Cook’s Kitchen – Maverick

Contrary to popular belief, I know how to attack, I can do combat math, and can make optimal plays that involve creatures with abilities. People seem to pigeon hole me as “the Storm kid” which is fine I guess, but don’t disrespect or underestimate me when I play something else. One of the most common things that happens with people that don’t know me very well is that they just assume I only own and play Storm. This all comes crashing down moments later, when I ask them if they’d like to trade.

I’m a very active trader. Trading cards is an easy way to make money and get cards that I need rather than spending money. While I may have recently come into a great job, I’m still a broke post-graduate.


“Sweet Force of Wills! Are they for trade?”

“Na, I want to hang onto them.”

“Why? You’ll never use them, they’re not Storm cards.”


I bet I could easily pay a semester’s tuition if every time I had this conversation someone gave me 10$. Actually, I use those Force of Wills quite often. While I don’t play them at the monthly Jupiter Games NELC events, I do use them a couple times a month at the local Syracuse Legacy events. I try to play a different deck every week, while it’s difficult – I try. A few months ago I wrote about a Grixis colored Tempo deck, during that time period I was playing a lot of Island based tempo decks with Stifle and Wasteland. I played decks like these and won with them until the metagame shifted against me.  All of a sudden Goblins, Maverick, Enchantress, and other weird decks started appearing. The combo player in me got the best of me for an entire month. I took first place in three straight events, the fourth week of the month people were tired of losing.  I didn’t do so well, and since then I’ve gone back to playing a new deck every week.


The recent metagame trends in Syracuse have been Island based decks and mid-range decks. I decided to set down islands for a week and pick up some Savannahs. I asked Jon Barber for his most current Maverick list. I chose Maverick for a few reasons, mainly because it’s good right now and I own almost all of it.  But the real reason is it feels great to crush someone with Knight of the Reliquary





1 Birds of Paradise

4 Knight of the Reliquary

4 Mother of Runes

3 Noble Hierarch

2 Qasali Pridemage

2 Scavenging Ooze

1 Terravore

1 Scryb Ranger

3 Stoneforge Mystic

1 Gaddock Teeg



3 Punishing Fire

4 Swords to Plowshares

3 Green Sun’s Zenith


1 Sword of Feast and Famine


Legendary Artifacts:

1 Umezawa’s Jitte



1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant


Basic Land:

1 Forest

1 Plains

Non-Basic Land:

3 Grove of the Burnwillows

1 Horizon Canopy

1 Maze of Ith

3 Misty Rainforest

3 Savannah

2 Taiga

3 Wasteland

4 Windswept Heath


Land Creatures:

1 Dryad Arbor


Legendary Land:

1 Karakas



3 Choke

2 Path to Exile

3 Red Elemental Blast

2 Tormod’s Crypt

2 Ancient Grudge

2 Krosan Grip

1 Bojuka Bog


This is the list looked like after I made some changes to Jon’s initial list. Jon’s list had two Aven Mindcensor in it. Honestly, not playing it was one of the better decisions I made – instead I was casting Elspeth and Terravore. I actually don’t own Tarmogoyf, meaning I couldn’t run one as a singleton Green Sun Zenith target. I opted to run a second Scavenging Ooze in Tarmogoyf’s place. The last change I made was a basic plains over the forth Savannah, basics seemed important!  I get to the event and have to scour for Groves and Savannahs because I also don’t own them, luckily I find some, and we’re on our way.


Round One: Nick Patnode with Goblins


I’ve played against Nick the last two weeks round one with him playing Goblins, I practically decided to play Maverick because it would beat him.


Game One: I began the game with a fetchland for a basic Forest into Noble Hierarch. Nick played a Rishadan Port into an Aether Vial.  I played Wasteland and destroyed his Port. Tapped my mana to pay into a Stoneforge Mystic for Umezawa’s Jitte. Nick played a Moutain and passed. I played a fetchland and passed. I grabbed Dryad Arbor and put Jitte into play during his end step. On my turn play a land, suited my Stoneforge, swing. Next turn Elspeth, game over.


