What’s on the Reserved List – Legends Edition

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Legends has always been a fascinating set full of unique cards. It is certainly a set that we should keep our eyes on for card price movements. The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale, Invoke Prejudice, Angus Mackenzie, In the Eye of Chaos, and Land Equilibrium have all seen substantial gains over the past few years. For some of them, these gains are only going to be greater as the years go on because they will become harder and harder to find.

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Recently there has been buzz around cards from Legends that have been gaining steam recently. Cards that have started seeing gains include the likes of Ragnar, Eureka, Divine Intervention, Lady Evangela, and Telekinesis. Well gee, what gives here? Sure, we could attribute some this movement to Tiny Leaders speculation since they are old, hard to find cards that can fill niche roles in the format. However, why are cards like Eureka and Divine Intervention gaining steam these days?

Simply, the Reserve List.

Today, I’m going to throw all of the cards from Legends on the Reserve List at you and provide some quick commentary on where I think its future will price will end up. This will cover everything from Tabernacle to Wood Elemental. Some of the areas of interest I’ll be looking for are:

  • Has this card’s effect been replicated in any way?
    • Follow up – Has this card’s effect already been outclassed by recent cards?
  • What formats will the card be played in?
  • Does the card have a good probability of being outclassed in the future? 

With those questions in mind let’s take a look at some of our Reserve List friends from Legends. One thing to keep in mind is when I say a card will “never be created again in a similar fashion,” I’m referring to Wizards’ modern design policies for how they want Magic to be created. Some examples includes watering down counterspells, making sure removal isn’t too efficient and “Staxx effects” that destroy lands, prevent spells from being cast or can easily lock the game down on a significantly early turn.

 

The List

 

