Welcome back to the Maverick Monthly! March was a pretty great time for Maverick enthusiasts.
Traditional GW took down a Legacy Challenge in the hands of Kevin Place. Achillies27 crushed it – as usual. Andreas Muller went undefeated (8-0) through a Legacy Super Qualifier. And BANT Maverick built a larger, more prevalent fan-base. Let’s dive right into some of these highlights and more.
Andreas_Mueller | 8-0 Legacy Super Qualifier | Decklist
A huge congratulations to Andrea. He looks to have taken Achillies27 list through a Legacy Super Qualifier and subsequently blitzed the field with a very impressive 8-0 run. I really like how GW Maverick has adopted Once Upon a Time – the common shaves for it look to be #4 Mother of Runes, Noble Hierarch and Green Sun’s Zenith and a land (typically 2nd Plains). This makes a huge amount of sense as these are typically the cards you’re wanting to find with an early OUAT, and allow you to still run an extensive GSZ package of silver bullets. It also makes a lot of sense to cut a Green Sun’s Zenith, as OUAT really acts as GSZ #4-7.
IslandsAreStillRad | 5-2 Legacy Challenge | Decklist
GW Maverick also took down the Legacy Challenge in the hands of Kevin Place! Kevin was nice enough to give me some time to dive into his thoughts on the deck and his league in the article below. You can also find his tournament report within the Legacy subreddit.
5-0 Legacy league | Decklist
5-0 Legacy league | Decklist
4-1 Legacy Preliminary | Decklist
7-1 Legacy Challenge | Decklist
Yeah… so it looks like Connery is pretty happy with his current GW Maverick build. With no changes to the maindeck and only slight tweaks to the sideboard over his last few tournaments, you can see how sticking with a 60 and refining the sideboard over time can really help you get some consistent results going.
There’s no doubt that Achillies27 is the premier GW pilot right now, with a ton of results to show for it. You can find his sideboard guide via his pinned Twitter post and through the GreenSunsZenith, under Maverick Archetypes -> GW Maverick.
BalenciagaNBoba | 5-0 Legacy league | Decklist
Boba has really been enjoying Sword of Feast and Famine in the maindeck, as well as keeping with the Stoneforge Mystic Package.
The amount of mana you can unlock with the sword against other fair matchups is pretty amazing. Tapping out in your MP1 for creatures and then casting a huge Green Sun’s Zenith after combat is going to put you far ahead.
Protection from removal like Fatal Push and Abrupt Decay and threats like Gurmag Angler, Tarmogoyf and Knight of the Reliquary seems great looking at the current metagame.
Basic_Swamp | 4-1 Legacy Preliminary | Decklist
Basic Swamp has also started streaming Maverick content – you can find him via his Twitch stream here.
I like the three planeswalkers in the board. Gideon is great for building out a board and also gives you a nice out to effects like Plague Engineer. Elspeth, Knight-Errant allows you to break through ground board stalls and also produces non-human tokens (relevant).
Nissa, Vital Force is REALLY nice against other midrange decks. Plus, the ability to grab a card right back means it replaces itself even if your opponent has an answer right away. She can also be ultimate’d right after the first tick up, which is extremely powerful if you think you’re going to lose her quickly to an opposing board.
Just remember, if you make a legendary land like Karakas or Gaea’s Cradle into a creature, your opponents can use their own Karakas to bounce it.
Ziofrancone | 5-0 Legacy league | Decklist
Zio has also taken the same list as above, just showing how great this 75 is right now for GW Maverick pilots.
It’s an interesting change as Maverick has traditionally been an archetype where no two decklists are the same. But over the past few months, we’ve seen players put a huge amount of effort into getting a consistent deck together, putting up results and getting other pilots on board.
MatsOle | 5-0 Legacy league | Decklist
MatsOle has tried out Ajani, Caller of the Pride in the maindeck of GW Maverick to help get in front of a Plague Engineer, but also to give your creatures some reach when the battlefield is stalled. GW can have issues with go-wide strategies like an unchecked Young Pyromancer, so having the ability to fly over your opponents’ defences with a Knight of the Reliquary sounds pretty appealing. It also means your 3/3 Elk is most likely taking down the Oko, Thief of Crowns which targeted it #GetFawned
3 maindeck Sylvan Library also means Mats is most likely wanting one of these to stick on turn 2 or 3. Library has been one of the best cards in the deck for a while now. This is a nice card advantage engine that can’t be Oko’ed and, once in play, can’t even be interacted with by some decks in G1.
