What is the Legacy Format is Magic: The Gathering?

What is The Legacy Format in Magic: The Gathering?

Anyone that has ever played Magic: The Gathering knows that the first step to playing is to find out which format you are going to play. Formats in Magic: The Gathering are different ways to play the game, each with its own set of rules regarding which cards are legal to use. Formats can vary in terms of the allowed cards, the number of players, the types of decks that are viable, and other gameplay restrictions. 

So, how do you know what format is best for you? It is important to do your research on the background of each format as well as how to play in each format. One of the first and more commonly known formats in Magic: The Gathering is the Legacy format. 


The Legacy format in Magic: The Gathering is a constructed format that allows players to use cards from all Magic sets released before the Modern format. The Legacy format was created to allow players to experience the diversity and richness of Magic's long history, and it is considered one of the most diverse and powerful formats in the game.

In the Legacy format, players build decks using cards from any Magic set released before 8th Edition, which was released in July 2003. This means that players can use cards from sets such as Alpha, Beta, Unlimited, Revised, and many more, allowing for a wide variety of strategies and play styles.

Some of the most powerful and iconic cards in Magic's history, such as the dual lands, Force of Will, and Brainstorm, are legal in Legacy, making it a challenging and exciting format for experienced players. It's important to note that the Legacy format is not recommended for new players, as the large pool of available cards can make it overwhelming and the power level of many cards can be significantly higher compared to other formats.

Playing Legacy

The Legacy format in Magic: The Gathering is played using the same basic rules as other constructed formats, with a few additional considerations. Here are the steps to play a game of Legacy:

Choose a Deck

In Legacy, players must build their deck using only cards from sets released before the Modern format. Decks must contain a minimum of 60 cards and may include up to 15 cards in the sideboard.

Determine Who Goes First 

This can be done by rolling a die, flipping a coin, or any other mutually agreed-upon method.

Draw Your Opening Hand

Each player starts the game with seven cards in their hand. If a player does not like their hand, they may choose to mulligan, or shuffle their hand back into their deck and draw a new hand with one fewer card. This process can be repeated as many times as desired, but each subsequent hand will have one fewer card.

Play Begins

The player who goes first starts the game by playing a land card, then draws a card from their deck. They then have the opportunity to play spells and creatures, attack with creatures, and use abilities. Play then passes to the next player, who repeats the same process.

Win The Game
The object of the game is to reduce your opponent's life total to 0. A player's life total starts at 20 and can be decreased by taking damage from creatures and spells. If a player is unable to draw a card from their deck because it is empty, that player loses the game.

Remember that there are many complex and powerful cards in the Legacy format, and players must be familiar with the rules and interactions of the cards in their deck. We recommend that players have a solid understanding of the rules of Magic before attempting to play the Legacy format.

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