Deck Tech: Maverick with Brian Kibler
Brian Kibler's favorite cards, now in Legacy!
It’s always interesting to see what the professionals take to in Legacy tournaments, because the format isn’t usually prominent on their radar. For Brian Kibler, a man known to love his fair share of creatures, Maverick wasn’t much of a shock to see.
“I wanted to play G/W—I hate the name Maverick—because basically, Knight of the Reliquary is just the best creature in Magic,” Brian said. “In Legacy, she’s incredibly powerful—she has the ability to Wasteland people out and just outclass everything they have on size.” Beyond that, the deck can create incredibly difficult to handle board states. “Mother of Runes makes it very difficult to deal with Knight or any of the utility creatures.”
Those utility creatures are another major attraction of the strategy. “The deck has so many tools in so many matchups—a number of incredibly disruptive elements,” Brian said. That’s unique to a deck with so many men, but that’s in fact its greatest strength. “You have Green Sun’s Zenith to assemble a lot of them, with a very stable manabase because you can play a lot of basic lands,” Brian added.
He’s changed a few elements for this tournament, building on what he learned from Grand Prix Indianapolis. One of the switches has seen a defining Legacy creature on the bench. “I cut Stoneforge Mystic because I think Stoneforge Mystic is terrible,” he said. “I only ever wanted Jitte and Stoneforge is so slow—I wanted things that impacted more meaningfully faster. I’m just playing two Jittes and added two Aven Mindcensors,” Brian explained. “I’m also playing a Gaea’s Cradle, which has been awesome—totally worth the $70 I paid for it.” Citing an ability to frequently make big moves on minor mana, Brian’s been very happy with the legendary land.
Planeswalkers have given Brian a big advantage against the other creature decks. “I had one Elspeth in my maindeck and the highlight of my sideboard is one Gideon,” he noted. “People never appreciate how powerful he is in any format where you have creature mirrors. You have games that stall out, and Gideon breaks those games wide open.” Forcing the opponent into an unwinnable race or just disadvantageous attacks, Gideon has a real mean streak. “The first game where I actually cast Gideon in Legacy, my opponent had a creature and a Jitte—I just played Gideon to kill the creature and made him attack into my Elspeth tokens until I ground him out. He had no way to beat it—nothing in his deck kills Gideon.”
That speaks to a larger vulnerability in Legacy, one Brian is eager to exploit. “There’s nothing efficient that kills planeswalkers—people aren’t prepared for them except to attack them, and Gideon is a pretty difficult man to attack and kill.” Cards like Oblivion Ring and Vindicate are seeing too little play, because most decks are just using Jace or nothing.
A few other sideboard cards have stood out. “Linvala has been very good. Shutting down your opponent’s Knights, Hierarchs, and Mother of Runes is very powerful,” he said, but added a word of caution. “Linvala is awesome, but vulnerable to the cards your opponents are naturally going to have—Plows are already super pressured in the matchup. Gideon, they can’t do anything about.”