The White Bordered Legends of From the Vaults: Legends

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Neil Pritchard has reason to believe he knows which white bordered Legends will be included in From the Vaults: Legends. Join in on the speculation and voice your opinion.

On the 7th of February, Wizards officially announced the speculated From the Vaults ( FTV): Legends, supplementing their soon to be released MtG Commander decks. This shocked few as it had been not so subtly hinted at a month prior by MtGSalvation’s Captain Black. Most attention was drawn to the final bullet point in the announcement:

All cards are black bordered and tournament legal. This means that these cards are legal for use in any tournaments where the original printings are still legal. For some cards, it is their first time with a black border.

Only two white-bordered sets that have been printed with Legendary creatures: Chronicle, and Portal: Three Kingdoms. Every core set up until Tenth Edition has had white borders, and Tenth Edition was also the first—and to date only—core set to feature Legendary creatures.

Those in Chronicles, however, were later reprinted in Legends, leaving us only with Portal: Three Kingdoms for the source of these new black bordered reprints.

Portal: Three Kingdoms was never released in North America, limited to releases in Asia and Australia. As most of you are aware, the cards from this set are some of the most expensive on the secondary market for this very reason.

As yet there has been nothing officially spoiled, perhaps as a result of the New Phyrexia leaks grabbing most of the public’s attention. There appear to have been subtle hints as to what might be featured, though, showing Wizards, and indeed Mark Rosewater’s, love of games and puzzles.

The first is April Fools Day’s Deck Registration Simulator. The joke was that no matter what you wrote, you were guaranteed to pass each one aside from the final card: the Chinese version of Lu Bu, Master-at-Arms.

He is a Legend and has only been printed with a white border.

For those of you who don’t read Chinese, here’s the card:

Were [card Lu Bu, Master-at-Arms]Lu Bu[/card] to have flying instead of horsemanship, he’d be a pretty average card and likely not one you’d consider building your deck around. He does, however, have the P:3K-only ability Horsemanship, making him essentially an unblockable 4/3 with haste.

While not the perfect Voltron general—requiring you to swing in six times—you can combine him with cheap equipment, red’s power pumping instants and enchantments, and its ability to make multiple attack steps, becoming quite formidable.

As such, his inclusion within From the Vault: Legends would make perfect sense.

This brings me to the second card I believe Wizards is hinting at including. I have a feeling that many of you already know what card I am on about, and that half of you are you are going to tell me to stop dreaming while the other half are scarily psyched. Don’t scroll down to see if you’re correct just yet, but first hear me out.

Recently, with the upcoming release of New Phyrexia almost upon us, the latest changes to the Comprehensive Rulebook were announced. Most of these are obvious—Phyrexian mana, restarting the game, and so on—but it was the clarification of Rule 506.6e that caught my attention.

Some spells and abilities, like that of Xiahou Dun, the One-Eyed, state that they may only be cast or activated during your turn, before attackers are declared. If this never happens because the combat phase is skipped, you must cast these spells or activate these abilities before the precombat main phase ends.

506.6e refers to a grand total of twenty six creatures, all of them from Portal, Portal Second Age, or P: 3K. Realistically, you’d only encounter these cards in one of two places:

  1. Portal Draft/Sealed Deck
  2. Commander

At this moment in time, a box of Portal or Portal Second Age costs $660 on eBay and a box of P:3K costs $4000. It’s not likely that the this rule change was mentioned due to a sudden interest in Portal Draft. Combine this with the fact that most of these cards are, in fact, bad cards—an [card Wu Longbowman]inferior version[/card] of Prodigal Sorcerer for the same casting cost anyone?—leads us to cut the wheat from the chaff and assume that this rules tweak is more in preparation for Commander Summer. This leaves us with the Legends:

Wizards has stated that the From the Vault sets are a way of thanking retailers for their roles within the WPN and, recently at PAX, that the sets are designed with Commander in mind.

Ask yourself seriously as a player: out of those nine, which can you see fitting in a set as prestigious as From the Vaults: Legends?

Xiahou Dun, the One-Eyed is the answer.

He is a combo enabler, a recurrence engine, and, when you play him, your opponents know you mean business because he requires a finely tuned deck.

Now ask yourself as a retailer: of those nine, which can I realistically sell on the secondary market for a reasonable profit?

Again, the answer is [card Xiahou Dun, the One-Eyed]Xiahou Dun[/card].

[card Xiahou Dun, the One-Eyed]Xiahou Dun[/card] is currently going for anywhere between $115 and $207 on eBay. I have yet to find one in stock on any online stores.

So why did Wizards use Xiahou Dun, the One-Eyed as the example for a largely irrelevant ruling tweak when there are 25 other perfectly viable cards they could have used as an example?

Because Wizards like tricks.
Wizards like hints.
And Wizards like games.

If there is a legend from P:3K worthy of From the Vault: Legends—for both buyer and seller—it would be Xiahou Dun, the One-Eyed.

And, for me, this circumstantial evidence proves it.

-Neil Pritchard

11 thoughts on “The White Bordered Legends of From the Vaults: Legends

  1. Hi, I strongly believe that there will be Lu Xun, Scholar General too. It's very rare, already worth some bucks and appreciated by several Commander players.

  2. While Xiahou Dun has been speculated about ever since the FTV: Legends announcement this is the first time i've heard Lu Bu speculated as the second card and even though i'd personally prefer something like Hua Tuo (as a useful but not overpowered option) or Sun Quan (as a superior horsemanship general(although with Teferi already confirmed another mono blue legend seems unlikely)).

    One thing to note though is that the legends printed white bordered in Chronicles did not later show up black bordered in Legends, it was the other way around (Chronicles being a compilation set with cards from Arabian Nights, Antiquities, Legends and the Dark).

  3. well, the most exciting card to get would be Dioachan in my opinion. Other exciting alternatives would be Cao Cao, Kongming, Sun Quang and of Course Xiahou Dun.
    Lu Xun is already cheaper than most of the legends from there since the preconstructed deck he was in was sold a lot. I bought my Lu Xun for about 10 dollars.

  4. "Those in Chronicles, however, were later reprinted in Legends, leaving us only with Portal: Three Kingdoms for the source of these new black bordered reprints."

    Legends came before Chronicles. Chronicles was a white-bordered reprint set featuring cards from Arabian Nights, Antiquities, Legends, and The Dark.

    So P3K was the ONLY white bordered set that featured unique legendary creatures, which you did cover with the rather-large mistake of claiming Legends reprinted Chronicles cards (it was Chronicles that reprinted Legends cards).

  5. Hopefully all with new art. Then again, they already wasted new art on Teferi, whose are was already boss, so I don't know what to expect with this set.

  6. I run Lu Xun as a commander, and he works great. i hand picked him from legendary creatures with horsemanship. Personally, i hope Lu Xun is not on the table for reprint. just so i dont have to worry about seeing another Lu Xun deck. but obviously a legendary creature with horsemanship, which ever it might end up being, is going to be the most exciting choice for the set. The One Eyed would be a very exciting choice indeed!

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