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Looking through Urza’s Legacy

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Hello, and welcome to our exploration of Urza's Legacy! The second set in the Broken Block amped up the power even more for Magic. It was the first set to be printed in foil, as well. Foil-mania swept collectors around this time; fresh from $100 Pokemon foils, people scrambled to make sets. Importantly, foils were rarer when first introduced than they are now; hence, the prices are higher. I'll be discussing foils in this article and subsequent ones, but know this: most foils are worth about a buck to the right person unless they are truly awful. I'll be making notes of only the ones that are worth substantially more than they are normally. Let's get started!

Crawlspace

You can tell Legacy is a smaller set price-wise because we are starting with C! Crawlspace is a pretty popular multiplayer card, because it acts like a funnel instead of a wall. The player with dragons doesn't really care, but the Thallid guy is going to be hunting for their removal. It is an inex

pensive card to cast and it is very easy to understand how it works. That's why I like it personally over Portcullis.

$1.00

Lovingly called "Crap Rotation"

Crop Rotation
For years, I didn't think this would be unrestricted in Vintage. The reason it was tanked in the first place is that the Roto-Tiller is very good at finding Tolarian Academy. That deck needed to be throttled back, so Rotation had to go. However, I didn't think that it was Academy that would hold it back. No, thanks to Crucible of Worlds, I thought Crop Rotation for Strip Mine would be too powerful. Obviously, I was wrong and the card is now bought and sold pretty frequently on Ebay. Highly noteworthy is the fact that it grabs Gaea's Cradle; Elf players who have a single Cradle but cannot afford the full set can make good use of the Rotation to get their copy.

$1.00
$9.25 in foil – yeah, really!

Defense of the Heart

Long before Tooth and Nail, we had this card. It is easy as sin to trigger in multiplayer games and, at one colored mana, the card is easily splashed for. What can you get with DOTH? How about Sundering Titan and Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker? What about Kiki-Jiki and Pestermite so you can just win right there? It threatens to combo-kill very easily, and that's alluring to many players. It's good to have a copy for EDH since it goes in just about every green deck; you can remind trading partners of this fact when they see it!

$5.75
$20.25 in foil

Deranged Hermit

Oh, the stories.

This card kickstarted a million Squirrel decks and I doubt it would be nearly as popular if it made Saprolings or something rational. Liege of the Hollows finally had a friend! Hermit saw a lot of play in Constructed because it plays well with Recurring Nightmare and Skyshroud Poacher. However, its continued high price is driven nearly entirely by kitchen table Squirrel guys. Nine power for five mana is pretty good, as is Zerg rushing with little mammals.

$5.00

Frantic Search

This card is mainly popular because it plays so well with High Tide, which you have to remember is a very popular casual deck for people to have together. Frantic Search sees a little play in Vintage, but it is nothing showstopping. However, folks love free Careful Study, so this card is actually quite valuable to have, especially as a foil common! This showcases that while a card might be worth fifty cents as a common, the foil version is radically higher.

$20.50 in foil

Only affordable to the eleven richest kings of Europe

Goblin Welder

Your favorite Goblin from technical school has been a fixture of Vintage for eight years. He's not made a big splash in Legacy until now, with the rise of Welder MUD. Goblin Welder works well in both Stax decks that aim to abuse Smokestack so they never have to sacrifice permanents, alongside the Control Slaver decks of old that would recur Mindslaver over and over.

Goblin Welder is absurdly expensive as a foil and was long the poster child for Vintage collectors. In its Japanese foil version, I've seen Welders sold for over $500. Those days are past now, and the market right now is a meager $350. Cheap, right?

Due to the recent success of Welder in MUD in Legacy, I expect this price to double or triple. Get them now.

$6.00
$62.00 in foil

Grim Monolith

When Grim Monolith was unbanned in Legacy, it shot up to $30 on speculation, despite not having a home. It was previously about $6, which was dictated by fans of Wildfire decks from the Urza Block. It combines swimmingly with Voltaic Key to make gobs of mana. Now that MUD is popular, it has shot up in value. I expect it to easily hit $40 two weeks after this article is published.