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Card Comments
The Abyss Our list starts out with one of the most expensive cards from Legends. The Abyss is something that will never be created again in a similar fashion. Imagine casting this on turn two with a Dark Ritual! Oh, the humanity. This is the definition of a Staxx effect that will never return. Magus of the Abyss is easy to remove and can actually kill itself without other creatures on your side of the board (which is why it’s a bulk rare) and I believe that is the closest we’ll ever get to seeing The Abyss’ power again. Well, Call to the Grave is pretty close but does cost one mana more!
This bodes well for the card’s future price, as it is set to only go up over time. This is a slow gainer though – the price hasn’t even moved in the past four years. It will be some time before this card goes up again because it has limited use in Constructed Magic, which relegates it to the kitchen tables and Commander games. Certainly a card to keep your eye on if you want to pick up something neat for your black Commander deck.
Acid Rain WELL, if green ever does become the dominant color of Magic in fifty years, this could be as insane as Boil!….
This card already being at $20 is pretty high for its limited utility. Color hosers are only as good in Constructed as the metagame, and for eternal formats blue will always be king which relegates cheap, massive Forest killing to the side. Cool art but this card has been outclassed by other blue things over the years. Sure, you can troll your Commander group with this if they have a particular knack for dual lands the color blue in general, though otherwise this will be a slooooooow gainer over the years.
Adun Oakenshield Depending on where you look, Adun is anywhere from $40 to $50 or more. This card took a particular hard spike back in April 2013 because someone recognized that it is pretty killer in Commander as a general. Tiny Leaders could add future value to Adun so he is something to watch out for in the future even at the current price.
Al-abara’s Carpet This card is actually pretty insane, barring that you play it early enough in a Commander game and your opponent isn’t playing a ton of flyers. I would say at $5 the “poor man’s Moat”  is pretty cheap for the reserved list and has a powerful effect. Certainly blows Scarecrow out of the water!
Alchor’s Tomb This is an example of a “do nothing” card – it costs a ton of mana for an effect that does nothing to hamper your opponent or increase your own board position without heavy outside support. The only reason this card is $3 is because it is on the list. This is the first card we’ve encountered that is RSB – reserve list bulk. Avoid.
All Hallow’s Eve One mana short of being in Tiny Leaders, this card could have fit right in with Time Spiral block since the scream counters are basically the same as the Suspend mechanic. The inspiration for Twilight’s Call, Living Death, and Living End, the card has power even if it is delayed.
At $40, it is a pricier card that probably will get outclassed in the future as Living End has a Modern deck based around it and is still only $6. Though neat, probably better to avoid if you’re looking for quicker gains.
Angus Mackenzie With Commander and Tiny Leaders demand, Angus has been gaining steadily over the past several years and has no signs of stopping. A great general and powerful static effect, I can only see him growing more steadily as the years go on.
One thing to keep in mind is that Angus’ effect might be outclassed in the future, though the creature would probably cost much more mana for a similar effect.
Bartel Runeaxe Legendary, yet sadly has been severely outclassed over the years by creature creep. RSB.
Boris Devilboon Boris does seem like he good be good, but he is competing with similar cards like Sek’Kura, Deathkeeper in the modern Magic landscape. Looking closer, he has weak stats for his mana cost and the activated ability is costly as well. RSB.
Caverns of Despair Similar to Al-abara’s Carpet, this card has a decently powerful effect since it gives red access to something that these days it would never receive. It’s pretty nice for control decks since it gives them another tool to stave off creatures. Though we look to Crawlspace as the de facto way to control attacks, this card also affects blocking creatures which is something to note. I can see it being outclassed in the future, though not in the color red. Keep an eye on this one moving forward.
Chains of Mephistopheles Chains is already crazy expensive, however it could get even more expensive as time goes on. It is a card that sees niche play in Legacy and is certainly cube and Commander worthy. The price explosion I believe is pretty much over, since the card has gone from $50 to $350 in the space of three years or so. I would still expect small, marginal gains from Chains over the next few years.
Cleanse A Wrath of God for only black creatures, this card might see play in Legacy one day though I highly doubt it. It’s on the cheaper end at $9 but, again, where is it going to see play? It is too narrow to have any applications in constructed environments 95% of the time. Not exactly RSB yet too expensive for formats like Legacy.
Disharmony A strictly worse Grab the Reins, this card is another to be avoided since it has been outclassed. RSB.
Divine Intervention Even though this card says the game ends in a draw, I think we can all agree that it you get this to go off in a game of Commander that you’re the real winner.
A neat card without any near comparisons other than the “you win the game” cycle of enchantments from Judgment, I could see this card gaining traction over time as players try to jam it into Commander as a fun way to end the game. A very slow gainer financially.
Elder Spawn Terrible creature, has been outclassed over the years. RSB.
Eureka A wild and crazy card that fits right in with a game of Commander, this card has massive casual appeal since it allows you to play all those Eldrazi and planeswalkers from your hand for free! Pretty neat! I believe I have also seen this card in a Legacy deck at some point (can’t remember which exactly) so it could pop up again in eternal formats if Hypergenesis-type decks become good again.
A slow gainer, but could spike if featured in a Legacy deck at some point.
