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By: Raddman, Graig W
Feb 15 2010 3:09am
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Creature me this, creature me that, who is afraid of great big Lhurgoyf? Batmans’ nemesis isn’t the only one with riddles. I have a few riddles of my own. 
            If Tarmogoyf is the number one played creature in Legacy, what is number two? How about number three?
About a week ago I submitted an article revolving around a research project I started. That article can be seen here (puremtgo.com/articles/infinity-and-beyond).
This week my research brings us into the creature realm. Before I present my list, I want to make sure you understand the point of my research. It was to maximize my collection and to find out which cards purchased would allow me to play the most amount of decklists. Therefore, you will find creatures missing such as Goblins or Merfolk. I only researched cards that were used multiple times.
In Alphabetical Order, here are the meat and potatoes. Was that potato or potatoe, can never remember (insert sarcastic political reference here).

Card Name
# of Decks Using
# of Times Cards Used
Card Price
 $     6.75
 $    25.00
 $     0.35
 $     4.75
 $     9.50
 $     1.65
 $     3.00
 $     0.50
 $     2.00
 $     6.00
 $     0.12
 $     1.50
 $     0.12
 $     0.25
 $     8.00
Nether Spirit
 $     0.40
 $     8.00
 $     2.50
 $   28.00
 $     9.25
 $     0.08
 $     0.15
 $     0.05
 $     1.30
 $     1.30
 $    62.00
 $     3.50
 $     0.40
 $     0.15
 $    12.00
 $     2.50
Goblin Shell
 $    80.90
Merfolk Shell
 $    12.00
Sliver Shell
 $    13.86
White Weenie Shell
 $     8.96
Elves Shell
 $    17.03

 As expected, Tarmogoyf blows the field away in total uses and decks used. 
Are you surprised
at number two? 
I mean what
about BOB?     
                        Dark Confidant
Number three was
a little surprising
for me, good ole
Mr. Mage.       
                         Trinket Mage
I thought for sure we
would see the
Graveyard Lover 
in the top three. 
 Coming in tied and Rounding out the Top Five were:
Simian Spirit Guide          and         Nimble Mongoose
If you are the creature loving type, you will happy to know that playsets of 4 out of the top 6  will only cost you $15.80. 
Add in a playset of BOBs and you find yourself at $42.80.  Amazing though that you can buy playsets of all 4 creatures
and still not reach the cost of a single Tarmogoyf (currently sitting at $52, $62).  Yes, yes I know, the cost of Tarmo and Bob are
currently inflated.  At one time I believe you could get Tarmos for under 14 and Bobs for around 2-3.
Regardless of the current market price, the fact remains that if you wish to play anything green, Tarmogoyf is almost an auto-include, heck even some merfolk lists are splashing for him.
Also something I decided to include in my research was pricing for 5 different shells.
Goblins, Merfolk, Slivers, White Weenie and Elves.
Goblins are clearly the most expensive.  Goblin Lackey currently running around $10 accounts for 50% of the decks cost. 
You know what happens when you assume, but I am assuming his price will drop when/if Urza's comes online.
Merfolk looks tempting at only $12.  A thing to note here is that Mutavault ($10/each) is not included in the shell (only creatures).
Slivers and White Weenie aren't too expensive either, although I am not sure if they are consistently a good deck choice. 
I would tend to think Merfolk, Elves and Goblins are more serious consistent contenders.
So let’s take a look at a few Legacy Lists running some of these Top 6 Creatures:

Survival Rock ($653.54)
Lands (20)                             Creatures (24)
4x Windswept Heath             4x Birds of Paradise
4x Verdant Catacombs          3x Dark Confidant
2x Scrubland                        2x Eternal Witness
2x Savannah                         1x Gaddock Teeg
1x Swamp                            1x Genesis
4x Bayou                                4x Tarmogoyf         
2x Forest                              2x Kitchen Finks
1x Plains                              1x Loyal Retainers
                                              2x Qasali Pridemage
                                              1x Shriekmaw
                                              1x Squee, Goblin Nabob
                                              1x Iona, Shield of Emeria
                                              1x Faerie Macabre
Spells (16)                                 
4x Survival of the Fittest


DeadGuy Ale ($637.75)
Lands (22)                             Creatures (13)
4x Wasteland                      4x Dark Confidant
4x Scrubland                       2x Hypnotic Specter
1x Polluted Delta                 4x Tarmogoyf
4x Marsh Flats                    3x Tombstalker
2x Bloodstained Mire        
4x Bayou                                          
2x Forest                        
1x Plains                        
Spells (25)                                 

 So, just as I did in the last article, I think we will start with playsets of these 6 creatures and branch out from there. 
So, we purchase playsets of Tarmogoyf, Dark Confidant, Trinket Mage, Tombstalker, Nimble Mongoose and Simian Spirit Guide.  Total cost would be $290.80.  Tarmogoyfs sitting at $52.00, $62.00 really puts a damper on the checkbook.  Being the betting man I am, I would say the price will drop quite a bit before December when Legacy hits.
So by purchasing the above cards, we can run these decks with the following added creature costs:

