Welcome back to the ‘Zenith and another donation decklist!
Scotty, a fan of the channel reached out with their take on Maverick – a list they were prepping for a few upcoming events. This was a 4-colour version with 4 copies of Minsc & Boo and Plague Engineer in the sideboard.
“I was hoping to have you play my 4C Mav list to help me prepare for a few big legacy events coming up. I am primarily interested in hearing your thoughts on the card choices I’ve made before and after the league. I have a fair few 4-1 finishes so far, but I have not been able to convert – hopefully you can!
I was happy to take the challenge and dig my feet into a 4C build – something I haven’t tried out in a while.
The missing colour is blue, splashing black for Grist, the Hunger Tide in the maindeck and Plague Engineer in the in the sideboard. The dominate ‘splash’ colour is red with 4 (yes, a full playset!) of Minsc & Boo in the maindeck, complimented by 3 blast effects in the sideboard.
I had some initial questions for Scotty, specific card choices and colour combinations.
Why 4 colour?
Minsc and Boo is the best, most unfair thing a GRx deck can play. Resolving one against any grindy deck is basically game over. I want 4 because of how broken that card is, and drawing the second one often leads to instant kills the following turn. This also allows us to play red blasts in the sideboard, which is an extremely efficient answer against Murktide regent as well as 8-Cast. I want the black splash because Grist is the grindiest thing you can get off GSZ and Artisan, and having a tutor-able sideboard card against Elves is important (Engineer). I have also found that Plague Engineer is quite solid against Cephalid Breakfast, which is very prevalent in my MTGO leagues.
1. If these are local events, do you know what to expect somewhat? If not, do you have any thoughts on the deck going into an unknown metagame?
The events I’m going to are legacy $5ks (as well as a team trios $10k) in major cities in the Midwest of the USA. Most prevalent deck at these events is usually Reanimator, which is why I want to play 4x Endurance in the main. I also expect Jeskai Control to be well represented, which is a large driving reason behind 4x Minsc. I am expecting a lower amount of combo decks, which is great for us.
As far as unknown meta, we basically have sideboard cards in the main against most of the best decks except some combo. With our sideboard config, we have options against a lot of the decks we are weak against, and we almost always have cards to cut.
2. Flex slots – where do YOU feel you have room in the maindeck and sideboard and what’s currently in those positions?
Endurance 4, sentinel 4, and Knight of the Reliquary #3 are my flex slots. I could also see cutting more Esper Sentinels.
I think it would be very reasonable to move the Plague Engineer to the main, play the 5th mana dork, and I do play 2-3 Mawloc in paper. I can’t wait for that to come to MTGO.
Cards I’m specifically not playing:
Thalia feels so bad in our 4x Minsc deck, and I don’t think that the tax is fast enough against combo without Moxen in our deck. That’s what the SB Deafening Silences are for.
Stoneforge Mystic is slow, and if Jitte isn’t good, you have to get Kaldra, which rots in hand if they destroy the SFM. I think that Torch is bad in our deck, which brings me to…
I think that starting the initiative in our deck is actively bad for us. The decks I would want to tutor adventurer against are extremely efficient at taking the initiative back these days with Staff of the Storyteller and Shark Typhoon. Once they take the Initiative from us, it is very hard for us to get it back if they have like 2 removal spells for our creatures. I tried The Most Dangerous Gamer for about 15 paper matches and it was pretty bad, but very fun.
Sideboard seems pretty locked up to me. I’m very happy with the config. I think this is Teeg’s time to shine, as it’s basically the only GSZ target that has text against combo. Notably it also stops Dread Return, which is great against Breakfast specifically. I think the next change I’d make to the sideboard would be to maybe add some Thoughtseizes, but that would tax our mana soo bad.
Speaking of mana, I will leave the ignoble/noble split up to you. I do want to play a Birds, and I want to play 3 total of the two Hierarchs. I’m bad at manabase math and concepts.
3. Really cool to see you trying out Dismember? Is the thought there it’s 1 mana and doesn’t give your opponent anything (unlike Path)?
I think our deck struggles against Initiative, and if they play a Chalice on 1 early we can just never kill their creatures. This is also relevant vs 8-Cast, and I bring them in vs Breakfast, Painter, and Elves, which it feels great against. I have found that the 2/4 life doesn’t matter much, as those decks are either winning by going over the top or dying to our dudes, very little games have come down to that life loss.
I’ve played about 60-70 matches with this deck so far, and I’m in love. I’m a GW creature player and have been since I started playing competitively. I played Naya depths for like 9 months, but I have found that playing fair, efficient threats is the best option against Jeskai specifically.