Falling Star Yeah, this card is back when Wizards thought Chaos Orb was cool… Yeah, turns out people don’t like flipping their cards physically while playing with them. Not something you want to pick up for anything, really. RSB.
Field of Dreams OK, so black gets The Abyss and blue gets… this? Wow, can’t believe blue got the shaft here though I guess sometimes the power needs to shift to other colors (except green, of course – this is back when green was terrible). Avoid, has been outclassed over the years. RSB.
Firestorm Phoenix We’ve gotten several better phoenixs over the years, avoid. RSB.
Forethought Amulet The effect is way too narrow to be good, even with future cards added. Also, an upkeep of three mana to keep in play? Yeah, no thanks. RSB.
Gosta Dirk Legendary, but sadly has been severely outclassed over the years by creature creep. RSB.
Gravity Sphere Now here’s a card that has potential! Gravity Sphere is great at punishing blue players and similar by taking away flying. This card would fit right in with a tokens deck these days and has the added bonus of always grounding future insane flyers that Wizards decides to print.
Also, Tiny Leaders relevant! Keep an eye out on this card moving forward.
Gwendlyn Di Corci Gwendlyn is… ok. She has decent stats, however the mana cost is atrocious and the ability is sub-par at best. At $25 I don’t see how this becomes more expensive as time goes on and could easily be outclassed by future creature creep in Commander pre-cons and such.
Halfdane Though neat, this card is strictly a casual-only card as it the effect is decent yet not game breaking enough most of the time. You would have to find a way to give Halfdane other abilities like flying to make it really good. I could see this getting outclassed by similar clone effects, especially for the mana cost, however Halfdane is under $10 and could go up over the years if Shapeshifters become a thing as a tribe.
Hazezon Tamar Though slow, Hazezon is certainly powerful if you can get him to stick. I believe that he is a slightly worse Avenger of Zendikar that you can play as a general.
I think this card is rare enough to maintain the current price but will need a ton of support from future sets if it ever is going to go higher than $45.
Hellfire Hellfire is really strong however a dangerous card in formats like Commander. Yes, in a mono-black deck this can be incredible but you are risking doing a ton of damage to yourself. Lifelink and lifegain are possibilities, though.
At $16 this is one of the cheaper Legends cards and has potential in the future if mass removal continues to be printed at higher converted mana costs.
Imprison Terrible card, easily outclassed by other black removal. RSB.
In the Eye of Chaos This card was seeing some play as a sideboard card in Legacy decks as a way to help stabilize after maintaining board control. It is also pretty nice in creature based Commander or Tiny Leaders decks, as it prevents the opponent from easily casting instants and sorceries to catch up.
This is one to look out for the in the future, as it has already started climbing up in price and continues to climb as more players become aware of it.
Infinite Authority Marginal effect for a crazy mana cost, and is an aura to boot. RSB.
Invoke Prejudice Similar to In the Eye of Chaos, Invoke Prejudice is absurdly powerful in casual mono-blue decks. It makes all their creatures cost double the mana and can easily lock opponents out of the game. Even at a cost of quad-blue, the card has reached heights of $130. It does seem to be stabilizing here, and I don’t expect another huge increase for some time. Expect slow gains for this card.
Jacques le Vert As a general, this guy is marginal but certainly can be built around with such tools as Assault Formation to get more damage in. $5 is on the cheaper end of Legends cards, and with more support I could see a substantial price increase for Jacques.
Jovial Evil I guess you could kill someone playing a white weenie deck randomly with this card however the application is super narrow outside of this interaction. RSB.
Knowledge Vault Not that great – according to ME III this card should have only been an uncommon. RSB.
Kobold Overlord Thank you Prossh for turning this into a $15 card! Could it go higher? Possibly, but unlikely in the near future unless somehow more Kobold support is printed…
Lady Caleria Way too expensive for the stats and effect. RSB.
Lady Evangela One of the recent cards to spike in price, my guess is this was Tiny Leaders speculation. I’m somewhat doubtful as to its application though since removal is prevalent in the format and she is only a 1/2… Not sure I like it at $15.
Land Equilibrium Wow, this card is the definition of unfun. We will never see a card like this in Magic’s future since it can so easily prevent your opponent from executing their game plan if you’re close on land counts. The card has seen substantial gains over the past few years due to players realizing how strange and power this enchantment can be, though I doubt it will see these types of gains again in the near future.
Life Matrix Terrible, been outclassed by many other cards. RSB.
Lifeblood Color hosers really shouldn’t be rare… sigh. This card is powerful but again has narrow applications, so RSB.
Living Plane This card has some “fun” interactions with ping effects and other cards that can do one damage several times in one turn. We’re not likely to see cards like this again, so like Land Equilibrium this will go up over time though its bound to be a slow gainer (even after seeing a steady increase in price since three years ago). Planar Chaos has shown us that we can get similar effects in the future (Life and Limb).
Livonya Silone Hmm, this card is actually pretty solid since Legendary lands are played pretty often in Commander. This card allows you to play a red/green general that is decent at blocking and can sometimes get in for some damage. At $5, its pretty cheap but again could be easily outclassed in the future. Still, this is a card to watch and see if the future makes it better or worse.
Mana Matrix This is a pretty decent artifact in the right deck, and actually makes all of those big, splashy instants and sorceries Wizards has been pumping out somewhat castable! The card’s price has been pretty steady historically, so eventually we will be in for an increase once some really good sorcery / instant support is introduced.
Master of the Hunt Master of the Wild Hunt is much better. RSB.
