Online Legacy Mini-FAQ

The Online Legacy Mini-FAQ




What is Online Legacy?


Online Legacy is what's known as an Eternal format. An Eternal format is one in which cards from all sets ever released are legal for play.  Online Legacy is also considered a Core format for MTG:O, now supplanting Classic as the premier Online Eternal format. This means is that Online Legacy is fully supported and sanctioned by Wizards for Magic Online play. It receives regular review and has scheduled Daily Events and Premier Events.

How does Online Legacy differ from paper Legacy?


Online Legacy and paper Legacy are very close but, at this time, they do not share the exact same card pool. This difference exists for two reasons;
First, paper magic has been around much longer then MTG:O and thus, every card ever printed is potentially a part of the paper Legacy pool (barring any of the cards on the Legacy Banned list). WotC has been trying to remedy this difference in Magic Online by releasing older card sets on MTG:O, starting with the Mirage block and going forward from there. At the current time the next 'classic' set due for online release is Urza's Saga. Once the Urza's cycle set release is complete (which is estimated to be around Spring of 2011) the online card pool will be very close to the paper card pool.
Secondly, WotC's policy with regard to the 'classic' sets online is that since sets before Mirage contained both Ante and/or Dexterity cards, they can not be released as full sets online. Therefore, in order to introduce cards from pre-Mirage sets, WotC has created and released special Masters Edition (MED) sets. MED sets are Online only sets which contain singles culled from pre-Mirage sets.  The MED sets are usually a combination of pre-Mirage tournament staples and other older cards with a high nostalgia draw.

Will paper Legacy and Online Legacy ever match up?


It is assumed that at some point in the future Online Legacy and paper Legacy will mirror each other if not exactly, then close enough so that there will be no discernible difference between online and paper.

What sets are allowed?


Like the other Eternal formats, cards from every expansion ever released online are playable in Online Legacy. Cards never rotate out of Legacy, but new sets rotate in when they are released. This means that the card pool for online Legacy is very large. However, it is because every card is allowable that the power level of any specific card has to be very high in order for it to be playable in Online Legacy (or any other Eternal foromat for that matter).

What specific cards are allowed/banned?


Unlike Classic which only has a Restricted list, Legacy bans cards. This means that no copies of a card on the banned list can appear in a deck that is legal to play in Online Legacy.
The following cards are banned in Online Legacy:

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  • Cards marked by a plus sign (+) are Ante cards. These cards will never be released online.

  • Cards marked by a star (*) are Dexterity cards (Dexterity cards are cards which require some type of physical action in order to cast). These cards will never be released online.

  • Shahrazad, marked by a pound sign (#), is a special case; when successfully cast it requires you to suspend your current game and start a subgame. The possible does exist for this card to be released online, but as it's not a tournament staple and the programming for it could be quite difficult, the probability of its' online release is highly unlikely.


Amulet of Quoz
  +
Ancestral Recall
Balance
Bazaar of Baghdad
Black Lotus
Black Vise
Bronze Tablet +

Channel
Chaos Orb *
Contract from Below
+
Darkpact +
Demonic Attorney +
Demonic Consultation
Demonic Tutor
Earthcraft
Falling Star *
Fastbond
Flash
Frantic Search
Goblin Recruiter
Grim Monolith
Gush
Hermit Druid
Illusionary Mask
Imperial Seal
Land Tax
Library of Alexandria
Mana Crypt
Mana Drain
Mana Vault
Memory Jar
Mind Twist
Mind's Desire
Mishra's Workshop
Mox Emerald
Mox Jet
Mox Pearl
Mox Ruby
Mox Sapphire
Necropotence
Oath of Druids
Rebirth +
Shahrazad #
Skullclamp
Sol Ring
Strip Mine
Tempest Efreet +
Time Vault
Time Walk
Timetwister
Timmerian Fiends +
Tinker
Tolarian Academy
Vampiric Tutor
Wheel of Fortune
Windfall
Worldgorger Dragon
Yawgmoth's Bargain
Yawgmoth's Will

How expensive is it?


Well, it's not inexpensive.
While it is possible to play online legacy on a budget, many of the most powerful decks use cards that are hard to find and/or are in strong demand.
You can expect to pay ~$100 for a very budget deck, between $300-$500 for a strong deck, and in the neighborhood of $1000 for a top tier deck.
Like the other eternal formats, most of the cost of the decks are in the lands. The true Dual lands are considered a staple of the format (The allied pairs were released in MED2 and the enemy pairs were released in MED3). Almost everyone who plays legacy will tell you that if you are interested in playing you need to get the lands.
Beyond that, there are very few ubiquitous cards because the Legacy metagame is so varied. The most commonly cited nonland staple card would be Force of Will but even that is not required if you are playing a non-Blue deck like Pox or Burn or Goblins.
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Popular Decks:

43 Lands
Aggro Loam
ANT (Ad Nausium Tendrils)
Affinity
Bant Aggro
Bant Survival
Berserk Stompy
Bubble Hulk
Counter-Top
Death and Taxes
Dragon Stompy
Dream Halls
Elves!
Eva Green
Goblins
   Vial Goblins
Deadguy Ale (aka Pikula)
Dredge
   Dredge-Atog
Epic Storm
Ichorid
Iggy Pop
Intuition Demigod
Landstill
Madness
Merfolk
Mighty Quinn
Pox
Reanimator
Salvagers
Solidarity / High Tide
Stax
Team America
Threshhold
U/W Tempo
Zoo

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The Legacy metagame has a healthy distribution of all three of the major deck archetypes; Aggro Combo and Control are all represented in the above decklists.

Guess what? Chicken butt.