Dominaria United is here, and it’s shaping up to be an epic set featuring countless legends, both new and returning. The main themes are legendary creatures and domain, and the preconstructed Commander decks releasing alongside the main set reflect these concepts.
Today, I’ll be taking a look at the Legends’ Legacy precon — a deck that wants to leverage the power of legendary creatures to overpower its opponents.
New Commander Cards
Here’s a breakdown of the most important new cards in this deck:
Dihada, Binder of Wills is the face commander for Legends’ Legacy. Her planeswalker abilities are focused heavily on legendary cards, with treasure generation and graveyard subthemes. This is a fantastic value piece for “legendary matters” strategies, and she will likely see play in the ninety-nine of other well-known legendary decks like Sisay, Weatherlight Captain.
Shanid, Sleepers’ Scourge is the backup commander for the precon and, like Dihada, they are an excellent value piece for legends matters decks. Their abilities make them well suited to be a powerful aggressive commander — granting evasion helps punch through defenses, and drawing cards lets you recover well from board wipes.
The Reaver Cleaver is the equipment equivalent to Old Gnawbone, which to say it’s extremely potent. The potential to generate several treasures a turn is phenomenally powerful, so this will be sought after by several combat heavy and treasure themed decks.
And if you hate having to sit through extra turns, then Gerrard’s Hourglass Pendant is the artifact for you. It’s effectively Ugin’s Nexus, but at an 80% discounted mana cost. It can also recover all non-planeswalker permanents that hit your graveyard that turn, which is incredible board wipe protection.
Cadric, Soul Kindler is a strange but powerful creature in the deck. Its ability to bend the legend rule for your tokens is fantastic, giving you the opportunity to get extra value by copying legendary creatures. It’s also a strange color combination for this kind of effect, so this will likely end up as a popular commander among brewers.
Meanwhile, if you’ve ever wanted Vampire Nighthawk in the command zone, then you might like Verrak, Warped Sengir. They’re far more than just a decent little creature though — their ability to copy abilities that involve paying life is narrow but powerful. They can copy fetch land activations to ramp or abuse abilities from cards like Greed for extra value. This is a commander that will grow in power over time as more cards that fit this play style are released.
We also finally have another colorless creature that can be a commander! The Peregrine Dynamo is the first colorless legend since Traxos, Scourge of Kroog back in Dominaria (Faceless One and The Prismatic Piper notwithstanding), and that alone will make them very popular. Like Verrak, their ability is quite narrow but extremely powerful, and they will likely see play in the ninety-nine of many legendary heavy decks.
Legends’ Legacy Deck Review
Legends’ Legacy, as the name suggests, is a “legend matters” deck. Its primary game plan is to play legendary creatures and win through combat, with a subtheme of graveyard value. The average mana value in the list is 3.52, which is fairly average for preconstructed decks. The bulk of the deck’s mana costs are three and four mana, so once you hit the first few land drops, it should operate just fine.
Legends’ Legacy is chock full of value. The deck is on sale for $39.99 at the time of writing, but the value of the singles in the deck is around $170.
This is among the best value ratios in recent years. Part of this comes down to the new cards, like The Reaver Cleaver, Gerrard’s Hourglass Pendant and Zeriam, Golden Wind — but there are also some big reprints like Shizo, Death’s Storehouse to help add to the value.
Oketra’s Monument, Bontu’s Monument and Hazoret’s Monument are all present here too, which were climbing in price recently, and there are a number of other cards valued around the $2-4 mark, like Dragonskull Summit and Captain Lannery Storm.
This deck wants to curve out and play legendary cards, then buff the entire team to pressure opponents while generating constant value. It should play well out of the box, though the land count is a little high (39 lands). As I mentioned earlier, it does require that you hit your land drops consistently to play well, so it’s somewhat understandable.
In terms of power level, I’d say it’s relatively in line with most recent offerings, and I’d have no issues shuffling this up either to play with other precons or for a relaxed game with somewhat untuned decks.
Upgrading Legends’ Legacy
Playing with the deck out of the box feels like a pretty standard preconstructed experience: solid, fair and capable of results if piloted well. Some cards, like Hero’s Blade and Sword of the Chosen, definitely feel lackluster, and some feel a bit too clunky (we really didn’t need another Zetalpa, Primal Dawn reprint).
