Maverick Monthly: December 2020 Edition

Maverick Monthly

Hello and welcome back to the final edition of the Maverick Monthly review for 2020. This is where we recap on how Legacy Maverick archetypes are positioned in the metagame, which versions have been performing the best, and which have fallen out of favour.

Table of Contents

1. Green-White Maverick
2. Abzan Maverick
3. Punishing Maverick
4. BANT Maverick
3. What I’ve Been Playing
4. Conclusions
5. Previous Editions of Maverick Monthly

Green-White Maverick

Therzog41 | 5-0 MTGO League | Decklist

The Hog is back! For those of you who aren’t aware, Thomas Herzog is a well-known name within the Maverick community. He’s had some impressive finishes with Maverick, including one of the greatest matches of MTG caught on camera.

Mother of Runes Qasali Pridemage Gaddock Teeg

Tom’s gone with a pretty old-school GW Maverick list and has only reiterated ‘if it’s not broken, why fix it?’. A full playset of Mother of Runes, 2 Qasali Pridemage,  and a maindeck Gaddock Teeg over Collector Ouphe – this build is very nostalgic and reminds me of some great periods in Legacy. The manabase includes 5 basic lands (1 or 2 more than you typically see), ensuring you can play out your games without worrying about Wasteland or Back to Basics. The Stoneforge Mystic package is without Batterskull, but that’s not surprising, as Maverick doesn’t need to rely on Batterskull to add early pressure to the board.

Qasali Pridemage has some advantages over Knight of Autumn, especially if you’re not running the black splash (Abrupt Decay) and want to have more interaction during your opponent’s turn. The extra exalted can add up if you want to be a little more aggressive with your game plan, too. This choice makes sense in this list, with an equipment package focused on turning each of your creatures into game-ending threats.

Maze of Ith in the board is an interesting choice as it doesn’t do much against format all-stars in Dreadhorde Arcanist or Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath. However, Maze can be a great way to buy time against other decks and can be very useful with Knight of the Reliquary. Maze can buy you a fair amount of time against other creature decks like Goblins and Delver or the mirror, but always be wary of Wasteland. Lastly, if you’re going to include Maze of Ith in your deck, don’t treat it as a land, treat it as a spell.

Pro Tip:

You can activate Maze of Ith’s ability targeting an attacking creature you control during the combat damage step or at the end of combat step. It’ll be untapped and the damage it had already dealt won’t be undone. This is really nice with Knight of the Reliquary as it allows you to apply pressure to both your opponent’s life total and their mana base.

I don’t often see a second copy of Umezawa’s Jitte but I can understand the reasoning. Most decks that Jitte is strong against bring in removal for equipment, so having a back up can cause some big blowouts. You also want to see it more often, as waiting to tutor for it with Stoneforge Mystic can be too late against some of the more aggressive, creature-based decks like Elves.

Tom didn’t pack much graveyard hate either, with a single copy of Surgical Extraction in the sideboard to help alongside the maindeck Scavenging Ooze. There have been a few leagues now where I feel my 4 Leyline of the Void aren’t doing as much work as I need them to. Other than Hogaak and Mono-U Urza, there aren’t too many decks that I’m running into a whole lot that use the graveyard enough for me to warrant Leyline. I’ve considered switching up my graveyard hate as spells like Surgical can be brought in against a bunch of different decks.  Surgical is really appealing against decks like Show & Tell or Doomsday if I’m running the black splash with Thoughtseize in the board.

A huge welcome back, Tom – looking forward to seeing your future performances with the deck!

GSZStore

Tyler Mcclendon | ELD’s Webcam Series 1st Place | Decklist

Tyler took down this event with a more relatable build of GW Maverick that mimics much of what we’ve seen in 2020. They went with Batterskull over a sword, which increases the target on Stoneforge’s back. I find when fetching smaller equipment, it buys my opponent time to find removal. Getting a true threat like Batterskull can cause some anxiety for my opponent to either have removal or draw it the following turn. Don’t get me wrong about Batterskull – life gain is very relevant right now, and some decks still struggle to overcome a T3 4/4 lifelink creature. So the appeal for running Batterskull is understandable.

Tireless Tracker Skyclave Apparition

Tireless Tracker is currently a pretty great threat. Additional value is crucial right now, especially against decks like Snowko that grind so much better than Maverick. The ability to turn land drops into drawing cards is just a huge interest for any Maverick player. Creatures that gain +1/+1 counters is very alluring in a world with Oko, Thief of Crowns and 6/6 threats you need to overcome.

Skyclave Apparition. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this card is probably 2020’s best printing for Maverick. 3 maindeck is becoming the norm, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see more players stick the 4th copy in their board.

Flooded Strand also stands out a little as it’s a fetch land that can’t get your basic Forest or more importantly, Dryad Arbor. I think this is more relevant than having the ability to fake being a blue deck in the early turns. In a deck with equipment, I’d much rather have a Verdant or even a Misty in this slot if you did want a blue fetch.

Rest in Peace in the board isn’t something I’ve seen before, as Maverick uses the graveyard and most pilots want to keep their Ooze and Knights online as threats in graveyard matchups. Hogaak is a great example of wanting to deal with their graveyard but have creatures bigger than 2/2s to deal with their go-wide strategy. This is a big reason you see many Maverick players run Leyline of the Void, as it’s a one-sided Rest in Peace.

Although some of these choices aren’t what you’d expect, it’s great to see Tyler pick the metagame correctly and come out with a win with GW Maverick.




