Skaff Elias, Jim Lin|
Dave Pettey with design contributions from Chris Page
|Development||Same as Design Team|
|Art direction||Sandra Everingham|
|Release date||November 15, 1994|
|Storage lands, "sac" lands, flavorful theme, creature type "tribal" theme, extensive use of counters|
|Set size||102 (35 Common 31 Uncommon 36 Rare)|
|Magic: The Gathering chronology|
Set details[edit | edit source]
The set's rarity breakdown is: 35 commons (15@C4, 20@C3), 31 Uncommons (25@U3, 5@U2, 1@C1), 36 Rares (36@U1). 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. 
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]
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:
|Order of Leitbur (Icatia)||(Vodalian) Merfolk||Order of the Ebon Hand||Dwarves||Elves|
|“||There were so many cards that produced tokens and/or required counters that we issued a cardboard sheet of them in Duelist #4 .||”|
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.
Notable cards[edit | edit source]
- Goblin Grenade is a very powerful direct damage spell.
- High Tide found a place in successful tournament decks (see Solidarity) many years after its printing.
- Hymn to Tourach is arguably the best discard spell ever printed and was widely used when it was legal in the Standard format. Wizards has since said it doesn't like random discard cards being so powerful.
- Order of the Ebon Hand, one of the so-called "pump knights", was popular in the very powerful Necropotence decks.
Cycles[edit | edit source]
Fallen Empires has three cycles:
- Artifact boons: Each of these rare artifacts has a mana cost of and an activated ability that costs ", , sacrifice [this]." The effects of each of these artifacts is a weakened version of each of the boons from Alpha — Balm of Restoration (Healing Salve), Conch Horn (Ancestral Recall), Implements of Sacrifice (Dark Ritual), Aeolipile (Lightning Bolt), and Elven Lyre (Giant Growth). 
- Sac lands: Each of these uncommon lands has "[This] comes into play tapped. : Add M to your mana pool. , sacrifice [this]: Add MM to your mana pool.", where M is the respective color of the land; each also features art by Mark Poole — Ruins of Trokair, Svyelunite Temple, Ebon Stronghold, Dwarven Ruins, and Havenwood Battleground.
- Storage lands: Each of these uncommon lands has "[This] comes into play tapped. You may choose not to untap [this] during your untap step. At the beginning of your upkeep, if [this] is tapped, put a storage counter on it. , remove any number of storage counters from [this]: Add M to your mana pool for each storage counter removed this way."; each was also illustrated by Pat Morrisey — Icatian Store, Sand Silos, Bottomless Vault, Dwarven Hold, and Hollow Trees.
Mirrored pairs[edit | edit source]
- Chants: These uncommon enchantments, one black and one green, both cost 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 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 are very valuable, with fluctuating prices.
References[edit | edit source]
- Wizards of the Coast. (August 02, 2004.) "Ask Wizards - August, 2004", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Brady Dommermuth. (October 31, 2006.) "Ask Wizards", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana. (May 31, 2002.) "Fallen Empires tokens", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana. (July 08, 2002.) "Overlooked cycle", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
[edit | edit source]
- Official Fallen Empires Information Product Page — Magic: The Gathering (old)
- Fallen Empires product information page — Wizards of the Coast (new)
- Magic Arcana. (December 2, 2004.) "Orgg vs Bob from Accounting", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Fallen Empires checklist