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Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description Doric column capital
Design Steve Conard (lead)
Robin Herbert
Development Skaff Elias
Jim Lin
Chris Page
Dave Pettey
Art direction Jesper Myrfors, Sandra Everingham
Release date June 10, 1994
Plane Multiversal
Themes and mechanics Legendary permanents, World enchantments, Multicolored cards, Poison counters
Keywords/​ability words Bands with other, Rampage
Set size 310 cards
(75 commons, 114 uncommons, 121 rares)
Expansion code LEG[1]
Early non-block expansions
Antiquities Legends The Dark
Magic: The Gathering Chronology
Revised Edition Legends The Dark
For other uses, see Legends (disambiguation).

Legends is the seventh Magic: The Gathering set and the third expansion set, released in June 1994. It is not part of any block.

Set details[ | ]


Legends Exchange

Legends booster

Legends booster

The set's rarity breakdown is: 75 commons (29@C1, 46@C2), 114 Uncommons (107@U1, 7@U2), 121 Rares. The expansion symbol for Legends is the capital of a column, meant to evoke a time of legends.[2]

Some Legends booster boxes contained only one portion of the possible uncommon cards, while others contained a different portion.[3] These "A" and "B" boxes elicited widespread complaints from frustrated players and collectors; Wizards of the Coast responded with the Legends Exchange Program, allowing consumers to trade in up to 100 cards from one group of uncommon cards for an equal number of cards from the other group,[4]

The Legends lands have a unique golden-colored text box.

Marketing[ | ]

Legends was the first expansion set to be sold in booster packs of 15 cards (previous expansions had been sold in packs of 8). Cards were available from mid-June 1994 through late June 1994. The print run was announced by Wizards of the Coast at 35 million cards.[5][6] Each booster pack had the same simple Magic design on it; each pack included a rules card, which explained all the abilities and card types introduced in the set, and also included a few rule clarifications. Even though it was a 310-card set, Legends did not contain basic land and was not considered a "stand-alone" expansion. Hence, there were no Legends starter decks.[7]

Legends is the oldest Magic expansion that was released in the Italian language (though the Italian The Dark was released earlier). After Legends was released, it went on to win the GAMA Award for Best Game Accessory of the Year, in 1994.[8]

Design and Development[ | ]

Duelist 1 Legends advertisement

Early advertisement in Duelist #1, hinting at a card called Defy Death

Legends was designed by Steve Conard and Robin Herbert in Vancouver, after they were introduced to an early version of Magic by Richard Garfield at the University of Pennsylvania. They quickly became addicted and started making their cards for fun on their own time, based on the epic fantasy that both of them enjoyed.[8]

Many of the ideas for Legends came from notes taken by Conard on the Wizards' Christmas recreational outing to Mt. Rainier. One of those ideas was to create a more unique, heroic kind of creature that would have a sense of depth and strength. This led to the creation of legendary creatures, as well as other mythical-sounding creatures, such as Hell's Caretaker and Evil Eye of Orms-By-Gore. Many of the ideas used for legendary creatures came from the Dungeons & Dragons campaigns enjoyed by those involved.[8][9]

The idea behind the world enchantments was that they were magics so powerful, that they transported the battle to another plane altogether. Also, the set originally contained six cycles of cards based on the game of chess,[10] with each color having a similar card for each of the six chess pieces; these cards did not make it into the set, although some of the abilities that were used in the theme were reused elsewhere.

The expansion was originally named "The Legend Continues", to pay homage to the original game, but it was shortened to just "Legends" by those involved. Peter Adkison later asked to review the set they had created, and it was quickly accepted.

Originally, Richard Garfield believed that it was all right for the larger expansions (such as Legends and Ice Age) to optionally use common cards from the original Alpha set.[8] The Ice Age expansion, which included Alpha's commons, was originally to be released after Antiquities, but Alpha was released while it was being created and it became obvious that the fans would not be pleased with rehashed commons so soon. Legends, which had all new commons, was put on the fast track to be published in Ice Age's place, which was postponed until more new cards could be created for it. Development of Legends followed, which was complicated by communication issues. As the language found on cards was not yet standardized, it was sometimes difficult for the developers, who were across the country in Philadelphia, to understand what the cards were intended to do. After a face-to-face meeting between the design and development teams, however, many cards' intentions were clarified. There was little concern over casting costs, so when an effect was too powerful or in the wrong color, instead its casting cost was increased.

