The Marit at Large: ArneMTG

If you’re a part of the Lands / Depths Discord, you most likely have seen Arne in the group. Arne is also part of the Zenith Discord and regularly posts his great results with Naya Depths.

I’ve wanted to have Arne on for a fair while now to give me his thoughts on Naya Depths in the current, Initiative-saturated metagame and how he things the deck has adapted.

I hope you enjoy this first edition of ‘The Marit at Large’.

Hey Arne, a huge thank you for coming on the GreenSunsZenith.

To give readers some background, when did you start playing Magic, move into Legacy and with that, what’s your local Legacy scene like?

I started playing Magic in 2015 as an old work colleague introduced me to the game. From there I played for a little while with his playgroup at the kitchen table, but got into the local scene shortly after playing Standard for one season.

As I hated the concept of rotation, the formats I played got less and less appealing. After some EDH I dipped into Modern right about when the Eldrazi Winter ended and stayed there playing non-blue midrange decks like Kiki-Chord and Abzan or Jund until the banning of Sensei’s Divining Top sparked interest about Legacy in our local community.

No photo description available.

Our Store, the Magickeller in Hannover, allowed us to test Legacy at FNMs with up to 10 proxies to try and revitalize the format locally. From there on locally Legacy is alive and kicking with up to 20 Players at FNM and we as Legacy players bounded together as Legacy Hannover to organize tournaments and create content.

In the Deathrite Shaman meta I played Punishing Jund. This was was an easy choice for me coming from BG×-midrange decks in Modern and was happy grinding local tournaments. The Deathrite Shaman ban in 2018 forced me to re-adjust as Jund was dead.

I quickly landed on Maverick as the Green Sun’s Zenith toolbox impersonated most of what I liked about Kiki-Chord in Modern.

My breakout Event was the 2nd place at the 2019 the Eternal Clash, which was Northern Germany’s biggest Legacy Tournament at the time. From there I got the nickname “The Choker” as most of my sideboards, tailored for the local meta, tend to start with that lovely card.

My latest Finish I’m really proud of is the Victory in our City Championship where we made an 18 player Team-Trio Invitational for the Northern-German community.




What originally brought you to Naya Depths?

After top8ing that Eternal Clash I did well in our local tournaments and some nationwide events like the Trader series. But everything changed when the fire-nation of MH1 attacked. Wrenn and Six and Plague Engineer hating on x/1 creatures and Arcum’s Astrolabe making mana bases invincible was to much for Maverick to overcome.

wrenn Arcum's Astrolabe

After unsuccessful attempts of adjusting to that meta with Maverick, Green-White Depths caught my attention. Not having many x/1 creatures made the deck resilient to Wrenn’s -1 ability and the Depths combo made having functioning mana-denial less important. The Green Sun’s-Package and playing Knight of the Reliquary made a lot of my Maverick-knowledge transferable so I felt comfortable very quickly playing the deck.

Once Wrenn and Six got banned I sold the Mox Diamond’s as I anticipated Maverick would get as playable again as it was before. Right before the Release of MH2 I got around to picking GW Depths up again as I was struggling with finding the right Maverick list back then.

Since the second pickup I haven’t really looked back as I now highly value not having to grind out every game due to the I Win-Button of the Depths combo. This especially helps me staying relaxed during longer events. When you get to play three games in a match you sit there for the full 50 minutes most of the time with both Maverick and Depths, but playing Depths in that spot helps me to keep the mental stamina high.

Arne’s winning Naya Depths list from a webcam tournament on the MTG Paper Legacy Discord

What have been some of your takeaways from the metagame since Initiative entered MTGO?

white plumeThe Format is faster as a whole and control decks have been pushed to the wayside. I only play paper magic, through webcam leagues and in local tournaments. In these, I faced way more decks that were targeting and suited well against Initiative than Initiative itself, so my sample size vs. Initiative Stompy is rather small.

I found for local events fair blue decks like Maxtortion’s Bantblade with WPAs or the 4C Attraction Pile from PVDH are more popular than Initiative Stompy. Thankfully the hybrid Initiative decks feel manageable although the games are definitely challenging.

