Welcome to our first entry in the Magic Mixer theme for Meta MTG's A to Z 2017 Challenge, where I'm attempting to feature a different Magic: The Gathering set every day. Up until now I've been featuring Booster Pack Opening videos, which have been a lot of fun. Gotten a few lucky pulls, a few busts.
Technically Homelands, a set released around the time of Ice Age and Alliances in 1995, is still readily available. Not only that, but I believe the booster packs are some of the cheapest around. So sure, I could have picked up some packs, but the set has basically no value in cards. Why is that? Because it was printed into oblivion. It's a factor that many newer print runs are compared to, especially supplement products like the Modern/Eternal Masters series, citing Wizards of the Coast wanting to avoid another Homelands catastrophe.
There are maybe a handful of played cards from the set — Memory Lapse, Merchant Scroll, and Serrated Arrows to name a few — and they still aren't worth anything. Merchant Scroll recently saw a sporadic price spike, but it remains to be seen if it can be maintained. However, I may want to check if I have an 8th Edition foil!
I honestly don't think the storyline for Homelands it worth going into, it didn't even fall in line with the rest of the sets at the time. I thought it was just worthwhile highlighting that it's fairly unanimously lauded as the worst Magic set ever printed. Even the big wigs at Wizards of the Coast felt it was lacking:
"And I'll be blunt with you, as someone who's dedicated the last eight years designing Magic cards, Homelands was a poorly designed set. It wasn't very innovative. It didn't introduce any strong mechanics. It didn't have good synergy. It wasn't particularly elegant. It didn't have many of the qualities that we now judge a set's design by. (To be fair, the set was very flavorful, so it wasn't without any design merit.)" - Mark Rosewater
Another fun fact is that Wizards of the Coast forced a rule during their first Pro Tour, just after Homelands release, dictating that you had to have at least five cards from each Standard legal set during that time, just so the Homelands cards were featured.
My advice would be to steer clear from Homelands. Maybe Wizards can revisit the plane of Ulgrotha and finally pay their dues and find some redemption? That is unless the entire plane was destroyed in the story... I never cared enough to find out.
Do you currently play Magic: The Gathering? Are you a fan of Homelands? If so, what's your favorite card from the set? Do you think that Wizards of the Coast should revisit this plane?