(Sideboarding: -1 Gaddeck Teeg, -1 Scryb Ranger, +2 Path to Exile)


Game Two: Nick was on the play with a couple of Rishadan Ports acting as Wastelands, I was stuck on lands and had a Mother of Runes and Noble Hierarch. I drew my Dryad Arbor, next turn play Stoneforge Mystic for Jitte.  Nick managed to kill my Mother of Runes with his one-of Tarfire and a Gempalm Incinerator. He then decided to cast a well-timed Pyrokinesis to kill all three of my creatures. Sad face. He locked me out of the game by Port-ing my only remaining permanent.


Game Three: I lead off with Savannah, Zenith for Arbor. He played Mountain and Goblin Lackey. I played a Birds of Paradise and a Grove of the Burnwillows. Nick attacked on his turn only to find out that I had Punishing Fire. The rest of the game consisted of me repeatedly killing his creatures with Grove and Fire until I played a Knight of the Reliquary. Elspeth came down the following turn to “jump” the Knight for victory.





Round Two: Geoff Smelski with Aggro Loam


Game One: Geoff pulled off a very early double Mox Diamond, Dark Confidant, Wasteland and Life From the Loam lock on me. He also managed to Devastating Dreams away my board somewhere in there.


(Sideboarding: -1 Gaddeck Teeg, -1 Scryb Ranger, -1 Karakas, +1 Bojuka Bog, +2 Path to Exile)


Game Two: I played a turn one Mother of Runes which allowed my Stoneforge Mystic and Knight of the Reliquary to live the rest of the game. Wasteland and Sword of Feast and Famine provided enough disruption for Geoff to not come back from his draw of two Tarmogoyf and mana.


Game Three: Geoff established Loam/Wasteland twice within the first seven turns of the game. Luckily I drew a Tormod’s Crypt and the singleton Bojuka Bog to remove the combo twice. After this Geoff got a Devastating Dreams off, leaving me with a Savannah, Taiga, and a Jitte with 12 life vs his board of two land and a ‘goyf. He then Wasteland’ed my Savannah, leaving me with a Taiga for land. I drew a fetchland, fetched Arbor on his end step going to 7. Drew Swords to Plowshares without a white source. I played a land and equipped Jitte, then attacked. I went to three on his turn, drew a blank, attacked, then was forced to use a Jitte counter to go to one during his attack step my turn drew a white source and killed ‘Goyf. Arbor then finished him off a turn or two later.





Round Three: Nick Hinman with GWu weirdness


Game One: Turn one Fetchland, Hierarch. Turn two fetchland, Terravore. Turn three land, Elspeth.  Nick was out.


(Sideboarding: None)


Game Two: Turn one Green Sun’s Zenith for Dryad Arbor, turn two Wasteland his land, Stoneforge Mystic, turn three Knight. Nick missed his land drop, I Wastelanded using Knight and he conceded.





Round Four: Kevin Poncelet with Affinity 


Game One: Kevin played turn one, Artifact land, Mox, Memnite, and Vault Skirge. Turn two Cranial Plating. I attempted to Green Sun’s for Pridemage, but by the time I blew up Plating I was too low on life and the flying Skirge flew over my blockers to deal me enough damage in the air over the next three turns.


(Sideboarding: -4 Mother of Runes, -1 Scryb Ranger, -1 Gaddock Teeg, +2 Path to Exile, +2 Ancient Grudge, +2 Krosan Grip)


Game Two: Turn two Stoneforge for Umezawa’s Jitte, attached and began attacking. The following turn, began Punishing Fire + Grove of the Burnwillows every turn. Kevin had two Platings but couldn’t find a creature that would live, he eventually landed a Tezzeret, but by that point I had already won.


Game Three: Kevin has turn 2 Plating equipped on attacking Ornithopter. Then on turn three Kevin cast Tezzeret. I never stood a chance.





Round Four: Trevor Brown with Maverick


Trevor was the only undefeated person in the event due to draws. He had no reason to play and because we’ve been friends since I was twelve amongst other things decided to scoop me in.


Trevor is one of the friends that I mentioned in the Zombies article who was nice enough to surprise me with the first ten Walking Dead trade paperbacks. We talked about Zombies and traded while we waited for top 4.