When looking at the anti-Initiative decks (Delver, Cephalid Breakfast, Painter) I’m glad that my mostly good & enjoyable matchups got popular, although playing against Painter can be hard from time to time as some board states in longer games aren’t obvious to solve.


What have some cards or strategies you’ve tried early on that either found or didn’t find success?

Before I picked up Depths I tried to adapt Maverick to the Wrenn & Six meta by playing Tomik, Distinguished Advokist to stop the land recursion. It was a band aid to say the least, but Tomik was good in Depths at that time, because shutting down Wastelands made it very easy to combo.

Tomik, Distinguished Advokist Once upon a Time

When MH2 gave us a bunch of great cards for Depths (Endurance, Yavimaya), Urza’s Saga caught my attention. I was excited for Saga because Thespian’s Stage and Saga is broken, but most of the time it’s too complicated and time-intensive to setup. Let’s also not forget that Depths isn’t low on mana-sinks to begin with.

Before Initiative hit the format my meta was dominated by fair blue decks where you can’t afford a dead top deck and going for a fast Marit Lage was rarely beneficial. In that time I wasn’t happy with Mox Diamond, so I played without them and sleeved up Once Upon a Time instead and liked that a lot.

I don’t know how that would play out now as the format did speed up, but I would encourage new players either way to start with a Mox-less build to get games in and gain experience.

Another card I tried out and worked out great was Terravore. Terravore stomped over a lot of True Name Nemesis and Pyromancer armies and was all around great at breaking unpleasant board-stalls in 2019. These days it’s difficult to keep him big enough between Uro, Murktide and Endurance, but I have fond memories of experiencing the “we’ve got a reader” situation after a Zenith for 3 resolved followed by sheer despair.

I know this is mostly a situational question, but do you find you’re often going for the combo ASAP or fighting Initiative on the midrange plan?

Most of the relevant decisions tend to happen in the first few turns, dependant on Initiative Stompy’s start. Depending on how aggressive their opening is, what I try to do is influenced by what the Initiative player presents and what hand I keep.

If my hand can only combo I won’t try to settle into a midrange game. That said I don’t feel comfortable with an un-protected Marit Lage as they play a lot of answers (Solitude, Swords to Plowshares, Touch etc), but setting up protection, ideally Sylvan Safekeeper, also takes time. Most Games I win with Marit Lage after I disrupt the dungeon stroll and defend the Initiative.

How do you actually find the mono-white initiative matchup? Any key cards players might not acknowledge at first glance?

As I mentioned earlier my sample size vs the deck is small, but I feel Naya Depths has all the tools to win the matchup. Sadly we don’t get to put our tools to good use in all games as you can’t beat their best hands. Once they stumble in some way by not having all the aces we have a real shot though. It’s best to focus on the win-able portion of games and shrug of when they stomp you (a skill one also has to learn when playing against other combo decks!).

In my sideboard Torpor Orb was a staple vs Death & Taxes and Doomsday for a long time and at first it seemed good at keeping the dungeon off the table. After the first few games I realized that Orb can just be too slow. Once an Initiative creature was in play, the engine started rolling and took the game over.

I quickly replaced my Orbs with Hushbringer to get back the Initiative and shut down their future Initiative creatures which is working somewhat well so far. Although they have Swords to Plowshares, you can protect the Hushbringer with Crop Rotation for Sejiri Steppe. Wastelanding them is very hit or miss as the first basic off the dungeon entry may be all they need whereas you definitely need your land drops.

Regarding their interaction I feel like you aren’t safe from anything before you have Sylvan Safekeeper, many lands and a threat worth saving. Endurance has been surprisingly relevant as a flash creature that can block (and kill) flyers (Elite Spellbinder) and take back the Initiative.

A cool interaction to keep in mind here: When they try to remove your Hushbringer, you can consider evoking an Endurance in response as it will stay around. This is because the sacrifice effect doesn’t happen when the Hushbringer is in play. This way you can gain a little bit of unexpected tempo and keep threats coming.

