The Sylvan Syndicate | 2024 Roundtable

Sylvan Syndicate

Hello and welcome back to the ‘Zenith! As the first quarter of 2024 has now passed, I’ve pulled together a team of Green Sun’s enthusiasts to give their take on the format and more importantly, what they’re enjoying about the current Legacy metagame. It’s not just Maverick’s in this piece so make sure you take it all in to get the best takeaways!

First up a huge thank you to my Patrons who keep this content going! I appreciate each one of you and look forward to building out this community in 2024.

Harry Hackett | Harry1232

1. What are you currently playing in Legacy?

Right now I’m playing a version of Maverick with Fiend Artisan & Elvish Reclaimer packages.

I’ve been playing this version with Elvish Reclaimer for the past couple weeks as a response to the popularity of the UB Scaminator decks.

Elvish Reclaimer Bojuka Bog

Being able to hold up two mana and an Elvish Reclaimer to fetch Bojuka Bog is really hard for that deck to beat. They heavily rely on being able to reanimate their creatures and they don’t have many cards that deal with the reclaimer or the 20/20 it can make after a couple turns.

2. Are you currently testing any new cards in your build? What was the drive behind the initial idea?


New cards in the list I’m playing are Underground Mortuary and Doorkeeper Thrull. Underground Mortuary is a big upgrade over the canopy lands as you have access to it with any of the 9 fetches in the deck and it doesn’t trigger Bowmasters.

Doorkeeper Thrull is a nice upgrade to Hushbringer. Being able to flash it in is great because you can cast it after the opponent has already committed to casting their ETB creature. It also hits artifacts which is relevant against Chrome Mox, the One Ring and Coveted Jewel.

3. What are some other, similar versions of your build you’ve seen and what do you like about them?

I’ve seen a lot red lists playing Mawloc that look really cool. That’s a card I’m a big fan of and haven’t really gotten to play much online yet. Being able to turn GSZ into a removal spell is great and when it’s in hand it scales really well and can be a big threat in addition to killing a creature.

I also really like Mark’s Punishing Saga deck. He’s put a lot of work into it and the list is really clean. It’s a deck that is lots of fun to play and really rewards tight gameplay. I’d probably be playing that deck right now if I wasn’t messing around with my own brews.

4. What are you currently enjoying the most about the format? How do you feel the GSZ deck(s) you’ve been playing have been positioned?

I’ve been loving this current meta. UB Scaminator is the #1 deck and it’s a great matchup. Scaminator also keeps a lot of combo decks down which is nice since this deck can have trouble in those matchups.

I think any decks playing Elvish Reclaimer and Bojuka Bog are in a really good spot right now.

5. Where can people find you and your content?

I’m pretty active on the Maverick Discord.

Mark Strassman | Strassdaddy | Twitch | YouTube

1. What are you currently playing in Legacy?

Punishing Saga Maverick

I found room for 2 Surveil lands by removing the 2nd Savannah and 2nd Taiga for 1 Lush Portico and 1 Commercial District. I also added an 8th fetch to go to 27 lands total.

2. Are you currently testing any new cards in your build? What was the drive behind the initial idea?

The Surveil lands are the newest addition to the MD (maindeck). I am enjoying Mawloc on MTGO, however, Mawlocs performance hasn’t been great since Delver is seeing less play. A copy of Scavenging Ooze and 4 Endurance main still feels great, and playing 27 lands helps you keep the curve high.

Rampaging Yao Guai

In the sideboard I am liking Veil of Summer a lot. I think 1-2 is good. I want to test Rampaging Yao Guai in the sideboard, but I do not think I will have the chance to for a while. GGG mana likely won’t work well in the Saga deck.

3. What are some other, similar versions of your build you’ve seen and what do you like about them?

I like the Fury build of the deck. You can see a trophy I got with it here.

Shout out to Jstancikiii and Michel Pasta for putting up results with the deck and putting their own personal spin on the list. I think with Scaminator getting played, Fury may become a liability, so I have sense focused on Saga Maverick.

