Connery has been dominating with Legacy Maverick for a while now, so it’s great to have him back on the GreenSunsZenith with a tournament report. For those of you who aren’t aware what Maverick is, check out the decks history here.
Table of Contents
GWB Maverick | Legacy Challenge | 2nd Place Finish
The utility lands in this build are Karakas, Gaea’s Cradle, Horizon Canopy and Wasteland. With Maverick, I generally only play the essential utility lands because I want to ensure our mana-base is solid. This is why I don’t run the Dark Depths package, Maze of Ith, or any other utility lands; I want to avoid hands with mana-bases that don’t cast our spells.
4 Knight of the Reliquary
4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
3 Noble Hierarch
1 Birds of Paradise
These are the core of Maverick – no real justification needed. I’ve experimented with 3 Thalia in the maindeck but I missed the 4th copy. Thalia is just great in a variety of popular matchups.
Green Sun’s Zenith Silver Bullet Targets:
The most recent addition to the list, Elvish Reclaimer takes the place of Scryb Ranger. I like Reclaimer in Delver matchups, as well as any matchup where Knight of the Reliquary is good. Used often as a 1 mana 3/4 vs. Delver, it can search up Wasteland, basic lands against Blood Moon, Karakas etc. The card has over-performed. I’m very happy to have access to it and I recommend playing as a one-of as long as Delver maintains its insane share of the metagame.
Hexdrinker is a 1 CMC threat that can break board stalls and take advantage of extra mana from Cradle. It’s very strong in the mirror, against Loam and tribal matchups, and it’s fine (but not ideal) vs. Oko strategies. Being a creature, it still dies to sweeper effects like Blast Zone, Pernicious Deed, Dead of Winter, Toxic Deluge and Terminus.
It’s strong against Delver if you play it early, don’t use mana on it unless they tapped out, or you don’t have anything else to do. Though, the tempo loss of levelling it up only for it to be hit with Lightning Bolt is huge.
Birds of Paradise / Noble Hierarch
We can Green Sun’s Zenith for these if we need to build out our mana. Bird is an aerial blocker and gives us access to black mana, while Noble allows for surprise exalted attacks.
Our primary anti-combo card main deck apart from Thalia. Collector Ouphe is great against TES, ANT, Bomberman and mono-U Urza. It is fine against Sneak & Show and Doomsday, as they generally play Lotus Petal and Doomsday has 1 Lion’s Eye Diamond that they sometimes rely on (but it’s not the greatest in these matchups).
Scavenging Ooze is our best graveyard hate in G1. Ooze’s role is pretty straightforward against Reanimator, Dredge, ANT and is also great against Snowko for dealing with Uro, Snapcaster Mage and Mystic Sanctuary. Scooze over-performs vs. Delver, as they are quite reliant on the graveyard through Dreadhorde Arcanist, Tarmogoyf, and Hooting Mandrills. Also keep in mind Scooze keeps the +1/+1 counters after being elk’ed, so it is a reasonable threat to play against Oko as it ends up bigger than their creatures.
Knight of Autumn
Knight is mainboard artifact/enchantment removal that I believe is way better than Qasali Pridemage (if you want my thoughts on Knight of Autumn vs. Pridemage, listen to this podcast). Additionally, the fail-safe of Knight gaining us 4 life and blocking in a pinch comes up often. It’s also often able to trade with Hooting Mandrills.
You can also find some examples of where Knight of Autumn and Qasali Pridemage shine on the GreenSunsZenith’s FAQ page.
Ramunap is a card I love to play, yet wasn’t playing for a few months prior to this. However, in the past month I’ve brought it back into my 75 and it has put in the work. It’s really powerful in any Wasteland relevant matchup, can also be used to recur Karakas if it has been destroyed, and can draw an additional card each turn thanks to Horizon Canopy. Ramunap is great against the mirror, Eldrazi, any mana denial strategy like Loam or ramp deck such as Lands, Dryad Titan etc.
