GW Maverick

Traditional GW Maverick

Maverick is a green white (GW) deck at its core. Straight GW is the build I would advise all new players to play and use to get comfortable with the deck. But what is Maverick? I really couldn’t have put it better than S3raphix:

Maverick is a GWx creature-based midrange deck that contains both aggressive and controlling elements. The most important aspect of the deck is a toolbox of “hatebears”, disruptive creatures that hinder the opponent’s game plan, which can be tutored for and protected. In a sense, the goal of Maverick is to lock out the opponent with an overwhelming board presence.”

“Maverick is built on synergy rather than raw card power, and is flexible enough to have game against almost any strategy. While intuitive to play at a basic level, Maverick is a difficult deck to master, as it is very interactive and has many lines of play available. If you want to play a deck with creature interactions and toolbox elements, Maverick could be the deck for you!

Green Sun's Zenith

Since the banning of Deathrite Shaman, Maverick is one of the last competitive decks in the format that still has the ability to run a 1 drop mana-producing creature (let’s just disregard Elves). The power of mana-producing creatures in Maverick shines through the ability to have some of the following turn 2 plays.

  • Play a turn 2 3CMC threat like Knight of the Reliquary or Thalia, Heretic Cathar
  • Have the option to Green Sun’s Zenith for A 2CMC bear like Gaddock Teeg against a combo opponent or a Scavenging Ooze against a graveyard deck
  • Play a 2CMC spell and  Wasteland your opponent
  • The mana advantage allows you to connect with equipment against the mirror or other Stoneforge Mystic decks a turn earlier than your opponent.

An early jump on mana gives you the advantage you need as a fair deck to have a chance to get in front of the non-fair decks in the format. What I mean by this is setting up your hatebears such as Thalia, Guardian of Thraben or Gaddock Teeg before your combo opponent goes off or your hard control deck gets the pieces they need to remove your creatures and setup control over the boardstate.

GW Maverick is a very fair deck when you compare it to some of the T1 decks of the format. You will most likely lose many, many games in a combo-heavy meta. You don’t do anything ludicrous like putting a horde of 1/1 Goblins or a 7/7 Flying creature into play on turn 1 – you’re playing Maverick for the grind. You want to slow down your opponent enough to pressure them through a boardstate made up of big and disruptive creatures.

If one of the best combo players to play the format thinks Maverick is underrated, you’ve got to know Maverick is a special deck:

Here’s one of itsJulian’s most recent lists which packs a huge amount of combo hate in the board with the full playset of both Surgical Extraction and Ethersworn Canonist.

For more information on the green white traditional version of Maverick check out this post from itsJulian as he navigated his version to a 5-0 MTGO League finish. I would say Julian is one of the best-known pilots for GW Maverick and has a great understanding of the deck. Dan Neeley is also a grand-master of the deck with a countless number of 5-0 leagues under his belt.

Below you can see Dan’s list from the recent Legacy Premier where he took the deck to a very impressive 7-1 finish:

Dan Neeley’s Maverick List [7-1]
Legacy Premier April 6th 2019
Sideboard
1 Dryad Arbor
2 Forest
1 Gaddock Teeg
1 Gaea’s Cradle
4 Green Sun’s Zenith
2 Horizon Canopy
1 Karakas
1 Knight of Autumn
4 Knight of the Reliquary
4 Mother of Runes
4 Noble Hierarch
1 Palace Jailer
2 Plains
1 Ramunap Excavator
3 Savannah
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Scryb Ranger
2 Stoneforge Mystic
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Sword of Light and Shadow
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
2 Banishing Light
2 Chalice of the Void
3 Choke
2 Council’s Judgment
2 Ethersworn Canonist
1 Knight of Autumn
2 Surgical Extraction
1 Tormod’s Crypt

Conclusion:

The straight GW build of Maverick is a very powerful and consistent Legacy deck. Although extremely fair, the deck has the tools to hate out the unfair decks in the format and pressure your opponents with a quick clock.

The consistency that Green Sun’s Zenith brings to the 75 is probably the most important factor when it comes to Maverick’s ability to have a decent win/loss percentage against the Legacy field.