By Colin Bevis
THE LEGACY OF LEGACY
I commend Saffron Olive for getting the conversation started again. He was willing to say unpopular ideas in his attempt to salvage what he thinks is left of a format he loves. His ideas certainly shook up the conversation and even if you disagree with him we can all thank him for sharing his new ideas.
I really loved Kate’s article last week here on Hipsters but think she went a bit hard at Olive. Saffron was only trying to broaden the spectrum of ideas—something we should all do more. Then Rich responded with a solid follow up article with even more new ideas and I could tell this was becoming a real conversation.
All three authors had valid ideas and it got me rethinking about some old ideas I had so I have decided to take a quick break from my Trading Post column in an attempt to connect all three articles as well as all of us in the Magic community.
KEEPING LEGACY, LEGACY
We all want to see Legacy stay Legacy. The question has always been how to make it more available. For some the word available means more affordable but for many available means more tournaments, more interest and overall more growth in the Legacy community.
We have all sat around and argued and talked trash about how much we hate the No-Reprint List but that will never solve the problem. The No-Reprint list exists and it’s never going away. Get over it.
Banning the No-Reprint list cards from Legacy is an interesting suggestion but it would destroy a lot of what so many people love most about Legacy. No pain untapped dual lands and fringe strategies are a core value of Legacy.
Reprinting Legacy cards that are not on the No-Reprint is a start, but not a solution. So what is the only possible solution remaining? Creating NEW Legacy cards. How sweet would it be if Legacy Masters wasn’t just a reprint set but had a ton of new cards that could REPLACE cards that were on the No-Reprint list without having to actually reprint a card on the No-Reprint list.
I’m not talking about raising the power level of cards; the creep has already been real. I’m talking about new innovative ideas and takes on old cards, without exact re-prints.
There are ways Wizards could create new cards and/or new sets that come out that are only legal for Modern and/or Legacy that can be drafted but don’t enter Standard. We have seen this in Modern Masters 1 and 2 but those were reprint sets, I’m talking about new sets that create new cards that are powerful and have new interactions and new mechanics.
THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX
Legendary Dual Lands
Saffron Olive mentioned legendary dual lands but didn’t really dive into how incredible these and other ideas like these could be for Magic. My friends and I have been talking about this idea for years. Legendary, Untapped, Fetchable Dual Lands. It’s almost a good but not as good as the OG Duals. Without making the OG Duals obsolete the new duals could take a lot of pressure off of the demand of OG Duals. These could come out in a Legacy Masters or stand alone draftable only legal in Legacy set so as not to effect Shock Land prices or the Modern/Standard metagame.
If Shardless had a tropical island, underground sea and a bayou LESS than they do now that takes about 500 bucks off the price of the deck. And that’s just the beginning. Think about all the EDH players and Cube builders who would be so excited to have these new duals, seeing as they only need one anyways! For all of those players you are “basically” reprinting the OG Duals for them! Wizards would be appeasing so many different kinds of playgroups, not just Legacy lovers/grinders.
As interesting and specific as these cards are, there are ways to create new cards that could functionally replace them without a functional reprint. In fact there are ways to create new versions of these cards that could make them more interesting or broader.
Take Gaea’s Cradle for example. Imagine a new card that had the ETB of Cavern of Souls choosing a creature type, followed by the text on Gaea’s Cradle based on that creature type. What if there was also an ETB that allowed you to choice the color you wanted as well. This would not be a functional reprint but would be an extremely powerful card still, while allowing other decks/brews to spring up! A red ramp spell for goblins, a white ramp spell for humans, a black ramp spell for zombies, a blue ramp spell for merfolk, and a green ramp spell for elves plus fun brews all packaged into one card.
Would the card I just described probably be to powerful? Yes. But this is just an idea. It broadens the possibilities and is something fun Wizards could print to sell more packs, could be used in other formats besides Legacy (Commander, Cube, maybe even Modern) and is something they could always reprint if the card got to difficult to obtain.
“If you have more cards in your hand than your opponent, you may cast this card for free”–new Lotus Petal. What normally costs one is free in this case.
“If you started the game on the draw you may cast this card for free rather than its mana cost (1).”
If Wizards ever wanted to create a card that is the Magic equivalent of the coin in Hearthstone, this might be as close as you can get! This could be a mechanic: certain cards cost (1) less to play the whole game if you started the game on the draw.
Think about the new game play. How cool would it be to see a Standard game where you could build your deck to be on the draw. If an opponent knew you were the “draw deck” they might win the roll and choose to draw just so you don’t get the bonus the whole game.
New cards and new mechanics only expand the possibilities.
A fixed Lotus Petal that could even be legal in standard and/or modern and a fine addition to Legacy. Not sure if the card is broken as I haven’t tested it but at least let’s have a discussion about Magic’s future instead of bashing its past.
Even though I don’t have ideas for cards like City of Traitors or Lion’s Eye Diamond or other cards on the No-Reprint List, I know there are tons of creative minds out there who could create some incredible alternatives to cards Wizards can’t reprint.
IT GOES FURTHER
We need to look past just new ideas for old cards and look for new ideas for new cards. Lets make new cards that could change but not destroy the Legacy we love.
More cards that cause us to pitch cards to cast, sometimes not even for free.
Cards that can be cast for alternate costs such as life. What if there was a card that was extremely powerful but it cost 10 or 19 life to cast?
We need to see more time spiral effects.
Even as a blue mage I know it’s not fair that blue has both Brainstorm and Force of Will when other colors have nothing like them. What if a new time spiral Legacy Masters set included powerful free cards or shuffle effects for other colors?
Having more options always creates more engaging and fun game play.
A FUTURE FOR MAGIC, NOT JUST LEGACY
There is so much more Wizards could be doing, but instead of getting upset at them lets combine all of our ideas and send Wizards a message as one positive voice. The community needs a voice in Wizards, possibly even someone who works for Wizards but reports to the Community. With the Community feeling heard that person could work for the Community and then report back to Wizards. Such a cycle is created that allows for both sides to be heard.
So post your ideas and lets start creating a framework to save Legacy as well as foster a community that welcomes new players and keeps the ones we have engaged and having fun. I encourage people to ask questions and disagree with me in my column and will do so the same here. Challenging each other and building and growing, as a community is the only way we can get better.
Constructive criticism is the key to community success. Instead of saying, NO that won’t work, try saying I don’t think this will work because of A,B,C and then suggest alternatives. If we all do this, we can build upon each others foundations. I’m not saying every idea will work, but it’s a way we can make our game the best it can be.
It’s time that we as a community helped Wizards instead of yelled at them. Only when we combine the imagination and intellect of us all can we create the game we have all always wanted to play. Lets make Magic, not only Legacy, a game we love and can play for many years to come!
Colin Bevis started playing magic right after the release of Innistrad his freshman year of college. He moved to New York City this fall after traveling the country learning and surviving off of floor trading. He enjoys theatre and film, and now flies out to most U.S. GPs.