This card is amazing and should never be cut, even post-board against combo decks. It is very strong against opposing Planeswalkers (Oko), it can be bounced with our own Karakas to un-elk it, and it gets through most chump blockers. This card basically wins us every race and pressures the opponent incredibly well (be careful of opposing Karakas though). Beast is great vs. most decks, shines in the mirror, tribal matchups, Oko decks, and clocks combo really well.
For consistency, I play with Green Sun’s Zenith and 3 Once Upon a Time. This allows me to find the creatures or lands I need for specific situations. I play 3 Swords to Plowshares and 3 Abrupt Decay for removal.
2 Plague Engineers
Absolutely wrecks the tribal matchups as well as clears any annoying creatures like Ice-Fang Coatls. Being a deathtouch blocker is also very strong, Plague Engineer is just one of the biggest reasons to play with black at the moment.
2 Kaya, Orzhov Usurper
This card is nuts. Kaya is great in any fair matchup, solid in graveyard matchups and still a respectable clock in other matchups. It answers an insane amount of relevant permanents in the meta right now. If you want to see the list of targets for her -1 and +1, check out my stream.
Abrupt Decay, mentioned above, is the single best answer to Oko, Thief of Crowns right now in black.
4 Leyline of the Void
Pretty clear, helps a lot of otherwise bad matchups (reanimator, dredge, hogaak, etc.). Is serviceable against decks playing echo of eons.
Vraska, Golgari Queen & Kaya, Ghost Assassin
These planeswalkers are grindy threats that provide card advantage and attack on a difference axis (non-creature). This means they also dodge a fair amount of creature hate your opponent might have (sweeper effects, Fatal Push, Abrupt Decay).
1 Plague Engineer
Plague helps boost the matchup against tribal / opposing creature decks. As it cannot be found with Green Sun’s Zenith, you want to increase the number of these to make sure you see it post-board.
1 Swords to Plowshares & 2 Path to Exile
These help shore up Delver post-board giving us access to 6 one-drop removal spells.
2 Chalice of the Void & 3 Thoughtseize
These are mainly for the combo matchups and Snowko.
I had made a couple of changes before the event to land on this 75, mainly cutting Scryb Ranger for Elvish Reclaimer and the 4th Swords to Plowshares for the 3rd Abrupt Decay. I played one league the night before the challenge, getting a 4-1 that would have been a 5-0 if I only sucked a little less! Other than that league, very little preparation was done.
The games: The VOD for the tournament is on my Twitch channel if you want to hear my thoughts as I go through the games.
Round 1 vs TimeTraders | RUG Delver | 2-1
I lost G1 to Oko, Dreadhorde and some Bolts as I kept a slow hand and got punished. G2 we were on the play and our opponent Force of Will‘ed our T1 GSZ for Dryad Arbor. Thankfully we had 3 more lands in hand so we ended up winning. G3 was very back and forth. Our opponent had an active Dreadhorde Arcanist and some other interaction, but we eventually stabilised with multiple Knight of the Reliquary and an active Sylvan Library to find the answers we needed.
-2 Plague Engineer | -1 Collector Ouphe
+1 Swords to Plowshares | +2 Path to Exile
Round 2 vs Ryan100495 | BUG Hogaak | 2-1
G1 we had a hand with triple Green Sun’s Zenith and double Wasteland. We got to chump with a Dryad Arbor to get rid of the Bridge from Below and then stabilise with a Scavenging Ooze. G2 we had T2 Scooze with an activation and T3 Plague Engineer on zombie, so we thought it was going to be an easy one, but our opponents had T2 Hogaak and T3 Altar of Dementia. G3 we had T0 Leyline of the Void and T2 Scooze with activation, which made it pretty certain we won when combined with being on the play.
-4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben | -1 Knight of Autumn | -1 Once Upon a Time | -1 Abrupt Decay
+4 Leyline of the Void | +2 Path to Exile | +1 Swords to Plowshares
Round 3 vs LuisMJ | RUG Delver | 1-2
This was our first loss of the day and it was quite close.
