The Modern Impact On Legacy

Hi everybody, and welcome back to Strictly Average MTG. Did you have a great weekend? I hope you had a chance to tune into the Team Constructed event in Philadelphia this past weekend hosted by Star City Games (SCG). Legacy has been a format that is still popular with many players in the community, but has had one big stigma over its head for a long time.

Price.

It’s an expensive format for sure, and a large part of that has been due to the support SCG has put into the format (see last week’s article for how they did the same for Modern). However what if I told you that you can play some of the top decks in the format without going completely broke?

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That’s right. You absolutely can, and today I’m going to show you how. So let’s just dive right in.

Yes even you can play Legacy

What I am going to do is I’ll look at a few decks currently played in Legacy. I’ll review how many cards are in them that were printed since the announcement of Modern becoming a sanctioned format (which was before Innistrad was released). I’ll also not count the basic lands in my calculations, nor promos or special sets like From the Vault, or subsets only in foil such as Masterpieces, to show a true representation of the cards needed to play these decks.

With all of that in mind let’s go take a look.

Izzet Delver

Creature (16)
Dreadhorde Arcanist
Delver of Secrets
True-Name Nemesis
Monastery Swiftspear
Young Pyromancer

Instant (19)
Force of Will
Daze
Brainstorm
Lightning Bolt
Spell Pierce
Vapor Snag

Sorcery (8)
Ponder
Preordain

Land (17)
Scalding Tarn
Wasteland
Polluted Delta
Volcanic Island
Island
Mountain
Sideboard (15)
Narset, Parter of Veils
Abrade
Winter Orb
Flusterstorm
Surgical Extraction
Pyroblast
Force of Negation
Blood Moon
Null Rod

Total number of cards printed since Modern format began: 69
Cards only legal in Legacy reprinted in that time: 32
Percentage of Modern legal cards & Legacy reprint impact: 97.1%

One of the best decks of the format thanks to the printing of Dreadhorde Arcanist in War of the Spark this deck boasts a massive amount of Modern legal cards, as well as Legacy legal cards that were reprinted in various products since Modern became a format. The accessibility of this deck is awfully high, and even though Delver of Secrets has only been printed once the deck is still quite affordable even without Volcanic Islands. You could even cut a few fetchlands from this deck, along with the Volcanic Islands to run Spirebluff Canals, and not miss a beat. While the fetchlands, and Force of Wills do appear to be quite expensive those alone don’t even equal the three Volcanic Islands in the deck so don’t let that deter you from playing this deck.

Death & Taxes

Creature (25)
Flickerwisp
Stoneforge Mystic
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Mother of Runes
Phyrexian Revoker
Recruiter of the Guard
Serra Avenger
Palace Jailer
Sanctum Prelate

Instant (4)
Swords to Plowshares

Artifact (7)
Aether Vial
Batterskull
Sword of Fire and Ice
Umezawa’s Jitte

Land (24)
Plains
Rishadan Port
Wasteland
Karakas
Cavern of Souls
Ancient Tomb
Horizon Canopy
Sideboard (15)
Council’s Judgment
Surgical Extraction
Chalice of the Void
Cataclysm
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
Palace Jailer
Containment Priest
Ethersworn Canonist
Leonin Relic-Warder
Rest in Peace
Path to Exile
Walking Ballista

Total number of cards printed since Modern format began: 60
Cards only legal in Legacy printed in that time: 30
Percentage of Modern & Legacy legal impact: 90.9%

Death & Taxes is another deck with an overwhelming number of cards printed since Modern became a format, and a large amount of those are legal in the Modern format. Having zero Reserved List cards also makes this a worthy purchase, and the reprints have more than helped reduce the price of this deck. Only four of the non-basic land cards have not been printed since Modern has become a format so that might be a little challenging to overcome; if you are interested in this deck I would pick those up after getting the lands. It is also one of the decks (with maybe some very small changes) that one could make 100% foil with cards available as foil from the first time they were in a booster pack.

