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Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description Yawgmoth's mask
Design Paul Peterson (lead)
Randy Buehler
Charlie Cuturza
Mark Rosewater
Teeuwynn Woodruff
Development Mike Elliott (lead)
Randy Buehler
Charlie Cuturza
Michael Donais
Robert Gutschera
with contributions from Brady Dommermuth
Beth Moursund
Art direction Dana Knutson & Ron Spears
Release date June 4, 2001
Plane Dominaria
Themes and mechanics Disciples, Envoys, Flagbearers, Sanctuaries, "Syphon" creatures, Split cards, Volvers
Keywords/​ability words Kicker
Set size 143 cards
(55 commons, 44 uncommons, 44 rares)
Expansion code APC (formerly AP)[1]
Development codename Shanghai
Invasion block
Invasion Planeshift Apocalypse
Magic: The Gathering Chronology
Seventh Edition Apocalypse Odyssey
For other uses, see Apocalypse (disambiguation).

Apocalypse is the twenty-third Magic: The Gathering expansion and was released in June 2001 as the third set and second small expansion in the Invasion block.

Set details[ | ]

Apocalypse featured 143 black-bordered cards (55 commons, 44 uncommons and 44 rares). Its expansion symbol is Yawgmoth's mask.[2][3] Like Invasion and Planeshift, Apocalypse prominently features multicolored cards. Unlike its predecessors, Apocalypse focused on cards with "enemy" color pairings. Examples of the enemy color theme include pain lands, split cards, cards with enemy color kicker costs (e.g. Orim's Thunder), cards with two enemy color kicker costs (the Volver cycle), cards with abilities requiring an enemy color (e.g. Angelfire Crusader, enchantments which gave bonuses if you controlled permanents of an enemy color (the Sanctuary cycle) and cards with enemy color casting costs. Apocalypse also expanded on the kicker block mechanic and introduced enemy-color gradient text boxes on lands to match the friendly-color ones added in Invasion.

Storyline[ | ]

Main article: Apocalypse (novel)

The Coalition forces hurled their might at the Stronghold, now overlaid onto the swamps of Urborg. Urza led a powerful group of planeswalkers to Phyrexia itself, hoping to destroy the invaders in their home. Gerrard and Urza are forced to fight each other in an arena, and when one kills the other, the loser is returned to life by Yawgmoth's power and the two must fight again. Eventually, Urza is decapitated and Gerrard escapes with the head, only to find himself in the Stronghold throne room, with a crazed Crovax standing over the broken form of Squee. Sisay, Karn, Tahngarth and the rest of the Weatherlight crew desperately search the Thran Tome, attempting to figure out how the Legacy and the Weatherlight are supposed to save Dominaria. The remaining coalition forces, lead by Grizzlegom, Eladamri and Lin Sivvi fight their way to the Stronghold, where they battle Crovax's Phyrexian soldiers. When Yawgmoth himself arrives from Phyrexia, the final battle begins in earnest. Gerrard and his allies try to channel the mana from the Null Moon into a destructive beam to eradicate Yawgmoth, but fail to kill him. Without any further options, Urza, who is still alive since decapitation isn't lethal to planeswalkers, asks Gerrard to take out his powerstone eyes and place them in two sockets in Karn's chest. This completes the Legacy, forming that which legend refers to as the Legacy Weapon. Light spreads all over the world, eradicating Yawgmoth's essence. Gerrard and Urza do not survive the Weapon's activation, and the Weatherlight crashes into the ocean, its planeswalking powers permanently burned out and transferred to Karn, who has become a planeswalker in his own right.

Marketing[ | ]

APC Advertisement

Advertisement for Apocalypse.

The cards were sold in 15-card boosters which had artwork from Anavolver, in four preconstructed theme decks and a fat pack, which is notable for being the first to include the modern set symbol spindown life counters. At Apocalypse prerelease events on May 26, 2001, a foil फंगल्शम्ब्लर् (Fungal Shambler printed in Sanskrit text) was handed out. The set was accompanied by the novel of the same name.

Token[ | ]

A 1/1 Goblin Soldier Token for Goblin Trenches was released as a Magic Player Reward.[4]

Mechanics[ | ]

Apocalypse saw the continued use of kicker and split cards.

Each color contains a few creatures that have a new kind of ability, sometimes forming a vertical cycle. For example, blue gets Whirlpool creatures, red gets Bloodfire creatures, etc.

  • Bloodfire — The ability to pay {R}, sacrifice the card then deal damage to creatures and players. A vertical cycle of creatures were printed with the ability plus an aura that granted a creature the ability. (see cycles)
  • Flagbearer — As long as you have one in play, any spell or ability your opponent plays that can target a Flagbearer must target a Flagbearer. If a spell has multiple targets, only one of the targets needs to be a Flagbearer. There were 2 White Flagbearer creatures (Standard Bearer and Coalition Honor Guard) and an aura (Coalition Flag) that granted a creature the Flagbearer subtype as well as the inherent ability.
  • Penumbra — Which brings a black token creature of the same power/toughness into play whenever the original green creature is put into a graveyard. (see cycles)
  • Syphon — Phyrexian abominations that take some life from their controller in exchange for an equal number of cards (e.g. When Phyrexian Rager comes into play you drew a card and lose 1 life). Phyrexian Gargantua and the enchantment Phyrexian Arena are also considered part of the "syphon" mechanic.
  • Whirlpool — Drake and Merfolk that allow the owner to shuffle cards in their hand into their library, and then draw that many cards. (see cycles)

Creature types[ | ]

The following creature types are introduced in this expansion: Flagbearer, Volver.

