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Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description Thran Tome
Design Dan Cervelli (lead)
Mike Elliott
Joel Mick
Teeuwynn Woodruff
Development Mike Elliott (lead)
William Jockusch
Bill Rose
Mark Rosewater
Henry Stern
Art direction Sue-Ann Harkey
Release date June 9, 1997[1]
Plane Dominaria (Jamuraa)
Themes and mechanics "Graveyard matters"
Keywords/​ability words Cumulative upkeep, Flanking, Phasing
Set size 167 cards
(62 commons, 55 uncommons, 50 rares)
Expansion code WTH[2]
Development codename Mocha Latte
Mirage block
Mirage Visions Weatherlight
Magic: The Gathering Chronology
Portal Weatherlight Tempest
For the most powerful of the Legacy artifacts, see Skyship Weatherlight.

Weatherlight is the eleventh Magic expansion, released in June 1997 as the third set and second small expansion of the Mirage block. Weatherlight also marked the beginning of the Weatherlight Saga, the most important Magic storyline, which continued through 2001.[3]

Set details[ | ]

The set contains 167 black-bordered cards (50 rare, 55 uncommon, and 62 commons). Its expansion symbol is the Thran Tome, an important artifact of the Legacy whose contents change depending on who reads it. Among the information contained in the Tome are the components and intended operation of the Legacy itself.[4]

Marketing[ | ]

The set was sold in booster packs containing 15 cards (1 rare, 3 uncommon, and 11 common). All boosters featured the same artwork from the card Steel Golem. While previous sets only included allusions to an overarching story, Weatherlight was the first set to explicitly tell an ordered narrative focused on developed, archetypical characters. The new approach to designing and marketing Magic proved to be a huge success both popularly and commercially. Weatherlight also set the stage for the books of the Rath Cycle storyline.

Storyline[ | ]

Four thousand years after Urza and Mishra reopened the portal to Phyrexia, the evil lord Yawgmoth sits poised to invade his one-time home - Dominaria. The plane's only hope for survival is a cache of powerful artifacts known collectively as the Legacy. When put together to assemble a powerful doomsday weapon, these artifacts will have the potential to destroy the dark powers that will try to invade the planet. The focal point of this weapon is a flying ship called Weatherlight, and its intrepid crew searches the planes to find all of the pieces of the Legacy before the invasion commences. Only the reluctant leadership of Gerrard Capashen and the skills of Squee the cabin boy and Tahngarth the hulking minotaur will save the day. It doesn't help that captain Sisay has been kidnapped, and they have to travel to the plane of Rath to save her before they can complete their destiny. And Gerrard, of course, will have to live up to his own overwhelming responsibilities by facing his blood brother Vuel, who has changed his name to Volrath and sold out any semblance of goodness he had by becoming Yawgmoth's first in command.

Magic online[ | ]

Weatherlight was retroactively released on Magic Online on December 12, 2007. Release events began on December 14, 2007.[5]

Themes and mechanics[ | ]

Weatherlight was designed completely independently from the group that designed Mirage and Visions, but it was decided for coherency to use elements of the earlier two sets to make the third set feel like part of the block. However, the Weatheright design team embraced a theme that had nothing to do with the previous sets; it is the first set where the graveyard is strongly mechanically relevant.[6]

Weatherlight contained no new named mechanics. It contained the following previously used mechanics: Banding, Cumulative upkeep, Phasing, Flanking, and Swampwalk. Two themes include:

  • "Graveyard order matters" — Cards which refer to the order of cards in a player's graveyard (see Spinning Darkness),
  • "Sacrifice buyouts" — Creature cards which have triggered abilities that tell you to sacrifice them unless you pay a cost or perform an action (see Barrow Ghoul).

Creature types[ | ]

The following creature types are introduced in this expansion: Aboroth (later changed to Elemental), Avizoa (later changed to Jellyfish), Barishi (later changed to Elemental), Behemoth (later changed to Elemental), Gatekeeper (later changed to Horror), Peacekeeper (later changed to Human), Thundermare (later changed to Elemental Horse), Undead (later changed to Horror and Wraith).

The following creature types are used in this expansion but also appear in previous sets: Atog, Bear, Bird, Cleric, Cyclops, Djinn, Dragon, Drake, Dwarf, Elemental, Elephant, Elf, Falcon (later changed to Bird), Fish, Ghost (later changed to Spirit), Giant, Goblin, Griffin, Hound (later changed to Dog), Illusion, Knight, Merfolk, Minotaur, Ogre, Ooze, Orc, Rat, Serpent, Snake, Soldier, Spirit, Treefolk, Unicorn, Wall, Wizard, Wolf, Wurm, Zombie.

Cycles[ | ]

Weatherlight has three cycles:

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Sac-Auras Kithkin Armor Phantom Wings Coils of the Medusa Fire Whip Briar Shield
Each of these common aura enchantments can be sacrificed for an extra effect.

Mega-mega cycle[ | ]

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Atogs Auratog (Tempest) Chronatog (Visions) Necratog (Weatherlight) Atog (Antiquities) Foratog (Mirage)
Necratog is the fourth card of this mega-mega cycle that started in Antiquities with the eponymous Atog.

Pairs[ | ]

Weatherlight has one matched pair:

Matched Pair
Fallow Wurm ({G}) Harvest Wurm ({G}) Each of these green Wurm creatures is larger than normal for their mana cost (at the time) and is sacrificed when it enters the battlefield unless a land card is used in some way. Both have matching flavor text and are illustrated by Stephen L. Walsh.

Reprinted cards[ | ]

The following cards were reprinted in Weatherlight from Portal.

Functional reprints[ | ]

Weatherlight has two functional reprints:

Notable cards[ | ]

  • Circling Vultures has a wording that required giving it its own line in the special actions section in the rules.
  • Doomsday lets a player set up a combo win with their five cards and continues to be a viable but difficult deck to play in Legacy and Vintage, as the opponent has a clear route to victory: survive the five cards.
  • Gaea's Blessing is a popular anti-mill card with a clause that was later superseded by the Eldrazi Titans.
  • Gemstone Mine is a land for five-color combo decks, as it comes untapped and produces any color, its three-time limit less relevant when the player wins.
  • Lotus Vale was very popular, although it was very vulnerable to land destruction.
  • Ophidian gave rise to a legacy of saboteur abilities, with an effect that generated resources rather than removing those of their opponents.
  • Null Rod has become a powerful artifact stopping Moxen, amongst others, in Vintage tournaments.
  • Redwood Treefolk is one of the first cards that improved upon its predecessor. It cost the same as Ironroot Treefolk at {4}{G} but had a power/toughness of 3/6 instead of the latter's 3/5.
  • Veteran Explorer was the linchpin for the Legacy Nic Fit deck.

Theme decks[ | ]

Weatherlight advertisement

Paper versions of Weatherlight theme decks (also known as precons) do not exist because the concept of theme decks was not implemented until the next block (Tempest block) was released. Weatherlight precons were designed retroactively for the MTGO release of the Mirage block sets in 2005, nearly a decade after the set was released in paper.

The pre-constructed theme decks are:

deck name
Colors Included
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Dead and Alive B
Fiery Fury R
Air Forces W U
Gatecrasher R G

References[ | ]

  2. Wizards of the Coast (August 02, 2004). "Ask Wizards - August, 2004". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater (December 3, 2007). "Weather(light) Report". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Brady Dommermuth (October 31, 2006). "Ask Wizards". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Devin Low (December 07, 2007). "My Weatherlight Deck Box". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Mark Rosewater (December 7, 2009). "Playing with Blocks". Wizards of the Coast.

External links[ | ]