Modern Horizons 2 has now been in the Legacy card pool for a few weeks and Maverick players have been vigorously testing a few key cards to understand their power level. I’ve asked Maverick connoisseurs Mark Strassman (StrassDaddy) and Connery Knox (Achillies27) for their thoughts on cards they’ve tested so far in the format.
These two guys do a huge amount of work for the Maverick community and have some really impressive results on a competitive level. Both have been part of the Inside the Maverick & Understanding the Maverick series and stream the archetype on a weekly basis. Be sure to head to their channels and catch them live as their commentary and lines is second to none.
- Understanding the Maverick: Mark Strassman
- Inside the Maverick: Mark Strassman
- Understanding the Maverick: Achillies27
- Inside the Maverick: Achillies27
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|Card||Buy from TCGPlayer||Buy from CardHoarder|
|Prismatic Ending||Check Price via TCG Player||Check Price via Cardhoarder
|Endurance||Check Price via TCG Player||Check Price via Cardhoarder|
|Grist, the Hunger Tide||Check Price via TCG Player||Check Price via Cardhoarder|
|Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth||Check Price via TCG Player||Check Price via Cardhoarder|
|Kaldra Compleat||Check Price via TCG Player||Check Price via Cardhoarder|
|Solitude||Check Price via TCG Player||Check Price via Cardhoarder|
In my opinion the best card printed for Maverick from this set. Prismatic Ending is flexible removal that answers everything but Jace (and even sometimes answers Jace), and it is always on rate. 1 mana removal against Delver is so important, and this removal doubles as great midgame removal to deal with Sylvan Library, an opposing Knight of the Reliquary, Aether Vial, the list goes on. It’s Abrupt Decay, but 1 mana when you need it to be.
This card is highly effective in Legacy. Prismatic Ending will likely take the Abrupt Decay slot as this card is more flexible, exile can be particularly useful, and fetching black mana can be detrimental. Since the banning of Sensei’s Divining Top, Abrupt Decay has been less useful until Dreadhorde Arcanist and Oko took over legacy. I expect Decay to get less play (at least in Maverick) with Ending in the format. This card does not play nice with Gaddock Teeg and might be enough of a downside for Prismatic Ending to be a sideboard-only card.
Prismatic Ending has been pretty amazing in my own testing, not just for Maverick but for Green-White Depths builds too. The flexibility is something I really underestimated and I’m still finding situations where it just keeps on impressing me. Sorcery speed is a big setback when compared to other removal in Abrupt Decay or Path to Exile, but this might be a case of the upside of flexibility out weighing the downsides of sorcery speed.
It’s also much better in the early game against creature decks than Path to Exile. Giving Death & Taxes or Goblins an additional land early on once you’ve dealt with a Mother of Runes or Goblin Lackey can really come back to bite you.
Path however is great for exiling higher costed threats such as Griselbrand, Ingenious Infiltrator, Urza, Ethereal Forager or Murktide Regent so there is a good amount of pro’s and con’s for how you want to split your removal. There’s also small advantages like being able to Path your own creature but let’s keep that for another article. Decay is another card a fair amount of the Maverick playerbase has removed from their lists in place of Ending. I think this is a fair trade off as Ending doesn’t require you to fetch for duals, a very important benefit against Wasteland decks like Delver, Goblins, D&T and more.
Note that this can kill a Thalia, Guardian of Thraben for only 2 mana by casting Prismatic Ending with 1 colour and paying for her taxing cost with another.
The most hyped up card for Maverick and for good reason. This card allows us to have turn 0 interaction against graveyard decks, while still being a good top deck later. This card is also quite good against Delver, a 3/4 flash & reach for 3 is very good (and the grave hate is relevant vs. Delver too). For me, the main bonus of Endurance is offering a different option for turn 0 hate that doesn’t require you to play 4 copies (Like Leyline of the Void), thus opening up space in our board (maybe for more Prismatic Endings).
This card is a game changer. I believe Endurance may be sought after more than Scavenging Ooze to beat the graveyard decks, as playing Ooze is 2 mana and requires 1 mana to activate. This means for 3 mana, you only remove 1 card from the game, where Endurance is 3 mana to remove the entire yard. Flash and reach are particularly useful keywords too.
Endurance has been a nice include as a Green Sun’s Zenith target in all builds of Maverick. A 3/4 creature with flash and reach is not only great against a fair amount of flyers in Legacy (Insectile Aberration, Flickerwisp) but the flash is fantastic against midrange and control decks. I wouldn’t rely on Endurance as your only way to interact with graveyards, but is a well paired with cards like Scavenging Ooze and Surgical Extraction. Against a deck like BUG Hogaak or Lands, I definitely want some form of static graveyard interaction to turn it off completely from my opponent.
Endurance has also made attacking awkward at times, as now even a Thalia with exalted is going to be cleaned up by a flashed in Endurance. Be on the look out if your opponent passes with 3 mana up / 2 green sources open.
Grist, the Hunger Tide
The card is good. Grist allows us to GSZ for something that doesn’t die to Swords to Plowshares, Fatal Push or other creature removal. Against decks like Death & Taxes, Maverick or Loam, if Grist lives for a couple of turns it’s almost always GG. It takes so much time for these decks to build a boardstate that can kill it, especially once this Grist gets up to 5 loyalty with some blockers. I think people overhyped it when spoiled, and are now going too hard the other way, as I see lots of people saying it’s bad / unplayable. The card is good, just not format influencing. Relax guys, you should still play 1 maindeck.