How have you found adding in the WPA’s to Depths? Have you found it strengthens some of your good matchups or has an impact on what were poorer matchups beforehand?

I really like White Plume Adventurer in Naya Depths and thankfully it has mostly the same Sideboard-map as Sylvan Library which I replaced it with in late 2022. Sylvan Library is one of my favourite cards, but in recent times it was difficult for me to get it doing what you want it to do: draw cards! Most decks where you want Library are full of answers for it now whereas not too long ago it was nearly untouchable once it hit the field.

Prismatic Ending

In a world of Endings, Narset and Teferi I was in the market for a card advantage engine that isn’t tied to a permanent and hard to interact with. White Plume Adventurer introduces the Initiative and that dumb mechanic checks all of those boxes. And hey, while it’s still legal we should tale advantage of it right? I think so.

Every room in the Dungeon gives you a reliable advantage upfront, so you know what you will get whereas it’s highly situational if the cards Sylvan Library shows will help you. All of the pesky cards mentioned above look rather useless when you go through the dungeon in the meantime. The Untapping of creatures in the Opponents Upkeep is very good with Reclaimer and Knight, but that’s just the creamy cherry on top of the cake.

I don’t feel the matchups changed in a big way, because a non-green 2-of creature is not consistently available, but it is one more angle of attack the opponent has to respect. That said, Sylvan Library doesn’t have the consistently you need these days as I mentioned above and shows up randomly, so in that sense it’s the same.

In the end WPA plays without the need to put effort into it and that’s the way I want my Sylvan Library to work, so for the time being, WPA will be my Sylvan Library as much as I hate to admit it.

If something happens to Initiative and most likely UR Delver, how do you feel Naya will do post-metagame? Do you think with those decks getting hit, combo might make a comeback and be an issue?

I can definitely get behind the argument of hitting UR Delver, because card advantage is always dangerous in a tempo deck.  Before Murktide Regent you needed a third colour for access to a big beater. Murktide is not only one of the best beaters in Legacy, it keeps the deck UR and the mana base smoother. Unfair, right?

Sadly the metagame would be unfair when Delver isn’t the best deck. What could hold Doomsday back from being the deck to play? I can’t imagine I would enjoy playing in such a metagame which I think many players can agree on. So we need Delver to stay up there to cannibalize the bad matchups. If Initiative would get hit with a ban I assume that non-blue decks that got pushed out by Initiative could come back like Death & Taxes and Moon Stompy (and that sounds appealing to me).

What would you consider to be the flex slots in your list below?

White Plume Adventurer is by far the most flex as I haven’t seen a list other than mine that plays it, but of course you’re all welcome to try it out and let me know how it play for you! When we look at the utility lands that’s where the flex in my maindeck can be found

white plume Blast Zone Maze of Ith

Blast Zone is a card I rarely see in Depths, but it has been great for me vs Delver, Elves and a lot of random decks across the board – I never sit down to play without it these days. Maze of Ith at this point is stock to me as the 61st card. The first and biggest reason to play it for me is because of Murktide Regent and now with Initiative, it only got better.

A small tip though, it’s always good to treat Maze as a spell over a land in deckbuilding as it doesn’t tap for mana on it’s own.

Mawloc is a card that many haven’t had the chance to test with (as it’s not available online), how’ve you found it in Depths?

Mawloc appealed to me as a way to kill Magus of the Moon through Green Sun’s Zenith, but it also proved itself great in a variety of creature matchups.

Would you like to shout anyone out? Share where people can find you?

I want to shout out my local Community at Magickeller and Legacy Hannover, you all know who you are and try to be prepared for The Choker!

Visit our Discord (), check our Youtube Page and if you can you should visit our tournaments. You can find me all around there or on discord as ArneMTG!

A huge thank you again to Arne for coming on the Zenith and giving us his thoughts on the current Legacy metagame & Naya Depths’ position. Honestly the community at Magickeller sounds like what every Legacy player dreams of and that’s a huge credit to the community itself.

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As always, play fair & take care


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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