I am looking into testing Reclaimer builds of Maverick, but I am mostly seeking a Mox Diamond deck playing Chalice of the Void as I think Chalice is in an excellent spot right now.


I’ll also look to Kvellish and Loamerboy for guidance. I played Break Out with Chalice, but I believe the deck building concessions to make CotV, Break Out and Mox Diamond work were too great that the list ultimately felt underpowered. Perhaps I will revisit it. I’ll leave you with the Break Out league.

4. What are you currently enjoying the most about the format? How do you feel the GSZ deck(s) you’ve been playing have been positioned?

I am enjoying the diversity. I am seeing less glass-cannon decks, and that favours Green Sun decks most of the time. Storm playing Beseech and reanimate decks being a tad slower makes Endurance a true ace against combo. Endurance is the new Thalia for me.

Endurance thalia-guardian-of-thraben

Reanimate not playing Griselbrand means that the game is not necessarily over when a big creature comes into play if you have Plows or KoTR/Karakas. The sheer number of big creatures in Scaminator is less than BR Reanimate, so you can win the the game by simply removing these cards from the game.

The resilience of the Saga deck has to grief is important and Shadowspear can help you win a race when they pivot to the fair plan.

If you’re looking for an update on Maverick, check out the recent episode of Eternal Durdles with Mark and myself as guests!

Connery Knox | Achillies27

I know you haven’t had too much time back in the format, but what have been your brief thoughts?

For the online meta I think Leylines are good right now, and the BG Surveil land is the best one for GWB Maverick lists (basically it lets you play a third fetchable black source without needing to run 2 Bayou).

Leyline of the Void orcish bowmasters

Bowmaster is still great in the deck, I legit find it crazy that people are cutting it.

Harry’s list looks good with Reclaimers but I feel like (believe it or not) if I’m on 4 Reclaimer I should just play GW Depths because that’s just going to be better. And as people saw on twitter lately GW(b) Depths seems sick right now in particular, so probably in May I’ll start testing that.

Oh and bonus tip – if you’re on Fiend Artisan you should play 1 Thalia!

Apart from Bowmasters and Griefs ubiquity the format is in the best place it’s been since War of the Spark in my opinion so I think it’s great balance wise, just legacy (at least online) has become a little less edge/minor optimization focused and a little more do broken things and hope it’s more than your OP, which is sad.


1. What are you currently playing in Legacy?

Green-White Maverick

2. Are you currently testing any new cards in your build? What was the drive behind the initial idea?

I’m actually currently testing an old favourite, which has been deemed pushed out of the meta by most (including myself), Thalia, Guardian of Thraben. There’s been quite some theory behind adding her, as she looks poorly positioned in the current meta.

Hear out my copium (*inhales deeply):

I like to look at Legacy decks based off pillars of the format. I would consider 5 “core” pillars to be:

1. Free counter magic (Force of Will and Daze)
2. Premium selection (Brainstorm/Ponder)
3. Wasteland
4. Free mana (Lotus Petal, Dark Ritual, LED, Gaea’s Cradle)
5. Ancient Tomb + Chalice of the Void.

I think you generally need to be using one of these cards or strategies to be considered “legacy power level”. Then I think there are “pseudo pillars”, which would be extremely popular and powerful cards in the current meta that also define the landscape of legacy today, such as Orcish Bowmasters and Urza’s Saga.

Wasteland Urza's Saga

When I step back and look at Maverick as a deck and how I can synergistically maximize one of the pillars of the format, or attack the other pillars, I think Maverick’s potential lies in maximizing the effectiveness of Wasteland.

Wasteland can be boiled down to primarily two uses, creating tempo advantage (taking the game back a turn while applying more pressure than your opponent or taking someone off a color to functionally create dead cards/draws), or sniping critical utility lands.

The deck is inherently built around both of these things by playing 7-8 ‘copies’ of Knight of the Reliquary to see the most Wastelands per game, but also by using mana dorks to create a further gap in mana advantage alongside Wasteland.