Mirror Universe Cool card with a unique ability. This card has a lot of casual love, which has kept it over $40 for a long time. Similar to Mana Matrix, this card’s price hasn’t moved in some time and could be due for a correction eventually. Though Soul Conduit represents more repeatable switching (and other Commander shenanigans) why not play both in the same deck?
Moat One of the big daddies of Legends with Tabernacle, Moat is a card that is never going to be going down in price as time goes on. The effect is way too powerful to see print again (expect in crappy creature form) and players know this. It is even somewhat Legacy playable from time to time in the right deck. Expect slow increases over the years.
Mold Demon So bad, oh so bad… RSB.
Nether Void Similar to The Abyss, Nether Void is another black enchantment that basically locks the game down after it is cast. Trying to cast spells after this comes down is going to be pretty difficult, and again Wizards’ policies these days are to avoid Staxx cards like this that prevent players from playing the game. The card has seen some growth over the years, since it is occasionally seen in Legacy (or maybe even Vintage) decks however I would guess Commander drives much of the card’s price. Expect slow increases to continue
North Star Do nothing card, avoid. RSB.
Nova Pentacle Too expensive for the effect, will never see play even in slow formats like Commander. RSB.
Pixie Queen Green giving creatures flying is cool. Too bad it costs seven mana is tacked on to a 1/1 boy. Way too overcosted for the effect. RSB.
Planar Gate Like Mana Matrix but for creatures. This card hasn’t moved much in quite a while so I think it is up for a price correction as players look to play more artifacts that reduce the cost of creature spells.
Quarum Trench Gnomes This is a really bad color hoser… RSB.
Ragnar The other Legends card to spike recently, Ragnar could actually be pretty decent in Tiny Leaders since he allows regeneration to happen in a format full of removal. Again, like Lady Evangela the price is pretty overcosted for the stats. I guess in Tiny Leaders you take what you can get. I expect the price to settle down a bit as more cards are introduced to Tiny Leaders (aka power creep happens).
Ramses Overdark Bad, narrow creature. RSB.
Rapid Fire Expensive instant with marginal abilities. RSB.
Rasputin Dreamweaver This guy makes an awesome Commander because he can protect himself and make future cards you play cheaper with the dream counters. Plus, he can add dream counters to himself as well! Rasputin has gone up in price over time due to this and I expect that climb to continue albeit slowly.
Reverberation Too narrow of an effect for a rare. RSB.
Ring of Immortals Too narrow of an effect and overcosted. RSB.
Rohgahh of Kher Keep Combos well with Prossh, which should keep the price steady for a while. I believe the price did spike when the Commander 2013 decks were released but quickly went back down. Certainly a card to keep an eye out for once Prossh himself starts increasing in price – you can bet this card will follow suit!
Spinal Villain Could be an interesting sideboard option for Tiny Leaders or even Legacy, however being a 1/2 is definitely not that great. This is one of the stronger color hosers in the set and should be watched in case blue creature decks (like Merfolk) start dominating Legacy. However, due to the combo nature of the format I don’t really see that happening.
Spiritual Sanctuary Very bad card in general, should never have been a rare. RSB.
Storm World For one mana, I think this card deserves a second look. It’s kind of like The Rack except you can only have one of them in play. For Commander, these types of restrictions don’t matter so that isn’t really a strike against it.
For black/red discard decks, this card can do some heavy lifting for only one mana. I think at $5 this is one enchantment to keep an eye out for.
Sword of the Ages Certainly an interesting effect, though it requires you to kill practically all of your creatures. Decent in 1v1, however in Commander it’s pretty bad and unfortunately that is where this card is relegated. RSB.
The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale Like our friend Moat, Tabernacle is all $$$ and will continue to be collected over the years as the best card from Legends. A slow, steady gainer for sure but the most solid bet for a card that will maintain value from the Legends set.
Telekinesis This card has always been around $8, and my thinking is that this offers Tiny Leaders blue decks something to do while they are setting up their combo (or whatever they’re doing).
I expect we’ll get better creature removal in blue as the years go on, however the effect is unique and might see an uptick in price if Tiny Leaders gains traction.
Tetsuo Umezawa Again, a Tiny Leaders increase that happened recently has made this card go from $22 to $40 this year. Unlike other Tiny Leaders specs from this set, Tetsuo is actually somewhat powerful in that he can kill tapped creatures every turn like Royal Assassin. Yet, I’m not sure it can go higher than $40 for the time being, and could even start dropping in price if more Tiny Commanders are printed in Grixis colors.
Thunder Spirit The inspiration for Thunder Totem, we have a similar card in Sky Spirit that is only white mana. I wouldn’t expect Thunder Spirit to be breaking any formats if Sky Spirit is only $0.20.
Tuknir Deathlock Hmm, a flying 2/2 in G/R? Interesting… and it can also pump creatures +2/+2 until end of turn? Yes, this is interesting… The question is though, is it good enough for Commander? Surprisingly, that answer could be yes since this card is so weird. At $3.50, this is one of the cheaper cards from the set and the effect is definitely unique for G/R.
Typhoon Pretty bad in eternal formats, even as a color hoser. RSB.
Ur-Drago Really bad, overcosted creature. RSB.
Willow Satyr This card is pretty cool and offers green a Control Magic effect that is rarely seen in that slice of the color pie. In Commander, this card is great because you can randomly steal other people’s generals since you’re playing green and no one would expect this! At $15 that is pretty cheap for a powerful effect.
Wood Elemental Utter garbage. I believe that this card is so bad that it actually has made several official Top 10 Worst Magic Cards lists. RSB to the max.