If you’re looking to branch out of Maverick and into the Loam / other GWx decks, MatsOle is your go-to, and I really push you to check out his 5-0 lists via his twitter. All round great guy and obviously a very talented player.
Hopkins23 | 5-2 Legacy Challenge | Decklist
I can tell this list was from the start of March, as the 1-of Dryad Militant is likely a bullet for Underworld Breach decks. I really like the black splash as it allows for further versatile removal like the 2 Abrupt Decay / 1 Assassin’s Trophy in Hopkins main. Sylvan Library allows you to dig for your removal, but without Ponder, Preordain or Brainstorm, Maverick has to rely on a little luck to make sure it draws into its removal. A turn-1 Delver of Secrets can just run away with the game if a Maverick player doesn’t find their removal fast. So having not only more pieces, but also uncounterable removal, is very strong right now.
It’s really interesting to see two 3-mana walkers in Kaya, Orzhov Usurper and Vivien, Champion of the Wilds in the sideboard. These are two walkers that haven’t seen too much play in Maverick, and Vivien was a card that looked perfect when spoiled but never really reached her full potential.
Kaya can be great removal for small permanents and opposing graveyards against the right deck. Destroy a mana dork, Aether Vial or Delver and still stick around? Yes, please.
Hey there! A huge thank you for taking the time to check out the GreenSunsZenith. This site is coming up to its 1st birthday and with highs of celebration come the lows of hosting costs and domain fees. Now, I’ve always said I wanted to keep this site free from paywalls, and that’s never going to change.
However, if you feel like donating toward the fees associated with running the site, you have no idea how much I would appreciate that. You can do so through the GreenSunsZenith Patreon, or straight through to Paypal. You can also check out other ways to support myself and the site through the support page.
Eaglov | 5-0 Legacy League | Decklist
DNSolver | 5-0 Legacy League | Decklist
Not a Klothys, God of Destiny in sight. Klothys is a card I thought would inject some life into Punishing Maverick and push more players to try out the red splash – but it looks like the god isn’t needed for Punishing Mav to perform. It seems both players have chosen to add some extra power in Tireless Tracker and Shifting Ceratops, two well-positioned threats in today’s metagame.
DNS has put together a build that’s much more traditional with Thalia, Guardian of Thraben relegated to the sideboard. This does make your game 1 against blue decks a little tougher, but in a deck with the Punishing Fire combo, you don’t really want to see her unless you’ve come up against combo.
The surprising difference between these two decklists is the sideboard graveyard hate. DNS, who’s playing 4 maindeck Once Upon a Time, is packing the full playset of Leyline of the Void in the board, while Eaglov is running 4 Faerie Macabre.
I still believe Leyline is the best overall graveyard hate right now, shutting off your opponents’ graveyard as a resource until they find an answer (most likely after you’ve already amassed an early, disruptive boardstate. But Faerie Macabre does have some huge benefits when paired with Once Upon a Time, allowing you to dig deeper for the faerie if your opponent tries to go off before you’ve cast a spell. Being able to dig an extra 5 cards into your library for a piece of graveyard interaction in response to a Reanimate – or for when a Life from the Loam player passes their turn – is huge.
It’s also interesting to see the player with 4 less creatures in their build is opting for the utility of Gaea’s Cradle, a card Reid Duke has referred to as the most powerful card in Legacy. Punishing Maverick can have a shaky manabase at times, so perhaps Eaglov didn’t want to play a mana source that relied on their on-field creatures.
DNS has also opted for Maze of Ith, a card that should be considered a spell in your deck and not part of your manabase. Although Wasteland is currently everywhere, Maze can buy you the time you need against Delver or Eldrazi – or work well with your plan to attack with creatures, then untap them for defensive duties after damage.
Maze’s effectiveness has been slightly diluted due to new printings in Dreadhorde Archanist and Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath. But I still really like Maze in Maverick, especially when used on your own Knight of the Reliquary.
