The arguments on Fallen Empires

Two topics about legality have been discussed vividly since the format started 2007. One was regarding Chaos Orb, and how we could legalize it while both maintaining the flavor of the card and avoiding messy play areas with spread out cards. The other one is regarding the legality of Fallen Empires. The issue with Chaos Orb was solved about two years ago, and we haven't looked back. The topic with Fallen Empires is still being discussed, and was brought up again during last BSK.

Ah, the days of scanable boosters :)
At its most basic, the arguments against Fallen Empires are the facts that it was easy to obtain as sealed product after 1994, and that it's inherent attainability makes the deck building process much less involved. You can still buy a sealed box with 60 FE boosters for about $150-200, and that very fact makes it less appealing as "true old school". Complex card searching and suboptimal deck building is an important part of the format, and legalizing an overprinted expansion is not really in the spirit of this.

At its most basic, the argument for Fallen Empires is that it would create a great influx of playable decks, that it was released in 1994, and that it is the last of the old school "stand-alone expansions" (it came before the block structure we've had since Ice Age/Homelands/Alliances). As a set, Fallen Empires is still pretty old school, without the new-fanged tap symbol and with it's see-through booster packs. The main argument is however the addition of playable cards. With one core set and four expansions, maybe the meta in 93/94 can't evolve forever. Still, many great games don't need expansions to be fun to play (Civilization, Settlers, Dominion, etc).

A removal-proof and huge trampler, which also fills your graveyard with threats. Reanimate-ho!
The budget concerns are actually not a huge argument against Fallen Empires, as other budget alternatives are already allowed in the format (Unlimited by us, and Revised by e.g. the Nova Scotia players). Also, if you want to build an "optimized" Goblin deck you'd still need other expensive cards. Three years ago, Stalin (this blog's founder) commented on the Fallen Empires discussion:

"I think we should decide where we want to go with the format. If we want Pimp, we should ban Unlimited. If we want 93/94, we should legalize Fallen Empires. If we want Old School, we may want to go as far as Alliances."

It might be worth noting that Stalin is in the (pretty small) "ban Unlimited" camp himself though.

The new Hypnotic runs straight through Maze of Ith.
At BSK, a lot of the players I talked to were open to eventually legalize the Empires. The main reasons is that Fallen Empires could make tribal strategies possible (like Merfolk and Goblins; and possibly Thrulls and Fungi), and improve strategies that might diversify the meta. I've stated before that I consider Fallen Empires to be a superior set to The Dark (and possibly Antiquities) powerwise. I think that most of the sets bad publicity is due to the fact that it was overprinted, and that the best cards were common (Hymn to Tourach, Goblin Grenade, and pump knights).

Both sides of the discussion have valid arguments. At this point it seems possible that Fallen Empires could be legalized sometime in the future of the format. Feel free to give feedback on it's inclusion or exclusion :)


  1. There are two problems with allowing Fallen Empires:
    1) The format loses the pimp factor, as Fallen Empires (and Homelands to a greater extent) are some of the most mass produced Magic products. I can't think of cards (outside of standard) that are more readily available then ones printed in FE or HL.
    2) The inclusion of Fallen Empires sets a precedence that the format will allow further expansions in the future. As Stalin said, "If we want Old School, we may want to go as far as Alliances." If FE is legal, why isn't Ice Age? Or Homelands? Or Revised for that matter.

    The beauty of Magic 94 is that it's Magic at a frozen moment in time. The format is certainly largely played because of nostalgia or curiousity (my personal drive). Slight B/R changes are necessary to tone down strategies that were developed far past 1994, but otherwise it should remain fairly "stagnent" (and I don't think that's the appropriate word for what I'm trying to convey).

    I think there is an opportunity for another format to be created, but if it simply goes to Alliances, it seems like an awkward variation on M94. I think there should be a reverse Modern, which goes from original card frame back to Alpha. It may even need to start a little bit earlier, with the dividing factor being when foils were introduced (So Alpha to Urza's Saga). People looking for diversification would have an absolute blast while still being able to use their power.

    Regardless of what happens, I'll continue to play :)


    1. Den här kommentaren har tagits bort av skribenten.

    2. Apologies for unearthing this so many years later but I would just like to respond to the point that states " If FE is legal, why isn't Ice Age? Or Homelands? Or Revised for that matter."

      Well, Ice age was printed in 96 and Homelands in 95. So none of them are part of the 93/94 era. FE is. As for Revised... if you consider how insanely more expensive magic has become in the last few years, namely after the 2018 and 2021 buyout sprees where many old school cards that were already expensive literally went up more than 500% in price, I'm quite supportive for the inclusion of Revised also. Which should happen at some point. Or the format will die.

      It costs literally high five to six figures to build a high level competitive old school deck these days if you don't account for revised, especially when it comes to dual lands. If you look at the EC format, which has a lot more lax rules when it comes to expansions (not in favor of some of those btw), the flavour of the old school format is still there, and that is why it grew so much in popularity, because it attracts a demographic that love old school but just can't afford a set of Unlimited Underground Seas. And Revised is also from 94, by the way.

      So I strongly support including not only FE but Revised as well. It will keep the format loyal to 93/94 rules and bring a lot of new friendly players.

