Hello and welcome back to the Maverick Monthly! 2020 has already had some really great results for the archetype and some really interesting cards have been coming into the mix. Let’s get right into it.
Feb 17th – 4-1 League Preliminary
Feb 22nd – 5-0 MTGO League
Feb 27th – 4-1 League Preliminary
Achillies27 has been tearing it up (as usual) on MTGO with Legacy Maverick. A split of Chalice of the Void & Deafening Silence is great for early disruption against fast combo decks. Both have their advantages, with Chalice having a larger reach when it comes to the range of strategies it’s good against. Deafening Silence cripples any deck relying on stringing together multiple spells, or slows combo down enough for you to apply other forms of disruption and pressure.
Sure, this split doesn’t play around Serenity, but the split does play around Echoing Truth, Teferi’s Realm and Equipoise – cards that have hosed me in the past when playing against Breach combo. It’s now proven that you need to attack Breach through multiple angles and, in the case of Maverick, different types of permanents and hand / graveyard disruption if you have it (the kitchen sink, too).
The choice of walkers are interesting – Gideon, Ally of Zendikar allows you to produce threats every turn yet also have an ‘answer’ to Plague Engineer type effects. Elspeth, Knight Errant allows you to fly over Oko, Thief of Crowns 3/3s and hopefully strike down the thief in one swift hit. She also allows you to produce creatures that aren’t Human – a small win as human is often the pick for an opposing Engineer.
Achillies hasn’t dropped the Stoneforge Mystic package, instead playing with a sword in the board for the right matchup. This is a great example of ‘if it works, don’t try to fix it’. Many players have dropped the package and found positive results from the change, but Achillies results speak for themselves. Stoneforge is still a great choice if you’re wanting to sling some equipment.
I’d like to try Shadowspear in the place of Batterksull in a SFM build. Spear allows your x/x Knight of the Reliquary to no longer care about True-Name Nemesis or multiple Young Pyromancer or Bitterblossom tokens. The lifelink is also very important to ensure you can buy that extra turn you sometimes need against decks like Delver – or change combat math entirely.
Although most would stray away from cutting the engine of the deck in Green Sun’s Zenith, dropping the count to 3 to make room for the 4 Once Upon a Time makes clear sense. This card seems to have found a home in GW Maverick, a great early & late game spell much like Zenith.
Feb 1st | Cjluo | 5-0 League
Cjluo has really made sure they are ready for Oko with maindeck Mirran Crusader and a Council’s Judgment. I really like Shadowspear in this deck, ensuring your threats can finish off games when you’re facing small defences.
They’ve also cut down some of the traditional playsets of Green Sun’s Zenith, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Mother of Runes and Noble Hierarch to make room for 3 Once Upon a Time – a move I really like. As mentioned above, Gideon is a great card against Oko and a nice out to Plague Engineer. I’m finding maindeck-walkers are becoming the real deal, showing up in multiple tournament winning and undefeated lists.
Display of Dominance in the board could be seen as narrow, but I think it’s a great meta call right now and a pretty nice way to deal with Oko. It sadly doesn’t deal with Plague Engineer, however it can save your permanents from removal like Abrupt Decay or Fatal Push, or bounce spells like Echoing Truth or Chain of Vapor.
Feb 29th | Pohlman | 5-0 League
Pohlman took a sweet list through an undefeated run with new tech for the Breach matchup in Dryad Militant. Having Sanctum Prelate in the maindeck is another great way to ensure you have a variety of disruptive threats against the new boogeyman of the format. But it’s great to show off how well Maverick can shift with the meta to guarantee it always has a relevant strategy.
Gilded Goose is a card I want to try out more, making it in as a 1-of mana dork. I’ve always had a feeling of being caught out when I don’t have a food to sacrifice and need the mana, but I really should put this into action, test and then make an educated decision.
Feb 15th Eternal Clash #19 – Flensburg | Sebastian Bartl | Top 8 finish
Sebastian was able to finish in the top 8 of this 88 player event in Flensburg, Germany. This list is a great example of what most GWB players have been on recently.
One card choice I really like in this 75 is Crop Rotation in the board. Bojuka Bog has always seemed a little slow for me against the decks where you want fast graveyard hate. Without Crop Rotation, you’re looking at a T3 instant speed Bog if you were able to play a turn-1 mana accelerant into a T2 Knight AND have them both stick around. However, with Crop Rotation post-board, you now have access to instant speed Wasteland, Karakas or Bog as early as turn 1 and at a very small cost.
Feb 8th | MatsOle | 5-0 League
MatsOle is another player who’s been crushing it lately, especially with his take on 4C Loam. I know he’s a big fan of playing Kunoros, Hound of Athreos in his sideboard of Loam, so seeing it pop into his maindeck for Maverick isn’t too surprising.
