Legends Issues: The Changes Legends Made Almost 30 Years Ago

Thanks to a collation trip-up, Wizards of the Coast had a redemption program for Legends.

With Magic: The Gathering kind of letting the cat out of the bag recently about how Dominaria United is going to have Legends in them, like actual cards from Legends (in like 3% of packs, but still), Magic Untapped thought that we'd look at the original Legends expansion from 1994 and how it had a few, well, trip-ups.

First off there was the name. Originally it was going to be called 'And the Legend Continues', but they kept just shortening it to 'Legends' and it kind of just stuck. And then there were all the cards originally planned for it, like cards based off of chess and still incorporating cards dating back to Alpha, but playtesting got these out. But the biggest thing was the redemption program.

We've talked about the redemption program before. Very basically, the redemption program can mean a mass trade-in of cards or exchanges. A printer makes too many of one type, or they accidently print banned cards for an expansion, or something like that. A problem comes up, Wizards of the Coast attempts to correct it.

Legends redemption program page from "The Duelist" magazine. (WOTC)
Legends redemption program page from "The Duelist" magazine. (WOTC)

With Legends, it was the first to ever do this. And it was easy to see why. Uncommon cards had to be rolled out in two groups, but a filing error pretty much laced all the uncommons in one. That meant that one run had a ton of uncommons, while the other had none. Really makes the whole moniker of "uncommon" kind of pointless.

Wizards of the Coast probably wasn't too happy when they found out that half their packs now essentially was filled with some good lower-middle cards to help fill your deck out, and the others were now a roll of the dice if you got something basic or something rare.

Considering that the Internet in 1994 was still something you needed to hook up to your phoneline to access, blaring it out through that wasn't an option. But you know what was? Magazines. Specifically by putting an ad out in Duelist Magazine. There they offered a trade of any of the numerous uncommon cards from the first group for any of the ones not released widely, with a caveat of limiting it to 100 cards per person, with no two cards of the same type being sent in for redemption.

So, was it fixed? Eh, good enough.

It was the best they could do in an era where e-mail was still seen as a toy. But now a lot of these cards from twenty-eight years ago are coming back in the mix. Some luck people may even get some worth in the thousands. 

As cool as Dominaria United seems, let's just remember the set it is harkening back too wasn't exactly perfect.

Evan Symon

Evan Symon is a graduate of The University of Akron and has been a working journalist ever since with works published by Cracked, GeekNifty, the Pasadena Independent, California Globe, and, of course, Magic Untapped.