      My 2 cents

  2. I'm still in the "pimp camp", and still argue for a ban on Unlimited (but also admit that Im pretty alone in this camp). This format is all about exclusivity and elitism to me.

    The problem with legalizing FE is like Michael says that it opens up for further expansions, and eventually it will be just like plain old magic. Not expanding the card pool and recognizing that Alpha - The Dark gives us more options then any other games is a good thing.

    Personally I believe we should use special events like "pimpvitational" (if it ever fires) to play with the format, it would also give people something more to play for, playing a different format would be part of the prize. I can slo see other variations of the format in further special events (ante, "ban blue" etc)

  3. Very valid arguments. I also believe that it's very possible that adding an extra expansion may do more harm than good, as both the old school factor and "eternalness" of the format could take a big hit. There is still much to be explored with the existing expansions that haven't really been touched yet (multiplayer, ante, 5-color rules, etc). It's still an interesting discussion, and I see myself going back and forth about it.

    I'm very much hoping for the first pimpvitational to take place in February. I agree that it could be a great forum for more unconventional deck construction :)

  4. In my humble opinion, allowing FE would not set a precedence for allowing further expansions in the future. After all, the format is called 93/94. In my eyes, FE is the one and only set whose inclusion in the format could be justified (besides Revised, maybe). Simply because it was printed in 1994.

    Another idea would be to introduce a second format, maybe called "old school", which may consist of expansions up to Alliances.


  5. I believe that Fallen Empires would open up a lot of great opportunities up for 93/94 Vintage. I think that it really would be a good idea and no what the consequences, the outcome would be a good one.

    I personally think there are a few "phases" that Magic has gone through. The Starting Age, the Old Age, and the Modern Age. The easiest "age" to define is the Modern one, that one starts at Invasion and goes all the way up until the latest set, Theros. This age is defined by an extreme toning down of the game's power level, at least after the mistakes of Mirrodin. It also marks the end of Wizards trying to cater new sets toward us Eternal Format players.

    The Old age's end is easy to define, right at Invasion. This is where things get wishy-washy. It is still filled with old and broken cards and Wizards, I think, was still seeing what was "too powerful." Everyone who plays legacy knows that even if you have to discard your hand, a 0 mana artifact that sacrifices for three mana of a color is still very, very, powerful. In this age, formats were really shaping up and Type 1 was starting to take the backseat to new-fangled Type 2 and Extended. I would like to say that this time begins forming at Alliances.

    Now we have the starting age. In this age, no one has a clue what the heck they are doing and really doesn't know what's powerful, too narrow, or too weak. There are a few "cycles" or cards but they are highly unbalanced and some cards in them become staples, where others become jokes. Everyone knows that you just don't play Healing Salve.

    Therefore, my first point for including Fallen Empires is that even with it we could remain with the "oldness" feeling presented in the sets which come before it.

    Next, I would like to point out that white weenies has become the dominant deck, easily crushing the black decks and managing to keep up with RUG and Mono U-ggro decks that are also making splashes. It has the best match-up against most of the decks of the format. Who knows, it could get beaten down by new tech, but what if that new tech never appears. With only a few sets worth of cards, new tech can't just randomly appear. Formats can only evolve based on a careful balance of the cards and players, and even if the players try their hardest, there are only so many playable cards in those sets. If the format is to continue to evolve in a fun new way, then you need to add in more cards so that the players can continue to innovate.

    Third, I think that Fallen Empires does not require a new format. It was printed in 94' and has old mechanics and things of that nature. Any sets afterward added may warrant a new format, but not Fallen Empires.

    First, the pimp factor is not lost. I can play a Hymn to Tourach with amazing art next to my Beta
    Hypnotic Specter and have no qualms in terms of "pimpness." Adding a single set to a format which as of now includes only five separate sets (not counting ABU as three sets)

    (Also @Chris) Second, we wouldn't include another set after this. This set is from 1994, and therefore fits right in to 93/94, don't you think? You wouldn't include Ice Age or Homelands because they don't even fit the name with their print years.

    Third, if it is stagnant, why play? If you always know who is going to win or lose, why even go? Stagnancy is horrible for the health of a formats player-base.

  6. I think FE should be kept as a special event addition, for invitationals and the likes. I can see some upsides of adding FE to the mix and some decks that would really benefit from the cards but I think the playerbase would be a little more shattered if it happens. Some would like it, some don't. Changes like this usually creates an outrage.

    Looking back through the history of top8 decks I can see evolving decks and radical creations, not at all as stagnant as one can imagine in such a format.

    And I also support Stalins idea of removing unlimited in my heart but I suppose we need to keep it around to get more participants in the tournaments than you can count on one hand :)


  7. @FreeSpace
    I too beleive that change creates outrage, such is human nature, but look at the outrage caused by the banned and restricted list. Most outrage will eventually die down and poeple will come to accept that the idea was a good one. Sure the format can evolve, but it cannot live up to it's potential. It's like being stuck in a standard rotation indefinatly. Sure, everyone loves Block A and Block B but after a while people begin to wonder... Wouldn't it be fun to add in Block C, just to see what would happen?

