You’ve seen all the articles telling you how to get into Legacy. They tell you how you should research the decks and pick one that suits you. They tell you that, while expensive, Legacy is not unattainable. And, you know what, they’re right! We agree with them; however, we feel there is something else you should know before jumping into the format.
What could that be? The cards!
Here the top cards you should know before getting into Legacy, according to Zane and I.
- Brainstorm – there isn’t a blue deck in Legacy that doesn’t enjoy digging through their deck in search of the right card. Brainstorm is just the card to do it. This cheap cantrip is the perfect utility card for allowing a player to set up the perfect draw while getting much-needed fuel into their hand. Get rid of any unwanted cards you don’t need simply by cracking your fetchland afterwards and shuffling your library. Miracle players, especially, love this card. For a reanimator deck, Brainstorm can very easily lead to a turn one Dark Ritual into Entomb into Goryo’s Vengeance, into a Griselbrand. If that happens, you might as well pick up your deck because Emrakul is on the way. That is unless you have a certain counter. More on that later.
- Jace, The Mind Sculptor – as his name implies, this version of Jace does indeed sculpt your hand. Further, he messes with your opponent, too. JTMS is the most powerful planeswalker in Magic, and the only planeswalker that has ever been banned in Modern, as well as Standard. There’s a good chance you’re going to see a Jace, the Mind Sculptor if your opponent plays an island on their first turn. A well timed Jace turns the table on a game quickly. Jace allows the player to bounce creatures, control the other player’s draws, brainstorm for free, and end the game.
- Umezawa’s Jitte – talk about an amazing equipment card. Umezawa’s Jitte is found in creature heavy decks like Maverick, Merfolk, Death and Taxes, and more. A creature equipped with the Jitte can single-handedly take down any opponent that had intended to try and play fair and interactive Magic. New players entering Legacy won’t realize Wizards printed such a broken equipment until it’s too late, and should get to know it before their first game ever happens. When playing this card, most new players glance at it without realizing, 1) it’s extremely versatile. It does everything! From pumping creatures, to killing creatures to gaining life. 2) It gets counters upon dealing combat damage to anything, not just an opponent. 3) Those counters can ALL be removed at instant speed, whenever its controller chooses.
- Deathrite Shaman – so many decks in Legacy use the graveyard. Be it through Flashback, Dredge, Snapcaster Mage or whatever. Deathrite Shaman is one of the best graveyard hate cards you can have. He eats creatures against reanimator while gaining you life, he munches on spells stopping Snapcaster Mage from being effective while causing your opponent to lose life, and he tears up lands so you can mana ramp or just prevent someone from returning them to their hand. Talk about efficient. He’s the best one-drop planeswal… er… graveyard disruptor around.
- Force of Will – is, in our opinion, the number one card every aspiring Legacy player should know. If your opponent is playing Blue, you can just about guarantee they have Force of Will. You need to know this card. Force of Will is a counterspell that can be cast for free by exiling one blue card and paying one life. This means all that work you did trying to get a turn one Emrakul can be countered without your opponent ever playing a land. You might hate it, but this one card keeps the entire Legacy format in check by preventing first and second turn combo deck kills from completely taking over.
So these are the top five cards we think every Legacy player should know. Cards we considered heavily, but ultimately fell just out of the top five include Stoneforge Mystic, Daze, Griselbrand, Dark Ritual, Hymn to Tourach, and True-Name Nemesis.
Think we left something out? Have a list of your own? Leave a comment and let us know.
I’m Zane, bringing you deck brews tier two through twenty-two since 2011. I won’t bore you with all that tier one nonsense! Thanks for stopping guys, post questions or comments below!
Patrick Cossel is the Publisher of The Forge Herald. He is a writer, gamer, husband, father, and Level 1 Magic Judge. Professionally he is the Operations Manager for a family-owned newspaper company. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2017, Patrick Cossel. All rights reserved.