Happy birthday to us! Last Friday, Paper Champion became two years old!
It’s been an exciting two years and let me tell you, we’ve learned alot about what you like to watch and read regarding Magic: The Gathering. This upcoming year, Paper Champion will be expanding and increasing our coverage of all things casual and budget. We love contributing the best information on how to make Magic fun and we plan on continuing for years to come!
For this weeks celebration, Paper Champion set up a match between two of what is considered the worst sets in M:TG history, Fallen Empires and Homelands. These two sets, for several reasons have gained notoriety for containing the weakest cards in the game as well as meager booster pack contents, only having 8 cards per pack. Thanks to the high print run of these two sets, value of the cards is next to worthless.
The rules for this face off were simple. Open three packs and build the best 40 card deck with it’s contents and basic lands. It seems easy at first but with only 24 available spells per deck, we had to use nearly all available cards. Trimming decks down to 4 colors was nearly impossible.
I started off with the Fallen Empires packs. I’ll say I’ve very familiar with the set and felt confidant in my deck building skills with the set’s cards. That is…until I saw the contents of packs.
There wasn’t a single copy of Hymn to Touroch. There was a Fungal Bloom but no Thallids. There was a Goblin Grenade but not a single goblin. with the exception of Merseine there was virtually no removal. (I hardly call Icatian Javelineers removal.)
I then opened my Homelands packs and again I was far from impressed with what I found inside. I laughed as I opened a Didgeridoo while holding only one Minotaur. I was unable to trim the deck down to four colors but was able to have a respectable amount of lands for a sealed deck which I felt would help the deck’s speed a bit.
I sat down with my wife, shuffled up and prepared for a best of 5 match between these two sad decks. We would swap decks after each game to maintain even play for each deck.
The Fallen Empires deck came out strong against the slower Homelands deck. I was able to get out a Javelineer and two Thrulls into play before the Homelands deck could wind up. Things eventually became stalled as a Clockwork Gnome with Feast of the Unicorn held up my offense long enough to allow her to play more threats. As she attacked my forces began to dwindle and I was unable to recover.
Homelands: 1 , Fallen Empires: 0
This time I was playing the Homelands deck and was determined to come out swinging faster than my wife. This eventually led to my demise as my sole attacker, a Feast of the Unicorn boosted Samite Alchemist, was blocked, then finished off with a javelin. I was unable to recover due to poor land draws and inability to contest a massive 6/6 Deep Spawn.
Homelands: 1, Fallen Empires: 1
This game was brutal as the Fallen Empires deck was tamed by an early round 1/4 Labyrinth Minotaur. The Homelands deck stalled long enough to get some of it’s larger creatures into play and made short work out of the smaller Fallen Empires creatures.
Homelands: 2, Fallen Empires: 1
At this point I was pretty familiar with homelands deck’s play style of taking early damage and stalling the game out for better threats. This final match was no different, as Clockwork Swarm and Gnomes hit the table and plowed through the Fallen Empires meager blocking squad.
Homelands: 3, Fallen Empires: 1
I feel the matches are representative of the sets, although both decks could had used some love from their more highlighted and well known cards. Perhaps in the future we will have some Constructed format matches as revenge? Time will tell…
Aiokii has been playing Magic: The Gathering since Fallen Empires was released in 1994 and has been a Planeswalker ever since. Tending to gravitate towards hand melting discard decks, he has a knack for creative Tribal decks, often catching adversaries unaware. Aiokii is also a moderator on Reddit Budgetdecks an you can contact him on Twitter or Facebook.