  8. I agree with Freespace, And it would be fun to play with FE under some special tournaments but otherwise it would loose its awesomeness.
    If we want more player we can add Revised...because i Think that revised have higher pimp factor than FE.
    And the Power is not really the problem that many players can´t and will not play the format, its due to the duals, most legacy and vintage players already have there FBB or revised duals, now they have to get A/B/U duals so they can play the deck they Dream about..
    Sorry for a bit offtopic,
    But as i feel now im against Fallen Empires to the 93-94 format

    // Jhovalking

  9. As a footnote about duals, they're not really needed to build a functional deck. I think that it's a misconception by many players that you need to build your perfect deck from the start; a part of the format is that it is hard and time consuming to build your ideal deck. I own sets of both Volcanic Island and Underground Seas in revised, but I still don't play any blue duals in my Project M deck I've been working on for well over a year (I aim get a Volcanic and two Undergrounds sometime in 2014). Having a long road to your ideal deck is actually pretty sweet :)

  10. I agree with Kevlar. However, due to the low power level of FE, the effect on the format will be limited.
    The pimp factor is no good reason to ban FE since you already have included unlimited and the dark.

  11. Hello,
    I read your site good information thanks....

    Pimp games online

  12. Hello!
    Maybe you can either add FE and Revised, or change the name of your format to simply Old School Magic... :-)
    I think that all of the Stalin's points are true.

    Fallen Empires (and Revised) were printed in 94, so it's very illogical to not have them in the mix. Also, the pimpness is one thing, but it doesn't end in The Dark; no matter how many millions of FE cards were printed, Clerics are still nice.

    Allowing Rev and FE sets no precedent, period. It's just that - 93/94 - and not a card more. Maybe It would even bring some new blood to the format (I'm not sure, if you really want that, but nevermind, that's another discussion).

    The only trouble that may arise are the non-English printings. Once you'll allow REvised, it'll become really strange to further ban non-English versions, however lets not pester with this now.

    It's all about choices - you may pimp, then ban UNL. You may stay true to your format as it is - keep the status quo then. You may stay true to the name and simultaneously make the format a little bit more wide and affordable - allow Rev and FE.

    About the Old Kindergarten (Alpha - Alliances) format. I find this very appealing. One thing I built was an EDH using only first twenty editions (one needs to be a bit creatuve in maths) so it was Alpha - Exodus. I love many cards from Mirage set and if not for anything else, then MIR fetchlands are reason enough to NOT introduce anything above Alliances. (Even those have their own "fetch" which should be restricted on sight, imao) Speaking of Alpha-Alliances format, I find it beautiful. Though it isn't a real "old skool hardcore" format, it still brings lots of nostalgia and the power level, themes and design are quite the similar. (Yep, I know I'm comparing Alpha and 4ED, AQ and CHR, a Necropotence with Greed, etc., but w/e) Otoh, this is what definitely brings a precedent and may fragmentize your community. I'd do this only after a very Careful Consideration... :-)

    But the FE affair (and maybe even the Revised case) are pretty easy to solve for me. I'd allow them.

    Btw: on the "Contramodern" format: there's a QL Magic, a community driven format that allows only the old frame and (for whatever the unreasonable reason) uses 6th Ed. rules.

    Bed Decks Palyer

  13. Yes, allow revised, It'll let more players, play, my whole deck is 93/94 EXCEPT my I cant play unless Ill constuct a deck that I really dont like to play with?

    Id like to play 93/94 too and use my P:s and Arabians..buth have to wait like 5 years with the current rules...
    Sorry for going a bit off topic. but I would love to play my old deck again.

    1. Well, if it's any consolation, I played white weenie and tax edge for over five years myself before I could afford to start building on my ideal blue/black deck, and expected time to finish that one was an additional two years ;)

      Of course you may to play with revised with local teams (or use other reprints or foreign cards), and I highly appreciate tournament reports from other local teams, but it is unlikely that we will ever allow Revised in our tournaments. In the end I think it would put off more active players than add new ones (even more so than FE would), and it's not really in the spirit of the format. Unlimited duals aren't that expensive (compared to other cards in the format), and it is possible to play without duals.

    2. "Unlimited duals aren't that expensive (compared to other cards in the format), and it is possible to play without duals."

      This didn't age very well :)

      This was my point about how this discussion was one thing in 2014.
      We are in 2022. The format became so absurdly more expensive that is pretty much impossible for 90% of players to afford an Unlimited manabase (not to mention a ton of other staples). Just a few (very optimistic )examples:

      Playset of Juzam Djinns: 6000€
      Playset of unlimited Taigas: 2000€
      Playset of Arabian Nights Erhnam Djinns: 1400€
      Playset of Arabian Nights City of Brass: 2000€

      The list goes on and on. If nothing is done about this the format will die off.

  14. Restricting the manabase in a game environment limits deckbuilding severly. Whiteweenie or landtax? How fun is that whwn you want to pkay with your P9, Juzams and arabian erhnams?
    I think theres a lot of people only looking at this format once and dismissing it and its narrowminded environment.

    1. I think there's a lot of people who actually care about this format.

  15. Actually, I don't think attracting new players should be an aim for the format. The format is good enough as it is and attract people in and off itself. If people consider the current 93/94 to expensive, to narrow minded or to elitist its all well and good. We don't want people in the format who are not prepared to pay up what it cost to play, who are not prepared to work within the limits or don't share our elitist attitude on what pimp is.