With mana dorks, I think Maverick has an ability to play lower to the ground to maximize the tempo effect of Wasteland and exponentially increase its value to the game in a similar vein to Delver.

To further increase the power of Wasteland, I wanted to play more creatures that put pressure on your opponent to interact with ASAP or threaten to fall farther behind, such as Mother of Runes, Knight of the Reliquary, or any hatebear bullet. I think Thalia is another effect that plays to this strategy.

Mother of Runes Knight of the Reliquary

While she isn’t as individually strong as she used to be, she can still play a powerful role to “tempo” blue players by having a forever Daze on a stick, turning their cantrips into timewalks for us, etc.

The elephant in the room is that Thalia dies to Orcish Bowmasters, probably the most popular and format warping creature in the format. Since Maverick isn’t a cantrip deck, we should gain a slight edge vs one axis of the card.

Additionally, to mitigate the effect of Orcish Bowmasters, I wanted to try overloading it with more small targets to hit, such as 4 Mother of Runes, which will help Thalia stick around. The idea is that Thalia will slow my opponents down a turn or two to start aggressively turning the corner with Knight of the Reliquary/Wasteland locks or pulling ahead on board with equipment.

3. What are some other, similar versions of your build you’ve seen and what do you like about them?

I think Harry1232’s build is really sweet. I like his move off multiple Bow Masters (just playing a singleton to get off Fiend Artisan), so that he can focus on a solid 2 color mana base.

I’ve also been less impressed casting my own Bowmasters when I don’t have a ton of instant speed interaction to pair with it and keep my opponent’s guessing. But I think the strongest addition to his list that I love is the 4 Elvish Reclaimer.

I was also on Reclaimer prior to moving back to Thalia, and he felt extremely well positioned in the present meta. A 1-CMC must answer threat, that gives your UB Scaminator opponent only 1 turn to get their reanimate guy into play? Sign me up.

I think the biggest addition to making Reclaimer playable in Maverick are the Surveil lands, because we actually have a way to create card selection if we are passing the turn without making a play. In the past when I experimented with Reclaimer, you can often go turns of just trying to hold it up for Bog vs graveyard-centric strategies (such as scaminator or Beseech storm).

When you do this, it’s hard to advance your own gameplan and give your opponent more time to play around it (since the blue decks will eventually find a way to wiggle out of the soft lock of holding up bog). But now with the Surveil lands, you can hold up Reclaimer and grab one at the end of turn to do something proactive that can help advance your gameplan.

I also really like Karador’s BANT version of maverick with Brainstorm and Daze:

Daze is a pillar of the format for a reason, and if you can make it work, you have some powerful mana advantage synergies between mana dorks, Wasteland and Daze. It feels very close to a Delver deck but with a Maverick core to let you still play 5 functional copies of Collector Ouphe vs artifact decks or 5 copies of Scavenging Ooze vs reanimator.

4. What are you currently enjoying the most about the format? How do you feel the GSZ deck(s) you’ve been playing have been positioned?

While the format has overall felt a little stale to me as far as gameplay goes, I think the silver lining is that we have a very balanced meta compared to past eras. Even with UB Scaminator doing well, it’s very beatable and nowhere near as dominate as Dreadhorde Archaist, Snowko, Wrenn & Six, etc all legacy eras in the past.

As the format has settled, I’ve really enjoyed building a more fringe deck such as Maverick because we can understand the strengths and weaknesses of the current pillars and pseudo pillars of the format (such as Ancient Tomb strategies and Bowmaster decks)

I feel that GSZ decks are overall in decent position. For example, GW Depths seems great in a scam world with lots of opportunities to interact vs graveyard combo on turn 1 combined with a powerful proactive game plan that puts a lot of pressure on its opponents.

Cradle Control is still humming per usual as another powerful strategy that can crush Ancient Tomb deck. I also think that Maverick is in an ok spot too if you can play tight and accumulate small margins of advantage over the course of the game to nickel and dime your way to edging out wins.