Miracles

Creature (5)
Snapcaster Mage
Monastery Mentor

Planeswalker (5)
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Narset, Parter of Veils
Teferi, Time Raveler

Enchantment (1)
Back to Basics

Instant (19)
Force of Will
Swords to Plowshares
Brainstorm
Spell Pierce
Predict
Dovin’s Veto

Sorcery (9)
Ponder
Terminus
Supreme Verdict
Council’s Judgment
Lands (19)
Island
Flooded Strand
Scalding Tarn
Plains
Tundra
Arid Mesa
Karakas

Sideboard (15)
Vendilion Clique
Flusterstorm
Surgical Extraction
Baneslayer Angel
Palace Jailer
Supreme Verdict
Back to Basics
Council’s Judgment
Celestial Purge
Containment Priest
Disenchant
Blue Elemental Blast

Total number of cards printed since Modern format began: 66
Cards only legal in Legacy printed in that time: 26
Percentage of Modern & Legacy legal impact: 90.4%

Miracles has been a mainstay in Legacy since the cards with the Miracle mechanic first appeared in Avacyn Restored. More of an Azorius Control deck in recent years due to the Sensei’s Divining Top being banned in Legacy, this deck still has legs; many of them come from the tokens made by Monastery Mentor. Having about forty cards (in most builds) legal in Modern this deck is widely accessible. Considering the number of reprints in this deck, one could build it without the need for the only Reserved List card in this deck: Tundra. Either Hallowed Fountain or Prairie Stream would be fine replacements here, and help keep the cost down.

Eldrazi Stompy

Creature (28)
Reality Smasher
Thought-Knot Seer
Matter Reshaper
Eldrazi Mimic
Endless One
Simian Spirit Guide
Walking Ballista
Endbringer

Artifact (4)
Chalice of the Void

Instant (2)
Dismember

Land (26)
Ancient Tomb
Cavern of Souls
Eldrazi Temple
Wasteland
City of Traitors
Eye of Ugin
Blast Zone
Karakas
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Wastes
Sideboard (15)
Leyline of the Void
Thorn of Amethyst
Sorcerous Spyglass
Ratchet Bomb
All is Dust
Umezawa’s Jitte

Total number of cards printed since Modern format began: 66
Cards only legal in Legacy printed in that time: 12
Percentage of Modern & Legacy legal impact: 89.18%

Now before you scoff let’s take a strong look at Eldrazi Stompy. The main deck can almost be fully built from cards that have been printed since the Modern format was announced, and nearly all of the creatures were from Oath of the Gatewatch. That’s quite a large portion of the deck, and those creatures can also be played in Eldrazi Tron in Modern. There are not many decks that can port between formats so easily (Burn is one I can think of at the moment), and this deck is quite strong in that department. Yes City of Traitors is quite costly, but some decks run two, and very few run the full four. You can even use Crystal Vein in place of the Traitors until you have them.

As we can see here, not only are Modern reprints important for Modern, but they are also important for older formats as well. Modern’s impact on all of Magic can truly be felt, and you don’t have to look a lot further than Legacy.

In conclusion

While building a deck in an optimal manner is usually the best way to build a deck, there are plenty of alternative options to simply just play your deck. Part of the enjoyment in building a deck is the time it takes for you to build it. There is a sense of accomplishment, and you also have the memories of playing sub-optimal cards on your journey to having a fully optimized deck. Magic: the Gathering is an expensive hobby, yet it’s not the only hobby with a large expense. You can control it to where the hobby fits your needs, and you can even play Legacy while doing this.

I hope this article has helped you when making a decision about building into Legacy. If you have any thoughts please leave a comment below, and follow me on both Facebook as well as Twitter.  In TWO WEEKS (yes I am taking another week off) I’ll get back to an article series that I have not touched on in awhile with a Planeswalker Spotlight.

Until then…

TAP MORE MANA!!!

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