Welcome back to the GreenSunsZenith with a new format on donation decklists!
I’m always looking for ways to improve the value I can provide for donation decklists. There’s still a few things to improve on, but this is going to be the template going forward for those wanting to support the site through a donation decklist.
Alight, let’s dive in. This is not just your usual take on Abzan Maverick. This is the start of a build around Death’s Shadow.
My goal is to bring Maverick to being accessible for all who would like to play it in legacy. When I saw Mengu’s Shadow list with no reserved cards, I thought what a perfect idea and shell for players to ease into legacy…but the Maverick way!
Let’s face it, the dual lands and Cradle are the real culprits for Maverick being costly. This build side-steps that and lets you search for 13/13’s for a lowly 2 mana or three mana with Ranger-Captain of Eos.
We decided to run this through 3 leagues, taking the first 75 through and making adjustments from there.
The first iteration is just over $1,000 which might sound like a fair amount of money (as it is), but for in terms of Legacy decks, it’s on the budget side of things. If you look at current Modern decks, you’re most likely spending 4 figures on a tier-1 list already.
The unique part about this 75 is that the large majority of the deck (Snuff Out, Reanimate, Karakas) is Legacy & Modern legal!
What’s the plan with the sideboard?
– My theory is the Reanimate/ Grief package is for combo (Gaddock Teeg as well)
– Trophy is all a rounder, and the rest is versatile as well.
The VOD: Death’s Shadow Maverick
Game 1 vs Mono-W Initiative
Coming up against the tier-0 deck of the format is always going to be an uphill battle.
In this match I really missed Swords to Plowshares in the 75. It also is a risky matchup to try the Death’s Shadow route due to opposing Swords to Plowshares and Solitude.
T1 White-Plume just allowed them to take over the game from the beginning, going through the dungeon multiple times and just getting too much value.
Game 2 was T1 Archon into T2 White Plume which was also just too much for us to overcome without multiple pieces of early interaction
I think if we do expect Mono-W in leagues (which I do), Tourach, Dread Cantor would be a great card to try out in the board as we have access to multiple black sources for the kicker effect.
0-2 | 0-1 in the league
Game 2 vs UB Death’s Shadow
Ah yes the popular Legacy Junk vs UB Shadow matchup. Although we don’t have access to Swords, I do think we are slightly favoured in this matchup
Snuff Out is next to dead other than Murktide, but we do have Grist as a great way to remove threats and build out a board. Cards like Voice also block Shadows very well, leaving us with another threat that could quite easily grow larger than an early Shadow.
Plague Engineer to get rid of Baleful Strix was great in this matchup, Brutal Cathar also coming in clutch to make sure we could swing through for the win.
Again, another matchup where I’d love to have access to Swords to Plowshares and to a lesser extent, Dryad Arbor.
2-0 | 1-1 in the league
A quick shout out to my Patrons! Your support has been fantastic and I appreciate every one of you.
Game 3 vs Death & Taxes
This seems like a tough matchup if they are able to land Mother of Runes into Stoneforge Mystic for Kaldra. We don’t have much early removal, so once a Mother untaps it’s a race for Plague Engineer.
Grist was great in this matchup – other than Skyclave once you start flooding the board with insect tokens you can control the board quite well.
2-1 | 2-1 in the league
Game 4 vs Mono-White Initiative
I wanted to try out the Reanimate / Grief package to see if we could use that to bounce back from the round 1 loss. Thankfully…it worked surprisingly well. Being able to Snuff Out an opposing Initiative creature, then take it for yourself was a huge tempo swing.
This was a pretty back and forth match and thankfully we were able to flood the board with creatures to make sure we retained the initiative.
2-1 | 3-1 in the league
Game 5 vs UR Delver
Jamming threats into Daze really rewarded us in game 1, dealing with a DRC thanks to Plague Engineer then running away with the game thanks to Grist.
Game 2 was a really disappointing keep.
I’m not sure what I saw here, but the Swamp really slows it down. We don’t have cheap removal for early threats AND we NEED to draw into another GW source off the top to get Voice down turn 2. Honestly this hand would be beaten by a fair amount of 6’s.
Game 3 we honestly just got Delver’ed. Not too much to say here.
1-2 | 3-2 in the league
After league thoughts.
The deck was pretty impressive given this was the first draft of a bit of a brew.
I spoke about my thoughts in the video but some cards I think would be great inclusions are Swords to Plowshares and Sylvan Library. Yes Library isn’t Modern legal, but with its recent reprinting is cheap pickup at the moment.
Maindeck Recommendations (11):
+ 2 Sylvan Library
+ 4 Swords to Plowshares
+ 4 Green Sun’s Zenith
+ 1 Dryad Arbor
– 2 Voice of Resurgence
– 2 Ranger-Captain of Eos
– 1 Overgrown Tomb
– 1 Ignoble Hierarch
– 1 Sylvan Safekeeper
– 1 Elvish Reclaimer
– 1 Grist, the Hunger Tide
– 1 Meren of Clan Nel Toth
– 1 Brutal Cathar
For consistency, I’ve added Green Sun’s Zenith as a package. It can be tough to rely on Fiend Artisan untapping in a metagame dominated by creature-based decks. This means more removal is running around and therefore, really hard to keep Fiend on the field.
With the addition of Green Sun’s Zenith, we now have virtual copies of all green creatures. This is why I was happy to cut on some of the additional Voice of Resurgence, Reclaimer and some other 1-ofs.
I felt Meren and Renegade were fighting for the same slot (using the graveyard as a resource). The same goes for Brutal Cathar and Grist (3 mana removal), so Cathar has been cut to fit in the Zenith’s and core green package.
Sylvan Library also fits really well in this deck. Not only is it a way to get Death’s Shadow online, it gives us some control over our draws. In a few of these matches, I found myself stalling out of gas and hitting lands and mana dorks over multiple turns. Library would be a great way to control this, and also keep up / ahead of other value decks in the format like Initiative.
Sideboard Recommendations (10):
– 4 Grief
– 4 Reanimate
– 1 Assassin’s Trophy
– 1 Gaddock Teeg
+ 3 Leyline of the Void
+ 3 Deafening Silence
+ 2 Sudden Edict
+ 2 Tourach, Dread Cantor
I didn’t mind the Grief / Reanimate package, but I think for leagues having more lights out cards are needed. In my eyes, Deafening Silence and Leyline of the Void are what either completely halt your opponent or buy you enough time to cast further pressure.
Sudden Edict is great for creature matchups like UR Delver and Initiative. It’s cheap and easy to cast and mostly reliable at hitting threats we care about.
Teeg hasn’t aged well and for most combo decks, Ouphe has become the bear of choice.
One of the best parts about this new build is that its also now under $900! *Wallet throws confeffi*
A huge thank you to Joe for the donation decklist! I’m really looking forward to looking at some of these recommendations for the second league then having a final go after that via a streamed league.
If you’d like to send through your own list, or support me another way, check out my support page for more info!
Play well, play fair.