Forcing the Will: The Complete Legacy Checklist

Trying to build your collection for a format can be a daunting task, especially for someone trying to get into a new format. Legacy, being a beast of a format with every set available at its disposal, is one of the tougher formats for which to build a collection. Unlike Vintage, Legacy doesn’t always play the same 10 cards in every deck so the top priority list for the format is larger. The first thing to decide is what type of deck/cards you want. I would highly suggest buying dual lands, fetch lands, and the ever-growing cash cow Force of Will! Yes I know the initial costs of these cards are very expensive, but after the initial investment you will be able to play them in most Legacy decks.

So what are the top cards played in Legacy? Well there are a wide variety of decks in the format, but let’s start with the top decks played in tournaments as of late. Within the last 3 months 38-43 Land, Fish(Merfolk), Zoo, Ad Nauseam, Reanimator, Enchantress, Goblins, and Counter-Top have all finished in the Top 8 in Legacy events.

If you’re not familiar with these decks don’t panic! I have provided a link to some examples of various build. Here you can view recent winning decklists as well as compare various builds against one another. If you have never played in a Legacy event I would highly suggest taking the time to view some of the decklists to see what the format holds, and to get some basic knowledge about the decks you will be facing.

Not all of the cards on this list are available online, but I wanted to be able to provide a list for reference when the older sets became available on MTGO. I added Worldwake cards in the list even though the cards have not proven themselves to be staples yet. Just be aware that the Worldwake cards are speculation. The number of cards needed is also up to you. This list is just a basic guide to help start building your collection. Just remember having a playset handy is never a bad idea. Also be aware that there is a plethora of cards that are played in this format that are not in this list. I do not take full credit for the compilation of this list. I used various sites and did some revising and updating based on new sets and recent tournament results. Stephen Menendian gets most of the credit for compiling this list, and if you don’t know Stephan I would suggest getting to know about him. His excellent Vintage/Legacy articles are insightful.

So without further ado I present to you the Legacy Checklist!


Legacy Checklist

I hope you found this decklist useful in giving you a sense of direction in building your Legacy collection. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave a comment and I will get back to you ASAP.

Until we meet again may the Force of Will be with you!

Owen Robbins

  1. In the white section, I would add 3 Magus of the Tabernacle and Oblivion Ring.

  2. PerfectPerfection if you look at the tabs for each of the colors you will see part 1, part2 and so on. Check them out and you will see that both of those cards are already included ;). I can’t wait either Chris I know a lot of people say Mercadian Masques is horrible, but it holds a ton of key staple cards that literally change the entire format.

  3. Err.. it appears you don’t have sphere of resistance in the colourless section. Was this intentional?

  4. Forgot to say. Good lists, Cheers! I like lists. Got pen, got list, check, check, check…
    Arrgghhh, So maanny cards missing still :( Need second job.

    Ps. Not sure if you’re interested but I’m using firefox 3.6 and whenever I hover the mouse over Ad Nauseam the picture just stops working for black. I have to refresh the page to see the other cards. Thought you might like to know…

  5. I must have missed the sphere I had full intentions of having that on the list.

  6. good article, im buying a legacy goblin deck, is the most cheap to build right?

  7. Great List you have there K.O. This will help tremendously and I find it to be a good start on making my deck.

  8. Keep the suggestions and missing cards going. When we have collected some feedback and ideas for additional “must haves” we are going to update the list with the popular choices. Great job, Owen!

  9. Thanks for the comments. Gonzalez Roberto I believe Red Deck Wins is the cheapest deck, but goblins is down on the lower scale with wastelands being the most expensive card in the deck. Goblins is a very decent deck though that has put up plenty of top 8s of its own. Plejades I was thinking of opening up a Legacy forum on the site where we can sticky this and allow people to give suggestions for staples. I do want people to know that this list is the more major played cards as of late so there are tons of cards not on the list that could be. Thanks again all!

  10. We are going to have a dedicated Legacy forum soon. It would be great to keep this list updated and evolve over time. Great resource for anyone interested in this fun eternal format.

  11. Im sorry, maybe im not the target audience or something, but how the hell is this an article?
    No real commentary, no analysis and basically a big copy paste of work done by another writer on another site.
    Do you get paid for this? If so its easy to see the value for you, but what about your readers?

    Collecting cards without a cohesive strategy for doing so (i.e. making decks) isn’t a cost effective way to do things, because like i could own a large propotion of these “staples”, but without having a realistic deck to play..whats the point?.

    The value of these lists is even further lessened online by the liquidity of cards in MTGO (its trival to get nearly any card you want whenever you want).

    Put some effort in next time.

  12. Hello Kha,

    we have many visitors that don’t know much about Legacy and using lists like these can help to orient yourself in regards to the card pool used in the format. To be fair he did quote the original creator.
    I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate any feedback – positive or negative as long as it stays constructive and ideas for improvement are provided (which you did) as it helps us to improve the content and the site in general.

    Take care and have fun,


  13. Hey there Kha,

    I did not do an analysis of each individual card for a number of reasons. First off to go through every single staple would take an extremely large article. One card has more than one use in many cases and going through each one would make the article way too long. Second of all I provided a link to starcitygames Legacy decklists so that players could see what decks use which cards. That also answers the cohesive strategy question.

    Yes its true that you don’t have to have a collection and you can just buy them when a deck arises, but if you noticed cards tend to change prices very fast. I can personally say buying my underground seas for 25 tix and my force of will for 45 tix is a lot better than paying the 57 tix for the seas and 90 tix for the force of will now.

    As Plejades said I don’t take credit for most of the list although I did go through and add some things and change a few amounts. My future articles will give a lot more insight to the format and will provide analysis that you desire. One last note for your information I did not get anything from this article simply a free starter article giving people a sense of the format.

    Thanks for your comments and if I can answer any other questions feel free the let me know. I appreciate both positive and negative criticism.



  14. I think you’ve missed Pestermite as well. Especially since you’ve included Kiki-Jiki

  15. Can you update this with what you feel we should get that has come out in the newer sets? i realize this is from 2010 and since its 2013, id like to get a full list of what i need