out there. I apologize that this isn’t one of my best pieces, but I needed to hit that publish button and move towards getting my groove back.

Although Legacy is in a great spot, small things are changing quite quickly. Many times this year I’ve sat down, written out a good chunk of content only to come back to it the following week and find it isn’t relevant anymore.

I appreciate everyone’s support, from Patrons to decklist donators, to those in my and the Maverick Discord. I love this group of players and I want to play a role in educating, informing and entertaining each of you in 2024.

To bigger and better.


About Douges

Hey! Douges here - Founder of the GreenSunsZenith. I've been playing Magic since 2013 and Legacy since 2014. I'm a Death & Taxes pilot turned Maverick aficionado who created the GreenSunsZenith as a resource for both beginners & experts of the Legacy Maverick archetype. I've been fortunate enough to be a guest on several Eternal & Legacy podcasts including Everyday Eternal, Deep Analysis with Brian Coval & Phil Gallagher, The Canadian Threshold, Archetype Influencers and the Dark Depths Podcast You can reach out to me through my social links below. I stream via Twitch on Thursday nights (7:30pm AEST) & Sunday mornings (10:30am AEST). Please let me know if you don't find anything on the site that you'd like to see. If you'd like to support the GreenSunsZenith, I have a Patreon account you can support the platform through :)

One thought on “A Maverick’s Observations

  1. Nice content!
    I think GW Depths is in a great spot right now.
    I think Naya Mav is really good to, but need some knowledge of meta to play consistentily.
    I will try next week => Sentinel and Broadside on a very diff list… πŸ™‚

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