I really, really enjoyed the Arabian Nights set review. At first I was a little hesitant about listening to a card-by-card assessment of the entire set, but if any set in Magic warrants this sort of treatment, it is Arabian Nights.
Fortunately, within minutes I was whisked back to the mid 90s and immediately began to realize this was probably my favorite set ever. If I could have any Magic wish, I think it would be that Wizards consider doing an Arabian Nights II, with the same look, feel, and art of that old set. I don't know if it's rose-colored nostalgia for a different time in Magic, or if this set really did stand out on its own- I would guess that's a better question for a newer player, but it truly was such a magical expansion. As you said, things were much different then. The internet was relatively new and not nearly as omnipresent as today, and every card at least got tested a few times (whether casually or seriously). An Arabian Nights II set nowadays would be spoiled in hours, versus months. Back then, just seeing a new card you had never seen before was cause for trying it out in your deck.
As the podcast came to a close, I shed a nostalgic tear, but mainly because we are now down to just two Arabian Nights cards that are still Vintage viable (Bazaar and Library). I'll never forgive Wizards for printing Mana Confluence (why make an " all but strictly better" City of Brass? Why? Why!), so seeing cards from such a beautiful and exciting set should be cherished. I personally don't get "immersed" into the world of Magic as some people do, but of all the sets, this is the one that has that effect on me. Tapping Library of Alexandria does create an immersive sensation. Playing Bazaar might for a nanosecond, take you into a different world. Casting Ali from Cairo in a Vintage cube does make you feel like you are controlling a memorable character and creature. For me, when I cast Jace, I'm casting a magic card, but if I cast King Suleiman, it feels like I am channeling a great figure. I truly miss that, and hope that someday Wizards will revisit a "real plane."
I loved this segment, found it super interesting and would welcome you guys going into even more depth for cards that were at some time Type 1/Vintage playable or offer a little more context (for instance, Diamond Valley was fairly popular at one point, and especially at the first Vintage Worlds due to an interesting ruling about not going into negative life). I think you could have spent some time talking about the challenges of no mana lands like Wak-Wak/Bazaar/Valley back then because of Paris mulliganing. This was a HUGE issue back then, and even continued on through The Dark expansion. Getting a hand with no lands but a Maze of Ith or Diamond Valley was pretty much lights out, since you couldn't mulligan it away. Might be some interesting context for why these cards might have seen much more use with a T: 1 Colorless mana, or why Library of Alexandria might not have had nearly as much ubiquity if it couldn't tap for mana (at least under Paris rules).
Overall, LOVED IT! Would welcome more. And I even learned something. I never knew that King Suleiman could kill an Old Man of the Sea (I think he can now, right?)
Looking forward to Antiquities and then Dark, and maybe even Legends (would be manageable if you skip a bunch of cards. No need to talk about all the chaff in that set).
Thank you for this tour down memory lane. I'm enjoying these addendums to the normal dialogue of your podcast.