    Our best n00bcon was when we held the main event at the same time as GothCon held their high stakes Legacy event. the Competitive crowed played in the Legacy event for Moxens and we played 93/94 in a casual environment.

    And thats the main spirit of this format, its a casual format, and the elitist attitude in the format is an elitist casual attitude, we don't want people to play the format in a competitive way we want people to focus on what they believe is fun with magic.

  16. I don't understand why one would allow dark and legends when you dont' allow revised, seems strange to include based on other things than release date.

    1. The main reason for the legal sets are more about when you could _not_ buy them, rather than when you could first buy them. Revised and Fallen Empires where both really easy to get a hold of in 1995, which separates them from Legends and TD. Even though revised was released before Legends, I do believe most people consider Legends to be more of an "old school expansion" than rev.

      There are people on both sides of the fence on this one (regarding release dates), though most people who disagree haven't tried the format (I haven't heard anyone playing a monocolored deck complain about not being able to use their revised duals). I think that not including further budget alternatives is something that makes it more stimulating to build decks.

  17. Hi. I think that the format is interesting - I found your site when looking to do something similar (not to the same degree of pimp, mind you ;-). Anyway, on the non-pimp argument of Fallen Empires, I was just wondering, are you worried that someone is going to put together a cheap deck and come to your tournaments? That could happen, but it could happen now as well, without Fallen Empires. I can build an entirely black-bordered deck now for under $200 that meets your rules. It won't be competitive, I'm sure, but I can do it and then turn up at the tournament with a qualifying deck. Do you think that people are looking to do this, and if so, do you think that Fallen Empires makes this more likely to happen? Personally, I wouldn't do it because it's not in the spirit of what you're trying to achieve.

    Coming at it from another angle, are you worried that the "best" decks will include many cards from Fallen Empires, and therefore the tournaments will be flooded with cheap cards instead of pimp ones? I think perhaps this latter point is worth a thought experiment - how many cards from Fallen Empires are likely to flood the tournament scene and how bad is that? Just my 2 cents.

    1. Hi Brad!
      I don't think any of the players are worried about people showing up with budget decks; in fact we highly encourage people playing with them as it's very much in the spirit of the format. As for competitive budget decks; White Weenie, some MUC builds, Erhnam Burn'em, Electric Eel aggro, and many more are relatively cheap to build decent versions of, often for below $200 or less if you use unlimited cards. The best decks (i.e., mainly The Deck) would probably gain fairly little from allowing FE (0-3 Hymns, but little more than that). The issue with fallen is mostly a flavour thing; the cards just doesn't feel as old school, as the set was overprinted and is very easy to find sealed product of even today. This can put off people from the aesthetic charm of the format.

      There are different opinions on fallen empires though, e.g. the players in California currently allow people to use FE in their tournaments in order to make it easier for people to get into the format. "Officially" allowing FE feels unnecessary for us at this point though. The meta is very varied and healthy, the Nordic countries have a good amount of players, and people who wish to join the format can build budget deck with unlimited in the card pool.


    2. Hi, thanks for your response. I didn't expect one. :-) I hear what you are saying. To be fair, Fallen Empires wasn't really well liked at the time anyway (at least, in our group). I'd also argue that The Dark was easier to come by than the others, but that again may be a local thing (I cracked plenty of packs of The Dark so it's not as "foreign" to me). I also opened Unlimited (starter decks, of course). But Alpha, Beta, Arabian Nights, Antiquities and Legends were not opened in large quantities but individual cards appeared out of "nowhere" - so defnitetly agree that these have the hard-to-come-by mistique.

      In the end, I'll probably head down the path of the Alpha - Alliances route. Seems to offer a great deal of flexibility, represents the "before the modern block structure" era, and happens to be the period that I played before I "quit" for the first time.


  18. By the way, for what it's worth, when I first came up with my version of the idea for a similar format to be played locally, my natural line for inclusion was Alliances, and the natural name was, of course, "Old School". Just sayin'. ;-)

  19. add Fallen Empires and Revised, Revised does almoast nothing to the meta, and Fallen Empires opens up really fun (and anoying) decks. Both a printed in 94 so i don't see the problem here. I don't see much point of the pure BLING format. As it makes drop in tournaments almoast impossible to arrange. Especially if you didn't live in U.S in 93. We played a 93/94 tournament last weekend that was anounced 3 or 4 months in advance. Half the people had to borrow decks .And 8 people showed up. If this gets even more restricted tournaments gonna get cancelled all the time due to the lack of participation. And in the long run people won't get to play the format at all.

    1. And yet, we still can arrange 45 man tournaments in Sweden (I don't believe any of us lived in the US 1993).

      Yes, it was a long journey to get here as well, our very first tournament where 4 or 5 guys playing.

      Sure, its expensive to play a deck that have duals under our rules, but if you can't afford A/B/U duals now, play without 'em, and budget so you are able to buy a dual/month or so. If people are not prepared to play with what they got, and work on getting what they want over the years, I don't see much point in having these people in the format anyway.

    2. My comment about making tournaments really hard to arrange was if Unlimited was excluded from the format aka "BLING" format. It would probobly aliante the majority of the players and the format would eventually decline to a point were eventually noone had anybody to play with. I also think it would piss off people in this community who bought Unlimited cards to play the old school format.