G1 our opponent used Force of Negation on the Once Upon a Time we cast for free on T1, and then we won the game because I am 100% certain that was the incorrect play. I could see some argument for the play if our opponent had followed up the Force with some number of Wasteland or Daze, but they didn’t.
We kept a double Swords to Plowshares hand G2 and they played Oko, Thief of Crowns and ran away with the game.
G3 was close. We had T1 dork, they bolted it, we played Thalia, and they bolted it. We played Scooze, they Submerged it and played a Dreadhorde, which we killed. And then they played another one and a Delver, and started running away with the game. We landed a Kaya and the game became very close near the end with an active Klothys on the other side and a Kaya + Scooze + Hexdrinker on our side, but we were low on life. There was a point where I could have Green sunned for Knight of Autumn, but instead I levelled up my Hexdrinker to 3 + play a second KOTR (shown below) to set up to solidly have the game won in the next turn, and our opponent top-decked Lightning Bolt. In hindsight, I should have grabbed Knight of Autumn because if they drew a Bolt, it would have gone to my face anyway to kill me if I levelled up Hexdrinker, and the biggest draw to levelling up Hexdrinker is keeping it safe from Bolt. So if I had gained the extra life first, and then levelled up Hexdrinker/played KOTR, I could then stabilise out of Bolt range.
Sideboarding is the same vs, RUG every time.
Round 4 vs JacobofAmber | TES | 2-0
G1 We keep a really good fair hand, with library, T2 Knight and Decay. We realise it’s a combo deck when he plays a Bloodstained Mire, and then we start wastelanding them out while drawing cards with Sylvan Library. He taps out to play a Wishclaw Talisman and we Decay it on our turn, followed by wastelanding him twice and playing a second KOTR. The game is locked up and he concedes.
G2 our opponent mulligans to 5, we have T0 Leyline into T2 Collector Ouphe into T3 Thalia.
-2 Kaya, Orzhov Usurper | -3 Swords to Plowshares | -1 Sylvan Library | -1 Elvish Reclaimer | -1 Ramunap Excavator | -1 Hexdrinker |
+4 Leyline of the Void | +3 Thoughtseize | +2 Chalice of the Void
Round 5 vs SaitoSan | GWB Maverick | 2-0
SaitoSan is a great Maverick pilot – I always enjoy our matches. I had a disgusting hand G1, T1 dork into T2 Kaya into T3 Kaya (after he Decays the first one) into T4 KOTR. He plows our first dork but we have a second one so he only delays the haymakers 1 turn, and then loses to the sheer power of Kaya (killing a Mother, 2 Nobles and shrinking their KOTR). G2 we are on the draw and keep a 5 card hand:
Our opponent plays a dork and some non-basic lands, and we Wasteland them all. This is the T8 boardstate, and then we start pulling away with an Excavator, Wasteland and Questing Beast.
Sideboarding vs Maverick:
-4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben | -1 Collector Ouphe | -1 Once upon a Time
+2 Path to Exile | + 1 Swords to Plowshares | +1 Kaya, Ghost Assassin | +1 Vraska, Golgari Queen | +1 Plague Engineer
Round 6 vs Sentiment | UG Lands | 2-1
I had a feeling this person was on UG lands (I think I ran into them in some leagues a while ago). G1 our opponent plays a Tabernacle and has the Loam & Wasteland lock. We lose before getting to cast the Kaya in our hand. G2 is very different. We had T0 Leyline and manadork start, develop our mana and Decay their Library, eventually playing a Questing Beast that quickly ends the game. G3 I keep a hand with a T0 Leyline but I accidentally didn’t put it into play! I was double queuing the NRG qualifier thing at the same time so I miss-clicked. I was very sad but the hand was good enough that we made it through unscathed. We ended out playing T2 KOTR, T3 Leyline into T4 GSZ for Knight, and then we won on T5!
