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For other uses, see Legacy (disambiguation).


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Legacy is the poster child of eternal formats. 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]


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

Because of that, the decks are of extreme 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 actually 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.

In fact, 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-denail, 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 the 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 amount of Legacy players residing there. However, in November 2015 SCG cut their Legacy support, which caused an 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 tournments 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 tournments and Circuits, and even had its own 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 their own national tournment with Liga Chilena which held (at least some parts of) their tournments online during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. Other tournments may be found in Paraguay and Argentina as well.

In Asia, Japan's Hareruya is famous for hosting many tournments in the country and is a central piece when it comes to Legacy deckbuilding. Although the "in a small japanese tournment" 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 tournments held in basicly every country. As an example, tournments 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.

With the exception of 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.

With the exception of card 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 benefits from having one of the largest card pools in the entirety of Magic.

Legacy banned list[]

Due to the high power level of any given Legacy deck or strategy, the bar for card bannings is higher than in most formats.

But that doesn't mean the format doesn't see bans happen. And the standards for bannings are the same as in any format - except that, because of the vast card pool and average power of a Legacy deck, the bar is higher and cards like Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath may not even become as dominant as in other formats.

Other than the usual banning standards, there are some bans that occur for less conventional reasons. They include the ban of: "dexterity cards", ante cards, conspiracy-type cards, subgame cards and cards deemed as culturally insensitive by Wizards of the Coast.

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 in 2022[]

This is a compendium of decks and strategies present in 2020~2022 in the Legacy format - using the MTGTop8 classifications and decks listed.



  • 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


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.

See also[]


External links[]