Deck Name
Needed Cards
Add Cost
The Fear
 $         5.15
2x Nether Spirit
Dream Halls
 $       39.50
Dark Depths
4x Vampire Hexmage, 2 Vendilion Clique, 4x Dark Depths (forgot to include these on Land Article)
 $     184.80
Green Stax
 $       47.03
4C Thresh
 $         2.72
UGB Thresh
 $         0.30
UGR Thresh
 $         2.60
UGW Thresh
 $         0.30
 $         0.48
 $       15.25
Ad Nausem
 $               -  
1x Auriok Champion, 2x Cavern Harpy, 1x Eternal Witness, 2x Man-O-War, 4x Raven Familiar, 4x Wall of Blossums
 $       17.23
Survival Bant
 $       45.39
 $         1.60
Deadguy Ale
 $         1.00
 $       56.45
 $     112.00
 $       16.00
43 Land
 $               -  
 $       84.30
Team America
 $               -  
Aggro Loam
 $       18.50
 $       24.00
Death and Taxes
4x Flickerwisp, 2x Gaddock Teeg, 3x Kitchen Finks, 3x Mangara of Coronder, 4x Mother of Runes, 3x Qasali Pridemage, 3x Serra Avenger
 $         9.34
Dragon Stompy
 $       42.77
4x Argothian Enchantress
Faerie Stompy
 $         9.65
Imperial Painter
 $       81.20
4C Landstill
 $       25.00
UWB Landstill
 $       50.00
Loam Control
 $         0.10
Naya Zoo
3x Grim Lavamancer, 4x Kird Ape, 4x Wild Nactl
 $       10.28
2x Putrid Imp, 1x Sphinx of Steelwind
 $       26.35
 $       56.26
 $               -  
Survival Rock
 $       30.39
 $       15.62
Trinket Painter
 $       10.00
 $       33.00
Rogue Wizard
 $       40.78
Rogue Walker
1x Ajani Vengent, 1x Elspeth, Knight-Errant, 1x Sorin Markov
 $       48.50

Here we have 42 decklists. Excluded were the 5 different shells I talked about earlier. While there is some serious added cost in some of these lists, there is one thing very reassuring. Out of 42 decklists, 21 would cost less than $25.00 to complete. While I know not everyone is made of money, I think $25 is very reasonable.
So let’s take a look at where we stand so far in cards purchased.
Land Article: 4x Polluted Delta, 4x Flooded Strand, 4x Wasteland, 3x Tropical Island, 3x Tundra, 3x Underground Sea. Total cost = $303.00
Creature Article : 4x Tarmogoyf, 4x Dark Confidant, 4x Trinket Mage, 4x Tombstalker, 4x Nimble Mongoose, 4x Simian Spirit Guide. Total cost = $290.80
Total Cost Combined = $593.80
Seem like a heavy investment so far? If Tarmgoyfs alone dropped to $20 each, your total cost would decrease by $168, making the overall total = $425.80
I don’t really see any other cards purchased dropping in price other than maybe Dark Confidant, which would make a minimal impact to the overall cost. The fetches will probably remain the same. Wasteland will more than likely rise in cost depending on how quickly the Legacy format grows. The Dual Lands are also likely to stay the same or rise in price, but I highly doubt they will decrease.
That sums up this portion of my research. The next article will focus on the Spells of the game. I decided to group everything in one giant category as opposed to separating each one.
Force of Will is clearly the leader of the Pact, so which card is number two? Better yet, what cards do you think make up the Top 5?
Join me next time to find out the answer.........


 -Graig W.-
ImpinAintEasy on Mtgo


Popular Creatures by Katastrophe at Mon, 02/15/2010 - 05:18
Katastrophe's picture

I guessed Dark Confidant right! Woo-hoo! I'm not so sure that Goyf will ever drop to $20, but he isn't redeemable anymore either. I'll guess 34 tix in June. We'll see.

So while I'm guessing, how about this top 5:
1) Force of Will, given
2) Brainstorm
3) Dark Ritual
4) Engineered Explosives?
5) Sensei's Divining Top
Honorable Mention or tied for 5th again: Lightning Bolt
Notably Absent: tutors of the instant and sorcery type? (absent only from the top 5, of course)

great by LOurs at Mon, 02/15/2010 - 06:49
LOurs's picture

i am surprised of the place of qasali, this creature being really amazingly useful. and yes, trinket is a house.

about spells, i wont be surprised to find a duress/seize in top 3 because these T1 spells are incredibly useful in aggro, combo or control deck. and black is a very often played color.
Swords to plowshare could also compet because it was the best removal until path came around.
Sensei will clearly enter in so many decks that it seems really difficult not to see it in the top 3. But there are also the SB choices, and in this case, i guess Needle would have a great place in the top.

