Sometimes it's nice to look back and see just how far things have come since the early days of Magic: The Gathering. To that end, we're bringing you a series of short videos that highlight Magic: The Gathering expansions throughout the years.
Previously, we looked at Stronghold, the middle set in the block known as "The Rath Cycle." This time around, it's time to leave as the Weatherlight crew makes their Exodus.
You can check it all out in our retrospective video (below).
Released June 15, 1998, Exodus is the final set in The Rath Cycle, but far from the last chapter within the overall Weatherlight Saga story arc.
The story picks up with part of the rescue party returning to the Weatherlight after breaking Karn and Tahngarth out of Volrath’s prison tower, including a very wounded Mirri and a Crovax who is slowly suffering a vampiric change. Along the way, Karn senses and reclaims another part of the Legacy and returns it to the skyship as well.
A now-fully-cursed Crovax attacked Mirri while both were recovering onboard the Weatherlight. The fight found Crovax throwing the injured cat warrior overboard, but Mirri was able to take him with her as they tumbled to the ground. Shortly before Gerrard, Sisay, and the others arrive back at the Weatherlight, Crovax had successfully bested Mirri, biting her and turning her into a vampire killing her before their eyes.
At this point, it’s time to leave as Ertai (who has been studying a mysterious portal on the outskirts of Rath this entire time) has figured out how it works and is able to open it for their collective escape. Gerrard, knowing Mirri and Crovax both are too far gone, leaves them behind on the plane
Of course, it’s not that simple. Volrath’s flagship, The Predator, attacks the Weatherlight once again, damaging the ship in yet another battle. Thanks to the newfound piece of the Legacy, an item known as the Skyshaper, the Weatherlight is able to outrun the Predator as it flies at break-neck speed toward the portal.
Unfortunately, the skyship is flying far to fast to be able to stop to pick up Ertai, who is ready and waiting to board near the portal. Instead, they fly right past him, leaving Ertai with feelings of fear and betrayal. The portal closes immediately and the Predator crashes into it, destroying the portal and seriously disabling the skyship. Ertai falls to the ground and is greeted by a very perturbed Greven il-Vec.
And, when you look at the set, there really is a lot of fun stuff to be had.
Overall on par power level with Stronghold, Exodus once again evolves the buyback and shadow mechanics from Tempest and new licid creatures.
The set also introduces a cycle of enchantments known as Oaths as well as a cycle of creatures known as Keepers that are tied to specific shortcomings in resources.
Exodus has within it a number of noteworthy cards including City of Traitors, Coat of Arms, Null Brooch, Recurring Nightmare, Survival of the Fittest, and Mind over Matter. There are also a handful of reprints and, like Stronghold before it, all five of them first saw print in the beginner-level Portal set.
Keeping in line with the previous two sets, Exodus had four more pre-constructed theme decks associated with it and, like with Stronghold, they contained cards from the block’s previous sets as well as a number of new Exodus cards.
And in a move that’s out of line from any other Magic: The Gathering set ever printed up to this point, Exodus was the first set to actually label a card’s rarity right on the card. The now-standard practice of color-coding rarities via the set symbol started right here in the final set of The Rath Cycle.
Hey, better late then never.
Is Exodus one of your favorite Magic: The Gathering sets? If so, let us know in the comment section below.
Programming note: After our Exodus video, our Magic History retrospectives will begin being posted once per month, midweek during the final week of each month.