Themes and Mechanics[ | ]

Legends introduced:

  • Legends — Unique creatures that represent important characters in a set's story. The original type line "Summon Legend" was later changed to Legendary Creature, and they were given creature types
  • Legendary lands — Unique lands which represent important places in a set's story.
  • The "Legend rule" - Under the original "legend rule", if a legend or legendary land was on the battlefield, no player could cast the same legend or play the same land, respectively. Under current rules, if a player controls two or more legendary permanents with the same name, that player chooses one of them, and the rest are put into their owners’ graveyards.
  • Multicolored cards — Cards which require more than one color to play.
  • Enchant World cards (now World Enchantments) — Enchantments which change the playing environment for all players. When an Enchant World comes into play, all other Enchant World cards in play are destroyed.

and the mechanics:

Creature types[ | ]

Most of the creature types used in Legends were new, and some were unique. The following creature types are introduced in this expansion:

Bat, Beast, Berserker, Boar, Drake, Gnome, Hag, Horror, Kithkin, Kobold, Manticore, Nightstalker, Ooze, Phoenix, Satyr, Scorpion, Slug, Spawn, Sphinx, Spirit, Turtle, Wombat, Yeti.

The following creature types are introduced in this expansion, but they were later changed:

Abomination (later changed to Horror), Ant (later changed to Insect), Archer (later changed to Soldier), Avenger (later changed to Soldier), Bee (later changed to Insect), Being (later changed to Human), Bull (later changed to Ox), Cat Warriors (later changed to Cat Warrior), Cobra (later changed to Snake), Dervish (later changed to Monk), Devouring Deep (later changed to Fish), Dragonfly (later changed to Insect), Drill Sergeant (later changed to Kobold Soldier), Effigy (later changed to Elemental), Elder Dragon Legend (later changed to "Legendary Creature - Elder Dragon"), Entity (later changed to Illusion), Evil Eye (later changed to Eye), Falcon (later changed to Bird), Ghost (later changed to Spirit), Gypsy (later changed to Human Nomad), Hell's Caretaker (later changed to Horror), Horseman (later changed to Zombie Knight), Keeper (later changed to Cleric), Legionnaire (later changed to Giant Soldier), Leviathan (later changed to Serpent), Lost Soul (later changed to Minion), Legend (later changed to "Legendary Creature" with an appropriate creature type), Lycanthrope (later changed to Human Wolf and later to Werewolf), Master (later changed to Human), Medusa (later changed to Gorgon), Monster (later changed to Zombie or Elemental), Mold Demon (later shortened to Demon), Mummy (later changed to Zombie), Pixie Queen (later changed to Faerie), Priest (later changed to Cleric), Rider (later changed to Elf), Spuzzem (later changed to Elemental), Taskmaster (later changed to Kobold), Villain (later changed to Beast), Vulture (later changed to Bird), Walking-Dead (later changed to Zombie), Wolverine Pack (later changed to Wolverine), Wretched (later changed to Demon).

Counter types[ | ]

Legends had numerous counter types introduced via errata including:

Carrion counters, Dream counters, Glyph counters, Hatchling counters, Intervention counters, Matrix counters, Pin counters, Pupa counters, Scream counters, Sleep counters

Cycles[ | ]

Legends was the first expansion set to have cycles. It has eight cycles:

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Color-wash instants Heaven's Gate Sea Kings' Blessing Touch of Darkness Dwarven Song Sylvan Paradise
Each of these uncommon instants has a casting cost of M and the effect of changing the color of any number of target creatures to a particular color until end of turn.
Glyphs Glyph of Life Glyph of Delusion Glyph of Doom Glyph of Destruction Glyph of Reincarnation
Each of these common instants has a casting cost of M and an effect that interacts with Walls. Each of these cards was illustrated by Susan Van Camp.
Anti-landwalk enchantments Great Wall Undertow Quagmire Crevasse Deadfall
Each of these uncommon enchantments has a casting cost of {2}M and an effect that allows creatures with a given landwalk ability to be blocked as though they didn't have that ability.
Mana Batteries White Mana Battery Blue Mana Battery Black Mana Battery Red Mana Battery Green Mana Battery
Each of these uncommon artifacts with a casting cost of {4} and the two activated abilities "{2}, {T}: Put a charge counter on [this]" and "{T}, Remove any number of charge counters from [this]: Add M, then add M for each charge counter removed this way," where M is a specific color of mana.
Bands-with-other lands Cathedral of Serra Seafarer's Quay Unholy Citadel Mountain Stronghold Adventurers' Guildhouse
Each of these uncommon lands has no mana ability but has an ability that grants legendary creatures of a particular color "Bands with other legendary creatures".[11]
Legendary lands Karakas Tolaria Urborg Hammerheim Pendelhaven
Each of these uncommon legendary lands produces one color of mana, has an additional activated ability that targets creatures, and has flavor text taken from real-world poetry.
Cycle name {G}{W}{U} {W}{U}{B} {U}{B}{R} {B}{R}{G} {R}{G}{W}
Flavor text legendary creatures Angus MacKenzie Halfdane Gwendlyn Di Corci Bartel Runeaxe Jacques le Vert
Each of these rare legendary creatures has a casting cost requiring three allied colors and flavor text referring to one of the legendary lands from the cycle above.
Elder Dragon Legends Arcades Sabboth Chromium Nicol Bolas Vaevictis Asmadi Palladia-Mors
Each of these rare 7/7 legendary Elder Dragon creatures has flying, a casting cost of {2}MMNNOO, an upkeep cost of MNO, and at least one other ability. This is the first gold-colored cycle and the first creature cycle.