Sideboarding vs UG Lands:
-4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben | -2 Plague Engineer
+4 Leyline of the Void | +1 Swords to Plowshares | +1 Vraska, Golgari Queen
Round 7 vs Lemasters | Urza Echo | 2-0
This was a win and in for me, and we got lucky with our draw and our pairing. G1 we had T2 Collector Ouphe to lock it up (as long as you get the Ouphe in play before they ramp into Urza, you normally win). G2 we keep T0 Leyline, with T2 Ouphe and a Karakas! So barring a bounce on the Leyline into an Echo of Eons there was very little our OP could do.
Sideboarding vs Urza Echo:
-1 Elvish Reclaimer | -1 Ramunap Excavator | -1 Hexdrinker | -2 Abrupt Decay | -1 Knight of the Reliquary
+4 Leyline of the Void | +2 Chalice of the Void
Legacy Challenge Top 8:
Quarter Finals vs Silviawataru | RUG Delver | 2-1
I lose to silvia almost every time, so I was not excited to play against them in the QFs. Luckily we won G1 with a Decay on the Dreadhorde, into top-decking some lands to rebuild after our opponent double Wasteland us on T3. Then we stabilised with Thalia, Ouphe and Scooze staring down a Hooting Mandrills while at 4 life. G2 we actually keep what feels like an insane hand, we have T1 dork, a Thalia and Reclaimer ready to follow up and both colours of basic lands. However, our op has a couple of Bolts into an Oko which we do not draw the Decay or Questing Beast to deal with, so we lose. G3 being on the play makes a huge impact, keeping a hand with multiple removal spells, a Wasteland and a KOTR. We end up wastelanding our OP, followed up by a Thalia and a KOTR that is protected from counter-magic, and our OP concedes.
Same boarding as RUG above.
Semi Finals vs Testacular | Elves | 2-0
Elves is normally a bad matchup for Maverick, but with my build, I feel like it is at the least even, if not favoured for us. Plague Engineer really is that good. G1 Elvish Reclaimer puts in the work for us, fetching up Wasteland to kill our ops Dryad Arbors and Cradles, while also being a large body. Then T4 we draw a Plague Engineer and the rest is history – we actually get a sweet win after searching for Gaea’s Cradle with Elvish Visionary to level up our Hexdrinker all the way to 8 and push through the last points of damage.
G2 we literally draw 3 Plague Engineers, a Kaya, and 2 one mana removal spells, and win.
Sideboarding vs. Elves :
-4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben | -1 Knight of Autumn | -1 Knight of the Reliquary | -1 Collector Ouphe | -1 Ramunap Excavator
+2 Path to Exile | +1 Swords to Plowshares | +1 Vraska, Golgari Queen | +1 Plague Engineer | +3 Thoughtseize
Finals vs BryantCook (End Boss) | The EPIC Storm (TES) | 1-2
The finals roll around and we destroy him in G1, T1 Reclaimer into our OP not playing a land, and us playing T2 Thalia. I then Green Sun’s Zenith for Ouphe and they concede. Pretty much the same boarding as before. G2 We keep a hand with no green or black mana, but it does have a Chalice on 0 and a Plague Engineer. Unfortunately, our opponent makes 12 goblins on T1 and we don’t draw the green source to play a mana dork into our Plague Engineer T2. G3 we mulligan pretty hard and our opponent keeps a hand with some rituals and lands. We are unable to pressure and they eventually win with an Echo of Eons line. This matchup feels very 50/50, however, as I said on stream, the games generally feel super lopsided.
Overall: Great result, great deck, great draws (except for the couple losses), and great times. Over the next couple weeks, I’ll continue streaming the legacy challenges on Sunday, and I’ll work on a complete sideboard guide for all the common matchups that I’ll make available to any subscribers on Twitch so come check me out!
You can find a recent episode of Inside the Maverick where I talk with Connery about Maverick, his current build and where he thinks the deck is positioned in the metagame.
A huge thank you to Connery for his time putting together a report for the GreenSunsZenith.com – If you have a tournament report you’d like to submit to the site please let me know and we can arrange something. – Douges