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Legions
LGN logo.png
 
Set symbol
Symbol description
Two crossed spears behind a shield
Design team
Mike Elliott (lead),
Michael Donais
Development team
William Jockusch (lead),
Elaine Chase,
Michael Donais,
Worth Wollpert
Art Director
Jeremy Cranford & Dana Knutson
Release date
February 3, 2003
Themes and mechanics
Creatures-only,
Morph triggers,
Slivers,
Tribal/creature types
Keywords and/or ability words
Amplify,
Double strike,
Provoke
Set size
145
(55 commons, 45 uncommons, 45 rares)
Expansion code
LGN[1]
Development codename
Moe[2]
Onslaught block sets
Onslaught Legions Scourge
Magic: The Gathering chronology
Onslaught Legions Scourge

Legions is the second (and a small expansion) set in the Onslaught block. It is the 28th, and first creature-only, Magic: The Gathering expansion and was released on February 3, 2003.

Set detailsEdit

Legions contains 145 black-bordered cards (45 rare, 45 uncommon, and 55 commons; 1 rare and 1 uncommon extra compared to earlier small sets). Its expansion symbol is a shield with two crossed spears, a sort of heraldic crest meant to evoke the themes of Legions. [3] [4] Like its preceding expansion, Onslaught, and following expansion, Scourge, the featured a theme that focused heavily on "tribal" cards, or cards that are concerned with creature types. [5] Legions was notable for being the first creature-only set in Magic history and also marked the return of Slivers. [6] [7] [8]

In addition to this, Legions featured a creature with all creature types, Mistform Ultimus. [9] This ability was the inspiration for the Lorwyn block Changeling ability.[10]

MarketingEdit

Marketed as the "Creature Set", the cards were sold in 15-card boosters which for the first time featured three different artworks (Riptide Mangler, Scion of Darkness and Phage the Untouchable, in four preconstructed theme decks and a fat pack. [11] [12] At the Legions prerelease, January 25–26, 2002, a foil Feral Throwback was handed out. [13] [14] The set was accompanied by the novel of the same name.

Flavor and storylineEdit

Main article: Legions (novel)

Kamahl and the Cabal, in an uneasy alliance, set out to defeat Akroma. Ixidor has been killed but Akroma nevertheless remains intent on destroying Phage. [15] In the meantime, the slivers, last seen in the Weatherlight Saga, have been reintroduced as clones of the original slivers as part of the Riptide Project.[16] In the conclusion of the novel and in a final battle between Phage and Akroma, the two beings and Zagorka merge to form Karona. [17]

TokensEdit

A Sliver token for Brood Sliver and a Goblin token for Warbreak Trumpeter were featured as a Player Reward. [18] [19] [20]

Themes and mechanicsEdit

ThemesEdit

Tribal and creature types were a prominent theme in the Onslaught block. [21] [5]

Creature subtype Tribe name Primary color Secondary color(s)
Beast Red ( )
Green ( )
Blue ( )
Black ( )
Birds Aven (in white and blue only)
Birds
White ( )
Blue ( )
Black ( )
Red ( )
Clerics White ( )
Black ( )
Dragons Red ( )
Elves Green ( )
Goblins Red ( ) Black ( )
Illusions Mistform (or Mimics)[note 1][22] Blue ( )
Soldiers White ( ) Blue ( )
Green ( )
Slivers All colors (     )
Wizards Blue ( ) All other colors (    )
Zombies Black ( )

Numerous cards with class creature types, as opposed to species or race ones, such as the Cleric, Soldier, and Wizards creature types, were retroactively given additional (species or race) creature types during the Grand Creature Type Update to be more consistent with the "race-class model".[23] In most of these cases, the additional creature type was Human. This, by and large, did not cause significant changes to this expansion or block; one notable exception to this, however, was Daru Stinger, a creature with amplify, from this expansion.[24]

MechanicsEdit

Legions featured a number of mechanics, some of which were novel, including:

