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Why legacy is the best magic format -- Posted by admin on Saturday, March 5 2005
Robert Wagner. Why legacy is the best magic format

Firstly, hello.
Most of you will know me since I come to the club and the rest of you should know me, I’m just that cool, no, really.

Let me explain what legacy is, it’s the new name for the format previously known as type 1.5 – you know, the one nobody played because it is a watered down version of vintage.

Well, October 20th 2004 changed all that. The format became independent of T1 and now has its own banned and restricted list and will be the fastest growing format of 2005 since wizards is beginning to make real tournaments with genuine prize support (like playsets of mana drains, black lotuses etc.). I know that the more influential players at the club are already certain that extended is a broken format the is evil, a view which I personally completely disagree with, since extended has no individual dominating deck, whereas T2 [did] and still will in the form of TaN which, despite the hate, will post a large number of T8’s The only deck like that that springs to mind in extended is RDW, and that hasn’t won more than 3 PTQ’s out of about the 30 that have happened so far.

The thing is, in formats like legacy and extended, players have genuine answers to decks because the card pool is huge. Energy flux and serenity, pulverize and meltdown, and pernicious deed, all damaged affinity in extended (which is why I have only seen one affinity deck win a ptq, and about 50% of the players there were playing affinity anyway so yeah…go figure.

Now, let me introduce you to the legacy banned and restricted list, it’s not very long.

• Amulet of Quoz
• Ancestral Recall
• Balance
• Bazaar of Baghdad
• Black Lotus
• Black Vise
• Bronze Tablet
• Channel
• Chaos Orb
• Contract from Below
• Darkpact
• Demonic Attorney
• Demonic Consultation
• Demonic Tutor
• Dream Halls
• Earthcraft
• Entomb
• Falling Star
• Fastbond
• Frantic Search
• Goblin Recruiter
• Grim Monolith
• Gush
• Hermit Druid
• Illusionary Mask
• Jeweled Bird
• Land Tax
• Library of Alexandria
• Mana Crypt
• Mana Drain
• Mana Vault
• Memory Jar
• Metalworker
• Mind Over Matter
• Mind Twist
• Mind's Desire
• Mishra's Workshop
• Mox Emerald
• Mox Jet
• Mox Pearl
• Mox Ruby
• Mox Sapphire
• Necropotence
• Oath of Druids
• Rebirth
• Replenish
• Skullclamp
• Sol Ring
• Strip Mine
• Tempest Efreet
• Time Spiral
• Time Walk
• Timetwister
• Timmerian Fiends
• Tinker
• Tolarian Academy
• Vampiric Tutor
• Wheel of Fortune
• Windfall
• Worldgorger Dragon
• Yawgmoth's Bargain
• Yawgmoth's Will

Few, read through all that? Well, as you can see, there are quite a few insanely broken cards which have been banned in legacy, as well as the ante cards (since ante isn’t allowed in tournaments). Admittedly you may be unfamiliar with the reasons why certain cards here are banned, I can’t go over them all now but I’ll go over ones that might cause controversy;

Gush=6.5 damage straight to an opponent, assuming you have a psychatog out, which decks that would run gush do.

Skullclamp=You may think this is less effective in legacy, but there was actually a pretty good combo deck in the works involving a hell of a lot of 0 costing 0/1 creatures (kobolds) and yeah, we all know that skullclamp is insane.
Those are actually the only cards that I can see on the list that seem strange to people who aren’t familiar with psychatogs or affinity (so no one but yeah)

On to legacy.

Legacy, like extended, has a very balanced field, naturally there are decks which post stronger results than others against the field, but that is because the current legacy field is predominantly aggro so certain hyper aggressive decks (like goblin sligh) or some tempo control decks (like ATS – angry tradewind survival) are more successful than others. There are always decks waiting on the sidelines for a metagame shift. Incidentally the shift to agro was caused by ATS and Pox becoming more prolific since control has horrible matchups against both, so both ATS and Pox had to evolve to combat aggro, however, pox didn’t make it.

Legacy gives you a wealth of card options, decks that I think of when someone says legacy are decks like stompy, ATS, San Diego Zoo, 2 land Belcher, Solidarity (an incredibly resilient mono blue combo deck that uses high tide, reset and turnabout to make lots of mana and draw a lot of cards) and goblin sligh. These decks are only a small handful of the wealth of possibilities you could face at a legacy tournament. Sure nether void goes for £50, sure berserk is nearly as much, but just because some cards in a format are expensive doesn’t mean that you can’t make a cheap deck. Decks like madness and pox are very cheap to make but are still able to fight a large spectrum of decks that an undefined meta can throw at you.

One thing which scares people away from legacy and extended is the concept that single cards change the shape of the game and turn it in your opponent’s favor; if you’re leading by miles, just about to make that final swing where you turn your guys sideways and then they orim’s chant you, followed by [insert combo here], then you feel cheated. I’m not saying you shouldn’t feel cheated – but you should feel stupid that you didn’t a) plan for this deck to show up or b) consider that they might be playing the card, considering it’s in their colours.