If you’re not sold on Maze of Ith, check out this G1 against Mono-Black Reanimator.
Itsjulian | 5-0 Legacy League | Decklist
I really like Julian’s take on BANT with only a light splash for Oko, Thief of Crowns. This is a no-BS type build excluding Flusterstorms, Meddling Mage, Uro and other blue spells some pilots have tried in BANT builds. This just really shows the power of Oko and his ability to create these sub-games in creature matches where he must be answered.
Julian has also opted for 2 maindeck Umezawa’s Jitte yet not Stoneforge Mystic, relying on the 2 Sylvan Library to find the powerful equipment. This has been a trend for a while now since the printing of Oko – perhaps even before that, where the impact of equipment fell quite hard. I don’t think Maverick has ever been a deck that needed to rely on SFM like other blade decks because of our already powerful and aggressive creature suite. In my opinion, Stoneforge Mystic has just been a worse Sylvan Library, for the most part. Sure, Library can’t find you equipment when you want it, but it does give you so many more options when needing to answer a threat, build out your mana base, or sculpt your hand to better the matchup in front of you.
El-Bebbos | 5-0 Legacy League | Decklist
Bebbos has taken BANT and added a few more blue cards to the list, also opting for Gilded Goose for early mana and access to food tokens. In the sideboard we see some extra interaction for combo matchups with two Meddling Mage, and a nice all-round answer to permanents in Detention Sphere. Bebbos has also added a Tundra to the manabase (most likely due to the extra blue cards). Tundra is a land I actually wanted to grab off a fetch when playing BANT last night with only 2 Tropical Islands.
One subtle inclusion is snow-covered basics over normal basics, a decision that may make your opponent think twice when moving to attacks into open blue and green mana. Ice-Fang Coatl is not a fun card to play against as a creature-based deck, and seeing snow-covered forests and plains can give away that you have a number of them in your 60. Although it’s a small edge, I think this is great from a mind game point of view, making your opponent assess situations that you know aren’t valid.
The only card I don’t like in this list is Palace Jailer. There are currently a fair amount of decks that can go wide (Young Pyromancer) or fly over you (Delver, Flickerwisp, Ice-Fang), so being able to control the crown isn’t something in BANT’s current plan. I think it’s pretty risky to play out a Jailer as a Maverick player right now. But if you’re patient and know what the matchup is, you can find success in Jailer -and I’m going to assume Bebbos is in this category.
Maverick isn’t a great deck at retaining the crown, especially against decks that don’t allow you to go wide – either through 1-for-1 removal or board wipes like Terminus, Supreme Verdict or the recently popular Dead of Winter.
Other than that, it’s great to see players not only trying out BANT, but also making use of the blue splash outside of their maindeck.
BANT Maverick Depths
5-0 Legacy League | Decklist
5-0 Legacy League | Decklist
4-1 Legacy Preliminary | Decklist
Jono Yanik (aka. Dreadnaught33) has been leading the pack when it comes to BANT Maverick, or more specifically, BANT Maverick Depths. I really like Oko, Thief of Crowns in this build as he takes care of pesky artifacts like Pithing Needle, Sorcerer’s Spyglass and Ensnaring Bridge. It’s also just a threat that most decks have to deal with, giving you time to set up the combo kill through Elvish Reclaimer, Crop Rotation and Knight of the Reliquary.
I also like the move away from relying on mana dorks to gain a mana advantage. Mox Diamond works really nicely with getting early Knights and Reclaimers out of Lightning Bolt range, while giving you hard-to-remove mana-producing permanents from turn 1.
Jono’s also been nice enough to put together a sideboard guide for BANT Maverick Depths. You can find a league I went through with him with BANT Maverick below.
Ultimar | 5-0 Legacy League | Decklist
Ulti has a very similar list, but there are some unique options to point out. Field of the Dead is pretty nice tech as another win condition, as you have multiple ways of finding it. Sylvan Safekeeper is also a pretty sweet card that does a lot more than just keep your creatures safe. Sacrificing as many lands as you want, when you want, is very powerful when you have a creature that grows with each in the graveyard. Safekeeper can give you a win out of nowhere if your opponent doesn’t play around you swinging in with a huge Knight thanks to Safekeeper.
