Mike Elliott (lead)|
William Jockusch (lead)|
|Art direction||Matt Wilson|
|Release date||June 15, 1998|
|Themes and mechanics||Keepers, Licids, Oaths, Spikes|
|Keywords/ability words||Buyback, Shadow|
(55 commons, 44 uncommons, 44 rares)
|Magic: The Gathering Chronology|
Exodus contains 143 black-bordered cards (44 rare, 44 uncommon, and 55 common). Its expansion symbol is a bridge, meant to symbolize the exit from Rath and the transition from one chapter of the Weatherlight Saga to the next. Exodus was the first set to use color-coding of the expansion symbol to indicate the rarity of the cards. Commons have a black-filled expansion symbol, uncommons have a silver-filled symbol, and rares have a gold-filled symbol. It is the first set to have the information at the bottom of the card centered, rather than having that information aligned to the left. This change persisted until the card design change in 8th Edition. It is also the first set with the collector number and total number of cards in the set printed on the cards.
The cards were sold in 15-card boosters and in four preconstructed theme decks. Each booster pack had artwork from Exalted Dragon and contained 1 rare, 3 uncommons, and 11 commons. WotC continued the popular theme deck product line for Exodus, but because it wasn't a standalone set, the decks contained Tempest, Stronghold, and Exodus cards. The Exodus prerelease was held on June 6, 1998. The prerelease card for Exodus was a non-foil Monstrous Houndwith "Prerelease 6/98" stamped in gold foil between the creature type and the set symbol.
The crew of the Weatherlight has rescued Captain Sisay and the pieces of the Legacy, and now must retreat through Volrath's Stronghold and escape to the portal that would lead them off of Rath. Volrath and his main lieutenant Greven il-Vec will stop at nothing to destroy the crew and reclaim the ancient artifacts that will allow Volrath to oppose his hidden master. However, they must also stave off the combined assault of Volrath's Stronghold by the elves of the Skyshroud Forest and the human tribes of the Kor, Vec, and Dal, recently reunited by Gerrard.
Also, a disturbing change has come over Crovax, the noble who accompanied the Weatherlight to Rath. His newly-formed bloodlust and thirst for power threatens to destroy the entire ship.
Meanwhile Ertai stands alone in a cruel landscape, focused on a singular task. He must open the arcane portal before his comrades return from the dark fortress... if they return. He is just one man, but there is no force he cannot overcome.
Exodus didn't introduce any new keywords, but continued the block mechanics buyback and shadow. Buyback costs on several cards in the set can be paid with life or by discarding cards, broadening the previously seen costs of paying mana or sacrificing a land. Two more licids were printed to add to Stronghold's licid theme. In lieu of new mechanincs, Exodus includes two sets of cards with related themes. Each of them has an ability which works only for the player who has less of some resource. The Oaths are enchantments with upkeep effects which work to equalize a resource: if the active player meets a certain threshold for that resource compared to a target opponent, the player may take some action. The Keepers are creatures with abilities usable only when you're behind in that resource.
The following creature types are used in this expansion but also appear in previous sets: Ape, Beast, Bird, Boar, Cat, Dragon, Drake, Druid, Elemental, Elf, Fish, Goblin, Hound, Illusion, Insect, Knight, Merfolk, Licid, Lizard, Minion, Ogre, Salamander, Soldier, Spike, Spirit, Thrull, Troll, Wall, Warrior, Wizard, Wolverine, Zombie.
Exodus has two cycles:
|Keepers||Keeper of the Light(life)||Keeper of the Mind(cards)||Keeper of the Dead(creatures in graveyard)||Keeper of the Flame(life)||Keeper of the Beasts(creatures)|
|Wizards with abilities which may be activated only when an opponent meets a certain threshold for that resource compared to the creature's controller.|
|Oaths||Oath of Lieges(lands)||Oath of Scholars(cards)||Oath of Ghouls(creatures in graveyard)||Oath of Mages(life)||Oath of Druids(creatures)|
|Enchantments with upkeep effects which work to equalize the listed resource. It the active player meets a certain threshold for that resource when compared to a target opponent, the player may take some action.|
|Retrievers||Treasure Hunter (Exodus)||Scrivener (Exodus)||Gravedigger (Tempest)||Anarchist (Exodus)||Cartographer (Exodus)|
|Each of these 2/2 creatures returns a card of a certain type from your graveyard to your hand when it comes into play. There are four from Exodus and one from Tempest. Four out of the five were reprinted in Odyssey.|
Unlike theme decks from other sets, Exodus theme decks include a booklet which describes both the pre-built deck and an advanced version of the deck which could be constructed by replacing some cards with cards from other sets:
|“||Each of the four decks has a basic form, using only cards from the Tempest, Stronghold, and Exodus expansions. Each also has an advanced version that is more suited to the intense competition of tournaments. These make use of powerful cards from various in-print sets to make each deck even more effective.||”|
The pre-constructed theme decks are:
- Coat of Arms - This artifact benefits tribal decks and is popular in EDH.
- City of Traitors - This explosive Sol Land sees frequent play in Legacy, especially in decks that benefit from fast colorless mana, like MUD or Stax
- Hatred - Because of this card, Summer 1998 was known as the Summer of Hate.
- Null Brooch - The art for this card was originally commissioned for Jinxed Brooch, which would combo with Jinxed Idol and Jinxed Ring from the previous sets.
- Oath of Druids
- Recurring Nightmare
- Spike Cannibal - the only non-green spike. It was an anti-spike as sorts as it stole all other +1/+1 counters for itself when it came into play.
- Survival of the Fittest
- Mind over Matter
The following Exodus cards were originally printed in other sets:
- Angelic Blessing — first printed in Portal.
- Charging Paladin — first printed in Portal.
- Raging Goblin — first printed in Portal.
- Theft of Dreams — first printed in Portal.
- Wood Elves — first printed in Portal.
- Wendy Wallace (August 12, 2004). "Ask Wizards - August, 2004". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Brady Dommermuth (October 31, 2006). "Ask Wizards". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (April 29, 2013). "Third Time's the Charm". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana (July 25, 2002). "The bad Oath". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Exodus Preconstructed Decks
- Magic Arcana (December 16, 2002). "Jinxed items". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Exodus Files Exposed, by Michael G. Ryan. The Duelist #28, August 1998
- Salmiakki_Aficionado (July 4, 2019). "Ever wondered what Censorship (Unglued) is censoring?". Reddit.