$15.00 (if you can find them now)

Karmic Guide
White reanimation is so... foreign. Karmic Guide has some really, really weird abilities tacked together on a single card. It has a bit of value because it was once part of the FlashProtean Hulk combo deck, before that deck moved on to other kill mechanisms. Mainly, though, it's a real workhorse in EDH, fueling Reveillark combos there and making big monsters come out to fight again. It is also an example of how EDH distorts foil pricing on certain cards.

$2.75
$42.25 in foil

Memory JarBack before Mirrodin Block came along and gave us great artifacts, Tinker essentially only got Memory Jar in Vintage. It was to the point where a teammate joked that they should just have the art showing Hanna holding the Jar. There, it was 2U for a Draw-7, which is as good as it sounds. Memory Jar also has the distinction of being one of the few (if only) cards to have been emergency banned. It was part of a degenerate deck in Standard that could kill on the first or second turn with some real regularity, helped along by Grim Monolith and Dark Ritual. It would eventually land a single copy of Megrim, making the opponent discard about twenty-one cards and killing on the spot. Yuck. So Memory Jar has a long history of being played for absurdity with fast mana. It still sees a lot of love in Vintage and EDH, where everyone loves a good Draw-7.$3.50 $15.00 in foilMultani, Maro-SorcerorBack in The Day, decks paired Maro along with Armageddon in an attempt to drop a fattie and nuke the board for victory. Multani came along afterward as a great multiplayer card, especially since he tallies everyone's hands. Oh, and his Shroud means that someone is probably gonna get hit by him. He sees a bit of attention in EDH, but the fact that he's Legendary means you don't really need four copies in casual formats where you can pack quads. At one point, he was a great finisher for Reanimator decks, but that's mostly a history lesson at this point.$1.25No MercyIt's the black Moat! I love this card because of how political it is in multiplayer games. Hit me with your favorite Angels and lose them after combat! What a great way to dissuade people from attacking you. No Mercy has been a quiet fan favorite for years and it's worth ferreting them out because they are worth considerably more than bulk.$3.25PalinchronJust in case you liked Great Whale, we printed a much better version. For one less point of power, you get flying and a blink effect. That's fair. Palinchron was used extensively in High Tide decks because, if you hit seven lands, you could loop it for infinite mana. If an opponent had a stopper like Arcane Laboratory, you could just attack in with your flier every turn to kill them! What a silly, silly card. Palinchron sees a tiny bit of attention casually and none competitively.$2.25 $19.25 in foilQuicksilver AmuletI love this little thing, this mega Aether Vial. I liked the Amulet a lot in my GWU Legends EDH deck, which ran a lot of cards like Akroma, Angel of Wrath. You get something Flashed in, which is pretty rad, and you get to pay colorless mana for it, which is devastating. I didn't have to look at my Akroma and Multani in hand and just hope that the mana came together for it. I can't imagine what it would be like to play with four of them, but hey, people do.$4.00 (surprised?) $9.00 in foilRack and RuinR n' R is such an elegant design with enough power to make it still valuable in Vintage against Stax decks. Three mana lets you blow away two moxes, or a Chalice of the Void and Smokestack, or whatever you'd like to point it at. It is one of those cards that doesn't see too much play, but it is important enough that Vintage players need it on their sideboards.