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Fallen Empires Winchester Draft

Fallen Empires

Hey look, another draft video with an extremely old set!  If you’ve watched these before, you know the story.  Mike had more money than he had sense, and ended up buying unopened boxes of some seriously old Magic sets.  What do you do with unopened boxes of seriously old Magic sets?  Why, you stream two-man Winchester Drafts of them!  Don’t let’s be silly!

But this time, we’re drafting the dreaded Fallen Empires.  The first tribal set!  Of course, half of those tribes are almost extinct nowadays, but we won’t hold it against them.  Homarids just needed to die, after all.  Storyline-wise, this set was all about each color handling its own internal conflict, rather than pitting the colors against each other.  There were two warring factions in each color, giving the set a bizarre disconnected feel (in my opinion, anyway).

Now for some tidbits of interest.  Fallen Empires was MASSIVELY overprinted.  Seriously, these things were everywhere.  And they still are!  It’s a good thing they didn’t come with gum like old baseball cards, or else there would have a serious chance of having to deal with mutated oozes.  It was also the last time the tilted T was used to indicate tapping (that nifty little curved arrow thing showed up in the next set).  And if you look very carefully at the mana symbols on these cards compared to sets that came after, you’ll see that this is the last set with the “original” ones.  It’s easiest to tell on the white symbol.

You might notice that some cards have multiple arts with them.  Most of the commons in the set actually have three or even FOUR different images!  That’s ridiculous!  I was playing back when this was still available, and I’m STILL seeing pictures I’ve never seen before!  Here are a few of my favorite examples:

Hymn to Tourach

Easily the best card in the set, weird art and all

Goblin Chirurgeon

Don't EVER get sick in Sarpadia!

Order of the Ebon Hand

Centaur, androgynous person w/ giant sword, Sauron the Dark Lord...these are all one card?


Crab people, crab people...

And now, on to the draft!  Watch out, Mike and I are not our usual PG-13 rated selves that you might know from the podcast and other places.  It was late and we were playing Fallen Empires cards, give us a break.


So that was interesting.  Just a word on how this is going to go: there’s only one creature in the entire set with the word “flying” printed on it, and it can’t attack unless the defending player controls an Island.  Also, a truly painful number of creatures in the set get counters of various types put on them.  That should give you some idea of what you’re in for here.  It’s not so much that the cards are bad, just that they ALL have some kind of relevant ability and almost NONE of them have any form of evasion.

And now let’s play with these cards we drafted.  Some of the key players in these games were Combat Medic (so annoying for everyone involved), Icatian Skirmishers (SUCH a beating on offense), Armor Thrull (seemed like Mike had like 15 of these stupid things), Necrite (which started a “don’t let it get me” minigame), Zelyon Sword (old-school equipment!), Ring of Renewal (totally unfair when your hand is empty) and Elvish Hunter (the closest thing to removal we had).

So here’s the draft itself.  When I saved it to Ustream (immediately after we finished), I wrote this as the description for the video:
“Don’t play Limited with Fallen Empires. Consider this a self-help video for anyone thinking about it or currently doing it. Just don’t.”  It was really frustrating to play, but I don’t think it will be so bad to watch, just so you know.  Hope you enjoy!

And don’t worry, the next Winchester Draft video I post will be one recorded with my spiffy new HD webcam!


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  1. Myke Okuhara
    June 9, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    How overprinted was Fallen Empires? I used to be able to pick these up at the local pharmacy for 75 cents a pack… and even if I had cracked a hymn and a goblin grenade in every pack, it still wouldn’t have been worth it. But, God help me, as a kid with no money, the price was right. I bought more Fallen Empires than I care to admit.

    • June 9, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

      Massively and stupidly overprinted. After having chronic problems with print runs selling out very quickly, WotC had about 5 times as much FE printed as there was for The Dark. That was too much.

  2. Gil
    June 11, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    The old mana symbols made it onto some promo cards for Ice Age that came out before the set was released. A version of Fylgja that was put into the original MtG comics has it, and I believe there may have been one or two others.

    • Gil
      June 11, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      Ah, just found this Arcana from last year: http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/arcana/719

      The white cards that were done as promos for Ice Age (Fylgja and Prismatic Ward) kept the old mana symbols kept them for the set relese too, not just the promo versions.

      • June 11, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        Right after Chewie added that fact to the write-up, I said to him “now let’s see how long it takes for one of our fans to mention Fylgja”. You’ve done me proud, Gil.

        Thanks for posting that Arcana link, by the way. I had forgotten about Prismatic Ward, and the thing about how the Encyclopedias were put together probably explains some other weird typos and misprints I remember finding in them.

        • Gil
          June 12, 2012 at 3:34 am | Permalink

          Playing this game for nearly 18 years, coupled with my extreme OCD, has led to a ton of random useless facts rattling around in my brain. I didn’t know about the electronic versions having the “new” mana symbols until I found that Arcana today. Probably why I thought it was just the preview promos that had the OG white mana on them. Never saw it when they put it up, but it was mentioned in the Gatherer comments for Fylgja.

  3. Gil
    June 12, 2012 at 3:38 am | Permalink

    Oh, and Fallen Empires is still my favorite tribal set. Lorwyn sucks.
    Lobsters beat faeries any day.

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