The following creature types are used in this expansion but also appear in previous sets: Angel, Ape, Beast, Cat, Drake, Dwarf, Elf, Giant, Goblin, Golem, Horror, Kavu, Merfolk, Minotaur, Ship (later changed to Metathran), Snake, Soldier, Treefolk, Wall, Wizard, Zombie.

Cycles[ | ]

Apocalypse has ten cycles and 4 vertical cycles.

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Envoys Enlistment Officer
Tidal Courier
Grave Defiler
Goblin Ringleader
Sylvan Messenger
Each of these uncommon creatures cost {3}M to cast and has "When this creature comes into play, reveal the top 4 cards of your library. Put all creature cards of this creature's type revealed this way into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library". Two cards were not part of this cycle, but had a related ability: Kavu Howler, a green creature that calls Kavu, is also uncommon but costs more to cast; and Brass Herald is an uncommon artifact creature that allows you to choose the creature type it calls and also grants creatures of that type +1/+1.
Cycle name {W}{B} {U}{R} {B}{G} {R}{W} {G}{U}
Enemy-color two-drops Putrid Warrior
Razorfin Hunter
Llanowar Dead
Goblin Legionnaire
Gaea's Skyfolk
Each of these common multicolored creatures is two enemy colors, has a converted mana cost of 2, and shares one creature type with two other cards in the cycle based on its colors. This is the opposite cycle of the allied-color two-drop cycle from Invasion.
Enemy-color noncreatures Soul Link Quicksilver Dagger Consume Strength Squee's Embrace Temporal Spring
Each of these common multicolored spells are composed of two enemy colors.
Enemy-color permanents Martyrs' Tomb Minotaur Illusionist Ebony Treefolk Flowstone Charger Jungle Barrier
Each of these uncommon cards are enemy-colored permanents.
Enemy-color Split cards Night // Day Fire // Ice Life // Death Order // Chaos Illusion // Reality
Each of these split cards is made up of two spells, each of which is an enemy color to the other.
Enemy-color pain lands Caves of Koilos Shivan Reef Llanowar Wastes Battlefield Forge Yavimaya Coast
Each of these rare lands has "{T}: Add {C}" and "{T}: Add M or N. This card deals 1 damage to you", where M and N are two enemy colors of mana.
Cycle name {R}{W}{B} {G}{U}{R} {W}{B}{G} {U}{R}{W} {B}{G}{U}
Disciples Dega Disciple Ceta Disciple Necra Disciple Raka Disciple Ana Disciple
Each of these common 1/1 Wizard creatures has two activated abilities, each of which costs one mana of one of the card's enemy colors to use.This cycle mirrors the Apprentice cycle from Invasion.
Sanctuaries Dega Sanctuary Ceta Sanctuary Necra Sanctuary Raka Sanctuary Ana Sanctuary
Each of these uncommon enchantments produces an effect during your upkeep if you control a permanent of one of its enemy colors or produces a greater effect if you control any permanents of both its enemy colors.
Volvers Degavolver Cetavolver Necravolver Rakavolver Anavolver
Each of these rare creatures has one kicker cost for each of its enemy colors, each of which increases its power and toughness and grants extra abilities.
Wedge Spells Fervent Charge Guided Passage Overgrown Estate Lightning Angel Fungal Shambler
Each of these rare multicolored spells requires three colors of mana to cost, including two allied-color mana and their mutual enemy color.

Vertical cycles[ | ]

Cycle name
Bloodfire Bloodfire Dwarf
Bloodfire Kavu
Bloodfire Colossus
Each of these red creatures has an activated ability that requires paying {R} and sacrificing it to deal damage to each creature (and player for the Colossus). Each member of the cycle mimics the effect of a famous red damage spell. The aura Bloodfire Infusion gives a similar ability to the enchanted creature.
Penumbra Penumbra Bobcat Penumbra Kavu Penumbra Wurm
Each of these green creatures creates a black creature token of its power and toughness whenever it is put into a graveyard from play. The white card Haunted Angel is similar to this cycle. The Time Spiral card Penumbra Spider is a reference/hommage to this cycle.
Syphon Phyrexian Rager Phyrexian Gargantua Phyrexian Arena
Each of these black spells has an effect that lets you draw cards at the cost of life.
Whirlpool Whirlpool Rider Whirlpool Drake Whirlpool Warrior
Each of these blue creatures has "When this creature comes into play, shuffle the cards from your hand into your library, then draw that many cards".

Bloodfire Cycle

Pairs[ | ]

Apocalypse has two mirrored pairs:

Mirrored Pairs Description
Desolation Angel
Desolation Giant
Each of these rare creatures has a double colored mana cost (black and red respectively) with a {W}{W} kicker cost (their enemy color) that turns its enter the battlefield effect into either an Armageddon or a Wrath of God, respectively.
Mystic Snake
Suffocating Blast
Each of these rare counterspells cost 4 mana: {1}{U}{U} plus a mana of one of blue’s enemy colors. Both are unconditional counters with an additional effect related to the non-blue member of the color pair.

Reprints[ | ]

Apocalypse has no reprints.

Card comparisons[ | ]

Notable cards[ | ]

Preconstructed decks[ | ]

Apocalypse has four theme decks.

deck name
Colors Included
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Whirlpool U R
Swoop U G
Burial W B G
Pandemonium W U B R G

References[ | ]

  1. Wendy Wallace (August 12, 2004). "Ask Wizards - August, 2004". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Brady Dommermuth (October 31, 2006). "Ask Wizards - October, 2006". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Magic Arcana (August 02, 2007). "Ichor Eyes and the Mask of Yawgmoth". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Magic Arcana (May 27, 2002). "Player Rewards tokens". Wizards of the Coast.

External links[ | ]