This card is very good in a deck that can get it on the field as early as T2. Its ability turns off Dredge and Reanimator and is also quite good against Hoogaak. These are all decks I assume will be back with a vengeance when Breach is banned (update: well, it was banned) as I feel many players will be pulling combo / graveyard hate from their boards a little too quickly.
I’m really enjoying GWB Maverick right now with 2 maindeck Plague Engineer and Abrupt Decay. MatsOle also took advantage of these spells and their power in G1, where his opponent may not have expected them. I’ve found a 2/2 split has been fantastic, but I’ve also considered Assassin’s Trophy in the 75 as a way to deal with some specific 4 drops and higher in Jace, Karn, Mystic Forge and Gurmag Angler.
Feb 15th | Naosukesamurai | 5-0 League
Naosukesamurai is just another really solid player who puts up results with their spice take on Maverick. Although it’s only 1 or 2 cards, I like how they’ve stuck with Eladamri’s Call in the maindeck.
A 2/2 split of Decay & Trophy really helps deal with any threat on the board and gives you some nice outs in G1 that you might not have otherwise. I also like the split of 1 Engineer and Prelate with Eladamri’s Call filling in as a virtual 2 copies. Both of these are very powerful 3 drops against both aggro and combo decks and deserve slots in at least the 75 of any GWB deck.
Sylvan Safekeeper is also something I’ve moved towards as I believe the green human is more powerful than Mother #4.
Safekeeper allows you to:
- Find protection through Green Sun’s Zenith
- Have protection that works right away (no summoning sickness)
- Sacrifice your manabase for an all-out attack with Knight of the Reliquary
- Play around cards like Submerge or Massacre.
Mark Strassman |
Feb 1st Quest for Duals #3 @ MTG First – 2nd Place
Feb 9th – Dice City Games Legacy Rumble VII – 4th Place
Feb 24th Dice City Games Legacy Revised Open – 2nd Place
Mark is a very well known Punishing Maverick pilot, a player who’s taken the deck through thick and thin and come out with some great results over the years. His recent results are no different, landing him in the top 4 of all 3 events over February.
Klothys, God of Destiny looks like it’s going to be a great card for the deck, a very hard-to-remove threat that provides continuous value as games go long. Council’s Judgment is looking to be the only real answer in most G1s outside of the god becoming a creature and being exiled by a Swords to Plowshares.
This deck does have some issues when it comes to its manabase, so I really like seeing Cindervines in the board, as it’s a great answer to Blood Moon and Back to Basics. Multiple Cindervines can be the end of any combo player’s dreams, and it can apply a slow burn of damage over long games against decks like Miracles.
If you’re looking to see what Mark thinks of the format right now for Punishing Maverick, check out my Understanding the Maverick interview with him from last week.
Feb 16th | Dan Neeley | 6-1 Challenge
Of course Dan did well at something – nothing can stop this guy. Dryad Militant for Breach, Hexdrinker as a threat that has to be answered early on, maindeck Collector Ouphe to hate out some of the Stoneforge Mystic, Aether Vial, LED and other artifact reliant decks in G1. Dan’s creature base is pretty straightforward and looks like a typical list of GW Maverick… then we see Oko, Thief of Crowns.
Dan’s taken a really nice shell of GW Maverick, added in Oko’s and Dovin’s Veto and then changed some sideboard options – like a double up on Umezawas Jitte and Chalice in the board for the matches where you want to make sure you have yourself covered. Dovin’s Veto is great over Flusterstorm as it also hits planeswalkers and enchantments like Underworld Breach and can still cover you if you see a Terminus come onto the stack. I really appreciate how Dan’s taken only a few of the most powerful blue cards and added them into the deck, and hasn’t swayed too hard towards the splash (Uro, Meddling Mage, Lavinia, Azorius Renegade etc.).
Bant is seeing more and more play, especially with the printing of Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath. This card is really pushing players to see if it can fit in a Maverick-style deck, or if it’s just better off in Loam strategies. Oko, Thief of Crowns is also a huge appeal for some players – sometimes it’s the only blue card in the deck, like Julian’s take on BANT.
Bant Maverick is just so much fun ☺️ Just got a late-night 5-0 with this thing of beauty! NBC Maverick! pic.twitter.com/IcYQ4yB3Q7
— Julian Knab (@itsJulian23) March 1, 2020
BANT Maverick Depths
BANT Mav Depths is a newish archetype that’s started seeing play and has put up some really good results so far. It’s a mix between midrange Dark Depths deck and Maverick in a BANT shell, allowing you to win the fair game with ground creatures or take the win with a 20/20 flyer. I’ve been really impressed with the deck so far and think it has the legs to stick around.