  20. It is always up to the organizers to decide which sets are legal when playing "Oldschool Magic". My playgroup`s definition includes everything printed up to 1995 (including Ice Age and 4th edition). We almost exclusively play three- or four multiplayer casual magic and have been hanging onto some interesting "sideboarding" houserules since then : 1. No sideboard. 2. Whoever wins a game must play the next game with the exact same deck. 3. Looser(s) may change any number of cards or even the entire deck.

    Anyway, since the format is named "93/94" you don`t have to defend anything by including Revised, Fallen Empires and Summer Magic (as a final compensation for the pimp). Actually, it seems harder to defend not to allow them as the discusion above proves. This being said, I think none of these inclusions would affect the gameplay in this format significantly. But "Magic 93/94" is "your" format- you decide.

    When naming a format "Oldschool" it gets vague. Some above suggest allowing up to and including Alliances. A friend of mine argues that everyting up to Weatherlight is oldschool. And 5 years from now, I wouldn`t be surprised if the Urza block is also considered "oldschool"

    Anders, Norway

  21. Personally, I think the format should include Fallen Empires. It's the last set to be printed before the block structure that started in Ice Age. It makes some cards from earlier sets like Lord of the Pit much more easy to be played (see Lord of the Pit, which otherwise requires something crazy like Master of the Hunt or Boris Devilboon), cards that for old school players like myself (having started while Revised was out and just before Legends hit the stores) always wanted to be good. It makes a lot of decks and deck ideas better without making any of them worse. All core sets after Beta and before M10 are reprints anyways, so to me the argument of allowing or not allowing Revised doesn't matter as much - that's more a question of card availability rather that set legality. I just don't see a reason for *not* allowing Fallen Empires; as I said, it was the last set (and the only "missing" set) that falls outside the Block structure. Look at for example, and look at all the sets listed under "Earlier Sets". If you ignore Homelands because it was technically part of Ice Age block, every expansion listed there is legal in 93-94 -- except Fallen Empires. (I'll also point out that FE was released November 1994, so yearwise it's technically "right".)

    And for what it's worth, Legends was the first set to come out after I started playing, and for me, the dividing line for "old school" in terms of "feel" (ie, it "feels" really old) is probably Mirage block.

    EdwrdBear on EFnet

  22. Shouldn't this topic be brought up again with the card prices being even more increased?

    1. No.

      The same is still true. If you can't afford playing what you want to play in 93/94 either you make do with what you have and can get your hands on or you don't play 93/94.

      93/94 is still a elitist casual format for collectors, not for competitive people, not for people feeling entitled to get what they want now when the people already in the format have spent _years_ being able to afford what they have.

  23. I think the way you see it's not much of a 'format', it's more a way to let people circle jerk on their cards worth thousands of dollars.That's fine of course, to each his own. But calling something a 'format' where the guy with the most expensive cards wins is a bit ridiculous. Plus it doesn't make much sense either, the way you see it most of the cards that are legal now shouldn't be legal. Simply because a lot of cards from the format are worth less than a Hymn to Tourach for example and certainly most cards are worth less than a Revised Underground Sea.

    There are actually cool formats worth playing where you can show off your collection of Alpha duals in a meaningful way, like Cube for example. Why create such a mess with weird restrictions instead?

    And most importantly - I've been playing since early 94 and from a format called '93/94' I expect a playing experience like in 1994. That is absolutely not the case here though, in 1994 there were hardly any ABU cards on the tables, instead there was 90% Revised cards, a tiny amount of Arabian Nights, a decent amount of Antiquities and Legends, later a bit more The Dark and finally even more Fallen Empires. That's how it really was, and that's what a format with '94' in the title should be about.

  24. I agree with the poster above.
    I would happily graft my way into this format, spending the time and money to collect the cards, but the 'circle jerk' aspect discussed above seems to be very real.
    This looks like it could be a much larger (player base wise) and very awesome format, played internationally in a homage to the roots of magic, but at the moment it appears to be a vehicle for toft attitude and nonsense decision making.

    If this format was more widely followed, then having FE and Revised in the format would just mean cards from those sets would become highly sort after and 'pimp' anyway, so you wouldn't have much to worry about.

    Please rethink your policy on Revised and Fallen Empires, they are part of 94 magic, and deserve a rightful place in the format.

  25. What I'm having a hard time grasping is why random anonymous people complain on the internet about a casual format we have created.

    Especially when the said person show that they have no grasp on the format at all. "But calling something a 'format' where the guy with the most expensive cards wins is a bit ridiculous." Are just not true, just like it have never been true in any other format, ever. But still a regular topic from whiners.

    Play how-the-f-you want. We encourage house rules. Its in the spirit of the format. But WHY are you from trying to destroy what we have built up here in the cold north?

    We are also pretty open that we don't see a value in watering down our rules to get more players. Especially when said people wants to get into the format for the wrong reasons.

    To us this is a format that should be played with $10k+ decks with the biggest price being 25 cents. If you don't play for the love of the game, for the love of old cards, and for the love of friendship. This is not the format for you. Go along, play your PPTQ.

  26. (I see that I missed some words in my post about. I think you'll figure out what I want to say anyway)

    But to be more precise. If you expect to be playing this format competitively without putting up what you need to put up to play what want. This is not the format for you.