$2.25 $10.25 in foil (search those collections!)Radiant, ArchangelFolks love Angels, especially Angel bosses. Radiant was kind of a brutal guy in the novels and he's a fundamental part of people who want Serra-themed cards. The Super-Serra is really appealing in Angel decks, too. I assume that there is also a Radiant-themed EDH deck somewhere. It commands a truly staggering foil price.$3.25 $50.00 in foilRancorI am sort of surprised that a card this powerful actually made it to print, but hey, maybe it's tame in the landscape of Urza block. Rancor has been a cornerstone of many aggressive decks, since the Trample makes sure that you can get past thorny blockers. The card would be nothing if it didn't come back to your hand, either. It lent its name to one of the most fun Extended decks around, Three-Deuce. That deck ran hits like Granger Guildmage and River Boa, alongside disruptive cards to slow an opponent. Its name comes from the power and toughness on a Rancored Dwarven Miner.Rancor gets a lot of attention in casual circles and it's a power common in this set. Dig through boxes for them!$1.25RebuildRebuild is relevant because it is a Vintage sideboard card that bounces artifacts at insant-speed. It dodges Chalice of the Void at two counters and it can be used to bounce your own Moxes for lethal Storm with Tendrils of Agony. Not much else to see here, except for its foil pricetag.$15.50 in foilSubversionThis is a casual card, through and through. You've got to understand that there's a huge element of kitchen table players who love pinging and walls and all that fun, awful junk. Subversion is the kind of card that makes someone say “I can gain three life a turn in multiplayer? What happens when I have two copies out?!?” I think that's where Subversion shines, too – when you have multiples out. It gets people chasing the dream of this passive kill mechanism that doesn't annoy everyone so much that they just up and destroy it. Subversion has a lot of fans.$1.00TinkerOne day, Mark Rosewater, after three scotches, said:“Transmute Artifact has TOO MANY WORDS. I can't understand this card! Let's chop it all down. It's not like artifacts are great, or even that we printed a Draw-7 artifact in this same set. They'll probably use it for trash like Teeka's Dragon anyway.”So that's why that Mox got turned into a Mindslaver. Or Blightsteel Colossus. Or Sundering Titan. Probably the most fair thing I've ever done with it is get Tormod's Crypt against Dredge, but even that felt pretty rude. Tinker is hyper-powerful and people know it. It's not a card you'll get from a store junk box, but it's something that you might find in collections here and there. The foil version has come down to a respectable price; Japanese versions once sold for over $200 in their heyday.$3.25 $11.00 in foilViashino HereticAnother Vintage sideboard card, especially in Stax decks. With it on the board, you make an opponent think twice about playing that Tangle Wire. Relevant only for its foil price.$6.00 in foilWeatherseed TreefolkThese are perennial fan favorites because they do away with the traditional problem of dying that most creatures cope with. These Treefolk are free from existential quandaries about their mortality and willingly hurl themselves at an opponent with Sneak Attack.$1.00
To wrap this up, I'd like to talk about foils a little. They are a welcome part of the game at this point, since they only offer positive value; people who don't use them can get a benefit by trading them to people who do. At the time foils were introduced, it was looked at as a cash grab by WOTC. Foils don't exactly sell more boxes, but they did create a new breed of collector who will attach a value to them. I like having people who want to collect varied aspects of Magic, and part of that might be as many foil Angels or Plains or whatevers that they can get ahold of.

