Themes and keywords
The theme of the Onslaught block is creature types, "tribal". The Onslaught block was the first to introduce at least one new keyword in each set, a trend which all blocks since have followed. Keywords introduced in this block: Amplify, Morph, Provoke, Storm, Typecycling. Evergreen keywords introduced: Double strike, Fear. Keywords reused from the past: Cycling.
Relation to Grand Creature Type update
In 2007, numerous cards with creature classes, as opposed to species or race ones, such as the Cleric, Soldier, and Wizards creature types, were retroactively given additional (species or race) creature types during the Grand Creature Type Update to be more consistent with the "race/class model". In most of these cases, the additional creature type was Human. This, by and large, did not cause significant changes to this block.
On the development codenames for the Onslaught block, MTG.com columnist Mark Rosewater writes:
|“||For Onslaught block, Bill Rose (the head of R&D) selected the three spokescharacters from an auto parts store named Pep Boys: Manny, Moe, and Jack. While this fit the set order, it proved to have one huge flaw: Half of R&D didn't grow up near a Pep Boys, so they didn't know what order the three went in.||”|
- Randy Buehler (November 22, 2002). "Debating Humanity". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Gottlieb (September 26, 2007). "The Grand Creature Type Update". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (August 12, 2002). "Codename of the Game". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.