Legendary pulp

The other weekend I went down to Gothenburg again, this time to sling cards at the glorious TribeCon tournament. TribeCon is easily one of the most brag-worthy annual Tribelander tournaments in the world, rivaled only by the World Championship at the WSK convention in Växjö. And while those may also be the only two annual Tribelander gatherings in the world, the street cred and camaraderie is still nothing to scoff at.

Before the party started, I was to pick up a bunch of cards at the Mindstage store which I had acquired during the summer. And at that point it became blatantly obvious what the pandemic had done to me as a Magic player. Because even though I was just about to enter a full-day Tribelander tournament - and my main Tribes of choice this time were Witches and BW Thrulls - I'd clearly not spent any effort on obtaining excellent yet affordable new cards like Witch of the Moors or Damn for my decks. No, current hermit Mg would rather spend like a thousand dollars on unplayable garbage from Legends. Because this guy slowly made a sad shuffle away from picking up game pieces for gatherings, to collecting random cardboard to fill holes in his home-office binders. Well, admitting I have a problem is the first step.

My public reference for the purchase at svenskamagic.com. William (Timecode) combines being both physically attractive and very honest as store owners go. (If you don't read Swedish, good for me here I guess).

Anyway, in the end I was to bring this handsome deckbox with me across the border. Let's check it out.

Tags don't lie.

Ok, so we're starting off with a real card. Beta Wrath of God was extra rad in the sense that its price tag somehow still corresponded to my "price memory". Yeah, it is a very expensive card, but still somehow much cheaper than e.g. a Gaea's Cradle or certain Revised duals, and its price tag has barely moved for over half a decade. So fair enough, I say. Now I have the two Wraths I might need for my Dwarven Warriors deck. And that's it for playables in the box.

Though I can't say this is bad either. Carrion Ants was one of the true chase cards of Legends back in the days. Looking up the price in my Scrye #6 (April 1995, before 4th Edition was released), we find that Carrion Ants had a price tag of $30. This is at a time where e.g. Chains of Mephistopheles was $12, Moat was $17.75, Nether Void was $13.50, and Tabernacle was $15. Carrion Ants was the second most expensive card in the entire 310-card set, just barley edged out by Mirror Universe. And now adult Mg got the chance to buy two for like $12 apiece. The 4th Edition reprint truly did a number on the price tag of this card. But still, if I'm able to pick up 93/94-era chase rares for less than half of the price they demanded in early 1995, I'm not the guy to complain.

And God damn Gosta Dirk is a cool card. Hey, maybe I like collecting Legends after all. This guy is like the blue brother of Lord Magnus; both of them over-costed four-power first strikers that remove landwalk abilities and have complicated gear. Gosta Dirk was also one of the few english Legends cards that could be found in my playgroup in early 1995. Gustav Josefsson had one of these bad boys, to the envy of most of us. 

This card is pretty underwhelming though. It's a seven-mana legendary Craw Wurm that dies to Gosta Dirk. It also dies to Red Elemental Blast, which may come up even more frequently. And how am I supposed to ramp into seven mana in Blue/Black?

Ah, of course. Now everything makes sense. Just need to keep watching out for that Gosta Dirk. And WotC, please errata this one (and Lord Magnus, and a handful other legends from Legends) to the 'noble' creature type. I'd like to build a Tribelander Nobles deck, and need my Lord Magnuses to be format legal.

If you have 3R at disposal and want to mess with plains, maybe play Flashfires. Or maybe this guy, I don't know. Flashfires can't chump Gosta Dirk, so I guess there's that.

If this was simply a 2/2 for 4U that tapped to ping for two - without killing itself while doing it - would you play it? Like no, right? Now the best case scenario is paying six mana over two cards (to get something like Psionic Entity + Holy Strength) to repeatably ping for two, and at six mana and two cards I'd much, much rather summon a pair of Prodigal Sorcerers if that's my jam. This card is ghastly, just barely in the top half of Legends cards. And the price tag is somehow like three times that of e.g. Horn of Deafening, which is an include in any Oldschool Cube worth its salt. Maybe it's the rad van Camp art, expertly referencing the side-facepalm dude on Psionic Blast?

Some more non-reserved Legends bulk rares. All these are less than half the price of Psionic Entity, and I'd argue that all are more than twice as good. Like, Angelic Voices is even reasonable in 60-card constructed. 

This card is rad enough that I feel like doing a single-card blogpost on it in the future. Fun fact until then may be that it was the price pool for the first tournament DFB organized. (If you want a reminder that 2016 was a long time ago in Oldschool years, click that link.)

Dies to Gosta Dirk. Next.

This card is perfect in every way except the rules text. I think I would have been OK with paying top dollars for it if that had been the ask. I mean, it's a way cooler card than Gaea's Cradle and it deals two to anyone with Gosta Dirk in play.

