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Fallen Empires booster pack contains 8 cards. Distribution is 2 uncommon and 6 common. Released in November of 1994, Fallen Empires is an unaffiliated set. The set contains 102 black-bordered cards (36 rare, 31 uncommon, and 35 commons). 15 of the commons had four pictures and the other 20 had 3 pictures. This resulted in a total of 120 common cards for a set size of 187 cards. Fallen Empires was the first time that Wizards of the Coast used alternative art in a set.
Fallen Empires was the ninth Magic the Gathering set and the fifth expansion set. Out of the set of 187 cards, 102 were functionally unique, with the remainder being variant illustrations of other cards in the set. The mechanics of Fallen Empires include a tribal subtheme and heavy use of counters and tokens. Thematically the set experiments with conflict within the colors. The expansion symbol for the set is a crown.
Fallen Empires takes place on the continent of Sarpadia after the Brothers' War in Antiquities. Each of the major cultures on Sarpadia is confronted with internal threats caused by the cooling weather: the dwarves are attacked by orcs and goblins; the Vodalian merfolk face the homarid menace; the elves of the forest struggle to contain the fungus-like thallids; the proud soldiers of Icatia confront opposition from religious zealots; and the dark Order of the Ebon Hand fights a thrull revolt. The storyline of Fallen Empires is continued in the Ice Age set.
Fallen Empires is widely regarded as one of the weakest sets in the game's history. Wizards of the Coast even points out on the product page of Fallen Empires that the set "with mixed reviews from players, and controversy over the set's effectiveness still rages on." This along with the massive overprinting of the set make its cards next to worthless on the secondary market. Each card including the rares can usually be acquired for less than $2. After the set was released Richard Garfield described it as
It is easily the most complicated and best-looking of the expansions. The play value is high for the complexity, and the cards are very valuable for play. The flavor is probably the most cohesive since Arabian Nights. This expansion is easily my favorite.
—Richard Garfield, The Expanding Worlds of Magic
Fallen Empires was sold in boosters of eight cards with each booster containing two cards from the uncommon and six from the common sheet. Of the cards from the uncommon sheet 36 were U1, meaning they appeared once on the uncommon sheet. They were thus three times as rare as most other uncommons and consequently dubbed the rare cards of the set. The remaining uncommons were 25 U3 and 5 U2 cards. Of the common cards each is equally common if each card with a unique artwork is counted as an individual card. Counting only functionally unique cards there were 15 common cards that appeared in four versions and 20 that appeared in three versions. There was also one common, Delif's Cone, that had only one version, making it just as rare as an U3 uncommon.
Because previous sets were underprinted, often making them unavailable very quickly after they went on sale, more Fallen Empires cards were printed than any previous set. WOTC announced the print run of Fallen Empires to be 350-375 million cards compared to 75 million for its predecessor,The Dark. Booster packs were thus available until 1998 despite the fact that Wizards stopped shipping cards in January 1995.
Fallen Empires was the last set produced only in English although the two previous sets, Legends and The Dark had already been produced in Italian. Its successor, Ice Age was available in six languages.
Due to a printing error a small number of cards from Fallen Empires were printed with Wyvern backs when that game was manufactured at the same factory.