At its introduction, the hyped card in Legacy as a foil was Ring of Gix. People LOVED Icy Manipulator and looked at the Ring as the best card in the set. They didn't realize that Icy was dead by that time; creatures were much better and the game wasn't as focused on riding one big attacker through. You couldn't use Fellwar Stone and Armageddon with Icy to tap down the opponent's lands

anymore – it was terribly inefficient.

If you were facing down Sligh, the Ring or Icy were both just obsolete for stopping attackers. Nonetheless, the Ring was the chase card of the set for awhile and its foil version hit $100 and beyond at times. It's both interesting and sad to see cards like Icy, Juggernaut, Serra Angel and Erhnam Djinn utterly fail when reintroduced. I suppose Kird Ape alone comes away better.

Join me next week when we tear through Urza's Destiny! I wouldn't be surprised to see cards from previous reviews, like City of Traitors and Ancient Tomb, go up because of MUD as well. We'll see!

-Doug

Hello, and welcome to our exploration of Urza's Legacy! The second set in the Broken Block amped up the power even more for Magic. It was the first set to be printed in foil, as well. Foil-mania swept collectors around this time; fresh from $100 Pokemon foils, people scrambled to make sets. Importantly, foils were rarer when first introduced than they are now; hence, the prices are higher. I'll be discussing foils in this article and subsequent ones, but know this: most foils are worth about a buck to the right person unless they are truly awful. I'll be making notes of only the ones that are worth substantially more than they are normally. Let's get started!

Crawlspace

You can tell Legacy is a smaller set price-wise because we are starting with C! Crawlspace is a pretty popular multiplayer card, because it acts like a funnel instead of a wall. The player with dragons doesn't really care, but the Thallid guy is going to be hunting for their removal. It is an inexpensive card to cast and it is very easy to understand how it works. That's why I like it personally over Portcullis.

$1.00

Crop Rotation

For years, I didn't think this would be unrestricted in Vintage. The reason it was tanked in the first place is that the Roto-Tiller is very good at finding Tolarian Academy. That deck needed to be throttled back, so Rotation had to go. However, I didn't think that it was Academy that would hold it back. No, thanks to Crucible of Worlds, I thought Crop Rotation for Strip Mine would be too powerful. Obviously, I was wrong and the card is now bought and sold pretty frequently on Ebay. Highly noteworthy is the fact that it grabs Gaea's Cradle; Elf players who have a single Cradle but cannot afford the full set can make good use of the Rotation to get their copy.

$1.00

$9.25 in foil – yeah, really!

Defense of the Heart

Long before Tooth and Nail, we had this card. It is easy as sin to trigger in multiplayer games and, at one colored mana, the card is easily splashed for. What can you get with DOTH? How about Sundering Titan and Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker? What about Kiki-Jiki and Pestermite so you can just win right there? It threatens to combo-kill very easily, and that's alluring to many players. It's good to have a copy for EDH since it goes in just about every green deck; you can remind trading partners of this fact when they see it!

$5.75

$20.25 in foil

Deranged Hermit

Oh, the stories.

This card kickstarted a million Squirrel decks and I doubt it would be nearly as popular if it made Saprolings or something rational. Liege of the Hollows finally had a friend! Hermit saw a lot of play in Constructed because it plays well with Recurring Nightmare and Skyshroud Poacher. However, its continued high price is driven nearly entirely by kitchen table Squirrel guys. Nine power for five mana is pretty good, as is Zerg rushing with little mammals.

$5.00

Frantic Search

This card is mainly popular because it plays so well with High Tide, which you have to remember is a very popular casual deck for people to have together. Frantic Search sees a little play in Vintage, but it is nothing showstopping. However, folks love free Careful Study, so this card is actually quite valuable to have, especially as a foil common! This showcases that while a card might be worth fifty cents as a common, the foil version is radically higher.

$20.50 in foil

Goblin Welder

Your favorite Goblin from technical school has been a fixture of Vintage for eight years. He's not made a big splash in Legacy until now, with the rise of Welder MUD. Goblin Welder works well in both Stax decks that aim to abuse Smokestack so they never have to sacrifice permanents, alongside the Control Slaver decks of old that would recur Mindslaver over and over.

Goblin Welder is absurdly expensive as a foil and was long the poster child for Vintage collectors. In its Japanese foil version, I've seen Welders sold for over $500. Those days are past now, and the market right now is a meager $350. Cheap, right?

Due to the recent success of Welder in MUD in Legacy, I expect this price to double or triple. Get them now.

$6.00

$62.00 in foil

Grim Monolith

When Grim Monolith was unbanned in Legacy, it shot up to $30 on speculation, despite not having a home. It was previously about $6, which was dictated by fans of Wildfire decks from the Urza Block. It combines swimmingly with Voltaic Key to make gobs of mana. Now that MUD is popular, it has shot up in value. I expect it to easily hit $40 two weeks after this article is published.

