Homelands

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"So, I often get asked, "What is the worst Magic set of all time?" And my go-to answer is Homelands."

MaRo, Drive to Work Episode 25

"The rest of the pack was upside down for some reason. I don't know why."

Loadingreadyrun commenting on a Spanish Homelands pack

Homelands is widely regarded to be the most confusing, uninspired, and wholly misbegotten expansion in Magic: The Gathering history. Color mechanics were muddled if not entirely missing, the art was eye searingly awful, it retained some of the worst mechanics (ante) of previous sets long after they were known to be awful ideas, added nothing new, was weirdly fixated on hyper specific effects, and was generally a load of soul draining crap. Probably its one lasting contribution to the game was the introduction of mono-color legends (though on the whole they were every bit as unplayable as their Legends block counterparts, with the exception of Autumn Willow).

Notable Cards[edit]

Apocalypse Chime[edit]

Apocalypse Chime.jpg

In case you were under the fevered misconception that a Homelands centered deck was a good idea the developers helpfully added this card to disabuse you. The last set wide hose ever made, and thank god.

Baron Sengir[edit]

Baron Sengir.jpg

One of the more memorable cards (and one of the few to be reprinted). It had the slight issue that there was only one other vampire in the game at the time (and Baron can't target himself).

Ihsan's Shade[edit]

Ihsans shade.jpg

A 5/5 with Protection from White for 3BBB is horrible today, but in the days of Dark Ritual he entered for a mere 4 mana while being immune to most removal that existed at the time: Having over 4 toughness he wasn't taken down by Lightning Bolt, Protection From White stopped him from being exiled with Swords to Plowshares or crippled with Brainwash, and being black meant he couldn't be hit by Terror.

Memory Lapse[edit]

Memory Lapse.jpg

Actually not an awful card by today's standards but was widely panned at the time since it competed with the undiluted bullshit that was Mana Drain. Reprinted in Fifth, Sixth and Seventh edition core sets.

Merchant Scroll[edit]

Merchant Scroll.jpg

Homelands wasn't entirely without its cheese. For two mana you got a more than respectable tutor card that wouldn't be overshadowed for many editions - in fact, it was restricted in Vintage for years, and is still playable in pauper Commander decks. Alternate take: In what world is Merchant's Scroll not a fantastic card? A low rate to tutor to hand is amazing, and most blue spellslinger decks want it in Commander. It actually appeared in the core set in Eighth Edition, though hasn't since.

Serrated Arrows[edit]

Serrated arrows.jpg

Saw widespread tournament use when wizards forced people to play with Homelands cards. It was the only removal card in the set that wasn't monstrously overcosted, specifically targeted at a single creature type, or both.

Spectral Bears[edit]

Spectral Bears.jpg

A prime example of Homeland's pathological love affair with hosers. Depending on your meta it was either the ice age equivalent of Isamaru (decades before it came out) or a glorified wall.

Timmerian Fiends[edit]

Timmerian Fiends.jpg

This card was the last of it's kind, and typifies everything that was wrong with Homelands. Behold the confusing design, the awful defunct mechanics like ante, the "artwork" of Mike Kimble. All bound up and printed on one sanity rending cardboard rectangle.

Settings of Magic: The Gathering
Pre-revisionist: First Magic Sets - First Urza Block - Arabian Nights
Legends - Homelands - Ice Age - Mirage
Weatherlight Saga: Portal Starter Sets - Second Urza Block
Tempest Block - Masques Block - Invasion Block
Post-Weatherlight: Otaria Block - Mirrodin - Kamigawa - Ravnica - Time Spiral
After the Mending: Lorwyn - Alara - Zendikar - New Phyrexia
Innistrad - Return to Ravnica - Theros - Tarkir
Two-Block Paradigm: Kaladesh - Amonkhet - Ixalan
Never in a standard set: Fiora (Where the Conspiracy sets take place)