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Legacy is an eternal format alongside Vintage. Since Vintage demands hard-to-acquire cards (e.g.: Black Lotus), Legacy became the most popular of the two for being less restrictive for new players to join.

It was once known as Type 1.5, and is an eternal format with a slightly more limited card pool than Vintage.[1]

Overview[ | ]

Legacy is one of the formats with the vastest card pools.

Because of that, the decks are of extremely high power and they are famous for having cards like Force of Will and Brainstorm.

Although there are turn-1 combos in Legacy, there is a general misconception regarding the average Legacy game, and the format isn't as fast as one would initially think. Those represent a fraction of the combo decks in the format. An example of decks that help break this "scary turn-1 combo stereotype" are Tempo decks (famous for having shown great performance) like UR Ragavan, which dominated the meta and even resulted in the banning of Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer.

Legacy has a wide variety of decks - due to the vast card pool previously mentioned - and strategies may vary from pure control to pure combo, aggro-combo, aggro-control, mana-denial, artifacts control, artifacts aggro, land-based decks, land-based ramp, tempo, aggro, midrange, etc.

Timeline and name origin[ | ]

Legacy was created in July 1997 from the little-used format known as Classic-Restricted, which was simply a format where all the cards restricted in Vintage format were banned instead.[2] In the fall of 2004, the decision was made that the format should have a Banned List separate from Vintage. Certain cards formerly banned in Legacy were unbanned and the format was allowed to develop on its own.

Legacy once had a reputation for being the "poor man's Vintage" but today has developed into a format very distinct from Vintage. An online poll to name the revamped format was held on Aaron Forsythe's Latest Developments column, with Legacy winning 25.5% of the vote.[3]

Around 2006, the DCI began organizing larger tournaments in the format, which caused a noticeable increase in the number of players trying Legacy.

Legacy across the world[ | ]

In North America, the Star City Games Open Series dramatically increased the number of Legacy players residing there. However, in November 2015, SCG cut its Legacy support, which caused outrage among North American Legacy players.[4] In 2020, SCG moved away from Legacy as an SCG Tour format totally, replacing it with Pioneer.[5] Still, plenty of Legacy tournaments can be found across the US and Canada.

In South America, Brazil (due to its size) keeps a series of its own regional and local Legacy tournaments and Circuits and even had its national Legacy championship (Nacional Legacy) up until 2019 (before the pandemic). As restrictions have been gradually lifted in Brazil, some of the regional Legacy Circuits resumed their activities. Chile has its national tournament with Liga Chilena which held (at least some parts of) their tournaments online during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. Other tournaments may be found in Paraguay and Argentina as well.

In Asia, Japan's Hareruya is famous for hosting many tournaments in the country and is a central piece when it comes to Legacy deckbuilding. Although the "in a small Japanese tournament" phrase became a sort of meme in the Magic community, the Japanese players are often daring and innovative. Sometimes the saying is also used to degrade and belittle the credibility of a certain deck originated in the Japanese meta. However, this innovation has been proven to be key in developing new competitive decks and devising new successful strategies. China is also a host of many Legacy events and has a very solid meta.

In Europe, there is a variety of local tournaments held in basically every country. As an example, tournaments can be found in Sweden, France, Spain, Germany, the UK, etc.

Deck construction[ | ]

Constructed decks must contain a minimum of sixty (60) cards and there is no maximum deck size - however, you must be able to shuffle your deck with no assistance. If a player wishes to use a sideboard, it must contain no more than fifteen (15) cards.

Except for basic land cards (and cards with special abilities like Seven Dwarves), a player's combined deck and sideboard may not contain more than four copies of a card.

Except for cards carrying silver or gold borders and/or having a non-Standard Magic back (other than double-faced card/meld card), all cards released in Magic: The Gathering are legal in this format as long as the card itself is not banned.

Legacy has one of the largest card pools in the entirety of Magic, second only to Vintage among official formats.

Banned cards[ | ]

The following classes of card are banned in Legacy tournaments:

Individual cards are banned in Legacy for similar concerns as those of any other format except that, because of the vast card pool and high average power of a Legacy deck, the bar for power level-related bans is higher. Cards like Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath may not become as dominant as in other formats and therefore do not require a ban. Historically, Legacy banned all cards that were restricted in Vintage, but this remains only partially true in the current format.

The following individual cards are banned in Legacy tournaments:

Formerly banned cards[ | ]

This is a list of cards that are currently not banned in the format but have been banned at one point previously. This list only concerns unbans after September 2004 when the format became independent of the Vintage restricted list. For changes before this date please consult the list of Restricted cards.

Legacy archetypes[ | ]

This is a compendium of decks and strategies currently present in the Legacy format in the last few years, based on the MTGTop8 database's classifications and deck listings.

Aggro[ | ]

Control[ | ]

  • 4-Color Control
  • Artifacts Blue
  • Lands
  • UWx Control
  • Stoneblade
  • Bant Control
  • Landstill
  • Stax / Mystic Forge
  • Nic Fit
  • Grixis Control
  • Loam
  • Dreadstill
  • BUG Midrange
  • Curses
  • Pox
  • The Rock (Junk)
  • Faeries
  • Blue Moon
  • Thopter Foundry
  • Breya-Welder Control
  • Mono-Black Planeswalkers
  • RUG Planeswalkers

Combo[ | ]

Early-Legacy archetypes[ | ]

These are decks and strategies that have been present in Legacy's earlier years and were strong contenders in their days of glory.

Some of these strategies may have fallen into disuse due to shifts in the meta, bannings, power creep from newer cards, etc.

Nevertheless, there is historic value in them to understand how Legacy functioned before.

Legacy Championship[ | ]

Since 2011, the winner of the yearly Legacy Championship receives an oversized alternate art version of a well-known card from the format.[9] The Championships are part of the Eternal Weekend.

See: Magic Rarities.

Championship promos[ | ]

2023 was the first year that a special promo was released.

Year Card Notes
2023 Dragon's Rage Channeler Retro frame[9]

See also[ | ]

References[ | ]

External links[ | ]