Urza's Legacy

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Urza's Legacy
Urza's Legacy
Urzas Legacy logo.png
Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description Hammer
Design Mike Elliott (lead)
Bill Rose
Mark Rosewater
Development Henry Stern (lead)
Mike Elliott
William Jockusch
Bill Rose
Mark Rosewater
Art direction Ron Spears
Release date February 15, 1999
Plane Dominaria
Themes and
Free spells, Sleeping and Growing enchantments
Keywords and/
or ability words
Cycling, Echo
Set size 143 (55 Common 44 Uncommon 44 Rare)
Expansion code ULG[1]
Development codename Guacamole
Urza's block
Urza's Saga Urza's Legacy Urza's Destiny
Magic: The Gathering chronology
Anthologies Urza's Legacy Sixth Edition

Urza's Legacy is the sixteenth Magic expansion and was released in February 1999 as the second set and first small expansion in the Urza's block.

Set details[edit | edit source]

Urza's Legacy contains 143 black-bordered cards (44 rare, 44 uncommon, and 55 commons). Its expansion symbol is an machinist's hammer, meant to symbolize Urza’s continued experiments in finding a means to defeat Phyrexia.[2] This set was the first expansion to feature randomly inserted foil cards. Like its predecessor the set had many powerful cards, which strengthened the Combo Winter. After many powerful cards from Urza's Saga and a few preceding sets had to be banned, the DCI was wary of more such combo cards. As Randy Buehler stated, "players began leaving the game in droves".[3] Memory Jar was expected to herald new combo decks and mere days after Urza's Legacy became tournament legal an extremely fast combo deck built around the Jar was showing up.[4] Because of that, the DCI decided to ban the card outside the usual schedule in what has been the first "emergency banning" in the history of the game.

Urza's Legacy was the first set to feature appropriately colored text box frames for monocolored non-basic lands. Before this, these text boxes had featured bronze colored frames.

Marketing[edit | edit source]

The cards were sold in 15-card boosters which had artwork from Beast of Burden and in four preconstructed theme decks. Prerelease events were held February 6, 1999; the prerelease card was a foil, also Beast of Burden.

Storyline[edit | edit source]

Urza continues to build a collection of artifacts and a skyship that will defeat the Phyrexian invasion. With the assistance of his student Jhoira and Karn, the silver golem, Urza surveys the Thran Mana Rig in Shiv and uncovers its primary purpose. While he is away, the people of his Tolarian Academy have to battle a Phyrexian infestation on the island itself. The story of this set is recounted in the book Time Streams.

Mechanics & themes[edit | edit source]

The two Urza's Saga mechanics echo and cycling are both present in Urza's Legacy as well. In the earlier set, echo was solely a creature ability, but Urza's Legacy expanded this by including artifacts with echo. Additionally, while in Urza's Saga echo was used mainly to get larger-than-usual creatures out at a discount, in Urza's Legacy most creatures with echo had average power and toughness for their cost but came with a comes-into-play ability, effectively making them two spells for the price of one.

This expansion also continued the themes of "sleeping" and "eternal" enchantments, adding a handful of new cards of each type. It also included a set of enchantments that function like the sleepers but sacrifice themselves to produce some effect when the condition is met rather than turning into a creature (i.e. Brink of Madness). They're essentially "sleeping instants." This was not an entirely new concept, since a few isolated cards like this had appeared in the past, but here it's a significant subtheme.

The other significant Urza's Legacy card cycle was its lands (aka "Manlands") . For each color, there was a land that could tap for that color of mana or temporarily turn itself into a creature.

Creature types[edit | edit source]

The following creature types are introduced in this expansion: Beeble, Carrier, Sponge.

The following creature types are used in this expansion but also appear in previous sets: Angel, Ape, Beast, Bird, Cleric, Crab, Drake, Elf, Faerie, Goblin, Horror, Hydra, Illusion, Imp, Insect, Knight, Lizard, Minion, Nomad, Phoenix, Shapeshifter, Soldier, Spirit, Toad (later changed to Frog), Townsfolk (later changed to Human), Treefolk, Viashino, Wizard, Wolf, Wurm, Zombie.

Cycles[edit | edit source]

Urza's Legacy has three cycles and a vertical cycle:

Cycle name Description and notes {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Manlands Each of these uncommon lands comes into play tapped, can be tapped for one mana of a given color, and has an activated ability that can turn it into a creature until end of turn. This cycle was reprinted in 10th Edition. Forbidding Watchtower Faerie Conclave Spawning Pool Ghitu Encampment Treetop Village
Recurring Auras Each of these common Aura enchantments returns to its owner's hand when put into a graveyard from play. Cessation Slow Motion Sleeper's Guile Sluggishness Rancor
Sleeping enchantments Each of these rare enchantments sacrifices itself for a big effect if a certain requirement is met during your upkeep. Planar Collapse Second Chance Brink of Madness Impending Disaster Defense of the Heart

Vertical cycle[edit | edit source]

Cycle name Description and notes
Phyrexian Carriers Each of these black Carrier creatures can be sacrificed to give another creature -X/-X until end of turn, where X is its power and toughness. Phyrexian Denouncer
Phyrexian Debaser
Phyrexian Defiler Phyrexian Plaguelord

Mirrored pairs[edit | edit source]

Card pairs[edit | edit source]

Notable cards[edit | edit source]

Reprinted cards[edit | edit source]

The following cards have been reprinted from previous sets and included in Urza's Legacy.

Card comparisons[edit | edit source]

Preconstructed decks[edit | edit source]

deck name
Colors included
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Crusher W G
Phyrexian Assault B R
Radiant's Revenge W U
Time Drain U G

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wizards of the Coast (August 02, 2004). "Ask Wizards - August, 2004". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Brady Dommermuth (October 31, 2006). "Ask Wizards". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Randy Buehler (November 14, 2003). "Extended Thoughts". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Daily Deck List (May 22, 2009). "Memory Jar". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Mark Rosewater (June 20, 2016). "25 More Random Things About Magic". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.

External links[edit | edit source]