    If you want to grab a few pints with friends, sling some cards and have fun in a casual environment and build with what you have. We want you in the format. Heck, I might even lend you cards for $15k since I want my cards to see play instead of rotting in the binders.

  27. Hey Guys,

    I am building a deck for the first UK championship for 93/94. Do you guys play with 93/94 rules; moreover, will you be playing with the new mulligan rules?



    1. Don't think that anybody connected to this blogg will now what rules there will be used in the UK. In Sweden we play with modern rules, all included, since they are good and normally when people have nostalgic feelings for rules its mostly connected to a specific rule, forgetting everything that was crappy pre 6th edition.

  28. Yeah the UK tournament will probably use new rules, just wondered what you guys play. To chip in, I'd totally allow fallen empires, If I were dictator.

  29. What I'm having a hard time grasping is why random anonymous people complain on the internet about a casual format we have created."

    Anonymous or not, what's the matter with people making observations and comments (which, in of itself is not complaining per-se) about the format? Constructive criticism often makes things better - provided, of course, it is actually constructive.

    1. Adding expansions to 93/94 is not constructive from my point of view. Arguments like "buhu, magic is expansive" especially are not.

      Magic has always been expensive. People have always complained about the cost of playing magic.

      If people can't afford magic, they should put their last dimes on a suit and tie, get a haircut and get a job. Not complaining about the price on magic cards.

  30. Christoffer Andersson29 september 2015 07:32

    "What I'm having a hard time grasping is why random anonymous people complain on the internet about a casual format we have created".

    I posit to you that maybe people care because, for good or for ill, it seems that you have become the face of 93/94 Magic? Mind you, I don't know this for certain. This is the first time I've heard of the format, and it sounds cool as fuck. I'd really like to play 93/94 someday, as I have fond memories of playing Magic during that era.

    Countering at least one of you're arguments regarding inclusion of FE and RE in 93/93: I was playing in the US in 95 and I could still buy packs of The Dark here and there for less than MSRP, so the readily available argument does not hold up in an international fishbow, just FYl.

    I could play 93/94 today with the cards I already own, plus the cost of some AN erhnams and serendibs, if true 93/94 printing was enforced. Then, if I go to a big standard tournament or whatever, and I meet someone casually and the subject of 93/93 comes up and we wanted to play, it might be HALF realistic that we both had a deck and were about it House rules can go screw themselves. Nobody likes house rules because they cannot be quickly agreed upon with a stranger in a casual public setting. I will never invest in the cost of ABU duals just to play this format, when none of my immediate friends could come close to constructing a deck. And I live in Madison, WI, USA, which is a HUGE Magic community. Much of one of the early print runs (not sure if it was AB or U) of MTG was released into the wild at GenCon not 90 miles from here. I think access to this format, internationally, even with the inclusion of FE and RE is still a lot more "elite" than you probably think.

    You're playgroup, again for GOOD or for ILL, seems to be the progenitors of this format, and you're not too shy about owning it. 93/94 should be all about cold logical numbers, like in it's name. FE and Revised ARE 93/94. You know it, and I know it. As the Amazing Spider-Man has been known to say, "With great power comes great responsibility",

    Change the banlist TODAY to include Fallen Empires and Revised Edition!

    PS: Alternatively, if a metagame reason exists not to include FE, please let us know that and be done with the philosophical debate altogether, (Please note that I am assuming Hymn to Tourach would be banned preemptively).

    Lastly, thank you for your efforts in keeping the spirit of 93/94 Magic alive. Lest you ever doubt, this is very cool. I'd just like to be able to play it with someone someday. ;)

  31. Sorry, I can't figure out how to edit my last post. I meant RESTRICT Hymn to Tourach preemptively, not BAN obviously. :)

  32. Shit, I just realizing I argued against my own point above regarding the availability of FE and RE at retail post 1994. LOL. Anyways, 93/94, cold hard numbers, inclusivety maybe? Don't be a bully and let me play too, perhaps as an argumen tregarding inclusion of FE and RE? Anti-bullying is all the rage in the US right now. :)

  33. I only started this blog, MG has been the real face of the format for quite some time now, and its him we should credit for all the great post here, and all the community building.

    For your other points, I'll try to formulate my thoughts about it tomorrow. =D

  34. Please pass on my thanks to MG as well then. :)

    Also thank you for your time, consideration and for not dismissing my thoughts out of hand.

  35. Just as a starting point. This format had no name the first couple of years. We just wanted to play with pimpy cards. When a local storeowner threw a tournament at a local convention he named it 93/94, and its close enough to what we want in the format, but not exactly. Personally I'm in the "pimp"-camp and have always argued for the inclusion of Edgar and exclusion of Unlimited.

    "I posit to you that maybe people care because, for good or for ill, it seems that you have become the face of 93/94 Magic? Mind you, I don't know this for certain. This is the first time I've heard of the format, and it sounds cool as fuck. I'd really like to play 93/94 someday, as I have fond memories of playing Magic during that era."

    Good, this is the spirit we want people to come to the format with. Connected with this is the notion we had as kids. "maaaaan, if I only had a Shivan Dragon, that would be sooooo cooool and soooo awesome, but they are so expensive", and saving up to afford the cool cards we want. I got a job when I was 15 in order to afford my first set of power. The hard work of acquiring the cards are a big part of the format. The difference being, now that we are in the 30+ age, with jobs who produce real money, we need to raize the bar on how much cards should cost. Putting up $100 on a card is not a problem today, putting up $1k is. So, to get the dream of cool cards, we need cards that costs $1k and not $100 to get that feeling and that spirit in the format.

