Insider: Listing Legions

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This week, we are looking at Legions, the successor to Onslaught. While Onslaught is positively packed with valuable cards, Legions is mostly bare. However, there are still hits to be found in and among Magic's first all-creature set. The set idea was sort of daring at the time, but I remember many players being annoyed because one couldn't cast many combat tricks aside from Morph (and cards you drafted from Onslaught). The other issue is that you didn't really get super-powered creatures that had sorcery-like effects, because you can't tack on something like an Insurrection or a Cruel Ultimatum on a guy and actually expect it to cost a reasonable amount. This was also a time before EDH was a thing, so monsters weren't designed to be big, splashy casual critters in the way they are today. While Legions was derisively called Le-Gi-Ons, it still had a fair share of tournament-caliber cards and casual stars. Let's take a look at them today!

Akroma, Angel of Wrath

Akroma probably deserves being the butt of so many jokes. Magic Lampoon once released a joke set where every creature was a variant on her, from Akromakroma onward. We've got Akroma's Memorial and Sphinx of the Steel Wind, nicknamed Robokroma. We've got Akroma, Angel of Fury. All this is kind of funny at this point, but you've got to understand the context of Akroma when she came out. The absolute closest thing to this creature, the closest that had ever been printed, was Spirit of the Night. This was still a time when creatures were just beginning to be good – we'd only recently seen Phantom Nishoba, for example, and many players remember the annoyance of opening cards like Aboroth.So Akroma was this incredible creature with zero downside, and an Angel to boot! I remember seeing her spoiler and printing it out on paper to paste to a card and show the guys at the local gaming store, who could scarcely believe she wasn't a joke. Everything about Akroma's abilities are incredible. If you can muster the mana, you won't regret playing her. This strikes a great chord with people, even those who have seen Akroma for years and years. She's rightly a casual super-star, and even though she's been reprinted a bit (taking $10 from her pricetag), she's still a good, tradeable Angel.$5.00Brood SliverWe first got a tease that Slivers would be back when we saw Riptide Replicator's art, and Legions delivered some great ones. The fun of Brood Sliver is that, when you think about how it would work in Christmas Land, your slivers double every turn when they hit, thanks to the tokens. Who needs Sliver Queen! All the slivers hold some value, though you might have to trade them to stores to get a realistic offer on them.$2.00Caller of the ClawThe idea with Caller is that it would undo a Wrath of God effect, to an extent. A lot of players attempted to string it up with Wirewood Herald, a natural combo. Your Herald dies (to Starstorm or Akroma's Vengeance) and you get to Call up a pile of bears! It never really played out like this because it requires holding up three mana all the time, but Caller is a nice idea. It also came up in decks with Nantuko Husk and the like, because it doubles the meaty goodness that your Husk can chow down on.$1.25Essence SliverIf there's one thing casual players like more than killing an opponent, that's gaining obscene amounts of life. Essence Sliver gives some resilience in multiplayer games and makes every combat phase a profit for the pilot. The Slivers make up a lot of the value of this set, and remembering that all the rare Slivers are worth something is useful for traders.$3.50Gempalm IncineratorOf the Gempalm series, this Goblin persists. Incinerator is a quality removal spell in all Goblins decks and you'll see it show up frequently. It can be tutored up with Goblin Matron and in a pinch, it'll actually come down on the board and attack! He's a solid monster and a good uncommon to set aside when you see.$1.00Kilnmouth DragonFor a brief period in Onslaught Block Constructed, people ran dragons. It was a glorious time – all you would do would be accelerate out huge dragons with Explosive Vegetation. Kilnmouth Dragon was an integral part of the deck, especially since you could drop six counters on it with Amplify pretty easily. Since it could shoot at any target, you could get it past an Akroma in play to take down an opponent. Boneyard Scourgege happened soon after and wrecked a great environment, taking this monster from its only real Constructed appearances. It still shows up in a lot of Dragon decks because you'll always have giant, stupid lizards in hand that are waiting to hit play.$1.75Magma Sliver
Now here's a doozie – each of your guys gets Cursed Firebreathing Yogurt for Slivers! It's like some sort of game of Red Rover where you send in one little Sliver peon that threatens “kill me or just scoop up your cards.” In effect, it's Magus of the Abyss. If you've got a critical mass of Slivers, you can just send in five or six and pump the ones that get through blockers. Magma Sliver is worth a lot of money, so be aware when you see it in junk binders. It's a real coup.


Phage, The Untouchable

More like the Unplayable. Phage mysteriously retains her value, even though she cannot be used profitably as a Commander. Sneak her in with Illusionary Mask or Torpor Orb or handle things on the spot with a Stifle. Phage is also cute with Volrath's Shapeshifter. I don't know why she's worth anything (maybe the phrase “loses the game” showing up twice?) but she's also a hot commodity.


Scion of Darkness

Scion has a lot of appeal; it can be summoned out with Dark Supplicant, it can be Cycled and reanimated, or it can just be cast normally. It threatens to mess up a game when it comes out, since it zombifies enemy creatures. Have I sold you on why casual players like this guy yet? He's not even Legendary, so your Supplicants can get multiple ones in play! What a beating! I know, I know, but it's still worth a little bit.


Seedborn Muse

The card so unfair in multiplayer that Bennie Smith thinks it should be banned from EDH. Seedborn Muse is a great combo with the game “Magic: The Gathering.” Seriously, anything you're doing in Magic, Seeds n' Stems is gonna help you out. Want to hold up countermagic? Annoy with Opposition? Get more elf taps? Here she is, ready to make your wishes come true.


Synapse Sliver

All your slivers become Thieving Magpies! While Sliver decks usually seem unconcerned with drawing huge grips, this does get them closer to finding their one-of hit cards. For players who want to get even more out of their Synapse Sliver, combine it with its blue friend Shifting Sliver.


Toxin Sliver

All Slivers get Deathtouch... sort of! You can see the appeal of this over something like Synapse Sliver because this has a huge effect on the board. It changes the way you approach killing token generators, for example. It means you can make crazier attacks, knowing that your Slivers might punch through anyway or kill anything in their path. Slivers carry a lot of this set, like I said before, and Toxin Sliver is the king of the rare Slivers.


And with that, we wrap up the value cards in Legions! While Legions disappointed people who liked playing their spells during opponents' turns, Boneyard Scourgege came and kicked up a whole nest of interesting and scary things for tournament play. The Storm mechanic overshadows nearly everything else about Boneyard Scourgege, but I think you'll find that next week, when we cover the set, that there are many other high-dollar cards in it. Some of them are even blue...

Until next week!

-Doug Linn

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