Top Four: Nick Hinman with GWu Weirdness


Game One: This game actually lasted forever unlike our round in the swiss. Turns out Nick was splashing blue in his deck for Brainstorm, Jace, and STASIS!


Nick is one of those sick weirdos that people hear about on the news that microwave cats or starves puppies. Well… maybe that’s gone a bit far, but so is playing Stasis. Nick is playing three Scryb Rangers along with his Noble Heirarch’s and Birds of Paradise, two Garruk Wildspeaker, and a couple of Sword of Feast and Famine to untap his lands for Stasis. Nick set up Stasis with some of the mana dorks and Ranger to lock me out of the game. He managed to play Stasis after I tapped out for my own Sword of Feast and Famine. I untapped my land a couple of times using the Sword of Feast and Famine to play Elspeth then almost won. But Nick got the best of me.


(Sideboarding: -1 Gaddeck Teeg, -1 Terravore, +2 Krosan Grip)


Game Two: Game two looked a lot like one of our games from the swiss where I had a turn two Knight of the Reliquary, then Wasted Nick out of the game while I continually played threats. These games aren’t very exciting, but they sure are effective.


Game Three: I start the same game plan of ‘turn two Terravore and turn three Knight of the Reliquary’. Nick played his one of sideboard Wrath of Gods. What a BLOWOUT. He then plays a Stoneforge Mystic into Batterskull. I play Punishing Fire. He Hardcasts Batterskull, I get to the point where I could play Punishing Fire three times a turn. Nick cannot win the game at this point. I play Elspeth and he concedes.





Finals: Kevin Poncelet with Affinity 


At this point, it’s late, almost 12. I’m pretty tired, but I don’t split. The payout is eighty store credit or twenty credit.  Remember that new job I mentioned? I needed to be awake for that in six hours…


Game One: I honestly don’t remember much of this game besides the fact that I had two Knight in play and needed one more turn. However, Kevin drew and cast Tezzeret. I didn’t have Punishing Fire anywhere and he had multiple blockers. I lost.


(Sideboarding: -4 Mother of Runes, -1 Scryb Ranger, -1 Gaddock Teeg, +2 Path to Exile, +2 Ancient Grudge, +2 Krosan Grip)


Game Two: Game two I mulliganed and kept a hand of Savannah, Noble Hierarch, Ancient Grudge, Punishing Fire, Stoneforge Mystic, and Swords to Plowshares. I play turn one Noble, turn two Stone Forge, and after this point I use Stoneforge over the next few turns to put equipment into play. Eventually I’m forced to block with my creatures or die. I’m still stuck on one land, but I can path my own Hierarch for a basic. I do that and draw a fetchland. I play Grudge and Flash it back, untap and draw Grove of the Burnwillows. I stabilized at this point at three. I drew and cast Green Sun’s Zenith for Arbor and equipped. Kevin eventually loses to Grove + Fires.


Game Three: Kevin has a turn six Tezzeret with two Cranial Plated creatures against my Knight of the Reliquary, Scryb Ranger, and Elspeth. He swings with the two creatures leaving him completely tapped out with no blockers. I begin to do the math but I’m a point off of killing him. But I could kill Tezzeret then lose to his creatures. I untap my 7/7 Knight with Ranger during his attack step, sacrificing a forest to fetch for Arbor and block one of the creatures. On my turn I drew PUNISHING FIRES! WOOO! I only have one land in play at this point. I tap Taiga for red mana, sacrifice it to search a fetchland for a Savannah. Play a fetchland from my hand and search, Punishing Fires him to fourteen. Then swing for exactly lethal with Knight and Ranger. Wow. What a close match.





It’s 1:30am at this point and I need to be awake soon enough. I took the credit and ran.  I liked the deck a lot. I’d play it again if I wasn’t trying to build something new every week. I’d like a second Elspeth – she really just dominated games. Other than that, the deck was golden. I did have some trouble sideboarding, there isn’t much to take out.


Well that’s all for this week, come back again next week! Until then, keep Storming!


Bryant Cook

Bryant Cook on MTGthesource

2 thoughts on “Cook’s Kitchen – Maverick”

  1. these are a brilliant case study in “how an insecure person talks about themselves.” keep them coming!

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