GWB Maverick

Dark Maverick -GWB

Dark Maverick is a variant of the deck which splashes (you guessed it) black mainly for the choice of sideboard cards such as Thoughtseize, Zealous Persecution, Abrupt Decay and Assassin’s Trophy.

Players have been opting for the black splash not long after the traditional GW deck was established in the meta as it gives the archetype answers to threats that GW sometimes falls short of. The first of these builds also ran Deathrite Shaman and Dark Confidant, but since then the deck has moved away from Bob and towards a more Green Sun’s Zenith orientated build. Deathrite Shaman was of course also a huge gain for the black splash, however since the one mana ‘walker is now banned, some players did move back to the GW build or go for the punishing version. 

As fast combo and some heavy control matchups do not bode well for Maverick, access to hand disruption like Thoughtseize can give Maverick players not only time to setup a heavy boardstate, but also gain knowledge about what’s to come. This can really shine when wanting to know what Green Sun’s Zenith target you’re wanting to go after in the early stages of a game. You can read more about what you gain from splashing black here.

Here’s a deck tech with Jon Stern at GP New Jersey in 2014 [Although old this video still has some great points]

Now compare that to the deck’s 75 in 2018 with Qitong Hu’s Top 8 list from Beijing Orlov’s Legacy Event or this Maverick Top 8 finish at the 2019 SCG Syracuse Legacy Classic from Adam Gouveia. It’s really interesting to see Tarmogoyf in the deck but as Jon noted its ability to dodge Delver removal like Forked Bolt and Lightning Bolt made it an inclusion Jon was happy with. However without a disruption aspect, Goyf has never really been since in Maverick since. The printing of removal like Fatal Push has also put pressure on the value of creatures on your deck. A vanilla */1 beater just isn’t good enough for a tool box disruption deck like Maverick.

You can see from MentalMisstep’s winning list below from the 2019 MTGO Format Playoff. Knight of Autumn has an array of useful abilities, Knight of the Reliquary allows you to tutor for lands at instant speed while newly printed Plague Engineer can turn your opponents battlefield into a Wasteland. Tireless Tracker can create a huge amount of card advantage whilst pressuring your opponents life total and well, don’t even get me started on Scryb Ranger. Every creature has it’s place in the deck and with Green Sun’s Zenith you have access to a minimum of 5 copies of any green bullets. 

Bojuka Bog is an interesting choice for sideboard graveyard hate. You can actually get multiple uses out of it with Ramunap Excavator. If you already have Bojuka Bog and a Wasteland in play and you really need to exile your opponents graveyard, you can Wasteland your own Bog and then play it as your land for turn from the graveyard, triggering it’s ETB effect. 

MentalMisstep’s Maverick Decklist
[1st MTGO Format Playoff – June 23rd 2019 ]
1 Bayou
1 Birds of Paradise
1 Dryad Arbor
2 Forest
1 Gaddock Teeg
1 Gaea’s Cradle
4 Green Sun’s Zenith
1 Horizon Canopy
1 Karakas
1 Knight of Autumn
4 Knight of the Reliquary
1 Marsh Flats
4 Mother of Runes
4 Noble Hierarch
1 Plains
1 Qasali Pridemage
1 Sanctum Prelate
2 Savannah
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Scrubland
1 Scryb Ranger
2 Stoneforge Mystic
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
4 Swords to Plowshares
1 Sylvan Library
4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
1 Tireless Tracker
1 Umezawa’s Jitte
3 Verdant Catacombs
4 Wasteland
4 Windswept Heath

1 Chains of Mephistopheles
2 Chalice of the Void
2 Choke
1 Collector Ouphe
1 Council’s Judgment
1 Ethersworn Canonist
2 Faerie Macabre
1 Gaddock Teeg
2 Plague Engineer
1 Sanctum Prelate
1 Vivien, Champion of the Wilds


Personally I feel the power you gain from having access to cards like Thoughtseize to better your combo and control matchups and Zealous Persecution for go wide strategies far outweighs the advantages of any other build right now.

I will admit the consistency of the GW manabase is a big reason to go GW, but the ability to interact with your opponents hand or have a one sided board wipe in Zealous is a fantastic addition to Maverick.