 

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Conclusions

OK, based on that wall of text what are my top picks from Legends that might be undervalued? They are:

 

Al-abara’s Carpet

Gravity Sphere

Livonya Silone

Mana Matrix

Planar Gate

Tuknir Deathlock

Willow Satyr

 

All of these cards are in the $5-$15 range, which is fairly cheap for Reserve List cards, and will never be printed again. They all have decent effects that get better over time as more cards are introduced to the card pool. They all interact fairly well in Commander, and though aren’t the best at what they do anymore they still provide extra ‘similar effect’ copies of cards that you can use if you’re looking for more ways to create redundancy in a deck. 

Of course, we all know what the solid cards of Legends are (just check out the higher priced cards at the MTGPrice page for top Legends cards) but what are you guys tracking from Legends, if anything? Are there any undervalued reserve list cards that I just glossed over that you might think have potential? Let me know what you think in the comments!

 

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3 thoughts on “What’s on the Reserved List – Legends Edition”

  1. Just want to thank you for writing such an impressive and thorough article. I wish that you could scroll over the cards name a little pop up appears instead of having to open new tabs or windows but that’s not your fault. I personally am not interested in Commander only cards as I don’t play the format and things seem to go up and down too quickly and as you mentioned new cards can always replace the old ones. I do like how you took that and the color pie into account with your analysis. This article wasn’t for me, but I read it cause you really did great work! Plus it is kinda fun to see both how broken or terrible the first generations of magic cards are.

  2. I don’t think Planar Gate is a really great pick up when you compare it to the wealth of options available for reducing creature costs currently available to the casual player. This is far from an exact list, but the options are there: http://magiccards.info/query?q=o%3A%22less+to+cast%22+o%3Acreature+-o%3A%22can%27t%22&v=scan&s=color.

    Your other picks are very appropriate however. Mana Matrix is probably the best one of all as it reduces two types of cards that control loves to play.

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