  • Amplify: a keyword ability triggered when a creature with the ability enters the battlefield, it allows the controller of a creature with the ability to reveal creature cards from his or her hand that share a creature type with it in order to add a number of +1/+1 proportional to the number of creature cards revealed this way. [25]
  • Double strike: a keyword static ability inspired by a suggestion during a "You Make the Card" promotion, double strike allows a creature to deal both first-strike and regular combat damage. [26] [27]
  • Morph triggers: any triggered ability featured on a number of creature cards with morph. These abilities triggered when the face-down morphed creature was turned face-up and was designed, in part, so as to fill the void by the absence of non-creature spells in the expansion. [28] [29][30]
  • Provoke: a keyword static ability inspired by Provoke from the Stronghold expansion, provoke allowed a creature with the ability, when attacking, to untap a creature that the defending player controls and force that creature to block it. [31]
  • Saboteurs: any creature card with a "Whenever this creature deals combat damage to a player" triggered ability.

Creature typesEdit

No new creature types were introduced in Legions.

The following creature types that are not new to Magic are used in this expansion:

CyclesEdit

Legions features six cycles.

Cycle name Description and notes          
Gempalm cyclers Each of these creature cards has cycling and a tribal cycling-triggered ability. Gempalm Avenger Gempalm Sorcerer Gempalm Polluter Gempalm Incinerator Gempalm Strider
Invokers Each of these common Mutant creatures has a powerful activated ability costing  C.
These creature cards inspired a cycle of similar creature cards in Rise of the Eldrazi expansion.
Starlight Invoker Glintwing Invoker Smokespew Invoker Flamewave Invoker Stonewood Invoker
Muses Each of these rare Spirit creature cards has a powerful but unusual ability.[32] Windborn Muse Dreamborn Muse Graveborn Muse Lavaborn Muse Seedborn Muse
Slivers (common) Each of these common 1/1 Sliver creature cards has an ability that it confers to all Slivers. Plated Sliver Mistform Sliver Crypt Sliver Hunter Sliver Quick Sliver
Sliver (uncommon) Each of these uncommon 2/2 Sliver creature cards has an ability that it confers to all Slivers. Ward Sliver Shifting Sliver Spectral Sliver Blade Sliver Root Sliver
Slivers (rare) Each of these rare 3/3 Sliver creature cards has an ability that it confers to all Slivers. Essence Sliver Synapse Sliver Toxin Sliver Magma Sliver Brood Sliver

Reprinted cardsEdit

Functional reprintsEdit

Strictly betterEdit

Gempalm Strider and Stonewood Invoker, upgrades from Balduvian Bears (Ice Age), Barbary Apes (Legends), Bear Cub (Portal Second Age), Forest Bear (Portal Three Kingdoms), and Grizzly Bears (Alpha)

Notable cards and tournament impactEdit

  • Akroma, Angel of Wrath — A 6/6 legendary Angel with seven keyword abilities, the most abilities of any creature in Magic, Akroma saw a fair amount of tournament play for her imperviousness against most red and black spells and her all-round durability, granted by her protection abilities and first strike. [33] It has been reprinted as a timeshifted card in Time Spiral.
  • Goblin Goon — An overused yet essential addition to the Goblin deck. His drawback is negated by his 6/6 frame and the fact that red is about quickly casting creature swarms, as well as slinging "burn" spells.
  • White Knight — A creature first appearing in Alpha, White Knight made a triumphant return in "White Weenie" decks.