Some quick thoughts on Mawloc
Mawloc is not available on MTGO
I would play 2 in paper, -1 Knight -1 Endurance or Sentinel. I am not fully sold on the 4th Endurance yet but I want to try it here.
First thoughts on the decklist
21 lands / 5 mana dorks
I assume you’ve found this to be a nice sweet spot (counting Arbor not as a land but as a mana dork). My experiences with 22 & 5 have resulted in a fair amount of mulligans just on the back of the mana not being great in opening hands.
I’d potentially look to cut the 4th Boo for a 23rd land (canopy) or another mana dork (potentially a 2/2/1 split between IG/NO and Bird)
With Ramunap & Knight it could be worth considering a canopy land (most likely Horizon Canopy however if you want another black source in your manabase then Nurturing Peatland is a fine choice) over either the 3rd Wooded or the 2nd Taiga (as you’re 4C I’d consider ther Taiga)
Birds of Paradise
Evasion is great as well as having a mana dork that produces both white AND black. However I’ve found in a few spots not being able to attack on its own being a big disadvantage.
It’s nice in Mother of Runes builds as it also can be an important fog vs Delver but without, I could see this being Ignoble #2?
One small rule I’ve had for MTGO is making sure I can get 2 ‘threats’ on the board before Teferi, so if it comes down and bounces a creature then my mana dork can finish it off on the swing back. This is more important if you do expect Jeskai to be at the events you play in.
With Esper Sentinel in the deck as well, it’s really nice to know each mana dork boosts its power so when you cast something post-combat, it’s just that little harder for your opponent to stop you from drawing a card.
I really like Plague Engineer in the maindeck but to be honest and think about the matches it’s won…there hasn’t been too many in the current metagame. Elves are either too fast or Reclaimers just get the job done (Natural Order).
Sometimes I do get a blowout vs tribal variants and it feels great, or know that I don’t need to answer a T1 Mother of Runes right away thanks to PE, but I don’t mind seeing it as a sideboard card
Honestly I really like this starting 75 – really clean build and the bullets reflect the time you’ve had with the deck / found where the holes are.
League 1 via MTGO:
Find the decklist, timestamps and more in the video descrption!
During this league we had a pretty interesting ‘what’s the play’ which you can find below. What would you do? Comment at the bottom of this post and let me know your thoughts!
🔴 Legacy What's the play?!
G1 4C Maverick vs GR Initiative
MTGO was too quick – we've already put a Knight of the Reliquary back on top
Can you win this turn? 👀
If not, what's the line to win the following turn? 🏆
— DougesOnTwitch🎥 (@DougesOnTwitch) June 5, 2023
League 1 thoughts:
- Mana was this biggest issue during our 5 leagues. My recommendation was potentially an additional Wooded Foothills (over additional Endurance or 4th Minsc – most likely Minsc)
- Honestly other than that, I think getting reps with a list you put together is much better than trying to make tweak after tweak along the way. A small change like the above was the stand out and is a nice thing going forward
A 1-4 tonight that just didn't feel like a 1-4 😅
4C Uro 2-1
UR Omni 0-2
BUG Value 1-2
Punishing Mav 1-2
Honestly just a night of being combo'ed by combo & out valued by decks with better value plans 😩
— DougesOnTwitch🎥 (@DougesOnTwitch) June 6, 2023
League 2 thoughts:
- A 1-4 finish, BUT, it didn’t feel like that. A good amount of the match outcomes wasn’t on the list, but more so on fast combo and being outvalued just general disadvantages of Maverick and GWx in Legacy
- The mana actually felt a little better which is a great find (especially as we made the change for that)
- Dismember could potentially be Snuff Out which is fantastic on curve (no need to have 1 mana open) BUT it does miss on popular creatures like Opposition Agent, Orcish Bowmasters (coming soon), Fiend Artisan.
Honestly I was pretty impressed with the list even with my initial doubts on 4C and its manabase. Here’s the list I’d go with after a few matches with the 75
Note: Mawloc & Orcish Bowmasters seem like a great addition in paper, but I didn’t add these due to them not being available at the time of recording.
I do believe at the moment, there isn’t too many decks in the format that are going to crush you if you’re greedy on mana (other than Moon Stompy) so to gain the power of a 4th colour is super welcoming on Maverick.
Super happy with Douges’ work with my list! I will definitely be working with him again, I would highly recommend this to others! https://t.co/cYBflKsOAV
— Comrade of the Reliquary (@ComradeSpicy) June 6, 2023
“Having Douges run my Maverick list through a league was one of the best things I feel that I could do to prepare for an event. I received valuable feedback on the list and it’s play patterns, as well as heuristics and updates to the list after the league.”
A big thank you to Scotty and their feedback – if you’d like to get a donation decklist together then find more information via my support page!
As always take care & play fair,