Legacy on Mondays: Getting Into Eternal Part III: Final Tips

scalding tarn 2

Hey guys,

For the past two weeks, I have been trying to help you break into the eternal format of Legacy with strategies like buying staples and just playing budget decks. At this point, I just want to share a last few tips with you to help you get started. It won’t be too long of an article, this will just be a small advice compilation to assist in your beginning. Here we go:

1. Practice First!

This means that before you invest in a Legacy deck of some kind to play on MTGO or in paper, you should play around with it a little bit and see: A) if you like it, and; B) if it actually works. How you ask?

Well, WOTC might hate me for saying this if they read my articles, but use a free online service. Cockatrice is my preferred one for testing, and it’s relatively easy to navigate.

Another such program is Magic Workstation, but I do not know how well it works as I have never used it. Honestly, I am a little scared to suggest this. I only recommend these programs for testing Eternal. Please do not use them to actually play Magic games. It is much less fun and competitive than playing even on MTGO. For this reason, I am also declining to provide you with links. I know the cost is exorbitant, which is why I advocate testing before investing, but please play the game as it was meant to be played.

2. Borrow Cards

This will get you very far. If you have a couple friends that have some duals and fetches that they are not using in their current Legacy deck(s), then ask to borrow them. If you can earn some store credit or money using borrowed Legacy cards, then you can use that credit to help get you those cards from your store. Note that some Legacy-played cards are also very applicable in other formats. Ask your Modern Zoo-playing friend if you can borrow his/her [c]Tarmogoyf[/c]s.

Once again, this one comes with a warning. If some person you don’t know very well lends you cards, do not steal them. It is not nice in the slightest, and will not do you any good. Tapping into your friend’s assistance can be of great benefit, but I think it goes without saying that you should NEVER take advantage of it.

3. Get Used To Playing One Deck

This one might be hard. Since Eternal formats come with such a high cost, it is only feasible to own one or two complete Legacy decks at any given time, since your staples can only be stretched so far based on how many you own. This is where testing comes into play, too. Make sure you love the deck that you buy since you will play it a LOT. It will likely be the same 70-75 cards that you play at every Legacy event and game for a while, especially if you are just getting into the format.

The upside to playing just one deck for such an extended period, barring a completely dead and un-moving set of decks to play against, is that you will become a master of whatever deck you wield. There is no other format for which this is true. Vintage is a probable exception, and I think EDH is a bit too diverse and is more of a “fun” format, which would likely prevent you from playing the same damn 99 for a year straight.

Modern changes too quickly as well. Playing the same Modern deck for a year is not likely at the pace at which the format is moving right now. But Legacy has a mostly static metagame overall, and if you rock Merfolk for a year, you will “pwn” with the deck.

polluted delta art


Don’t do it. DO NOT BLOODY DO IT. I am no speculator, but let me tell you this: You will lose a boatload of money if you invest in playsets of Zendikar fetches now. They are so overpriced, it is almost not even funny. You can make due with Khans fetches; they run only about $10 a piece on average, with [c]Polluted Delta[/c] being the most expensive. This is a manageable price, and I am glad for this reprint.

I say this with such enthusiasm because I am almost certain that there will be a reprint of the Zendikar fetch lands within two blocks and whatever special sets may be contained within that time period. Hell, Modern Masters 2015 isn’t even spoiled yet. Perhaps they will make an appearance there. If they do, you will cry if you invested in them, because that’s easily at least $200 that you will be out, even if you purchased just a playset of [c]Misty Rainforest[/c]. You are much better off not losing money and having a slightly imperfect mana base, trust me.

5. Maintain A Methodical Purchasing Approach

This last word of advice is just to keep buying at a gentle pace. You need not dump a ton of money all at once into the format. Just wait to save a bit of spending money, and buy a part of your Legacy deck perhaps monthly or even every two weeks. Don’t stop taking your honey on dates, just continue to accumulate funds slowly and ease in. If you play Standard, I would advise the following:

  1. Stop playing Standard.
  2. Sell your Standard cards before rotation so you do not lose a bunch of money.
  3. Use said money that you have “saved” to buy whatever last thing you need to complete your deck.

This will let you play Legacy immediately after leaving Standard and maintain a bit more money in your pocket. I am not a Standard fan, so I advocate for this, but if Standard is your “love and life,” then by all means play. Who am I to stop you?

That’s all for this week. I hope this series has been at least a little bit helpful to you. Feel free to leave comments with questions, or hit me up with an email.

Note that I will be out of town and away from technology until Thursday of this week, so I will try to reply then or as soon as I can after.

Thanks for reading!