Blue on a green background! by Anonymous (not verified) at Mon, 02/15/2010 - 11:11
Anonymous's picture

Blue on a green background! Are you colour blind?

do you complain about by Anonymous (not verified) at Mon, 02/15/2010 - 11:28
Anonymous's picture

do you complain about everything- here is a guy basically trying to make your life easier and spending hours researching and all you can do is b**** get a life

The blue is the standard by Paul Leicht at Mon, 02/15/2010 - 18:07
Paul Leicht's picture

The blue is the standard color of your browsers hyperlink (a tag) if you want to change it you can. Just saying...

Sorry about the coloring, I by ImpinAintEasy (not verified) at Mon, 02/15/2010 - 11:21
ImpinAintEasy's picture

Sorry about the coloring, I had already written this article and didn't have time to change it. I swear the next article is much better.

I branched the next article out to the Top 10, top 5 seemed a little rough due to me grouping so many spells together.

^multiple personalities? by JustSin at Mon, 02/15/2010 - 14:59
JustSin's picture

^multiple personalities? lol

well i was loving it until I came to that second chart at the bottom and the text is so small I can't read it

No not multiple personalities by Raddman at Mon, 02/15/2010 - 20:13
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No not multiple personalities lol. This was my original account name, just to lazy to change it.

I do appreciate all the comments about the coloring. I would also like feedback regarding the contents of the article. Does anyone find it useful or is it a waste of time? What are your guesses for the next part of my research?

These lists are extremely by Anonymous (not verified) at Tue, 02/16/2010 - 21:32
Anonymous's picture

These lists are extremely useful, again the second installment is another great resource. I have more or less done similar work on my own and it takes a long, long time. I appreciate how you break it down given an initial investment in the top 5, what costs are incurred from there.

I wish with the lands article you had included the price of getting the fourth tropical island for example when running a list that has four (not a big deal).

I prioritized getting my wastelands based on your last article and I think got them for around 10.25/each, it felt like I was bleeding tix. An uncommon in a set that you can draft?

I wish I had picked up all four 'goyf at 26 ugh...

I heard people are stock piling force of wills, if this is true I hope similar doesn't happen with 'goyf. Even better I wish WotC would pick its shots and reprint FOW.

2.) Daze
3.) Thoughtseize
4.) Swords or Path?
5.) Vial

I appreciate your comments. by Raddman at Tue, 02/16/2010 - 22:39
Raddman's picture

I appreciate your comments. You are right, it does take lots of work putting all the data together. I don't know this as fact, but I am assuming many more Tarmos were cracked than FOWs. Once Tarmo rotates out, which won't be for awhile, it will surely drop in price imo. I'm just glad I got my Tarmos for 10 each a long time ago, also got my playset of FOW for 45 (15, 15,10,5).

The nice thing about Legacy is that there are plenty of decks you can play that don't run FOW. I am just finishing up the 3rd "spell" part and my final article will focus around non-blue running Legacy decks.

I'm going to go by JustSin at Wed, 02/17/2010 - 15:28
JustSin's picture

I'm going to go with

Lightning Bolt
Krosan Grip
Swords to Plowshares

fow and tarmo by whiffy at Wed, 02/17/2010 - 13:35
whiffy's picture

first off, tarmo is super high because of extended and legacy speculation. in paper there going for 90 each, and its not just because zoo is a teir 1 deck in ext. As soon as this current ext season is over EVERYONE who wants tarmo should get them, online legacy is around the cornopr and as this very article shows, tarmo is the numba 1 kill slot in decks that that can splash him. He will only get more and more rediculos and I dont see wotc ever reprinting it as they veiw him as a mistake and they wont make a functional reprint of him thats fixed at GG instead of 1G.

FoW has hit high 70's, right now its in the mid 60s and I would again say that if your interested in Classic/Legacy/Vintage u had better just pony up the mony and get a pset. Sell your std mythics to get them if u have to. You know what baneslayer will be worth next year if they dont reprint it? yea not even close to what it is now. You know what fow will be worth next year? Yea a heck of a lot more then it is now, and fow is one of the very very very few cards that will not get reprinted. according to worth wolpert.

just my 2 cents.

if i could offer advice it by ShardFenix at Wed, 02/17/2010 - 14:10
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if i could offer advice it would be for newer players to focus on getting the tarmogoyfs first. FoW is great but is not really splashable in any stretch of the imagination, whereas most decks can afford 1 green mana

Couldn't agree with you more by Raddman at Wed, 02/17/2010 - 19:48
Raddman's picture

Couldn't agree with you more Shard. That is the exact reason I plan on writing another article focusing around cards that aren't blue. If people say FOW is a barrier to enter into the format, then lets give em a reason to think overwise.