    "Countering at least one of you're arguments regarding inclusion of FE and RE in 93/93: I was playing in the US in 95 and I could still buy packs of The Dark here and there for less than MSRP, so the readily available argument does not hold up in an international fishbow, just FYl."

    Yea, tbh I could also buy The Dark at my LGS in 1995. When the format where created there was a dispute between the founders. Some wanted to include The Dark, some wanted to exclude it on the grounds of not being "pimp" enough. They decided on the inclusive route and included The Dark.

    "I could play 93/94 today with the cards I already own, plus the cost of some AN erhnams and serendibs, if true 93/94 printing was enforced. Then, if I go to a big standard tournament or whatever, and I meet someone casually and the subject of 93/93 comes up and we wanted to play,"

    You can stil play with the deck. Bring your sweet oldschool cards and play against kids with standard or casual decks. You'll have a fun time, but you will probably lose. Winning or losing should not be the aim of this format. Slining beautiful cards and impress people should.

    "it might be HALF realistic that we both had a deck and were about it House rules can go screw themselves. Nobody likes house rules because they cannot be quickly agreed upon with a stranger in a casual public setting."

    Totally agree. House rules sucks, but if its the only alternative to watering down what we want out of the format, then its the route to go. We won't allow FE, rev or budget alternatives to what we already include. I will never judge, host (or tbh, play in) a 93/94-tournament that include cards that I feel destroys the spirit of the format. There are some different paradigms out there tho. If you play in Sweden or Russia you will probably need to follow the rules on this blog. If you play in Europe or the States there will probably easier inclusion criterias. Eternal Central seems to have a liberal view on what people should be allowed to play in the format.

    (more in next comment)


  36. "I will never invest in the cost of ABU duals just to play this format, when none of my immediate friends could come close to constructing a deck. And I live in Madison, WI, USA, which is a HUGE Magic community. Much of one of the early print runs (not sure if it was AB or U) of MTG was released into the wild at GenCon not 90 miles from here. I think access to this format, internationally, even with the inclusion of FE and RE is still a lot more "elite" than you probably think."

    The spirit we want in the format is not that people should invest in oldschool cards just to play in the format. We want people who see a value in collecting oldschool magic-cards to also play with them. But we care more for the collectors then for the players if we want to put groups against each other. Collecting has a non-economic value in and of itself.

    "You're playgroup, again for GOOD or for ILL, seems to be the progenitors of this format, and you're not too shy about owning it. 93/94 should be all about cold logical numbers, like in it's name. FE and Revised ARE 93/94. You know it, and I know it."

    I had some words about the name at the top of this post. And yea, we created this format, we have played this format for close to 10 years. We like it the way it is, and it has grown much thanks to our take on it. Now people want to chip and join, without respecting all the hard work it has taken us to get where we are.

    When people complaing about 93/94 being expensive, elitistic aso I only see people who feel entitled to get whatever they point at. If you can't afford what you want right now, sit down with your economy, formulate a budget and see if you can get the cards you want and need over a 1-5 year perspective.

    "As the Amazing Spider-Man has been known to say, "With great power comes great responsibility","

    Yes, and being inclusive to destructive forces are not taking this responsabillity. The core is what kind of players we want to attract to the format. We want the grown casual crowd. People with real jobs, families and responsabillities in their afk-life that gives them the opportunity to hang out with friends for more then a couple of hours 1-4 times a year. To attract this crowd we present a setting where you meet your long gone friends, drink beer and sling cards that has a nostalgic value and that we dreamed of as kids. If your competitive and go into this format to win more then 25 cent and drop when your 0-2, your not in the group we want in the format anyway.

    "Change the banlist TODAY to include Fallen Empires and Revised Edition!"

    PS: Alternatively, if a metagame reason exists not to include FE, please let us know that and be done with the philosophical debate altogether, (Please note that I am assuming Hymn to Tourach would be banned preemptively)."

    Won't happen. Ever. This format is good. I can see other cool old school formats, including more cards. I'm even talking around with people about a format that include A to Alliances. But that would be another format. 93/94 and the Swedish baseline won't change. If you want to play a format that include more cards then we include, either play with house rules or create it yourself.

  37. I personally started playing at the end of revised and have been playing ever since. I also think fondly of the old days when swamp-ritual-specter was a great opening and miss the decks using the power of Icy Manipulator and Jayemdae Tome, Serendib Efreets etc... In my opinion, this format is for us: the old players who want to play with old cards. But i am a player at heart first (collector second although i am looking for Beta versions for my deck simply because the printing is beautiful :-) ) and i believe it would be a good thing to allow Revised and Italian Legends in the format as it would allow more players to start playing the format. I prefer going to a tournament whith 76 other players than 8. I personally don't mind myself playing with Beta's, Arabians etc and my opponent having Revised or even Chronicles Erhnam Djinns. It is all about the old game for me. Collecting Beta's etc. should be a personnal choice, not a requirement. But i do prefer to use only the card pool of the seven sets (but reprints should be allowed IF THEY HAVE THE ORIGINAL ART AND OLD FRAME. For example: a City of Brass from 5th, 7th,... are forbidden but one from Chronicles, Asian Black Bordered, Foreign Black Bordered or the Foil DCI-version are okay. The same would go for Swords to Plowshares as the price for a DCI-Foil is almost the same as a beta-version here in Europe). Allowing Fallen Empires is a tricky one simply because i think the influence of Hymn To Tourach will be very big. If it should be allowed, i think we should consider restricting it as with FE legal, mono black decks will have a big boost and the only card missing from that dominating deck is Necropotence and Zuran Orb.