5. Where can people find you and your content?

I haven’t been as active lately and currently only on the Discord, but I’m not a part of any servers at the moment. There’s some existing content I’ve contributed to out there, such as our interview pre EW and a couple of co-piloted leagues with Karador (shout out to him!) where we discussed a ton of Maverick theory, gameplay, etc.

I’m hoping to get more out there eventually but have a second kid on the way so my expectations are small haha. If you ever want to reach me, you can message me directly on the Discord.

Newton Hang | HelloNewton

1. What are you currently playing in Legacy?

2. Are you currently testing any new cards in your build? What was the drive behind the initial idea?

I haven’t played much this past week but I’m trying to test Force of Despair (FoD) to shore up Ancient Tomb matchups. I wish I could play more than 4 copies of Snuff Out and FoD is the closest thing I could think of.

Snuff Out

3. What are some other, similar versions of your build you’ve seen and what do you like about them?

I like what Harry has done lately with his take on Maverick.

I think it’s important to be able to end games swiftly and the compact Stage/ Depths package helps him achieves this. I feel like he might want to try an Echoing Deeps though, based on viewing his list from afar.

4. What are you currently enjoying the most about the format? How do you feel the GSZ deck(s) you’ve been playing have been positioned?

I think there’s a lot to be explored, especially in the sideboard. Green decks naturally line up very well against reanimator due to Reclaimer, GSZ, and Endurance so it’s a nice deck building exercise to use the remaining slots to beat everything else. I can’t forget about Crop rotation too.

5. Where can people find you and your content?

Here’s my Linktree.

Dennis Aufermann | @Auferbaum | Dein_Freund_der_Baum on MTGO

1. What are you currently playing in Legacy?

I’ve been on a bit of a competitive break since 4 Seasons in early March, but I’ve got a mid-sized paper event a week after this article gets published. I will probably play a Bant Depths list similar to this:

I’ve been on BANT for a couple of months now and still believe Flusterstorm is the best anti-combo tool the archetype has access to.

2. Are you currently testing any new cards in your build? What was the drive behind the initial idea?

Recent prints I’ve been testing a bit are surveil lands (Lush Portico) and Lumbering Megasloth (can we please please please get a Universes Within version for MTGO?).

The Surveil lands are really powerful across decks and formats, so in my opinion it makes sense to try them out in GWx Depths. It is unfortunate that they don’t work well with Flagstones of Trokair, since most of the time if you search them up with a Flagstones trigger, there is still a tutor effect on the stack that will mess up the surveil.

I have also not found a great way to fit them in a 3-color mana base because you need enough untapped duals to support all colours in time. Using excess fetchlands for card selection is really good though, so a single Lush Portico is probably a powerful addition to the straight GW versions of the deck.

Lumbering Megasloth got a lot of hype among Depths players so I tried it for a couple of matches. Not being available on MTGO definitely makes it hard to get a reasonable amount of games in.

Against fair decks, it was decent to sidestep multiple Wastelands without having to use multiple Knight/Reclaimer activations. GW always had the tools for those scenarios though, so it felt like solving a non-existent problem.

Additionally, it makes our deck less consistent (having one or more Sloths in hand without access to Dark Depths wasn’t great). When slothing it in a stock list, the sideboard mapping also got really weird, so the deck would probably have to be reconstructed completely. The Sloth seems way better as a Plan B for GB Turbo Depths, which I plan on trying in the foreseeable future.

Bovine Intervention

Once OTJ comes out, I’m interested in a copy of Bovine Intervention for my sideboard. Having a cheap instant speed answer to both creatures and Chalice of the Void is something I have missed in the past.

3. What are some other, similar versions of your build you’ve seen and what do you like about them?

Most GWx Depths lists do not splash another color right now (besides a single Mawloc every now and then). What I like about those variants is that they can play one or two fewer lands while still having enough coloured sources to function.