I should buy like 12 more of these. Sure, they are restricted, but if you're playing with madmen you'll only get to tap them once.

Doesn't die to Gosta Dirk. C+.

Some uncommons. Feel free to take any misguided '94 nostalgia for a spin around these parts. If Legends was released today, I suspect it would have tanked the Hasbro stock at best and killed sanctioned Magic at mid.

Though "Lycanthrope" is unarguably a cooler creature type than "Werewolf". Take that, shiny new Innistrad set.

The haul.
Around 60 rares still to go, along with a myriad of commons and uncommons. Legends is a strange set to gather. The whole love-hate-love relationship is uncanny, unlike anything I experienced while gathering Unlimited. But maybe this will take a step back now. Maybe, after a year and a half, I'll start getting cards for playing rather than collecting again. A man can hope. Next stop is Italy.


  1. That seven mana blue black Craw Wurm is indeed underwhelming. However the artwork is pretty rad. Lady in a thong? Riding a dragon. Stuff you would expect to see on a Japanese playmat. She deserves better stats, or a kinder casting cost imho.

    1. Yeah, lots of really awesome art and flavor in Legends combined with a pretty lacking card development. Word on the street is that WotC had very little time for development and testing the set, and simply added a mana or two to a lot of cards "just in case" rather than playtest them to find the correct power level. Scarzam could have been a contender at a kinder 3UB cost, and it's very possible that was the original design...

  2. A great write-up and good choices! Love how, as the years progress, you're getting increasingly more cynical. Gosta Dirk and Sivitri have awesome art! Most legends but for the few high rollers deserve to be played with other flavourful, expensive or unimpactful constructed-unplayables from AB and early expansions (i.e. without any actual powerful cards) - in a slow moving cube with lots of duals and without lions, erhnies or hippies. They're a lot of fun to play if there are no obvious better picks.
    That Wrath is the nuts btw - very cool card in beta. I'd really like to get one of them and an Armageddon to go with it. How can it be that after so many years building up a collection, there are still so many wants on the list.. Stay well mate and great to hear the in-person events are opening up!

    1. Haha, thanks a lot man :P
      And yeah, a low-power OS cube with loads of flavor cards sounds really fun! Maybe that should my endgame of sorts for collecting the set...

      I was actually kinda surprised to see that Wrath was cheaper than Geddon these days. I want to recall that Geddon has almost always played second fiddle to Wrath historically, and combined with Wrath being one of the ten or so most played white cards in Commander I presumed that it would have an even higher price than it did (like BoP level or so). Maybe all the modern reprints have helped keep it stable.

  3. Legends sure is a beatiful set to look at in binder, seems like ive always find a new card when i look at the set :D completed it earlier this year. Have a good day // Jhovalking

  4. I never took a close look at Gosta Dirks art, but man it's amazing!

  5. "(If you want a reminder that 2016 was a long time ago in Oldschool years, click that link.) "

    That link, courtesy of your blog, is how I found the New England crew in 2016! Back then I was buying cards and building decks in total ignorance they were a mere 20 min from me.

    A memory and a reminder indeed!

  6. Greetings from Visby! Boy, am I glad I found this blog. I grew up in South Africa and started playing in 1996 when a friend bought me a fourth edition starter for my birthday. I was blown away at the time by it ("It's like Dungeons & Dragons, but with cards! And collectible!") as I was always into collecting things, which included cards. This led me down the rabbithole, and through magazines like InQuest I became obsessed with Type I cards (already by the time Mirage came around my interest was waning in new sets, I wanted the big boys, the powerful cards, although I admit there were excellent cards in the Urza block). So I started with duel lands and other such cards, never really got to make the Type 1 deck I dreamed about, and then moved on to huge collections with other CCGs like Star Wars, Star War, Middle-Earth, Legend of the Five Rings, Dune, Doomtown - the regular flood of 90's CCGs I guess.

    Fast forward to today and I am in the process of buying back Magic cards I once owned. Alas my job is not (I assume from reading through this blog) as well-paying as yours, and I currently have an 8-month-old baby to take care of, so it is a slow process, but a process nonetheless! (And still filling in gaps in my MECCG collection and picking up other old CCGs heer and there).

    Anyway, if possible, if you can see my email address here, would you mind shooting me an email? I'd love to stay in touch somehow. In Visby now but plans are afoot to move to mainland next year.



    1. Welcome Rolf, fun to read your story, if your not registered you should do that on svenskamagic.com there you can find lots of oldschool players in sweden, and im sure MG or someone else can invite you to the oldschool part of that forum aswell.
      BR //Jhovalking

    2. As Johval said, feel free to join svenskamagic and shoot me a message (my username is mg) to get an invite to the Swedish oldschool forum! And if you want to mail me directly, my email is delaval(at)gmail(dot)com. Glad to have you onboard in the format Rolf!


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