Feb 18th | Dreadnaught33 | Legacy Preliminary Top 8
Jono Yanik has been a huge fan of the deck, and I believe he has a record of approximately 44 wins – 11 loses to date. One weakness of the deck is not answering something like Young Pyromancer early and allowing your opponent to go wide and take the win. So I really like seeing The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale in the board as a Crop Rotation, Elvish Reclaimer and Knight of the Reliquary target.
Oko all makes this deck coming together really well, giving you answers to cards like Chalice or Pithing Needle but also allowing you to make use of late-game Mox Diamond. If you want to check out Yanik in action, check out his Twitch channel.
PhilLesh | Feb 8th – 5-0 MTGO League Feb 15th – 5-0 MTGO League
PhilLesh looks to be a big fan of the new Dryad, running two copies of Dryad of the Ilysian Grove in their maindeck. This deck can give you some headaches when it comes to mana, but Dryad really helps ensure you can still cast all your spells even if you have Dark Depths or multiple Thespian Stage’s in play. They also make sure their opponent wasn’t stopping them from building out their board with 2 maindeck Teferi, Time Raveler.
One subtlety I really admire in this list is the snow-covered basics. If you see an open snow-covered forest and island, your head is most likely thinking Ice-Fang Coatl. This may cause players to rethink some of their attacks and actually give you a huge mind-game advantage.
Current Maverick Trends:
It’s really interesting to see some of the trends when looking across all the decklists of the month. Here are some observations that have stuck out.
Right now, Dryad Militant is better combo hate than Gaddock Teeg. Wow – I never thought I would say that.
Dryad also works really well at dealing with:
- Exiling Punishing Fire & Life from the Loam
- Preventing Tarmogoyf and Gurmag Angler from growing too big too soon
- Slowing Dredge down by taking out Faithless Looting, Cabal Therapy, Creeping Chill and Dread Return
Just to be clear, here’s what happens when your opponent targets Dryad with a damage spell:
01/10/2012 – If an instant or sorcery spell destroys Dryad Militant directly (like Murder does), that instant or sorcery card will be put into its owner’s graveyard. However, if an instant or sorcery card deals lethal damage to Dryad Militant, Dryad Militant will remain on the battlefield until the next time state-based actions are checked, which is after the instant or sorcery finishes resolving. The instant or sorcery will be exiled.
I spoke to some of the big guns when it comes to Breach combo and how to best attack the deck from Maverick’s standpoint. You know it’s an uphill battle when a G1 Thalia doesn’t really accomplish anything close to what it used to be against combo.
Hey @Truckis123,@WhiteFacesmtg,@TogoresTcg & @anzidmtg.
Jeskai Breach vs. GWx Maverick⚔️
1.What are YOUR thoughts on Maverick adopting MD Dryad Militant to help the matchup?
2.Advice for Maverick pilots wanting to up their game against the deck?
3.What hate do dread? #MTGLegacy
— DougesOnTwitch🎥 (@DougesOnTwitch) March 2, 2020
BANT Maverick / Depths:
If you can’t beat them, join them. Many players have moved towards an Oko build of Maverick, either as a traditional strategy or including Dark Depths. BANT is my favorite colour combination, so it’s cool to see so many players testing and getting great results with the deck. All I can say is try not to stray too far from the tree. Maverick has a great core strategy when it comes to Green Sun’s Zenith and Knight of the Reliquary, so just make sure you’re not adding in too many cards that it dilutes the power of the deck.
Lavinia, Azorius Renegade is a great sideboard card for BANT right now IMO. It works great against Breach and has utility across a wide range of matchups. I’ve been playing against a bunch of Ancient Tomb / Cloudpost decks online where she would really shine at keeping their planeswalkers and All is Dusts off the table for long enough (hopefully).
Deafening Silence is just the best answer for combo decks right now. While I’m on GWB, I’ve considered moving away from Thoughtseize and closer to 3 Deafening Silence in the board. I think it’s important to diversify the types of permanents you’re playing for disruption against combo. Just be sure you also have a clock to go with them.
As good as Ethersworn Canonist is, it just doesn’t accomplish the same thing as Silence does. Maverick has an abundance of 2CMC hatebears for combo, but sometimes we don’t even get to T2. Silence as T1 interaction is huge for a deck like Maverick, and I see Silence as a mainstay in our sideboards.
I hope this has provided some insights into the current metagame in February and what might be to come. If you want to reach out or support the website, you can find my social links below. Take care of yourselves, with the virus currently around it’s especially important to be vigilant.