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Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description Bridge
Design Mike Elliott (lead)
Bill Rose
Mark Rosewater
Development William Jockusch (lead)
Mike Elliott
Bill Rose
Mark Rosewater
Henry Stern
Art direction Matt Wilson
Release date June 15, 1998
Plane Rath[1]
Themes and mechanics Keepers, Licids, Oaths, Spikes
Keywords/​ability words Buyback, Shadow
Set size 143 cards
(55 commons, 44 uncommons, 44 rares)
Expansion code EXO[2]
Development codename Gorgonzola
Tempest block
Tempest Stronghold Exodus
Magic: The Gathering Chronology
Stronghold Exodus Portal Second Age

Exodus is the fourteenth Magic expansion and was released in June 1998 as the third set and second small expansion in the Tempest block.

Set details[ | ]

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.[3] 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 changed in 8th Edition. It is also the first set with the collector number and the total number of cards in the set printed on the cards.

Marketing[ | ]

EXO Advertisement

Advertisement for Exodus.

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.

Storyline[ | ]

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 threaten 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.

Magic online[ | ]

On 7 December 2009 Exodus was released on Magic Online. A subset of the cards was also included in the 2015 MTGO-only Tempest Remastered set, but with the modern frame.

Mechanics[ | ]

Exodus didn't introduce any new keywords, but continued the block mechanics buyback and shadow.[4] 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. Instead of new mechanics, Exodus includes two sets of cards with related themes. Each of them has an ability that works only for the player who has less of some resource. The Oaths are enchantments with upkeep effects that 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.

Creature types[ | ]

The following creature types are introduced in this expansion: Alligator (later changed to Crocodile), Frog, Townsfolk (later changed to Human), Whale.

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.

Cycles[ | ]

Exodus has two cycles:

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Keepers Keeper of the Light (life) Keeper of the Mind (cards) Keeper of the Dead (creatures in the graveyard) Keeper of the Flame (life) Keeper of the Beasts (creatures)
Wizards with abilities that 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 that work to equalize the listed resource. If the active player meets a certain threshold for that resource when compared to a target opponent, the player may take some action.[5]

Mega cycle[ | ]

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
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.

Theme decks[ | ]

Unlike theme decks from other sets, Exodus theme decks include a booklet that 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.[6]  ”

The pre-constructed theme decks are:

deck name
Colors Included
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Dominator U
Widowmaker U B
Groundbreaker B R
White Heat W R

Notable cards[ | ]

  • Coat of Arms benefits typal decks and is popular in Commander, being high impact but affecting decks differently.
  • City of Traitors is an explosive Sol Land that sees frequent play in Legacy, especially in decks that benefit from fast colorless mana, like a MUD or Stax.
  • Hatred lets a player with higher life assemble a kill shot with any unblocked creature. Because of this card, Summer 1998 was known as the Summer of Hate.
  • The art for Null Brooch was originally commissioned for "Jinxed Brooch", which would combo with Jinxed Idol and Jinxed Ring from the previous sets.[7][8]
  • Spike Cannibal is the only non-green Spike. It was an anti-Spike as it stole all other +1/+1 counters on Spikes for itself when it entered the battlefield.
  • Sphere of Resistance is one of the first Workshop Stax pieces and is still an integral part of the Vintage deck.

Banned and restricted cards[ | ]

  • Oath of Druids supposedly balances out creatures on both sides, but realistically it cheats out powerful single creatures when in combination with Forbidden Orchard. Said deck remains a place in the Vintage metagame and is banned during the original curation of Legacy.
  • Survival of the Fittest turns any creature into a tutor for any other creature, which lets combo players find their pieces quickly and efficiently, not to mention the additional bonuses with discard or graveyard strategies. It was banned in Legacy in December 2010 and has remained so.
  • Mind over Matter is an engine that turns cards into tap abilities or mana, with versatility as a defensive play. It was banned from all formats in September 1999, but later unbanned from Vintage in September 2005 and Legacy in June 2007 as a six-mana enchantment was much less of a concern.
  • Limited Resources restricts the total lands in play to ten, which does not translate well to multiplayer. Hence, it was banned in Commander in June 2008.
  • Recurring Nightmare is a cheap, repetitive reanimation spell that has various combos, which resulted in its ban in Commander in February 2008; it remains a popular Cube card.

Reprinted cards[ | ]

The following Exodus cards were originally printed in other sets:

Trivia[ | ]

A rejected image for Keeper of the Mind, which was considered to be sexually inappropiate, was used for Unglued 's Censorship [9][10]

References[ | ]

  1. Wizards of the Coast. "Dominian FAQ (archived)".
  2. Wendy Wallace (August 12, 2004). "Ask Wizards - August, 2004". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Brady Dommermuth (October 31, 2006). "Ask Wizards". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Mark Rosewater (April 29, 2013). "Third Time's the Charm". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Magic Arcana (July 25, 2002). "The bad Oath". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Exodus Preconstructed Decks
  7. Magic Arcana (December 16, 2002). "Jinxed items". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Mark Rosewater (July 18, 2022). "Magic Design from A to Z, Part 2". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Exodus Files Exposed, by Michael G. Ryan. The Duelist #28, August 1998
  10. Salmiakki_Aficionado (July 4, 2019). "Ever wondered what Censorship (Unglued) is censoring?". Reddit.

External links[ | ]