Welcome back to the September edition of the Maverick Monthly – a recap on where the Legacy Maverick archetypes are positioned in the metagame, which versions have been performing the best, and which have fallen out of favour. First off: a huge congratulations to MTGO user Ballestin93 who took down the Legacy Challenge last weekend with GWB Maverick! Maverick has been consistently performing over the past few months, with multiple top finishes across Challenges and other large online events.
Alright, let’s get right into it.
Table of Contents
Freundla24 | 5-0 Legacy League, 15th & 18th in Legacy Challenges | Decklist
Huge props to Freundla24 for showing that you don’t need to splash a colour in Maverick to do well in 2020. GW Maverick is the most consistent archetype of Maverick, and a big reason pilots stick with the two-colour build. If you’re wanting to play GW Maverick right now, this looks like a great 75 to build into.
It’s great to see Stoneforge Mystic played in Maverick. Sword of Light and Shadow over Batterskull means you don’t have to rely on Stoneforge sticking around, and allows all your other creatures the ability to turn into real threats. I really like how Light and Shadow makes your graveyard a resource, which doesn’t happen too often in Maverick outside of Ramunap Excavator.
Without black or red, you can have trouble against decks that go wide like Goblins or an unanswered Young Pyromancer. So I really like the Shadowspear in the board to make sure your 12/12 Knight of the Reliquary will be hitting your opponent head-on whatever their on-board presence. Freudla has consistently put up some really impressive results with this list – not even making a minor change between leagues and tournaments.
What a time for GWB Maverick. The results below are arguably the best we’ve seen from the archetype.
Ballestin93 | 1st Legacy Challenge! | Decklist
Ballestin93 took what’s pretty much the stock GWB Maverick list through to a 1st place finish in the Legacy Challenge. A few things I’ll point out include the split for removal and the board for combo.
Most players have been reducing the amount of Swords to Plowshares in the maindeck to 3 to include a 3rd Abrupt Decay. This change makes you a little weaker to some of the more aggressive starts like Goblin Lackey. But with cards like Mother of Runes not seeing as much play as she used to, the need for an early Swords isn’t more important that the versatility you gain from Decay. Abrupt Decay can answer a plethora of threats in the current Legacy metagame, and being uncounterable removal is a huge appeal.
For the matchups where you do want the extra Swords, it’s there in the board for games 2 and 3. I feel Maverick has an overall, solid matchup in the matchups where Swords to Plowshares is relevant. Plague Engineer has also influenced this change, allowing Maverick to have a better G1 against historically poor matchups like Elves. Engineer also gives the deck some really clean outs to an active Mother of Runes or other x/1 creatures like Young Pyromancer.
With new printings in Zendikar Rising such as Skyclave Apparition, I feel Death & Taxes will be gaining in popularity. Perhaps the need for more T1 interaction will increase, but until the metagame shifts towards this, I really like the 3/3 split for removal.
For the board, I really like how most players have found they want a mix of 5 cards for combo decks (not including Leyline). A Gaddock Teeg accompanied by a 2/2 split of Chalice of the Void, Deafening Silence or Thoughtseize seems to be the current build for most players. T1 interaction is so vital for a deck that doesn’t have the defences to hold off a T1 or T2 combo win from your opponent. From T2, Maverick has access to Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Gaddock Teeg, Collector Ouphe, Scavenging Ooze with mana or a Green Sun’s Zenith for 2 if you started with a mana dork. Making sure you can disrupt your opponent and live long enough to land one of these creatures increases your chances of winning dramatically.
The benefits of these splits is they are also attacking your opponent’s strategy from different angles. Your opponent brought in Abrade? Well, that doesn’t answer Deafening Silence. Your opponent has Massacre as a board wipe? Well, Gaddock Teeg completely prevents this. Being able to mix up your disruption between artifacts, enchantments, hand disruption and creatures gives you a much better chance of controlling the game instead of relying solely on hatebears.
Brenden2000 | 8th Legacy Challenge | Decklist
Achillies27 | 2nd, 2nd & 30th Legacy Challenge | Decklist
AlexWest | 25th Legacy Challenge | Decklist
SaitoSan | 6th Legacy Challenge | Decklist
Saito was playing some sweet deck as usual with 2 maindeck Kunoros, Hound of Athreos and 2 Skyclave Apparition. Shapers’ Sanctuary as a 3-of out of the board is also very interesting, giving each creature you control a Leovold-style ability. Shriekmaw is also a choice Saito has made a few times now, especially powerful with his previous Oath of Ghouls version of Maverick. Always great to see players trying out new cards and obviously having some success with them.
Unkoman | 19th Legacy Challenge | Decklist
Klarostorix | 5-0 Legacy League | Decklist
Paradise_lost | 5-0 Legacy League | Decklist
I don’t believe it’s worth going into each of these lists as they are very similar, but it’s worth noting some differences. One trend I have been noticing is players cutting Scryb Ranger as Mother of Runes is seeing less play. Scryb gives Maverick a flying blocker (obviously great at keeping Delver from winning the game via combat damage) and a way to make use of your mana every turn. Using Dryad Arbor as a chump blocker every turn can also be very relevant, and being able save duals from Wasteland is another reason why I personally really enjoy Ranger in my deck. You still have creatures like Noble, Birds, Reclaimer and Knight to benefit from Ranger as well, so it’s really up to your playstyle if you believe it’s worth keeping Scryb in the 60.
Kaya, Ghost Assassin is another interesting choice for a 4CMC walker in the sideboard, popularised by Achillies27. She’s a disruptive 4CMC walker that competes against Vraska, Golgari Queen – a pretty hard task. Vraka can deal with permanents such as Dreadhorde Arcanist or Oko, Thief of Crowns, then sticks around to provide card quality and ultimately, a win condition (no pun intended).