Family trees[ | ]

All of the 55 legendary creatures in Legends are arranged in a system of "family trees" with one Elder Dragon at the top, followed by three rare legends that share each of the dragon's colors; then, each family tree splits into two branches for the two allied-color pairs in the dragon's cost; each lower branch includes three rare legends and four uncommon legends for said allied-color pairs.[12] The family trees are laid out as follows:

Top of family trees (three-color)[ | ]

Cycle name {G}{W}{U} {W}{U}{B} {U}{B}{R} {B}{R}{G} {R}{G}{W}
Elder Dragon Arcades Sabboth Chromium Nicol Bolas Vaevictis Asmadi Palladia-Mors
Rare Legends Rubinia Soulsinger Dakkon Blackblade Gwendlyn Di Corci Adun Oakenshield Hazezon Tamar
Ragnar Halfdane Sol'kanar the Swamp King Bartel Runeaxe Jacques le Vert
Angus Mackenzie Lady Evangela Tetsuo Umezawa Xira Arien Johan
Lower branches {G}{W} & {W}{U} {W}{U} & {U}{B} {U}{B} & {B}{R} {B}{R} & {R}{G} {R}{G} & {G}{W}

Lower branches of family trees (two-color)[ | ]

Each of these branches appears in two family trees.

Cycle name {W}{U} {U}{B} {B}{R} {R}{G} {G}{W}
Rare Legends Gosta Dirk Nebuchadnezzar Axelrod Gunnarson Livonya Silone Lady Caleria
Ayesha Tanaka Ramses Overdark Boris Devilboon Stangg Kei Takahashi
Rasputin Dreamweaver Ur-Drago Rohgahh of Kher Keep Tuknir Deathlock Gabriel Angelfire
Uncommon Legends Kasimir the Lone Wolf Princess Lucrezia Barktooth Warbeard Jerrard of the Closed Fist Jasmine Boreal
Jedit Ojanen Ramirez DePietro Lady Orca Marhault Elsdragon Torsten von Ursus
Hunding Gjornersen Riven Turnbull Pavel Maliki Sunastian Falconer Sir Shandlar of Eberyn
Tobias Andrion Sivitri Scarzam Tor Wauki The Lady of the Mountain Lord Magnus

Notable cards[ | ]

  • Chain Lightning, though almost always inferior to Lightning Bolt, is still well above the curve in direct damage spells, and is a staple inclusion in any burn decks allowed to use it.
  • Chains of Mephistopheles has a very unique effect in punishing players for using card draw effects.
  • Eureka is a powerful spell that has been a favorite of many players for years.
  • Land Tax, a card designed to give opponents a disincentive against destroying lands, is a powerful card-drawing and shuffling engine.
  • Mana Drain is the most powerful hard counter ever printed without an alternative cost, and became strictly better than Counterspell once the mana burn was eliminated in the Magic 2010 rule changes. Mana Drain was reprinted in the Iconic Masters set of November 17, 2017. This was possible because it wouldn't appear in the standard environment.[13]
  • Mirror Universe was a powerful finisher until the rules changes of Sixth Edition.
  • Moat was the primary creature defense card for The Deck (one of the first-ever tournament-level decks) and is still one of the most effective attack prevention cards ever made.
  • Nether Void is a powerful tool for "stalling" the game.
  • Reset has recently gained popularity as a mana-production engine in High Tide decks using only lands and instants.
  • The Abyss is a powerful anti-creature enchantment that punishes creature-based strategies.
  • The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale was once on the Restricted List. It has now begun to find new life in a variety of control decks in the Legacy format.
  • Underworld Dreams was a powerful enchantment that punished an opponent for drawing cards, something an opponent fundamentally wants to do. It has been reprinted in several sets starting with Eighth Edition, and has since proven itself not to be as powerful as it once was.