Upgrading the deck would involve lowering the curve, replacing some cards with more potent alternatives and improving the graveyard synergies. Due to the legends matters theme, a priority will be placed on legendary permanents that can fill these roles.
The main focal points for this upgrade will be:
- Improve graveyard synergies
- Improve card quality and consistency
- Increase pressure
Anything that doesn’t compliment either the main game plan or bolster any of the pillars of the upgrade will be replaced by something better suited.
Since one of Dihada, Binder of Wills’s abilities mills cards, it would be wise to increase the value you can gain from this. Sevinne’s Reclamation can bring back smaller permanents like lands and mana rocks, as well as being castable if it’s one of the cards that gets milled.
Takenuma, Abandoned Mire fits easily into the mana base while giving you some extra recursion, and its channel cost can easily be reduced to just one mana thanks to the high legendary count.
Olivia, Crimson Bride is perhaps the best way to gain repeated value from your graveyard. She will fill out your battlefield by returning fallen creatures whenever she attacks, which will really help you to rebuild after a board wipe.
As I mentioned above, some of the cards can feel lackluster compared to the rest of the deck. They will be replaced by these more generically powerful pieces that also help you to find the right card for the situation.
Thalia’s Lancers is the all-star addition to the deck. After upgrades, there are 48 legendary cards in the deck, ranging from value pieces to lands and even board wipes. The ability to find exactly what’s needed at the time can turn the tide of a game.
This is also why we’re adding Varragoth, Bloodsky Sire. He’s awkward to block, so it’s likely you’ll get to use his boast ability on several turns. You can also use it politically to convince an opponent to tutor for an answer instead of you.
Finally, Weatherlight isn’t just a thematic addition — it can fly over the top of crowded battlefields, and its combat damage trigger can keep you well-stocked with cards.
Next, this upgrade section will help increase the deck’s ability to pressure the table. Legendary creatures tend to be better on rate than most nonlegendary ones, so it shouldn’t take much to truly exert your combat superiority in-game.
Yoshimaru, Ever Faithful is easily one of the most pressuring creatures in this deck, since half the deck will buff them up. If they hit the board early, they can be responsible for taking a huge bite out of the table’s life totals.
Similarly, Adeline, Resplendent Cathar is the gold standard when it comes to lean aggression. She has proven to be a massive threat in almost every format, as her small army snowballs out of control over the course of just a few turns.
Lae’Zel, Vlaakith’s Champion is also a great threat, but in a more circuitous way. First, she greatly improves Dihada’s +2 loyalty ability by helping her ultimate after only two activations. Second, she synergizes beautifully with the very minor +1/+1 counters subtheme, turning cards like Drana, Liberator of Malakir and Unbreakable Formation into game ending spells.
To round out the upgrades, you can replace some of the tapped lands with some efficient mana acceleration. This will help you cast your spells ahead of time, and let you cast multiple spells sooner.
Birgi, God of Storytelling, is incredible in this deck. Her mana rebate ability has proven to be easily broken, but it fits well here to effectively reduce spell costs. The back side (Harnfel, Horn of Bounty) is also a value engine for when you no longer need the mana generation. To top it all off, her double boast effect also works nicely with Varragoth!
The Celestus isn’t just a legendary mana rock, but it’s a great way to gain additional value. The looting effect can help you dig further into your deck while putting cards into the bin to recur with your new graveyard engine.
The Full Upgrade
The total cost of this upgrade is roughly $50. This is the sweet spot in Commander to me: the power-to-dollar ratio is at its highest around this price point, and the list can be easily tweaked to increase or decrease in power as you see fit. If you like this deck, you can buy all the upgrade singles at the same time as the preconstructed deck, saving you time as well as money.
Scott is an Irish content creator and the Head of Budget Magic for the Izzet League. He focuses on affordable decks in Pioneer, Modern, and Pauper, particularly ones that stray from the mainstream. When he’s not writing about his favorite decks, he can be found talking incessantly about them on Twitter and on The Budget Magic Cast.