As Stu has said many times to me when we argue about extended, there are some broken cards, sure, that makes the format fun. But there are equally broken answers. Think that an incredibly fast deck like RDW can beat you if you’ve got a sphere of law out? Hell no! Think white weenie can beat you if you’ve got a masticore out? What are you smoking? Think long.dedc can tendrils you for 100000000000000000 damage if you’re holding a force of will? DIE!

The point is, there are loads of cards that can be considered especially powerful, but let’s face it, any retard can stuff 38 “broken” cards into a deck, and then add a sprinkling of mana sources, they still won’t do well if they go to a tournament. Legacy and Extended are formats that reward your good deck building, and your ability to construct a sideboard to a reasonably correct extent so you have a chance against pretty much every deck in the field.
In type 2, you (until recently) actually had to devote sideboard space to defeating a powerful deck (the horror!) using cards that were horribly subpar at the job – like march of the machines. In extended, we have energy flux for affinity, which, like march, can be played around by a good affinity player, like Osyp or Pierre Cannali (or however the hell you spell it, stupid Frenchie).

In legacy, you have da da!!!...
Don’t you love goldfishing, when there is actually a face across the table from you, it just can’t do anything, so they play a nice little game I like to call “draw-go”, here are the basics ; they draw a card, look sad, and tell you to take your turn – there are a few more intricacies, like multiple appeals for the card to be banned and a certain level of crying, but we’ll save that for another time. The thing is, null rod doesn’t ONLY hose affinity, it also hoses belcher and other decks, like teen titans or stax, so wet that a tramp covered in puke would be ashamed of them.
What’s that? Stu says that’s his point – individual cards can destroy entire archetypes.
Affinity CAN beat null rod.
How?? O tells us master! I hear you all whimper at me, let me tell you… affinity runs non artifact lands, as well as oxidize and disenchant, to kill things like that.
You see what I’m trying to get across to you? Decks in legacy and extended adapt to problems and reward good play and deck construction. Like always, magic is 10% luck but if you stuff your deck full of 5 costing cards, how much help are you doing yourself?
For example, in a ptq report, or the GP Boston or some other such extended tournament, a mind’s desire play got his mind’s desires, cloud of fairies AND snaps cranial extracted.
Did he concede? Hell no, he won.
The game ran long and he had a familiar as well as a sapphire medallion down, so his cunning wishes cost U each. He had played a wish earlier, so it was removed. He then proceeded to wish for wish and then etc. etc. and then brain freeze his opponent to death, now THAT win was through a good player, not luck or brokenness.

I leave you with some legacy decks:

Legacy Angel Stompy
// Mana
11 Plains
4 Ancient Tomb
3 Chrome Mox
4 Tithe
// Beats
4 Mother of Runes
1 Isamaru, Hound of Konda
4 Savannah Lions
4 Silver Knight
4 Soltari Priest
4 Exalted Angel
// Control & Draw
4 Swords to Plowshares
3 Disenchant
3 Mask of Memory
3 Sword of Fire and Ice
4 Parallax Wave
// Sideboard
SB: 1 Disenchant
SB: 4 Seal of Cleansing
SB: 4 Null Rod
SB: 3 Decree of Justice
SB: 3 Armageddon

Goblin Sligh
// Mana
8 Mountain
3 Plateau
4 Wooded Foothills
4 Bloodstained Mire
// Goblins
4 Goblin Lackey
4 Mogg Fanatic
4 Skirk Prospector
4 Goblin Piledriver
4 Goblin Warchief
3 Siege-Gang Commander
// Burn
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Chain Lightning
4 Goblin Grenade
4 Incinerate
3 Fireblast
// Sideboard
SB: 4 Red Elemental Blast
SB: 4 Swords to Plowshares
SB: 4 Disenchant
SB: 3 Sulfuric Vortex

Welder Survival
Red (8)

4 Goblin Welder
2 Anger
1 Goblin Sharpshooter
1 Squee, Goblin Nabob

Green (15)

4 Survival of the Fittest
4 Birds of Paradise
1 Sylvan Safekeeper
1 Viridian Zealot
1 Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary
1 Genesis
2 Eternal Witness

Blue (6)

4 Thirst for Knowledge
3 Intuition

Artifact (11)

4 Pentad Prism
2 Sundering Titan
1 Duplicant
1 Triskelion
1 Pentavus
1 Shield Sphere
1 Crucible of Worlds

Lands (20)

3 Tropical Island
4 Taiga
4 Tree of Tales
1 Wasteland
4 Wooded Foothills
1 Windswept Heath
2 Forest

If you are at all interested in Legacy, which I know you won’t be, go here
Robert Wagner


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