$15.00 (if you can find them now)

Karmic Guide

White reanimation is so... foreign. Karmic Guide has some really, really weird abilities tacked together on a single card. It has a bit of value because it was once part of the Flash – Protean Hulk combo deck, before that deck moved on to other kill mechanisms. Mainly, though, it's a real workhorse in EDH, fueling Reveillark combos there and making big monsters come out to fight again. It is also an example of how EDH distorts foil pricing on certain cards.

$2.75

$42.25 in foil

Memory Jar

Back before Mirrodin Block came along and gave us great artifacts, Tinker essentially only got Memory Jar in Vintage. It was to the point where a teammate joked that they should just have the art showing Hanna holding the Jar. There, it was 2U for a Draw-7, which is as good as it sounds. Memory Jar also has the distinction of being one of the few (if only) cards to have been emergency banned. It was part of a degenerate deck in Standard that could kill on the first or second turn with some real regularity, helped along by Grim Monolith and Dark Ritual. It would eventually land a single copy of Megrim, making the opponent discard about twenty-one cards and killing on the spot. Yuck. So Memory Jar has a long history of being played for absurdity with fast mana. It still sees a lot of love in Vintage and EDH, where everyone loves a good Draw-7.

$3.50

$15.00 in foil

Multani, Maro-Sorceror

Back in The Day, decks paired Maro along with Armageddon in an attempt to drop a fattie and nuke the board for victory. Multani came along afterward as a great multiplayer card, especially since he tallies everyone's hands. Oh, and his Shroud means that someone is probably gonna get hit by him. He sees a bit of attention in EDH, but the fact that he's Legendary means you don't really need four copies in casual formats where you can pack quads. At one point, he was a great finisher for Reanimator decks, but that's mostly a history lesson at this point.

$1.25

No Mercy

It's the black Moat! I love this card because of how political it is in multiplayer games. Hit me with your favorite Angels and lose them after combat! What a great way to dissuade people from attacking you. No Mercy has been a quiet fan favorite for years and it's worth ferreting them out because they are worth considerably more than bulk.

$3.25

Palinchron

Just in case you liked Great Whale, we printed a much better version. For one less point of power, you get flying and a blink effect. That's fair. Palinchron was used extensively in High Tide decks because, if you hit seven lands, you could loop it for infinite mana. If an opponent had a stopper like Arcane Laboratory, you could just attack in with your flier every turn to kill them! What a silly, silly card. Palinchron sees a tiny bit of attention casually and none competitively.

$2.25

$19.25 in foil

Quicksilver Amulet

I love this little thing, this mega Aether Vial. I liked the Amulet a lot in my GWU Legends EDH deck, which ran a lot of cards like Akroma, Angel of Wrath. You get something Flashed in, which is pretty rad, and you get to pay colorless mana for it, which is devastating. I didn't have to look at my Akroma and Multani in hand and just hope that the mana came together for it. I can't imagine what it would be like to play with four of them, but hey, people do.

$4.00 (surprised?)

$9.00 in foil

Rack and Ruin

R n' R is such an elegant design with enough power to make it still valuable in Vintage against Stax decks. Three mana lets you blow away two moxes, or a Chalice of the Void and Smokestack, or whatever you'd like to point it at. It is one of those cards that doesn't see too much play, but it is important enough that Vintage players need it on their sideboards.

$2.25

$10.25 in foil (search those collections!)

Radiant, Archangel

Folks love Angels, especially Angel bosses. Radiant was kind of a brutal guy in the novels and he's a fundamental part of people who want Serra-themed cards. The Super-Serra is really appealing in Angel decks, too. I assume that there is also a Radiant-themed EDH deck somewhere. It commands a truly staggering foil price.

