For most legacy decks, the manabase accounts for over 90% of the deck's cost. This format would dramatically lower the cost of entry while allowing access to legacy's entire nonland card pool. It never made sense to have to spend thousands of dollars on lands. It never made sense that Brainstorm is effectively turned into an Ancestral Recall if you're willing to spend hundreds of dollars to add fetchlands to even a monoblue deck. And it never made sense that there is zero real cost to splashing colors. Splashing a color should have a cost to it.
Legacy Basic: A legacy variant format in which all noncommon lands are banned. Budget Friendly, Nostalgia Friendly, Casual Friendly and Generally More Fun. You could say that about pauper as well but this format would have a far larger carpool than Pauper to work with.
My friends and I were having a discussion about how the fun of nonrotating formats has fallen dramatically over the past 15 years or so. Most of us got into magic because we loved fair decks, using fair strategies and in the case of many of us, attacking with creatures. However, most legacy games involve lots of durdling around with shuffle effects/fetchlands and cantrips or outright comboing off on turn one. Plus legacy as a format has grown into an increasingly high barrier to entry. Decks consisting of just basic lands simply do not exist in modern legacy and paying 3 mana for a 5/4 or a Hypnotic Specter or 4 mana for a Surrak, the Huntcaller, Baneslayer Angel, Goreclaw or Phyrexian Obliterator is not considered a competitive strategy.
Our goal is to have a clearly defined rule we would all have to abide by to advance three goals, make sure creature decks are viable again, allow for competive decks to be built on a budget so people who don't have expensive cards don't feel excluded, ensure the games are more fun.
This only rules are….
Noncommon lands are banned.
Every other legacy legal card is allowed.
The mana bases would be the same as pauper, but the format would have access to all other legacy cards.
Basically, legacy without duals, fetchlands, shocklands, gaea's cradle, city of traitors, dark depths etc. A legacy where there is a real perceptible cost to splashing another color, where mana bases that consist of mostly or entirely basic lands make sense.
My friends and I plan to try this format later this year, and we would love some input. Do you think a format such as this would be pretty balanced. Or would it need a ban list? What do you think would need to be banned?
What do you think the metagame would look like?
I think it would be pretty balanced, something like this…
Aggro Control – The glue that keeps combo decks in check
Mono Blue Delver
Mono Blue Merfolk
Mono Blue Control - Veldalken Shackles might see play again
Mono White Control – Quinn without the Snowlands
Mono Black Control
Slow Resilent Combo
High Tide – Slow enough that decks will have a chance to interact with it. Burn, sligh and other fast aggro decks can win by around the same time that High Tide can.
Mono Black Reanimator – Will be somewhat depowered due to the lack on cantrips (Faithless Looting/Careful Study) and easier to hate out as it would be slower and black is incapable of dealing with Leyline of the Void/Rest in Peace
OmniShow – Will be significantly slowed by the lack of Sol Lands and Brainstorm/Fetchland interaction
Stax – Might be too slow to make any impact without the sol lands
Oops All Spells
MonoR Sneak Attack/Through the Breach – Will lack the acceleration that sol lands provide and the autowins that Blood Moon provides
Elves – Cards like Engineered Plague and Wrath of God might see maindeck play if elves deck starts to dominate
Mono Green Ramp
Mono Green Enchantress
Mono Green Infect
White Weenie – Death and Taxes without Wastelands/Ports
That sounds like it would be a blast to play. I look forward to trying this format and my friends and I would love any input you have on making it work well.