Other notable cardsEdit

  • Mistform Ultimus — An enigmatic Mistform creature. It is of every creature type (even when it isn't in play). This characteristic leads to many devastating combos. In an average deck, it is just a legendary Giant Squid. Wizards often updates its creature types, and has jokingly commented that the Ultimus is a mutant ninja turtle. According to the Card of the Day feature on Magic's online site, if all the creature types were listed on Mistform Ultimus, the text would be .40 point. It is one of the cards which got reprinted in Time Spiral, and is now a legendary creature (due to Legend being a creature type before Kamigawa legend rules change). This card was also the basis of the Changeling mechanic from Lorwyn.
  • Phage the UntouchableJeska (Kamahl's sister) healed and corrupted with Cabal magic. [34] She has developed a power almost similar to the First's: a touch so strong it can rapidly rot flesh of those living and those which lived (even planeswalker flesh, as is reflected with her ability). Oddly enough, in the context of a game of Magic, Phage can't kill indestructible creatures like Darksteel Colossus and the Myojin (if they have a divinity counter on them); however, from a flavor perspective, it makes sense that Phage can't destroy creatures made of Darksteel, because her rotting touch only affects organic material, with the exception of silk. Due to Phage's cost and drawback, she doesn't see much tournament play (though, she does make for devastating casual games), and has gained the nickname "Phage the Unplayable."
  • Timberwatch Elf — A common elf creature that, when tapped for its ability, gives a creature a power/toughness boost equal to the number of elves in play. It is a staple of both competitive and casual elves decks, and its ability reflects the strong "linear" theme of the Onslaught block.

Preconstructed decksEdit

Main article: Legions/Theme decks

Legions has two monocolored and two multicolored theme decks.

Theme deck name Colors included
         
Elvish Rage G
Morph Mayhem W U
Sliver Shivers W U G
Zombies Unleashed B

NotesEdit

  1. Mistform creatures all have the ability to change their creature type.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Wendy Wallace. (August 12, 2002.) “Ask Wizards - August, 2004”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater. (August 12, 2002.) “Codename of the Game”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Magic Arcana. (January 05, 2003.) “Legions logo and symbol”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Brady Dommermuth. (October 31, 2006.) “Ask Wizards”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. a b Mark Rosewater. (September 23, 2002.) “Tribal's in Your Court”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Randy Buehler. (January 31, 2003.) “Tales from the Crypt Sliver”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Mark Rosewater. (March 8, 2004.) “Sliver Me Timbers”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Randy Buehler. (January 24, 2003.) “One Part Ophidian, One Part Sliver”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Aaron Forsythe. (March 12, 2004.) “The Ultimate Sliver”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Mark Rosewater. (November 19, 2007.) “The Times, They Are A-Changeling”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Magic Arcana. (January 24, 2003.) “The Fat Pack”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Magic Arcana. (January 07, 2003.) “Legions product shot”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Magic Arcana. (February 03, 2003.) “Prelease card”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Brian David-Marshall. (January 24, 2003.) “Legions Prerelease Primer”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Rei Nakazawa. (January 14, 2003.) “For They Are Legions”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Rei Nakazawa. (March 8, 2004.) “A Sliver Story”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  17. Wizards of the Coast. “Legions Story Summary”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  18. Magic Arcana. (January 30, 2003.) “New token cards”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  19. Magic Arcana. (March 28, 2003.) “Legions Goblin token”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  20. Magic Arcana. (June 11, 2003.) “New Player Rewards tokens”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  21. Mark Rosewater. (January 20, 2003.) “Lions and Tigers and Bears”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  22. Mark Rosewater. (October 14, 2002.) “Creature Feature”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  23. Randy Buehler. (November 22, 2002.) “Debating Humanity”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  24. Mark Gottlieb. (September 26, 2007.) “The Grand Creature Type Update”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  25. Mike Elliott. (January 28, 2003.) “The Name of the Beast”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  26. Anthony Alongi. (September 16, 2003.) “Seeing Double”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  27. Randy Buehler. (January 17, 2003.) “Double Damage, Double Fun”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  28. Mark Rosewater. (January 6, 2003.) “Trigger Happy”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  29. Aaron Forsythe. (January 8, 2003.) “Morph Trigger Rules Primer”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  30. Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar. (February 13, 2003.) “Decks That Morph”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  31. Wizards of the Coast. “Legions Frequently Asked Questions”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  32. Randy Buehler. (March 28, 2003.) “The Muses' Story”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  33. Mark Rosewater. (June 12, 2006.) “Angels Among Us”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  34. Mark Rosewater. (January 13, 2003.) “Phage Against the Machine”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.

External linksEdit