In last year's core set, Magic 2013, there was a rare cycle that was almost unprecedented at core. Tenth Edition, the last all-reprint core set, featured a loose double cycle of "small" and "large" legendary creatures from Dominaria, Mercadia, and Otaria, notably including the infamous Phage the Untouchable as the black "large" legend (very few other black legendary creatures could make Crovax the Ascendant Evincar look small by comparison)! But Magic 2013 gave us a single all-new cycle of monocolor legends that supported each color's themes. They were very well-received overall, so likely we'll get a new cycle in Magic 2014. And with the popularity of the Commander format higher than ever, players will buy the new core set if it means getting their hands on legends.
So what are the chances of the Magic 2013 legends getting reprinted? Not likely, to be honest. They were each the centerpiece of one of the last core set's Intro Packs, which means they're probably meant to be considered as a feature of 2013 and 2013 alone. If they were reprinted, R&D would essentially be accused of running out of ideas. This means the possibilites on the table are:
- A reprint cycle. Tenth Edition's legends were well-chosen. They were all beloved in the past in some way and veteran players were excited to see favorite legendary creatures returning to Standard. There are plenty of tried-and-true legends in Magic, that are flavorful, strong, and/or really fun to play with, that would attract experienced Magic fans to the core set and dazzle new players. Some possibilities include Mangara of Corondor, Thada Adel, Acquisitor, Ashling, the Extinguisher, Mannichi, the Fevered Dream, and Nemata, Grove Guardian.
- A new monocolor cycle. This, too, seems likely - there is plenty of demand in the Commander world for specific kinds of legends, and these slots in the set would be an easy way to fill that. White's might be a control-oriented damage-preventing Cleric, for example. Blue's might be a huge, dormant legendary Leviathan. Black could get a reanimator-focused Vampire, red would of course have a destructive Dragon, and green could have a barreling, trampling Warrior.
- A new multicolor cycle. Magic 2013's Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker reprint shows that R&D isn't totally averse to putting multicolor cards in a core set. Sure, last time around, Bolas was the only gold card, but a single rare cycle might be an even better way to ease new players into the concept of multicolor. An array of five allied-colored legends would be very cool, and might make Commander players the happiest of all.
What do you think of the possibility of legendary creatures in the upcoming core set? Let me know in the comments.