  38. If the format is 93/94 mtg, then FE can certainly be included, as it existing in 1994. Later expansions did not, so there is a definite division. The only expansion which would also have an argument would be revised, as it was printed in the appropriate year. So, if we were to add FE we would only be forced to also add Revised.

    As for power, there is a significant jump for FE which would cause a rather large upheaval in the meta. Hymm would make a huge splash, as it is basically better Mind Twist.

  39. I don't know if this has been said earlier, since I haven't read all the posts.

    I have for a long time wanted a "when I was young" format. Being born in Sweden in 83' my first magic experience was 4th/revised, I bought stuff as it came, Fallen Empires, Homelands, Ice Age, Alliances, Mirage, Visions.
    And here is the format, Ice Age gives Brainstorm and Mirage Fetch lands, revised should be banned just to punish fetch and open for playing pain duals or Homelands tripple lands. The format should be named "I started to play when they stopped print those great cards" or maybe simply call it "dark ages" and allow the dark, then the playable sets maybe should include tempest block also. But since Wasteland is in tempest it is a to "Good" expansion. Nobody whould ever play this format since there whould be no pimp, no money, not even magic as we all know it today. Anyways...


  40. I want to start by saying this: the format is cool, it made me happy to see, and reminded me of the good old days. The people who started the format get to decide what the format is, not those chiming in. Giving ideas and suggestions is great, but you can't bash them for playing how they want.
    FE does seem cheap, and you can still buy packs today for $4-7 US, but you can get a pack of TD for $9-15. Wow. Bling... Not.
    Here is my unwanted opinion, just because this is all very interesting. I started playing in 94 after Revised came out, and Legends was just hitting the shelves. It was crazy how hard it was to find Arabian Nights and Antiquities. Hell, even UL was scarce, and it had come out not many months prior. My first rares in my starter deck were Tundra, WOG, and Shivan Dragon. The Alpha Black Lotus was a staggering $200-400 then! I live in Washington, near Redmond, and Magic was obviously huge here. I used to play in a card shop with friends, owned by a previous play tester. She was very cool and had many original artwork. One day she says, "how would y'all like to have an illustrator/play tester come out for the day?" Um, yeah. So, we played many games of Magic with Christopher Rush. You know that guy. He was so cool and informative, very integral in the development of the game. This is all to say, I was there from early on! Maybe not Beta or even UL. But, I was there in 94 with good people! And yet, I could not play 93/94 with what I had... What is wrong with that picture? I bet that many or most of the 93/94 elitists weren't playing then, so have no nostalgia to even draw from, just showing off? Do they even have memories to draw from?
    I'll say it again: these folks who made the format should not be bashed for it, rather, they should own it, enjoy it. If you (or I) don't like it, find a different league!
    I just think that it is weird to allow TD ($10 boosters) but not Revised ($100-300 boosters).
    I love reading the blog, articles, dreaming of playing.

    Oh! PS. In other areas of this website/blog, it states a sort of mission, "to enjoy playing, enjoy the old and good cards, beautiful cards, not be collectors, but rather, players", and this was more of a paraphrase, not absolute quote. Sorry, but I will be a Magic player over collector forever and always.

    1. Yea. We have different opinions. I'm in the "collectors, fuck players"-camp. More or less. Even if I see it as a format where collectors can play with and show of their collections. MG is the nice guy.

      When the format started there was some discussions about TD. Some wanted it excluded for the very reasons you state in your post. Some wanted it included because they feelt it was pimp enough. It all boiled down to a compromise.

      Personally I would rather ban Unlimited/TD then include FE/rev.

    2. ooh, and PS. If all critique where formulated the way you formulated yours. The world would be a better place. <3

  41. Is there any information or lore on why WotC went with white borders on UL and R? Was it simply to distinguish between them? Or was there more to it?

  42. it's a casual format. if you want to play with FE, do it as i'm sure finding people to play with you won't be any harder than finding people to play with you under some other rule set. I like using the date as a cut off point. i love being able to play with chaos orb.

    if you've a problem with the way people want to play the game, you don't get casual and i encourage you to stop worrying about a circle jerk and ask yourself why you don't grind gps.

  43. I stopped playing mtg ages ago both because of the cheapness of newer card design and the myths/inflated prices surrounding the older power cards, and am not into Old School (imho even a 1997 format would have an old school feel to me; this shows just how subjective a casual format is), but stumbled upon this thread by more or less by accident. It made for a very, very interesting read! The fact that I personally find the elitist, financial circle jerk attitude of Christoffer Andersson a fair bit repulsive doesn't change that I enjoyed analysing his thoughts. Power to him. People are allowed to create their own environment and their own rules and live out their (childhood) fantasies.

    Thanks for writing with passion.


Skicka en kommentar