A Review Of MTG’s ‘Antiquities’ Expansion Set

The original Magic: The Gathering game and trading cards were launched in 1993. They were soon followed by their second expansion set “Antiquities” in 1994. The MTG phenomenon is still going strong, yet the initial sets have become collector’s items, particularly for full sets. Below is a closer look at the MTG Antiquities Set.

How Were The Cards Originally Sold?

MTG Antiquities went on sale in March of 1994, and were sold out by the end of April 1994. A total of 15 million cards were printed; the cards were sold in booster packs of 8 that included 6 commons and 2 uncommons. A complete set has 100 cards, and gamers would have to buy more than one full Booster Box in order to complete their set. A complete set consists of 26-U1, 4-U2, 29-U3, 11-C1, 5-C2, and 25-C4.

What Did The Cards Look Like?

The MTG Antiquity set has a distinctive black border, with an anvil symbol. There is a copyright in the lower left hand corner of each card. The cards are not dated.

The Antiquities Story

The storyline for these cards is available in its entirety in the 1998 book, “The Brothers of War” written by Jeff Grubb. The stories main characters are brothers Mishra and Urza. The brothers were born in the same year, Urza on the first day of the year, Mishra on the last. At the age of 10 the brothers are sent to apprentice for their late fathers friend Tocasia. While working for Tocasia the brothers create many new inventions and spend their spare time exploring the Caves of Koilos, where they find many Thran artifacts. The story changes when the brothers find a powerstone, which leads to massive conflict and pits the brothers against one another in war. The prequel to “The Brother’s War,” “The Thran” by author J. Robert King is available individually, or together as one in the book “Artifacts Cycle I.”

A Review Of MTG's 'Antiquities' Expansion Set

Urza and Mishra’s story is the building block for many future expansions of MTG. The result of their war is explored in greater detail in the 1998 expansion set Urza’s Saga.

Noteworthy Cards

As with every MTG set, there are noteworthy and highly sought after cards. Below are the most sought after and powerful cards in the Antiquities set:

Mishra’s Workshop:

This powerful card allows players to cast artifacts two turns earlier than normal.

Candelabra of Tawnos:

This card is also part of the 2011 Legacy, Time Spiral set. It allows players to create tides when the card is properly tapped.

Mishra’s Factory:

This is a manland card that has a card for each of the four seasons.

Strip Mine:

This is a land destruction card that helps players to destroy their opponents land.

Urza’s Tower, Urza’s Mine, and Urza’s Power Plant:

The three together are called the Urzatron that can be used to produce a large amount of manna.

MTG trading cards continue to be a highly collectible, and a highly competitive game for avid gamers. Even with the growing popularity of electronic games, MTG continues to thrive. While MTG has entered the online world in a few capacities, the cards are still the preferred choice of many MTG gamers.


Perry Christiansen is a freelance writer based in Louisville, Kentucky. Perry recommends that fellow MTG lovers visit card kingdom to take a peek at their excellent selection of MTG singles.

Image credit goes to ToyWiz Official.