Functional reprints[ | ]

Legends has four functional reprints.

Trivia[ | ]

Main article: Legends/Trivia
  • Despite the set's large size, Legends contains no basic lands and thus is not considered to be a stand-alone expansion.
  • The legendary supertype replaced the "Legend" creature type when the "legend rule" was updated in 2004 with the introduction of the Kamigawa block. This left many legendary creatures without any creature type.
  • Originally, the Restricted List included every legendary creature for flavor reasons. They were removed with the release of the Ice Age expansion in 1995.
  • All the multicolored cards in Legends are legendary creatures, and all the legendary creatures are gold cards.
  • There are no white World enchantments in Legends.
  • No creatures are printed with the "bands with other" ability. However, Master of the Hunt can produce creatures with this ability and the lands of the bands-with-other land cycle detailed above can give legendary creatures this ability.
  • Rampage was originally called "Berserk" but was changed because a card already used that name. An early version of Rampage allowed a creature to attack some additional number of times in a turn, with creatures only able to block the first attack.[14] This mechanic was designed to be reused in future sets, but unfortunately, due to the "beyond the first" clause, keyworded Rampage was phased out in favor of a similar ability without the drawback.
  • Poison was the first alternate win condition introduced aside from decking. Only two cards in the set, Pit Scorpion and Serpent Generator, had or could create creatures with this ability.
  • "Range strike", or the activated ability to deal damage to an attacking or blocking creature, was first introduced in Legends, as seen on D'Avenant Archer and Crimson Manticore.
  • The Elder Dragon legendary creatures are the first true creature cycle, the first multicolored cycle, and the first creatures with multiple creature types. They inspired the creation of the multicolored legendary Dragons in the Invasion expansion.
  • The Kobolds, Crimson Kobolds, Crookshank Kobolds, and Kobolds of Kher Keep, are 0/1 red creatures with a casting cost of {0} and are the only functionally identical cards ever printed in the same expansion.
  • Legends contains eleven Walls and ten cards that reference Walls, which is more cards in each category than any other set.
  • Twenty of the legendary creatures of Legends were reimagined with a contemporary perspective in the 2022 Dominaria United Lost Legends.

Misprints[ | ]

  • Aerathi Berserker — The title is printed incorrectly as "rathi Berserker." The font used for card names does not include the "Æ" character.
  • Blood Lust — The ability text should read "Target creature gains", not "Target creatures gain". This error was corrected in Fourth Edition.
  • Gaseous Form — The word "creature" is misspelled "creaure" in the first line of the ability text.
  • Infinite Authority — The word "creature" is misspelled "creaeture" in the fifth line of the ability text.
  • Psionic Entity — The illustration was by Justin Hampton, not by Susan Van Camp. This error was corrected in 4th Edition.
  • Revelation — The quotation in the flavor text is from Ecclesiasticus 3:19, not Ecclesiastes 3:19. This error was corrected in Chronicles.
  • Segovian Leviathan — The citation in the flavor text uses the traditional verse numbering Job 40:25. In Fifth Edition, it was changed to use the later numbering of 41:1 which is more common in Protestant English translations.

References[ | ]

  1. Wizards of the Coast (August 02, 2004). "Ask Wizards - August, 2004". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Brady Dommermuth (October 31, 2006). "Ask Wizards". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater (November 10, 2003). "Make No Mistake". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Mark Rosewater (February 16, 2009). "25 Random Things About Magic". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. John Tynes (April 1995). ""An Expansion Timeline"". The Duelist: A Special Preview Edition. Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Beth Moursund (2002). The Complete Encyclopedia of Magic: The Gathering, Thunder's Mouth Press. ISBN-10 1-56025-443-2.
  7. Magic Arcana (March 04, 2002). "Legends product images". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. a b c d Steve Conard (March 4, 2002). "The History of Legends". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Mark Rosewater (June 20, 2016). "25 More Random Things About Magic". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Magic Arcana (July 11, 2002). "Legends of Chess". Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Magic Arcana (December 03, 2003). "Lands of bands". Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Magic Arcana (March 7, 2002). "Family trees". Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Mark Rosewater (September 10, 2017). "I seem to recall you saying that it shouldn't be reprinted.". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  14. Wizards of the Coast (August 28, 2002). "Card of the Day - August, 2002". Wizards of the Coast.

External links[ | ]