Fallen Empires

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Fallen Empires
FEM logo.jpg
 
Set symbol
Symbol description
Crown
Design team
Skaff Elias, Jim Lin
Dave Pettey with design contributions from Chris Page
Development team
Same as Design Team
Art Director
Sandra Everingham
Release date
November 15, 1994
Themes and mechanics
Storage lands, "sac" lands, flavorful theme, creature type "tribal" theme, extensive use of counters
Keywords and/or ability words
{{{keywords}}}
Set size
102 (35 Common 31 Uncommon 36 Rare)
Expansion code
FEM[1]
Early sets
The Dark Fallen Empires Homelands
Magic: The Gathering chronology
The Dark Fallen Empires 4th Edition

Fallen Empires is the fifth Magic expansion and was released in November 1994. It is not considered part of any block.

Fallen Empires booster

Set details[edit | edit source]

The set's rarity breakdown is: 35 commons ([email protected], [email protected]), 31 Uncommons ([email protected], [email protected], [email protected]), 36 Rares ([email protected]). Each common card of C4 rarity has 4 pieces of art (each with a different flavor text), and each common card of C3 rarity has 3 pieces of art (also each with a different flavor text). This results in 120 unique commons (and 187 total unique cards in the set) if you count art (and flavor text) variations. The expansion symbol of the set is a crown, to symbolize the concept of empire. [2]

The Fallen Empires lands have a unique red-tinted text box.

Fallen Empires was the last set to use the tilted-T tap symbol.

Marketing[edit | edit source]

Fallen Empires was sold in eight-card packs which included six commons and two uncommons. The availability of multiple versions of Fallen Empires commons was an experiment to see if players liked to see more art on commons, but it was ultimately decided that having too many artworks associated with one card made it more difficult for players to identify a card quickly.

The frenetic pace of 1994 had blinded everyone to the reality of an upward limit to the number of cards a small set could sell: Fallen Empires was overproduced. Cards were available from mid November 1994 to sometime in 1998. Although they stopped shipping in late January 1995, enough cards were printed to keep them on the shelves for years afterwards. Even some 15 years after the initial release, booster boxes can be found at roughly the same price as when they were first released. The print run was announced by Wizards to be between 350-375 million cards. The failure of Fallen Empires to sell on time, plus the additional expense of warehousing the unsold product, caused WotC considerable expense, particularly when it is considered that Revised, which was in short supply, had been scaled back to accommodate the orders for Fallen Empires.

After Fallen Empires, WotC would carefully decide how much of a particular product to print. It was a total swing of the pendulum. A formula was established by the Sales team at Wizards, and how much new product the distributors received was based on how they scored on the profile. How much the local retailer got was in turn determined by the distributors, each of whom had different ways of deciding how much of their allocation would go to the retailers. Some of the allocation would go to mass-market retailers which didn't have games as their core-business.

Storyline[edit | edit source]

Main article: Sarpadia

After the Brothers' War, on the Dominarian continent of Sarpadia, the Ice Age is approaching. The changing climate results in dwindling resources and fighting amongst allies for survival.

Themes[edit | edit source]

Fallen Empires has a flavorful theme. The flavor text on the cards could be used to piece together a story. Another theme is the creature type, or "tribal" theme. For the first time universal creature types were used, tying the creatures in this expansion together. Also, multiple cards referenced these creature types. Featured creature types ("tribal" theme) are:

{W} White {U} Blue {B} Black {R} Red {G} Green
Order of Leitbur (Icatia) (Vodalian) Merfolk Order of the Ebon Hand Dwarves Elves
Farrelites Homarid Thrulls Goblins/Orcs Thallid

A third theme is the use of tokens and counters, but this theme was overdone and resulted in confusion because of the many different kinds of tokens and counters that were used.

There were so many cards that produced tokens and/or required counters that we issued a cardboard sheet of them in Duelist #4 [3].
As a result of this expansion, and some other cards like Frankenstein's Monster, only +1/+1 and -1/-1 counters are used today to modify creatures (with a few exceptions).

Creature types[edit | edit source]

Fallen Empires is the first expansion to use a consolidated set of universal creature types. This also plays into the creature type, or "tribal," theme in this expansion. Of the 14 creature types used in this expansion, only Orgg and Wall appear on just one card.

The following creature types are introduced in this expansion: Fungus, Homarid, Orgg, Soldier, Thrull, and Townsfolk (later changed to Human). Camarid, Citizen, and Saproling also appeared on tokens produced by cards in this set.

The following creature types are used in this expansion but also appear in previous sets: Avatar, Cleric, Dwarf, Elf, Goblin, Merfolk, Orc, and Wall.

Notable cards[edit | edit source]

Cycles[edit | edit source]

Fallen Empires has three cycles:

Mirrored pairs[edit | edit source]

Fallen Empire has five mirrored pairs, all enemy-color hosers:

  • Chants: These uncommon enchantments, one black and one green, both cost {1}MM and must be sacrificed at the beginning of your upkeep unless you pay one mana of its color and deals 3 damage to any player who puts a basic land of the other's color into play unless he or she puts a -1/-1 counter on a creature he or she controls — Tourach's Chant and Thelon's Chant.
  • Landwalkers: These uncommon 2/2 creatures, one blue and one red, has or can gain a landwalk ability corresponding to the other's color — River Merfolk and Goblin Flotilla.
  • Order clerics: These common cleric creatures, one white and one black, both cost MM and have protection from the other's color, "M: [This] gains first strike until end of turn", and "MM: [This] gets +1/+0 until end of turn" — Order of Leitbur and Order of the Ebon Hand.
  • Tappers: These uncommon spells, one blue and one green, both have a mana cost that includes MM and play with the tap/untap status of creatures of the other's color — Homarid Shaman and Thelon's Curse.
  • Warfare enchantments: These uncommon enchantments, one white and one red, both cost {2}M and allow you to sacrifice a creature to force an opponent playing with the other's color to temporarily give up one resource (mana or untapped creatures) or lose another (damage or lands) — Heroism and Raiding Party.

Misprints[edit | edit source]

One of the most famous misprints of all time was a run of Fallen Empires that was printed with backs from Wyvern, another TCG being manufactured at the same factory. These cards sell individually for up to $400US.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wizards of the Coast. (2004-08-02.) “Ask Wizards - August, 2004”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Brady Dommermuth. (October 31, 2006.) “Ask Wizards”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Magic Arcana. (May 31, 2002.) “Fallen Empires tokens”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Magic Arcana. (July 08, 2002.) “Overlooked cycle”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.

External links[edit | edit source]