Depths can flood out in the mid- to late game, which is probably a bit less likely with these versions. Especially if they run surveil lands.

4. What are you currently enjoying the most about the format? How do you feel the GSZ deck(s) you’ve been playing have been positioned?

While a lot of players dislike it when Legacy enters a slightly inbred state with tempo decks being clearly on top, I’m happy with such a metagame because it is easier to target and usually good for the archetypes I tend to play. Depths strategies are positioned really well right now.

While getting Grief scammed can be annoying, the overall gameplay feels fine. I feel like the number of close and interesting games has not gone down.

I also really enjoy that Scam basically pushed the initiative cards out of the format.

Jono Yanik | Dreadnaught33

1. What are you currently playing in Legacy?

Currently enjoying tinkering with GW Depths, very similar to the list below.

2. Are you currently testing any new cards in your build? What was the drive behind the initial idea?

I think the splitting of non-creature spells is the thing Depths players are currenrtly trying to figure out. How many or none of: OUAT, Sylvan Library, Life from the Loam, Legolas’ Quick Reflexes, and some even trim a Crop Rotation sometimes.

For me, I really like 2-3 OUAT and Loam has played very well for me personally especially in paper vs a Lands heavy meta. The Legolas had been only ok for me so far but I understand some love it and play 2-3. I’ll keep experimenting with cards within this configuration.

Would love a great two drop and for me Deeproot Wayfinder is close but not quite enough in todays Legacy. I’m loving the 4 hatebear two drops in Teeg/Ouphe/Doorkeeper Thrull and Mawloc from the board though.

Btw, I have that Seeds of Innocence there because I’ve run into a lot of 8-Cast style decks and Saga fuelled decks lately, not sure if it’s actually worth a spot yet to be honest.

3. What are some other, similar versions of your build you’ve seen and what do you like about them?

I’m slightly intrigued by the idea of BANT Depths in general too, mostly for Flusterstorm from the board to give a clean answer to combo and even other big spell decks.


Given my love of playing the 2x Loam, I gravitate at times to Uro which also sends you to Brainstorm with extra blue lands- seeing Alli doing this recently even makes me want to try it more. (No Uro in his recent post just Brainstorm and Fluster). Is that all worth further weakening the mana? I’m not sure but I’ll be trying it soon.

4. What are you currently enjoying the most about the format? How do you feel the GSZ deck(s) you’ve been playing have been positioned?

The format feels pretty interesting in that you’re expecting to see a variety of decks instead of assuming there’s only 2-4 playable decks – very fun time to play.

I believe GSZ decks mostly have an ok time vs tempo in general and since many are on tempo type decks, it’s a decent time to play GSZ in general. Reclaimer and KoTR have a feeling of inevitability again, there’s time to set up in many of the fair matchups and the unfair ones are somewhat manageable with the free green spells in endurance/FoV plus whatever other splash cards you’re on.

I’ll admit to getting run over by new Goblins at times or losing to the white based beans decks, (plus if you run into Doomsday or Storm it’ll be a bad time) but on the whole the meta spread is not bad for us.

A huge thank you to the contributors above. Every single one of them is someone I look to for advice, deck builds and just general knowledge on navigating Legacy.

It’s not just the people above who are awesome, but the wider GSZ community! Make sure you’re part of the Maverick Discord and even my Discord to keep up to date with the latest tech.

If you enjoy this type of content and want to see more, there are many ways you can support me from free to paid! Find my socials via my LinkTree!


Take care & play fair,


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 aficionado who created the GreenSunsZenith as a resource for both beginners & experts of the Legacy Maverick archetype. I've been fortunate enough to be a guest on several Eternal & Legacy podcasts including Everyday Eternal, Deep Analysis with Brian Coval & Phil Gallagher, The Canadian Threshold, Archetype Influencers and the Dark Depths Podcast You can reach out to me through my social links below. I stream via Twitch on Thursday nights (7:30pm AEST) & Sunday mornings (10:30am 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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