Assessing Unfinity in Legacy Part 2

Assessing Unfinity in Legacy: Part 2

Mason ClarkLegacy, Strategy

One of the most contentious sets in Magic history releases on Friday: Unfinity! While un-sets are historically just full of fun joke cards with cool basic lands thrown in, Unfinity is something more. The reason? About 40% of the cards in Unfinity are legal in Legacy and Commander! This is unprecedented, and it has caused a lot of hand wringing about the impact that will have on the formats. 

Earlier this week, we took a high-level look at the set’s mechanics and some cards that have potential, but today we’re going to go a little more in depth. Let’s get started!

Mind Goblin

While not actually named Mind Goblin (the card is actually called  ____ Goblin), the joke is clear with the sticker sheet. So, for the sake of talking about it, we’re going to call it mind goblin. I don’t think my editor will mind some goblin nonsense.

Anyway, how does this card stack up in the competitive field? To figure that out, you need to check the sticker sheets and see how much mana these cards can make. Fortunately, the Legacy community has done that already. Here are your odds:

  • There is a 30% chance to make at least six mana
  • There is a 70% chance to make at least five mana
  • There is a 100% chance to make at least four mana.

That’s right. Your first mind goblin is always going to go up one mana and give you a body, at minimum. This is, of course, incredibly powerful — and of every card in the set, this is the one I expect to show up somewhere in Legacy. Any time you can generate extra resources for little upfront cost is a huge buff to a deck. So, which deck is most interested in Mind Goblin

Goblins was once a player in Legacy, but it has seriously fallen off in the past few years. As removal became more efficient, so did threats. As a result, the iconic creatures just couldn’t keep up. However, this body that can now accelerate us to Muxus might be enough to establish this deck as a player in the format.

While I am sure there will be other uses for this card, this is a great starting place.

Clown Car

Clown Car is something that doesn’t quite seem like it works within Magic’s rules, but it might be worth playing anyway. This card, in theory, makes an infinitely large car and an infinite number of rabbits at the same time.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t really work in Magic because you ultimately have to pick a number. You can’t pick “infinity,” so most players just choose something like 100 billion. That normally makes it impossible to lose when you have an infinite amount of something, but this card adds a hitch to an otherwise simple process.

While it’s incredibly unlikely, you COULD not hit enough of the Clown Car result you need to win the game. It would require being the most unlucky player of all time, but that chance forces you to find out by rolling every time. Now, you may find an opponent who will accept their fate, but a rules stickler could make you go through the motions — an unreasonable pain.

In most cases, this card isn’t better than playing something like Walking Ballista as an outlet for your infinite mana. However, that might not always be true. The card type vehicle might get more support in the future, which could allow this card to sneak in for lethal damage when other creatures might be unable. 

So, while not broken in the sense that it’s too powerful, it is infeasible within Magic’s rules engine. I am hopeful that we never have to seriously worry about this card.

Saw in Half

Saw in Half is one of the first black border un-set cards we ever saw, and it has a very unique effect. It allows you to basically double up any threat you have, making that creature half as strong as before.

Clearly, the best way to abuse this card is by targeting creatures with strong abilities. The opportunities here are near limitless. 

Let’s say you had a Lodestone Golem. Well, now your opponent has to battle through two of them. You might just have a value card, like Baleful Strix, in your deck to help enable your game plan. With Saw in Half, you’re drawing two cards and have two removal spells on a stick.

The list goes on and on when it comes to getting value from this card. The real question is: how do we break this? Well, no one has quite figured that out, yet. Eventually, Wizards will print something that goes off when you have two copies of it. 

At least, for the moment, this card is not a problem. In the meantime, Legacy players can appreciate that this card is very easy to make work within the rules.

End step

In conclusion, as long as you don’t mind goblining up some Ls to goblins, you’re going to see a very similar format as you did before Unfinity’s release. In many ways, I think this means we’ve dodged a bullet.

The fact that there are only a few cards that could cause a stir is a huge W for Wizards of the Coast and everyone involved with balancing Unfinity. After all, just last week I wrote about how other, niche formats are causing problems in competitive spaces.

Still, I hope that, going forward, Wizards makes more black border Un-cards for Commander players — but I hope the company finds a way to keep them from entering Legacy at the same time. Instead, divert disaster and keep one of my favorite Magic products going.

Un-sets forever!