If you were to survey a random sampling of Legacy players as to what their biggest gripe with the format is, I think a common response you might get is something along the lines of, “I put all this time/money/effort into putting together this sweet deck, but I have nobody to play with!” Now, I know that some people have strong local playgroups and you might get a store here and there that has turned into somewhat of a beacon for Legacy players, but for the most part, I hear members of the Cult of Dual Lands* often complain that nobody around them ever hosts Legacy events. Sometimes, I hear stories from other players about how their LGS tried to have Legacy events but that they would often fail to attract the requisite eight or more players and, thus, fail to fire, causing the store to eventually just stop hosting them. I’m here, today, to tell you this one thing: it doesn’t have to be that way! You don’t have to be a slave to the lack of Legacy events going on around you any longer.

For a few months, now, some of the local NYC-area Legacy players (yours truly, included) have regularly been convening on Thursdays in the public space in the atrium of the Citigroup Center. We don’t all make it every week, but we usually get at least eight, which is plenty enough for a non-sanctioned tournament. We’re not playing for Planeswalker Points. We aren’t doing it for a giant novelty check and our likeness on a token. We’re just doing it because we want to play Legacy. If you’re more interested in fame, riches, and glory (okay, fine, maybe that choice of wording is a stretch), you might have already dismissed this column and are about to go close this tab on your browser and go back to watching videos of Miley twerking, but trust me, there’s something in this for you, too! You get to get more reps in with your deck and/or you get to try a larger variety of decks and expand your range. If you enjoy Legacy in any capacity but have trouble regularly finding people to play Legacy with, I’m going to do my best to provide some tips and advice on how to build a local Legacy community based on my experiences with my local playgroup.

*Sorry to all of you D&T/Fish/MUD/Omniclash/Burn players; “Cult of Dual Lands” just sounded really cool in my head and I wanted to use it! And double sorry if I didn’t include your mono-colored archetype in the aforementioned short list.

If You Build it, They Will Come

It started with a Facebook Group (feel free to check it out, if you’re in the NYC-area and want to join us). One of my buddies who is into Legacy sent me an invite, and upon joining, I clicked through my friends list and invited anyone I knew who lived in the area and played Legacy. I think in hindsight, the better play here might have been to invite any of my Magic-playing friends that might be interested in playing Legacy, even if that also meant learning Legacy. Getting non-Legacy players bit by the bug is a good thing! The Facebook group served as a great tool for getting everyone’s ideas out as far as what might be convenient locations and times, whether we wanted to convince a store to hold events (by organizing as a large bloc and promising them good attendance numbers) or go DIY, whether we wanted to allow the use of proxies, and various other topics. It also helps get in touch with other locals for traveling to larger events or for borrowing that fourth Force of Will that you are in need of for a Legacy Open. So, yes, the Facebook group has a lot of great uses beyond just turning into a regular playgroup, although that is a great thing to get out of it. And for that to happen, someone needs to get the ball rolling. Here’s how our group got started (I did not host this event, mind you; I’m just showing you how it all went down):Untitled

You Don’t Have to be Rich (to be my Legacy Opponent)

Legacy is a format played with a lot of expensive pieces of cardboard. Not everyone has a spare couple grand to drop on a tier one deck (of course, you might, if you just take a season or two off from Standard, but that’s not what we’re here to talk about, today). As you see in the description of our kick-off event, above, participants were allowed 15 proxies. A quick clarification on what was meant by “reasonable,” it wasn’t meant to imply that you’re acting in an unethical manner if you’re proxying something like Candelabra of Tawnos, but rather to go ahead and use your proxy allotment on big-ticket items and try to make some effort to obtain real cards for easier-to-find cards, such as Disenchant. The idea was to get more people playing Legacy to make for a higher quality Legacy community. As you may know from experience, it’s not always easy to round up enough players to get a Legacy event to fire. Because we were going the DIY route, we had the option of allowing proxies, which was an excellent call. Eventually, the 15-proxy rule was amended to allow a full deck of proxies, so long as they looked like the real card (use a printer, cutout, and sleeve with an actual card to keep it rigid). I’ve taken advantage of our proxy rule, before, to try out Shardless BUG, so it isn’t just a tool to bring in new players; it’s great for allowing the Legacy veteran to practice some new decks that they didn’t previously have access to. One of the younger kids that plays in our group put on his entrepreneur hat and cooked up a plan where he offered people fully proxied decks printed off a color printer and sleeved in Dragon Shields for the price of $25. You can find plenty of resources for making nice-looking proxies if you just search for “mtg proxy generator” on Google. I know printer ink isn’t free, but it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than buying a new Legacy deck. Of course, I can’t promise you won’t fall in love with the deck and then end up buying it anyways.. in foil Korean with black-bordered, miscut duals!

Tell All Your Friends

This may seem obvious, but if you are serious about getting this thing off the ground, you need to spread the word. When we first started out, attendance was sometimes sporadic, as our core-group was small. We made sure to persist and make a strong effort to keep coming back, while constantly telling everyone and anyone that might be interested. I remember even telling my opponents at a Standard PTQ if our conversation ever shifted towards Legacy and they seemed interested. Another local store which I frequent was having their biweekly Legacy tournament, and I remember telling EVERY single person I played about our Thursday night meetup. I know several other members of the group were vocal in getting the word out, as well. Eventually, we were routinely attracting eight or more players with nothing more than simply a weekly post on the Facebook group that said something to the effect of “Roll call for Tuesday.”

I realize not every locale is the same. Being in New York City probably provides some unique advantages such as the availability of public space, and the proximity to a large number of people. Still, I remember back when I was in middle school, there was an older kid in high school who ran a weekly after-school gathering at the public library. If you live in a more suburban area, I might suggest talking to the folks at your library to see if you can create a similar arrangement. If you don’t really have access to a large pool of people that are interested in Legacy, try drumming up interest by just handing your Modern-playing buddy a fully-proxied deck and ask him to battle you. If you get creative, you can come up with other, potentially better solutions! And one last tip: if there is going to be any exchange of money and you’re playing in a public space, don’t be idiots; be discreet about it.


For the next couple of months, I’m going to be taking a short break from “the grind.” I’ll still be active, locally, but due to a perfect storm of being girlfriend-locked (it’s kind of like getting Brainstorm-locked, but worse) for the Philadelphia Open, the lack of any (practical) large tournaments until November, and the fact that I should probably take at least a little bit of time to study for the CFA exam, I will have no major magical events on my dance card for a whopping two months… well… unless you want to count the Theros Prerelease, because I totally need to level myself up before I can fight the hydra! But in any case, I won’t be playing any high level Legacy, so I am giving advance warning that there’s a chance that you might see some wacky brews. There’s also a chance that you may get a guest column or two, because then you all get to be reminded that non-blue decks DO exist in Legacy (let’s face the facts, we both know you’re not getting that column out of me).

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