Ulti’s also gone for a pretty heavy 3 copies of Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath. With 27 lands, you’ll likely get the most out of Uro’s ETB trigger, and Mox Diamond makes casting Uro from the graveyard much easier. I believe Uro is best in these sorts of midrange builds with Life from the Loam, as you’re now able to loam a threat that can easily come back to the battlefield. Sevinne’s Reclamation isn’t in either of these lists, perhaps because they already grind so well. But Reclamation is a very versatile engine, returning powerful spells like Oko or Knight or either piece of the Dark Depths combo.
Current Maverick Trends:
As soon as it came, it went. Dryad Militant was some great tech against Underworld Breach, but now with the card banned, most decks have dropped Militant as a Green Sun’s Zenith target. It’s still OK against Storm archetypes as it turns off Rite of Flame, Cabal Ritual (threshold) and Past in Flames, but I believe there are just better, less-narrow creatures to play instead.
Militant was a great example of how Maverick pilots can tweak their deck to answer current metagame threats and decks.
Maindeck Collector Ouphe is something of the norm since most Maverick players have dropped Stoneforge Mystic and the equipment package to run more removal, maindeck Planeswalkers or Green Sun’s Zenith targets. This allows us to have a great G1 answer to Lion’s Eye Diamond / Lotus Petal decks, Aether Vial and equipment decks, Eldrazi / Post archetypes, and also a small edge against Mox Diamond decks. Collector Ouphe turns off Tireless Tracker’s clues, but it rarely comes up and shouldn’t be a reason not to run Ouphe in the maindeck.
Gaddock Teeg just doesn’t have the same impact on matches as it did even just a year ago. With more 3CMC Planeswalkers and combo decks that care less and less about it with new printings, many players have been moving Teeg to the board or exiling it from their list completely. Ouphe also gives us another way to attack fast combo, with some players believing that Ouphe is currently better against combo compared to Teeg.
But if you see any of these spells regularly in your local meta or online, I’d say Teeg is here to stay (atleast in the 75):
- Past in Flames, Tendril’s of Agony, Ad Nauseam, Empty the Warrens, Goblin Charbelcher
- Karn, the Great Creator, Mystic Forge, All is Dust, Mycosynth Lattice, Ugin, the Ineffable, Ugin, Spirit Dragon
- Terminus, Supreme Verdict, Jace the Mind Sculptor, Force of Will
- Sneak Attack
- Green Sun’s Zenith (sad face), Natural Order
Carpet of Flowers:
I believe Carpet of Flowers is currently a better sideboard card in the slot previously owned by Choke. Blue decks are everywhere right now, and having a mana producer that cannot be bolted, pushed or Oko’ed is pretty fantastic. If you’ve never cast a T1 Carpet against UR Delver, you haven’t lived. This card only gets better as the game goes on, especially in a deck like Maverick with mana sinks like Green Sun’s Zenith and Hexdrinker, or just extra mana to play around cards like Daze and Spell Pierce from as early as turn 2.
Carpet of Flowers also has a pretty unique interaction with Dryad of the Ilysian Grove, where you’re going to be gaining a mana for each land they have in play. Now, I don’t think this is a great strategy from a competitive stand point, but a valid point to bring up.
BANT Maverick has really increased in popularity over the past few months, with more and more players wanting to try Maverick with Oko. Uro has made it into many lists, but I don’t think it has proven itself in Maverick as of yet. It seems like a great card on paper, but it doesn’t make any of our poor matchups better. I’ve played a fair few leagues with BANT and never have I felt I needed to GSZ for Uro over another threat. Sure, Uro is great to draw – but it can be hard on the manabase to actually escape it into play.
Dovin’s Veto, Flusterstorm, Meddling Mage and Lavinia, Azorius Renegade are just some examples of the spells players are tinkering with in their boards, mostly using blue to shore up their combo matchup.
Maverick is in a great position right now. I don’t believe it’s the best midrange deck in the current meta, but I do believe it has a strong game against every deck in the format right now. So, what am I playing right now? Here’s my latest take on GWB Maverick which I took to a 5-0 finish in a MTGO Legacy league.