How does one get into Legacy as a new player?

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without spending thousands of dollars on cards? a lot of pros say they like legacy the best and i want to play but the prices seem pretty insane
A huge misconception of the format is that you have to spend $1,000s to get into it (emphasis on the "s").  Very few decks actually cost multiple thousands of dollars.  In fact, the only widely played decks I can think of that do cost over $2,000 are probably BUG Midrange (Goys, Bobs, Lilianas, Jaces, FoW, Thoughtseize, blue duals, etc.) and maybe Jund (Goyfs, Bobs, Lilis, Thoughtseizes, etc.).  And Jund probably isn't that expensive any more.

Now, if you really meant "without spending over a $1,000", again, it's quite easy to do so.  I think Mono-Blue Omni-Tell is probably the cheapest of the "best" decks, and it'll probably run about $900ish to buy absolutely everything.  And there are tons of other very good decks that cost around that or well below it.  Off the top of my head (and I'm just going by what I remember from lists and prices), there's Goblins, TES (maybe), Elves, Dredge and Burn.  Pretty much any 2-color or linear deck will be in this range.

Now, if you really meant "without spending $100s on cards", then you're probably just out of luck.  Burn is probably the cheapest "good" deck in Legacy, and starting from nothing, it will cost you around $200.  Though that might have changed with Modern Masters having Lava Spike and Rift Bolt at common.

Basically, the point is to do your research.  There are decks out there that are "cheap" and still really fun to play, you just need to read up on them and hunt down deals.  Here's some more tips on just getting into the format:

Research, research, research.  Then proxy up some decks and play.  Basically, make sure whatever deck you're going to buy into is a deck you'll enjoy playing and can do reasonably well with.

If you're brand new to the game, just play Magic however you can.  Go to your local shop and draft or play Standard.  Eventually, you'll make friends there.  If they're into Legacy, they'll likely loan you cards to help you start playing the format.  Then slowly buy your own copies.

Be smart about trading.  If the trade partners don't have anything you need for your deck, trade for value (i.e. you get more out of the trade than they do in terms of value, velocity or cards that are undervalued).  If you're trading for cards you need for the deck, don't be afraid to lose value to trade up.

Stop buying packs.  They're terrible value.

Save up money outside of Magic.  You can easily afford an expensive deck if you're not spending $5 on Starbucks coffee every day.

But most importantly, make friends.  It's on the list twice because it's that important.  Once you have a solid base of friends in the game, they can vouch for you with their other friends, which drastically expands the card pool that is accessible to you.  I've only been playing tournaments for about 2 years, and I've got a good enough reputation in our local community that I can literally ask for any card and have someone offer to loan it to me within the next day or so.  It's important to cultivate such a good reputation.
But most importantly, make friends.  It's on the list twice because it's that important.  Once you have a solid base of friends in the game, they can vouch for you with their other friends, which drastically expands the card pool that is accessible to you.  I've only been playing tournaments for about 2 years, and I've got a good enough reputation in our local community that I can literally ask for any card and have someone offer to loan it to me within the next day or so.  It's important to cultivate such a good reputation.

It's true,.  I'm like the Legacy Christmas Fairy to my local friend group.  Everyone always hits me up for all of their duals, Wastelands, Bobs and Goyfs.

@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.

My evolution as a player coming from a similar situation...

Friends convince me to play magic...I build a terrible/casual angel deck
I like magic a lot, and decide to enter legacy tournament since its the only thing the deck is legal in
Angel decks fails horribly, legacy is hard, I decide I want to compete so...
GOBLINS! They are cheap and effective
Getting more into magic, need blue to deal with all the combo decks in my meta
MERFOLK! They are cheap and effective. I take 2nd in a tournament (only 16 people that week due to a GP, most of the really good players gone)
Good players return and knock me back into the 5-10th place range, but I had a taste of victory, and wanted it back...
So I go all in and get a full fledged RUG delver deck. I have no money, but the deck should rock (I'll find out next Thursday, I literally just got the final pieces in the mail :D) 

And ya ditto on making friends, people at my shop at least are always super happy to lend cards among the "regulars," it took me a couple months, but I eventually got to the point where I was in that circle. You know you're in when one of the other regulars asks to borrow your cards. I've played all the formats now, and I have to agree that legacy has been by far the most entertaining. 

You know you're in when...



And they also let you in on the scoop about the other players.  You know, who to watch extra closely, who to not lend cards to, who's good at brewing/tweaking/grinding, etc.

One thing I would highly recommend is to not follow the "My First Legacy Deck" path.  Usually, players new to Legacy start with something real cheap or the deck that friends just have sitting around (like Burn, Merfolk, etc.), then they "graduate" onto something a little more advanced (usually something combo) and then finally they become real Legacy players and own something good and customized (like RUG Delver, StoneBlade, BUG, etc.).  However, the draw back of this is that you went through 3 decks and probably close to $3,000 all together.  If you had instead been content with playing with proxies until you learn the format, you could probably spend just $1,000 (or so) and get to the third stage faster.   



One thing I would highly recommend is to not follow the "My First Legacy Deck" path. 



This, I would give anything to be able to go back several months and tell myself to just buy the damn RUG delver deck, instead of being stuck with 2 legacy decks that I will only rarely ever play again. OP if you think you're going to get sucked in, and you have the means, just bite the bullet. From someone who's been there, it will save a lot of money down the road 
without spending thousands of dollars on cards? a lot of pros say they like legacy the best and i want to play but the prices seem pretty insane



Unavoidable to spend lots in legacy.   Accept that now.
....unless you only wanna play one deck.  But who of us ever does that for years and years?

 I agree, it IS insane what some cards are priced at. 
The best advice I got, was to concentrate hard on what stratgies you're likely to play. 
My fave colours are /, so first thing I did was buy a set of Verdant Catacombs & Misty Rainforest.  You'll need some blue fetches.... trust me.
 
   It's easy for everyone to say you don't need to spend over 1k to get a top-level deck, but the truth is, that will only be the start of your progress into legacy.   After a year or two, chances are you'll own more than one deck, as playing the one deck will make you very predictable, something I try to avoid as it makes it soooo much easier for experienced players who know what deck you're on before you even play a single card.

  The silver-lining here however, is that very few Legacy staples (think Dual lands, Bob, Goyf etc.) will ever go down in price unless the format dies, so consider the cards like shares (if you look after them well).


Research, research, research.  Then proxy up some decks and play.  Basically, make sure whatever deck you're going to buy into is a deck you'll enjoy playing and can do reasonably well with.




This. Especially the bolded part. I don't want to think of all the paper and basic lands I went through proxying decks. And I'm gonna say double check that you really want to play the deck you choose. Proxy decks to play against to make sure you really do like your deck and its matchups. Then either by the deck all at once or peice by peice (depending on budget).
 e.g. I chose to play a Dredge deck. The problem I faced with this was that Lion's Eye Diamond is very expensive for my current budget, so I built Manaless Dredge in its place. I'm building up to LED Dredge slowly, but have a similar deck to play in the meantime.

But at the same time, I am very new to the format and this approach may not work for you, so I'd advise you to pay more attention to what the veterans are saying.


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