Legends (Magic: The Gathering)

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This article is about the expansion to the Magic: The Gathering collectible card game. For cards used in the game Magic: The Gathering, see Legend (Magic: The Gathering).
Legends
Legends set symbol
Released June 1994
Size 310 cards
Print run 35,000,000[1]
Keywords Bands with other,
Rampage
Mechanics Legendary permanents,
Enchant Worlds,
Multicolor cards
Designers Steve Conrad and Robin Herbert[2]
Developers Skaff Elias, Jim Lin, Chris Page, Dave Pettey[3]
Development code Legends[4]
Expansion code LEG (LE)
Revised The Dark

Legends was the seventh Magic: The Gathering set and the third expansion set, released in June 1994. It was the first expansion set to be sold in packs of 15 (previous expansions had been sold in packs of 8). The set was designed by Wizards of the Coast co-founder Steve Conard and friend Robin Herbert in Canada before the game was initially released.[5] Legends introduces several mechanics and keywords to the game, but the focus of the set lies clearly on the Legends themselves. These were the first multicolored cards in the game. They are also special in that they are all Legendary creatures, meaning that only one of each type can be in play. The expansion symbol for Legends is the capital of a column.[6][7][8]

Set history[edit]

Legends had none of the errors that were common in the preceding Magic sets. The problem of poor collation, that had already plagued Antiquities, persisted, though. Each booster box contained only half of the uncommon cards in the set. This along with the limited number of cards available made collecting the entire 310-card set very difficult.

Legends is the oldest expansion to have been printed in a foreign language; the Italian Leggende was released in 1995, shortly after L'Oscurità (Italian The Dark). These two expansions were released in the opposite order in their original English printings. The first set to be released in a foreign language was the Revised Edition which was not only printed in Italian, but also in German and French.

Storyline[edit]

The story line of the Legends set was not formulated until the three Legends Cycle books by Clayton Emery were released in 2001 and 2002. It follows the adventures of Hazezon Tamar who teams up with many other legends from the set such as Jedit Ojanen. The story takes place in the southern regions of Terisiare well after the Ice Age, and sometime before Weatherlight as the first Airships are built by Johan who tried to conquer the entire continent. Many other legends of the set end up fighting Johan's army at the battle for Efrava.

Mechanics[edit]

Legends introduce several important mechanics to the game and each pack of cards contained a rules card explaining the new mechanics and keywords.

  • Legendary - The Legendary play mechanic, known as the "Legends Rule" was introduced in this set. Legends are powerful creatures that were allowed only once in a deck when Legends came out, but this restriction has been dropped since.[9] As a further restriction only one copy of a Legend can be in play at a time. Legends provided both Legendary Creatures and Legendary Lands, while Legendary Artifacts and Enchantments would not arise until Odyssey and Champions of Kamigawa respectively.
  • Enchant World - Enchantments that enchanted the entire "world." These enchantments would have an effect that affected all players at the same time and were limited to only one in play at a time.
  • Multicolor - Legends was the first set to include cards that required more than one color of mana to play. These cards were distinguished by a gold background and have become much more commonplace (The last expansion of the Alara block, Alara Reborn, is composed of entirely multicolor cards).
  • Rampage - An ability that took effect whenever said creature became blocked by more than one creature. Creatures with Rampage would get a bonus to their power and toughness for each creature blocking it beyond the first.
  • Banding - A game mechanic that was eventually dropped from the game after Weatherlight, Legends further complicated matters by creating creatures that banded only with creatures of a certain type. In essence, banding allowed multiple creatures to attack as a single unit, allowing the attacking player to decide how damage was distributed to his or her creatures, if the defending player blocked. Legends is the only set to feature the "bands with other" mechanic, with the exception of the Unhinged card Old Fogey.

Card Count[edit]

Colour/Type of Card Number
Artifact 29
Black 43
Blue 43
Green 43
Land 11
Multi-color 55
Red 43
White 43

Rarity breakdown[edit]

Legends is the first Magic expansion to have cards of three rarities: commons, uncommons, and rares. There are 75 common cards in Legends. Of these 46 are C2, meaning that they appear two times on the print sheet and are thus twice as common as the other 29 C1 commons. 7 of the 114 uncommons are U2 and all other 107 uncommons are U1. Of the 121 rares each is R1, making them all equally rare.[1]

Notable cards[edit]

  • Mana Drain — Strictly better than the original Counterspell from Alpha after mana burn was removed from the game, this powerful card is a staple of Vintage decks and banned in Legacy for power level reasons. Even though it was an uncommon, it can sell for over $100 on the secondary market.
  • The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale — This land is highly sought after for the "lands" archetype deck in Legacy. When it was originally printed, it was not particularly useful due to the state of the game. This meant that players did not save the card or treat it as valuable. As new cards were printed over time, Tabernacle became more useful, but copies of it are now difficult to find and the card has become by far the most valuable card of Legends.
  • Moat — Moat is a very powerful enchantment that stops all non-Flying creatures from attacking. This effect has been very powerful throughout the history of the game and Moat was featured in one of the first true "control" decks of the game alongside Serra Angel. As the game grows, Moat becomes increasingly more powerful and is now used in the Enchantress deck in Legacy.
  • Chain Lightning — This card is less powerful than the original Lightning Bolt but it is still sought after due to its utility in many decks. Its secondary market price can be fairly expensive considering it was printed as a common.
  • Karakas — Originally an inexpensive uncommon, Karakas came to the spotlight as the Legacy format grew in popularly and fetches a high price on the secondary market (~100 USD). In that format Karakas serves to return a powerful Legendary creature such as Iona, Shield of Emeria, Emrakul, the Aeons Torn and Mangara of Corondor to its owner's hand. Because of its utility and power, Karakas is banned in the Elder Dragon Highlander (Also known as Commander) format where Legendary Creatures are much more common.
  • Wood Elemental — Considered by many to be the worst creature of all time and one of the worst Magic cards ever printed. The restrictions on this creature make it unfeasible in almost every situation.[10]
  • The Abyss — Although at one point considered the best reusable creature kill spell ever,[11] the card has weakened somewhat due to factors such as rulings, the advent of Indestructibility cards, and an increased population of playable artifact creatures since Legends. Nonetheless, on the secondary market it still commands the highest price among black cards of the set.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Legends". Crystal Keep. Retrieved 16 December 2009. 
  2. ^ Conrad, Steve (24 December 2002). "The History of Legends". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  3. ^ Elias, Skaff (8 March 2002). "Legendary Difficulties". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  4. ^ "Gatecrashing the Party, Part 2". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved 2013-01-28. 
  5. ^ "The History of Legends". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved 2010-10-25. 
  6. ^ Miller, John Jackson (2001), Scrye Collectible Card Game Checklist & Price Guide, p. 520. 
  7. ^ Moursund, Beth (2002), The Complete Encyclopedia of Magic The Gathering, p. 720. 
  8. ^ Wakefield, Jamie (1997), Tournament Reports for Magic: The Gathering, p. 169. 
  9. ^ Forsythe, Aaron (1 October 2010). "Aaron's Random Card Comment of the Day #5, 10/1/10". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  10. ^ "18000 Words: The 100 Worst Magic Cards of All Time (20-1)". Star City Games. Retrieved 2010-09-19. 
  11. ^ "Skulls and Crossbones". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved 2011-09-08. 

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