Abzan Maverick

Ozymandias17 | 27th Place Legacy Challenge | Decklist

No Gaea’s Cradle? No Questing Beast? No problem. Matt Vook has taken his 6 dual-land build of GWB Maverick to a top 32 finish of the Legacy Challenge. Apart from the choices mentioned, the key inclusion is 3 Stoneforge Mystic accompanied by 3 pieces of equipment. This is a really interesting list, especially for those who have been asking for Maverick builds without Cradle. Most players say Maverick without Gaea’s Cradle is a little like Lands without Tabernacle – you can play it, but it’s just not going to be the same. It’s great to now have a competitive 75 that I can recommend to players who don’t have access to a Cradle.

Stoneforge Mystic

Vook has also dropped planeswalkers from the 75 including maindeck Kaya, Orzhov Usurper’s. This build has a noticeably lower curve than most other builds on the block, which can be really strong against the soft permission decks like RUG Delver. You’re also going to put yourself in a position to start casting 2 spells a turn more regularly.

I think the return of Stoneforge Mystic to Maverick is well timed. Lowering the curve is great and it turns your lacklustre creatures into end-game threats thanks to equipment like Sword of Fire & Ice. Sure, Oko is always going to be an issue, but there have been multiple games now where my opponent has elked my equipment only to lose to beatdowns with the 3/3 elks.

I picked up this exact list and played some Magic via webcam on 90sMTG!

Here are those matches:

Quarter-finals: Maverick vs. UW Control

Semi-finals: Maverick vs. Elves

Finals: Maverick vs. UB Shadow

Punishing Maverick

Ctuck999 | 5-0 MTGO League | Decklist 

This list has an extensive Green Sun’s Zenith package – probably the biggest I’ve seen all year. I really like that this is a GW-based shell with a small red splash (Klothys, Bolt and Blast effects). 2 Scavenging Ooze in the maindeck is something I’ve been spotting more frequently. It’s a great threat and your opponent doesn’t tend to think about a 2nd copy when planning their turns. CTuck has also doubled up on combo hate with both Gaddock Teeg and Collector Ouphe in the maindeck, which gives you outs to a ton of different strategies, especially in game 1.

Klothys, God of Destiny Lightning Bolt pyroblast

I secretly think Punishing Maverick is one of the better archetypes to be playing right now due to the threat Klothys poses and the ability to fight on the stack thanks to Red Elemental Blast and Pyroblast. I’ve got an article coming out later this month to dive further into why you should be considering GWR Maverick for any competitive event.




BANT Maverick

I’ve been having a ton of fun and solid performances with BANT Maverick as of late. The power of Oko is a huge appeal to me, especially in a deck you can cast on T2 on the play or draw. Uro hasn’t been an important Green Sun’s Zenith target but I’ve always been happy drawing into it against some of the more grindy decks of the format. Meddling Mage is another big appeal that’s been working very well, especially against some more matchups like Show and Tell and Doomsday. I was running 3 but considered Teeg as my 3rd copy. Teeg against many decks acts like a Meddling Mage that’s named multiple things and has the bonus of being multiplied thanks to Green Sun’s Zenith. Being able to tutor for a Meddling Mage effect is key to ensure you find disruption before it’s too late.

I’ve recently moved toward a small black splash to have some game against the go-wide decks like Elves, Goblins and mirror-style matchups. BANT has a fair amount of 1:1 removal but no great way to deal with decks that are dropping multiple threats a turn. Plague Engineer has been great in testing so far and gives me a nice out to these strategies.

The 1 Bayou is a little risky against decks playing Wasteland like D&T, Goblins, Maverick and Esper Vial, but so far the Bayou and copies of Birds of Paradise have meant I’ve always had the access to black I need.

What I’m playing this month:

I’ve been playing a range of decks including Abzan & BANT Maverick and Rainbow Depths. If you want to find my streams, you can find all my videos uploaded with timestamps and decklists on my YouTube channel. The grind to 1,000 subscribers is real, so any and every sub is very much appreciated if you enjoy my style of content.

I’ve also started a new matchup series for Maverick where each month I’ll talk to an archetype specialist about a specific matchup! Here’s the first version with Achillies27 talking about Maverick vs. Eldrazi Aggro.

Conclusions:

Another year of content. It’s been pretty amazing to see the support come in and the Maverick community grow over 2020. It’s been a tough year to say the least, and I am very fortunate to be someone who hasn’t been impacted too hard.

I’m really looking forward to some upcoming projects for the GreenSunsZenith.com, and I hope you are too! A huge shout out to my community of Patreons. You’re all very much appreciated when it comes to helping pay for site costs each year and upgrading some equipment and software for the site & stream. If you’d like to show any sort of support, here’s the GreenSunsZenith.com’s Patreon page.

Take care and play fair,

Douges.




Previous Editions of Maverick Monthly:

October & November 2020 – Maverick Monthly
September 2020 – Maverick Monthly
August 2020 – Maverick Monthly
July 2020 – Maverick Monthly
June 2020 – Maverick Monthly
May 2020 – Maverick Monthly
April 2020 – Maverick Monthly
March 2020 – Maverick Monthly
January & February 2020 – Maverick Monthly
November & December 2019 – Maverick Monthly
October 2019 – Maverick Monthly
September 2019 – Maverick Monthly
August 2019 – Maverick Monthly

About Douges

Hey! Douges here - Founder of the GreenSunsZenith. I've been playing Magic since 2013 and Legacy since 2014. I'm a Death & Taxes pilot turned Maverick fan who created the GreenSunsZenith as a resource for both beginners and experts of the Legacy Maverick archetype. You can reach out to me through my social links below. I stream via Twitch on Thursday nights (7:30pm AEST) & Sunday mornings (10:00am AEST). Please let me know if you don't find anything on the site that you'd like to see. If you'd like to support the GreenSunsZenith, I have a Patreon account you can support the platform through :)

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