Why Do Some Players Keep Asking to Eliminate the Legend Rule?

General forum

Posted on April 3, 2024, 8:59 p.m. by DemonDragonJ

I just saw this post on Mark Rosewater's Tumblr account, and I am very displeased that players continue to ask about eliminating the "legend rule" from the game, since that rule has reasons both flavorful and mechanical for existing.

What does everyone else say about this? Is anyone else here annoyed at how some players wish to eliminate the legend rule?

RiotRunner789 says... #2

I still prefer aspects of the original legend rule. I get that playing a legend on your side should not be a viable way to kill an opponents legends but I liked only being able to have one type of legend. Such as only one Ajani planeswalker. Seemed flavorful to be only allowed one version of a named legend on your side at a time.

April 3, 2024 10:40 p.m.

wallisface says... #3

In a world where Wotc keeps printing an egregious quantity of legendary cards in sets, it creates increased frustration for every format where singleton is not-a-thing. Players are understandably annoyed with the commender-centric direction the game is heading, and are wanting the prevalence of the legend rule toned down.

One solution is to just print less legends, which Mark has already said will be happening. But a more permanent fix is to just stop making the legend-rule be a thing, which is something Mark believes strongly should happen, but it’s a rule just too engrained in the game now to remove easily.

As far as the rule existing, I see no mechanical reason for it to exist. It’s kindof a flavour-fail also, as there’s nothing stopping you playing 12 differently named Gideons, Thalias etc.

April 3, 2024 10:49 p.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #4

I understand flavorfully and mechanically why they switched to having more than one Planeswalker of any subtype out on your own side. Having two Chandra's really just represents one Chandra with an expanded list of abilities.

But yeah it is kind of silly to see Chandra vs Chandra. Like what is she doing, hurling fireballs at herself? Lol

End of the day, it's a game. People need to stop taking it so seriously.

April 4, 2024 1:29 a.m.

I liked the idea of having one wizard pulling a planeswalker out of the ether and forcing them to help in the battle... only to have the opponent wizard reach through and pull that planeswalker to their side. I liked that old rule, and wouldn’t be opposed to extending it to “there is only one Eron the Relentless, so hopefully you grab him first...” But I’m generally for more restrictions anyways. Bring back mana burn while you’re at it. Punish the sloppy.

April 4, 2024 1:48 p.m.

jethstriker says... #6

"As far as the rule existing, I see no mechanical reason for it to exist."

The mechanical purpose of legend is to create a drawback so that card designers can create more powerful cards than ordinary. Can you imagine facing against multiple Ragavan, Nimble Pilferers or Mox Opals at a single given time in a non-singleton format.

However, most of the reason the drawback from being legendary is reduced, I believe, is because of:

-the rise of EDH as the main format. The legend rule doesn't matter in a singleton format.

-the power creep of design as time goes by. Non-legendaries most of the time now rivals the power level of legends, again making the supposed drawback pointless.

April 5, 2024 12:07 a.m.

wallisface says... #7

jethstriker i‘m not convinced that legendaries were ever deliberately made to be more powerful because of their inherent drawback - this feels like something that players would intuitively expect to be the case (because it would make sense), but looking through magics history of the strongest cards in formats, we don’t see that to be true - moderns past is littered with staples like Snapcaster Mage, Tarmogoyf, Death's Shadow, Siege Rhino, Arcbound Ravager, Goblin Guide, Bloodbraid Elf, Stinkweed Imp, Fury, Solitude, and Orcish Bowmasters. Yes there’s stuff like Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer and Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath, but I don’t think there’s enough density/evidence to conclude legendaries are inherently built stronger.

I would also be sceptical of this being the case because it would be weird for Rosewater to be wanting to remove the Legend rule if it served a mechanical purpose

This might be a question for Blogatog?

April 5, 2024 4:01 p.m. Edited.

legendofa says... #8

wallisface I'm not sure comparing the overall best nonlegendary creatures to all creatures is quite the right comparison. Legendary creatures in general tend to be more powerful than non legendary creatures in general. By comparing the average strength of legendaries to the average strength of all creatures (which may actually be impossible to standardize and express numerically), I think it's reasonable to say that legendary creatures as a whole are better than nonlegendary creatures as a whole. Atraxa, Grand Unifier, Griselbrand, Omnath, Locus of Creation, Lurrus of the Dream-Den, Muxus, Goblin Grandee, and Leovold, Emissary of Trest are a small sampling of legendary creatures that have influence (or bans) in multiple formats.

Some individual nonlegendary creatures might break the ceiling of most legendary creatures, but the general floor for legendaries is much higher, and the ceiling is comparable if not also higher. Competitive formats are built around "the best" cards, but there are a lot more nonlegendary creatures by number and proportion that aren't "the best".

April 5, 2024 6:25 p.m.

wallisface says... #9

legendofa its a tricky thing to measure for sure - particularly as legendary creatures tend to only be seen in rare or mythic slots (although they’ve been increasingly showing up as uncommons also). I still believe the overall average power of legendaries isn’t any stronger than the overall average power of nonlegendaries (when comparing to the same rarity). I’m not convinced Wotc factors in the legend rule when powering cards.

April 5, 2024 7:25 p.m.

Niko9 says... #10

I guess I kinda get it, I mean I love the legend rule (and mana burn!) but it is a rule that is purely for the flavor of the game, and I don't know, maybe it just made more sense when the lore of a game was supposed to be a battle of mages rather than, my box of ninja turtles vs your box of ninja turtles.

There are definitely things to like in both old magic and new magic, but I just think that the legend rule made more logical sense in the lore of a game when it was created.

April 5, 2024 9:04 p.m.

wallisface says... #11

legendofa, just to follow-up on the legendary-power discussion from earlier, today somebody asked the following on Blogatog: “Are there different parameters for creating a Legendary Creature? (Are they allowed to have more powerful effects or higher stats than a similarly costed non legendary?)”

Marks response: “Mostly, no.”


April 9, 2024 5:03 p.m. Edited.

DemonDragonJ says... #12

wallisface, I am not pleased to hear that, because for what other reason would the legend rule exist?

April 9, 2024 8:29 p.m.

wallisface says... #13

DemonDragonJ the game is super old, and has a lot of baggage. Not all of it makes sense or has any reason to exist. I’m sure if the game were recreated today with all of Worc’s learnings, there would be a ton of rules and nuances they’d just straight-up ditch.

April 9, 2024 8:51 p.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #14

wallisface, yes, I have no doubt about that, and one change that I would make is to have instant be a supertype, as that would make sense, to me.

April 9, 2024 9:52 p.m.

Gidgetimer says... #15

Personally I don't want them to drop the legend rule. I would much rather that they go back to just a few legendaries per set. The recent glut of legendaries is ostensibly for players like me, but I don't like it. I also don't like that every set has to connect into the multiversal adventures of "our heroes" which is, I feel part of the problem. When the antagonist is a multiversal threat it will be the legendary inhabitants of the realm that rise up to fight it. Not some random White Knight or Bomber Corps.

April 9, 2024 10:09 p.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #16

Gidgetimer, I agree that having too many legendary creatures makes them feel less special, as does having uncommon legendary creatures, so I would have no problem with WotC printing fewer legendary creatures per set, and only at rare or mythic rarity.

April 10, 2024 8:32 p.m.

wallisface says... #17

Good news then - as Marks mentioned a few times that they’re actively trying to reduce the number of legendaries in a set. How that amalgamates is anyone’s guess though.

April 10, 2024 8:40 p.m.

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