Antiquities was only the second expansion card set released for magic. It came out in the Spring of 1994 and the flavor text of many of the cards focused on the wizards Urza and Mishra.
Cards in set: 100
Cards per booster pack: 8 (2 Rare/Uncommon, 6 Common)
Packs per booster box: 60
Color Breakdown: 7 White, 7 Green, 7 Blue Spells, 7 Red, 7 Black, 44 Artifacts, 21 Lands
Rarity Breakdown: 26 Rare (26 U1), 49 Uncommons (5 U2, 28 U3, 11 C1, 5 C2), 25 Common (25 C4)
Memories from Antiquties
The abilities of many of the cards favored Artifact themed decks. This was a boon for a lot of players who had been accustomed to not seeing many artifacts in a starter deck. Not many people I know played mono-artifact decks often simply because they weren’t exposed to a lots of them.
This was the first expansion set that I actually got to buy in stores. I remember going to the Gamekeeper at the South Coast Plaza mall and buying a few packs at a time. $1.45 each. No one wanted them, the store owner seemed happy that anyone would buy them! A couple of friends bought entire booster boxes of Antiquities… I didn’t yet know about buying cards cheaper at comic conventions. I believe I bought at least one entire booster and that was at one of the mall stores.
I believe Antiquities was the first time the concept of having a combination of three cards to produce an effect greater than the individual effect… in this case the “Artifact” lands Urza’s Tower, Urza’s Power Plant, and Urza’s Mine. Getting all that extra mana was rather nice, but getting them all out at the same time in a game proved difficult.
The best card that I got in pack was a Shapeshifter, which at the time was hot stuff for my friends and I… a sort of artifact semi- Vesuvian Doppleganger that let you pick a power and toughness from 6/1 to 0/7. Later though, they reprinted it. I also traded something (I think it was a Mightstone?)for a Mishra’s Workshop which didn’t seem that great at the time… Hehe, you win some and lose some.
Notable Cards from Antiquities
Millstone: In the beginning when not too many of my friends had these things, I got a hold of 3 of them and proceeded to make a blue artifact deck along with howling mine, braingeyser, copy artifact, and the requisite blue counter magic. The first time I decked a friend with that incarnation of a Millstone deck was a day of celebration for me.
Candelabra of Tawnos: No one knew what to make of this card at first… it didn’t give you any net mana. Then someone decided to put it in a five color deck where it basically became a multi use dual land creator. Unbelievably cheap to cast as well. And when the Dark rolled around, I had a lot of fun using it with the Maze of Ith.
Mishra’s Factory: This land that could turn into a creature was extremely useful especially in artifact heavy decks, because it could either give mana or become a 2/2 creature for one turn. I didn’t find as much use for it as others, because I liked creature enchantments and of course, when it turns back into a land there go your enchantments. Having a few on the board was sort of cool though, because it also acted like a Wyluli Wolf to pump up another factory +1/+1.
Articles on cards originally from the Antiquities set