Legacy specialist Drew Levin and I decided to battle one of the most common Legacy matchups: R/U/G Delver versus G/W Maverick.
The list I am playing for this video is based heavily on Ben Stark's list from Grand Prix: Atlanta and is as follows:
- Creatures (26)
- 1 Aven Mindcensor
- 1 Fauna Shaman
- 1 Scryb Ranger
- 3 Qasali Pridemage
- 3 Scavenging Ooze
- 4 Knight of the Reliquary
- 4 Mother of Runes
- 4 Noble Hierarch
- 1 Linvala, Keeper of Silence
- 4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
- Lands (23)
- 1 Plains
- 3 Forest
- 1 Cavern of Souls
- 1 Dryad Arbor
- 1 Wooded Foothills
- 2 Horizon Canopy
- 4 Savannah
- 4 Wasteland
- 4 Windswept Heath
- 2 Karakas
I believe the matchup favors G/W by a fair amount for several reasons:
- The mana disruption that R/U/G presents is negated by the relatively high mana-source count that G/W has: twenty-three lands, four Noble Hierarch, and four Green Sun's Zenith to find Dryad Arbor.
- The creatures that G/W has are overall much better than Nimble Mongoose and Tarmogoyf (Scavenging Ooze in particular trumps Tarmogoyf and Nimble Mongoose easily), and Knight of the Reliquary is usually sandbagged until it can survive a Lightning Bolt.
- R/U/G's lower land count of all nonbasic lands means that knighting up Wastelands is a good way to beat that deck.
In post-boarded games, the sideboard plan is as follows: −3 Qasali Pridemage, −1 Fauna Shaman, −1 Aven Mindcensor, −1 Sylvan Library, +3 Path to Exile, +1 Life from the Loam, +1 Linvala, Keeper of Silence, and +1 Maze of Ith.
In this configuration, you have seven removal spells (four Swords to Plowshares and three Path to Exile) to kill Delver and Tarmogoyf, so the R/U/G deck is pretty much reduced to trying to kill you with Nimble Mongoose, which is extremely unlikely.
Anyway, on to the games:
The matches played out pretty much as I expected—with the exception of the game in which I instantly died to two transformed Delvers, which seems like the best way for him to beat me.
Overall, I don't mind playing against R/U/G Delver with this particular G/W list. There are a lot of small but interesting decisions to be made every turn.
Some of decisions include:
- You can essentially dictate whether something is countered since you do have enough lands to play around a counter if you wish, although it may be better to just get it out of his hand to resolve a better spell.
- Figuring out if you can afford to be Wastelanded or not is hugely important (and that decision dictated a lot of my land drops—especially on turns one and two).
All in all, I think G/W is still a very solid choice for any Legacy tournaments you might have coming up.
Please let me know if there are any other matchups or types of videos you are interested in seeing, and I would also appreciate any comments here or on Twitter @jkyu06.
Thanks for reading and watching!