This card is much like Klothys, God of Destiny in the sense that you can search for it when you know your opponent will have removal. Being able to get a non-creature permanent is especially important. Fun fact – you can find this off Green Sun’s Zenith through a Containment Priest. If your opponent removes this card, you will likely get a 2-for-1 effect, and if they don’t, well, removal on a stick is really nice. If you are fortunate to untap with this card a few times, using the minus ability will get out of hand quickly. No Thalia tax is a benefit as on the stack, Grist is a creature spell.
One thing I think is huge here is the reach Grist gives GWB Maverick. Punishing Maverick players have had access to Punishing Fire and at times Lightning Bolt to removal planeswalkers but Abzan Maverick hasn’t had that luxury. Abrupt Decay and Assassin’s Trophy have been fine for dealing with planeswalkers but being able to trade a creature for one (and not lose the Grist) is pretty huge. Jace doesn’t see as much play as it once did, but he’s always been a huge issue for Maverick (largely due to the frequent play of boardwipe into Jace into spot removal). Being able to now ‘attack’ a Jace without the combat step is a really nice addition to the archetype’s toolbox.
Yavimaya, Gradle of Growth
Yavimaya was one of the most awkward cards I ever tried in Maverick, and almost every time I drew it it felt bad because it would fix the opponents mana.
This card is great, but not for Maverick. If you play Reclaimer this card gets more utility, but I think this card may just find a home in Lands.
I haven’t tested Yavimaya too much in Maverick but it’s been one of the biggest printings for Green-White Depths (primer update incoming!) in a long time. It does have some benefits but as Connery pointed out, it can be awkward when you might have been on a plan of removing your opponents green sources. Yavimaya’s benefits include:
- You can now sacrifice any land to Knight of the Reliquary
- You can now bounce any land to a Scryb Ranger (can be huge in a match where Karakas is important or if your opponent tries to Wasteland a Scrubland or Plateau)
- You can now untap Gaea’s Cradle with Scryb Ranger (lol)
- Your Horizon Canopy can now be tapped for mana without costing 1 life (very relevant vs aggressive decks like Delver)
- All your lands tap for green which is great for Scavenging Ooze and also nice if you’re playing any lands that don’t tap for mana such as Maze of Ith.
Kaldra Compleat is very strong, but I think you probably want 4 Stoneforge Mystic if you’re going that route…and should probably just play Death & Taxes. In saying that, the card does just say “if your opponent doesn’t have Swords to Plowshares, they die soon” so I wouldn’t be surprised to see someone testing it out.
Super good. Not sure what your equipment configuration should be but maybe something like 4 Stoneforge Mystic & 4 equipment.
This card as a threat reminds me a lot of Questing Beast. A hard to deal with, hasty threat that can get out of hand very quickly. In Maverick you’re going to find it pretty hard to make use of this once the token as been dealt with. In a deck like Death & Taxes, you can at least reset the germ by flickering the equipment with Flickerwisp. I don’t see this making its way into Maverick over another equipment but would love to see someone make a list that supports it.
Solitude is a card I think would be good in Maverick, but I don’t think we really have the white count to run it. The 5 mana cost is too much unfortunately and not being GSZ-able is also an issue.
Not for Maverick unless Dark Depths / Thespian’s Stage becomes tier 1
Solitude is really cool but again, just doesn’t tick the boxes for Maverick. I really like this in Death & Taxes (especially when you can flicker it with the ETB on the stack). I’ve played a few matches with this as another way to deal with creatures in Legacy Humans and found it to be pretty strong (you can also live the dream of flickering with Charming Prince). Hitting Emrakul and being a ‘Swords‘ through Chalice on 1 is a pretty nice bonus but not being tutorable is sadly why I won’t be running it any time soon.
Just play Once Upon a Time.
Super fun, but not for Maverick. This card gets much better with cantrips so for Maverick OUaT is probably better. I liked it in a greedy 5 color deck to fuel Uro escaping, get mana, and to act as a T1 play.
Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer
This card is amazing! It’s a mana dork most of the time as blocking is not very common in Legacy. Dash has been very useful as well – killing walkers with Dash is nice. Treasures can be used later after the monkey dies, where mana dorks abilities cannot be used after they die. Just like Mother of Runes, the monkey is often met with Force of Will when your opponent doesn’t have removal. Maverick has traditionally had 8 1-drops, and since many Mav players have abandoned Mother of Runes, the Maverick mana curve has been compromised. This 1-drop is the 1 drop we need!
Ignoble Hierarch – this card may prove useful in Naya, or maybe a 4C build (prob just Plague Engineer and Grist in the board).
Carpet of Flowers
Carpet of Flowers is not an MH2 card, but after trying it out I’m pretty sure this is the best “Delver hate” card around, other than just more removal. So I think Maverick players should consider running a couple of these in their board, maybe over some Chokes. Card has consistently impressed me whenever I draw it.
Masked Vandal – Exiling artifacts and enchantments is relevant, this is a GSZ-able answer to Kaldra, which we actually struggle with a decent amount. I have been testing it out and it’s been medium. Needing to exile a creature from our graveyard is a real cost. There are times when you need to exile something but there’s nothing in your yard. However, Masked Vandal is the cheapest disenchant on a creature mana-wise, and it answers indestructible stuff, so I think this card may be good enough now.
A huge thank you to Connery and Mark coming on and sharing their thoughts on what Modern Horizons 2 has to offer Legacy Maverick. I think it’s fair to say Prismatic Ending and Endurance are going to be staples for the archetype but the others do have a little bit of work to do. I’m really enjoying the current metagame and hopefully see a good amount of Maverick players test these new cards.
Did we miss a card or a specific point about a card? Let me know in the comments below.
Play fair, take care.