Kaya is really interesting. Her 0 allows you to make sure she survives a few more turns, reset a Plague Engineer or use Knight of Autumn’s ETB one more time. She can also replace herself immediately with her -2 ability, making your opponent also discard. This can be very impactful against midrange/control/combo – if you’re lucky enough to still be alive.
Some players are running only a single copy of un-tutorable permanents such as Sylvan Library or Kaya, Orzhov Usurper. This is fine, but I’m telling you now, you’re not going to see them as often as you’d like. I am a huge fan of keeping the deck consistent and running at least 2 copies of cards like Kaya, Library, Engineer and Decay. This means you’re more likely to draw these cards in the early game when you want to pressure your opponent to answer them. Maverick’s biggest strength is the consistency you’ll experience in each of your matches, so making that even stronger means your results will most likely benefit.
RaxRaxRaxRaxRax | 5-0 Discord Paper Tournament | Decklist
Punishing Maverick took down a Discord paper Legacy tournament with an impressive 5-0 finish. This list is pretty stock, running Klothys, God of Destiny in the maindeck as a Green Sun’s Zenith target and control killer and a solid amount of blast effects in the board to make sure cards like Oko, Thief of Crowns and Show and Tell don’t resolve.
Punishing Maverick isn’t too popular right now and I’m not sure why. I can understand the power gain from splashing black is likely the biggest reason, but being able to answer cards like Oko on the stack means GWR has the best answer for the troublesome Planeswalker. Cindervines is a potent card against combo and allows you to play a little more into a Back to Basics, a card I’ve seen grow in popularity over recent weeks. For anyone looking to get into Punishing Maverick, this seems like a great build to follow.
Br34d_m4n | 5-0 Legacy League | Decklist
The light splash for Leovold, Emissary of Trest and Oko, Thief of Crowns has been pretty popular recently due to it being a pretty easy 4th colour thanks to mana dorks. Br34d has increased their Birds of Paradise to 2, which plays around Plague Engineer nicely and helps you get your mana online early. Armageddon in the board is quite spice – I’ve played it before as a way to attack snow-based manabases. It’s also great in a deck with Ramunap Excavator and mana dorks to help you continue landing threats after destroying all your lands. There aren’t too many archetypes attacking your mana right now, so I don’t think an Abzan shell splashing U is going to get too punished.
Green-White (GW) Depths has been picking up recently with some nice finishes in both leagues and bigger MTGO events like the NRG Legacy trials. GW Depths became popular during the Wrenn and Six era, where Tomik and Giver of Runes lined up great against the format’s most notorious Planeswalker.
Seijim2 | 5-0 Legacy League | Decklist
Allosaurus Shepherd has been a welcomed piece of disruption to the deck. It not only makes your green creatures uncounterable, it makes all green spells uncounterable. Flagstones of Trokair has also increased in numbers as it has great synergy with Elvish Reclaimer and Crop Rotation.
Sacrificing Flagstones to pay for a Crop Rotation also helps soften the blow of an incoming counterspell. Since breaking into the Legacy scene, the deck has adopted a black splash (1 Bayou) to allow for 2-3 Plague Engineer to help against the creature-based, go-wide matchups like Elves and Goblins.
Capriccioso | 6-1 Legacy Champs | Decklist
Dominic Harvey | 5-2 NRG Online Trial | Decklist
Dom is a pretty huge pioneer of the deck and due to that, I’d say his lists are probably the most stock 75s to follow. He and Jarvis Yu took the deck through one of Dom’s leagues, breaking down and discussing different lines and situations. I highly recommend watching this as it’s great content with insights from two very good players.
Matthew Ferrando | 4-3 NRG Online Trial | Decklist
Elvish Herder. Damn, Matthew – very cool to see this tech in testing. I feel players these days are a little too afraid to try out new things, so this is really refreshing to see. Not only does this make Marit much easier to win with through a board of flyers, it’s also relevant for Knight of the Reliquary against smaller blockers like Goblins or elemental tokens. It’s interesting to compare it against a second copy of Sejiri Steppe, but I think this type of innovation is fantastic. Thrun, the Last Troll in the board is also interesting – a threat that hasn’t seen too much play in Legacy since the printing of more answers (Dead of Winter, Liliana’s Triumph), bigger creatures (Uro, Gurmag) and other 4CMC threats in Questing Beast and Shifting Ceratops. Thrun is still a very hard-to-remove threat, so I can 100% understand the reasoning to have it as a 2nd win condition against some of the more midrange/grindier decks of the format.
What I’m playing this month:
I’ve been messing around with a few different decks. I’m still a huge fan of GWB Maverick, but I’ve been jamming GW Depths and GB Turbo Depths through a few leagues and have been coming out with some great results.
Here’s a pretty sweet situation where I actually had lethal without realising it.
Can you find the line? – Comment below
I’m going to be playing and streaming all Eternal Weekend events (Legacy) this weekend, so hopefully I’ll see you in chat for that 🙂 I believe I’ll be playing GWB Maverick, but I’m still on the fence.
Maverick is in a great spot right now with the results speaking for themselves. The community is fantastic and the different archetypes means it’s a great deck for any type of player to sink their time into. A huge congratulations once against to Ballestin93 for taking down the Legacy Challenge. I can’t believe this is the 12th edition of the Maverick Monthly – the feedback and support has been phenomenal. If you’d like to support the site or myself, check out my Patreon or support page for further info.
A huge thank you to InklinCustoms for the new GreenSunsZenith.com logo! Really happy with how this came out – already uploaded as a new emote for my Twitch subscribers!
Take care and play fair,
Previous Editions of 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