$3.25

$50.00 in foil

Rancor

I am sort of surprised that a card this powerful actually made it to print, but hey, maybe it's tame in the landscape of Urza block. Rancor has been a cornerstone of many aggressive decks, since the Trample makes sure that you can get past thorny blockers. The card would be nothing if it didn't come back to your hand, either. It lent its name to one of the most fun Extended decks around, Three-Deuce. That deck ran hits like Granger Guildmage and River Boa, alongside disruptive cards to slow an opponent. Its name comes from the power and toughness on a Rancored Dwarven Miner.

Rancor gets a lot of attention in casual circles and it's a power common in this set. Dig through boxes for them!

$1.25

Rebuild

Rebuild is relevant because it is a Vintage sideboard card that bounces artifacts at insant-speed. It dodges Chalice of the Void at two counters and it can be used to bounce your own Moxes for lethal Storm with Tendrils of Agony. Not much else to see here, except for its foil pricetag.

$15.50 in foil

Subversion

This is a casual card, through and through. You've got to understand that there's a huge element of kitchen table players who love pinging and walls and all that fun, awful junk. Subversion is the kind of card that makes someone say “I can gain three life a turn in multiplayer? What happens when I have two copies out?!?” I think that's where Subversion shines, too – when you have multiples out. It gets people chasing the dream of this passive kill mechanism that doesn't annoy everyone so much that they just up and destroy it. Subversion has a lot of fans.

$1.00

Tinker

One day, Mark Rosewater, after three scotches, said:

“Transmute Artifact has TOO MANY WORDS. I can't understand this card! Let's chop it all down. It's not like artifacts are great, or even that we printed a Draw-7 artifact in this same set. They'll probably use it for trash like Teeka's Dragon anyway.”

So that's why that Mox got turned into a Mindslaver. Or Blightsteel Colossus. Or Sundering Titan. Probably the most fair thing I've ever done with it is get Tormod's Crypt against Dredge, but even that felt pretty rude. Tinker is hyper-powerful and people know it. It's not a card you'll get from a store junk box, but it's something that you might find in collections here and there. The foil version has come down to a respectable price; Japanese versions once sold for over $200 in their heyday.

$3.25

$11.00 in foil

Viashino Heretic

Another Vintage sideboard card, especially in Stax decks. With it on the board, you make an opponent think twice about playing that Tangle Wire. Relevant only for its foil price.

$6.00 in foil

Weatherseed Treefolk

These are perennial fan favorites because they do away with the traditional problem of dying that most creatures cope with. These Treefolk are free from existential quandaries about their mortality and willingly hurl themselves at an opponent with Sneak Attack.

$1.00

To wrap this up, I'd like to talk about foils a little. They are a welcome part of the game at this point, since they only offer positive value; people who don't use them can get a benefit by trading them to people who do. At the time foils were introduced, it was looked at as a cash grab by WOTC. Foils don't exactly sell more boxes, but they did create a new breed of collector who will attach a value to them. I like having people who want to collect varied aspects of Magic, and part of that might be as many foil Angels or Plains or whatevers that they can get ahold of.

At its introduction, the hyped card in Legacy as a foil was Ring of Gix. People LOVED Icy Manipulator and looked at the Ring as the best card in the set. They didn't realize that Icy was dead by that time; creatures were much better and the game wasn't as focused on riding one big attacker through. You couldn't use Fellwar Stone and Armageddon with Icy to tap down the opponent's lands anymore – it was terribly inefficient. If you were facing down Sligh, the Ring or Icy were both just obsolete for stopping attackers. Nonetheless, the Ring was the chase card of the set for awhile and its foil version hit $100 and beyond at times. It's both interesting and sad to see cards like Icy, Juggernaut, Serra Angel and Erhnam Djinn utterly fail when reintroduced. I suppose Kird Ape alone comes away better.

Join me next week when we tear through Urza's Destiny! I wouldn't be surprised to see cards from previous reviews, like City of Traitors and Ancient Tomb, go up because of MUD as well. We'll see!

-Doug

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