There has been tremendous bally-hoo around the net about the extreme and rapidly rising costs of many Legacy related cards. Many of which are essential to high level tournament play and performance. The most notable of these are the original dual lands. As a side note, I hate it when people refer to anything but the original dual lands as dual lands. Man lands, shock lands, CIPT lands, etc, none of these monikers bother me in the slightest. But, when you’re talking about a card and it’s not a dual land, don’t call it such. Please, for the sake of kittens around the world, because I kill one every time I hear the two words (dual land) to describe a card not named Taiga, Scrubland, Tropical Island, Tundra, Underground Sea, Volcanic Island, Bayou, Plateau, Badlands, or Savannah. Don’t be a pain in my O.E.D. ass. Please, call a spade a spade and only original dual lands, dual lands.
What is a budget-conscious person to do in these troubled times? Actually, not every Legacy deck has a $1,000 manabase. In fact, there are some excellent budget options for every type of player. Please remember though, I’m talking about Legacy budget type options. What do you mean? This is not a casual, kitchen room table sort of thing. I define Legacy budget as a deck that costs under $500 to construct. I know, I know, one can build the best deck in Standard, Jund, for around $250 quite easily. But, there’s no other way to slice it, this ain’t Standard. If you want to, and care about Legacy, you need to shell out a bit more green. Let’s take a look at the options.
First up are some zany puppets from Labyrinth, or in Magic terms, little red dudes…
Total cost for the provided deck list is around $350 if you bought everything from SCG. Chances are you should be able to find some of this stuff off-line though. There are multiple commons and uncommons in the deck but some of the cards were printed in the previous century. The four hardest suckers to catch are going to be Lackey, Vial, Wasteland, and Piledriver unless you have an unhealthy fetish for Mountains with scimitar symbols on them. If you go to any larger Legacy event, like a SCG Open, then you will effortlessly find the fab four mentioned above. At only a hundred above the Darth Vader of Standard, Jund, I really like this choice. No card is outrageously priced the way duals are starting to become and who doesn’t love the timeless classic of the little red men that could? Well, if you just raised your hand here’s a different option.
Hitting second is a blast from the past, you got it, it’s…
This one adds up to right around $350 buckaroos as well. Once again, I’m using SCG prices for this deck and all the decks I will talk about in this article. This version of Mono-black Control has a nice mix of old and new cards so if you’ve drafted at all in the past six months you’ll have a couple cards already. The rough stuff to get are the Wastelands, Tombstalkers, and Shades. For black fetches, just get the ones from Zendikar. Shades are not super in-demand so you can find them. Tombstalker is from Future Sight which is not too old, so there’s a good chance people at your local shop have some. Wastelands you basically need to buy online. You’re just not going to find them unless you’ve been playing Vintage or Legacy for a few years in which case this article is useless to you. Sorry guys, you’re NOT my target audience for this piece, maybe next time. The Disk might cause some heartache to find as well, but copious amounts of them exist online. Aggro players have a deck; control players have one; where is combo at?
In a not-so-distant past, I made fun of this deck as well as the person who put it back on the Legacy map for us, Cedric Philips. It was a faux pas – sorry Mr. Philips.
Charbelcher clocks in at approximately $450. And, will be tougher to assemble than the previous two decks. There are a good number of commons and uncommon in the deck but also some reserve list cards that are only going to go up. Thankfully there are only a few. Chrome Mox will be around and cheaper once Extended season is over which is very soon. I don’t see this card as too difficult to get. The Lion’s Eye Diamond is the true brat of the bunch. They’re going for $30-$40 online and even SCG is out of stock on them at the moment meaning the price is not fixed; it’s going up, up, and away. Try to get them now. The last two cards are one Bayou and Taiga. They are duals, but they’re not blue ones, and there are only two of them. Not easy but not incredibly difficult either. This brings us to the 4 spot in the lineup, the cleanup hitter.
From the dawn of Magic and throughout its existence this is one of the most recognizable archetypes, a timeless classic…
The meter runs to $450 for this mean son of a bitch.
The hard-to-get uncommons are Vial, Swords, Wastelands, Mom and Karakas. The hard-to-get rares are Port and a Jitte. The other stuff has been printed more recently. Vial, Port, Jitte and Swords you should be able to get off your local big trader. Finding a theme with the Wastelands yet? Just get them. Point blank, do it! SCG can’t even keep Karakas in stock, so trolling the internet is the best and possibly only option. Really, besides Karakas, the deck is fairly simple to collect. But, the Karakas is big and definitely needed with the presence of Mangara in your deck and Reanimator in the Meta. Last up, some closing thoughts.
The cost for each deck was totaled without a sideboard. I did this for a few reasons. First, depending on just about anything, your sideboard will change meaning its cost will change. There are just too many variables to take into account to accurately give an estimate. With that being said, sideboard cards are sideboard cards for a reason; they’re generally hate cards with too narrow a scope to make it into the final 60. This means sideboard cards on the whole are cheaper than deck staples making their cost relatively low. Thus, it shouldn’t cost much beyond the quoted prices above to bring a fully functional 75 to your nearest awesome Legacy tournament.
Also, you’re not finding reserve list specials in sideboards; this is just not happening. The availability of well-known and specific sideboard cards is always high. If these are the cards you’re having the most trouble getting, you’re already in good shape to begin with.
You might be wondering, perhaps even pondering why I have left off the most popular of budget decks, Merfolk, I did this for a few reasons. With the increased prices on Wastes and Forces a Merfolk deck can run at right around if not above $500. This makes it a non-budget deck by my definition. Second, I figure most people have already heard of Merfolk, and I was trying to find more obscure decks to suggest. Moreover, if you decide to run the version with green, you double the cost by bringing in the need for Goyf, Trops, and more fetches. If you’re interested in a list, here’s a first place one from a large tournament.
There you go, five deck lists for the price of one article. That’s what I call a steal. And remember; just buy a damn playset of Wastelands already. You’re gonna need them.