|Mike Elliott (lead)|
|Mike Elliott (lead)|
|Dana Knutson & Ron Spears|
|February 14, 2000|
Themes and mechanics
|Spellshapers, Alternative Costs, Laccoliths, Seals, Rebels and Mercenaries|
Keywords and/or ability words
|143 (55 Common, 44 Uncommon, 44 Rare)|
|Masques block sets|
|Magic: The Gathering chronology|
|Battle Royale||Nemesis||Starter 2000|
Set details[edit | edit source]
Nemesis featured 143 cards (55 commons, 44 uncommons and 44 rares). Nemesis's expansion symbol is the axe of Crovax, the main antagonist of the story’s Rath component.  The set continued Mercadian Masques's themes of spellshapers, rebels and mercenaries, and cards with alternative casting costs. Nemesis is generally considered to be the most powerful set of the Masques block. A card of note is Ascendant Evincar. It was the first card to represent the same legendary permanent as a previous card following a major change in the character's storyline. The card was not named "Crovax, Ascendant Evincar", in order to avoid confusion over whether the "legend rule" came into effect when the Evincar and Crovax The Cursed were both in play. This policy was later dropped with the printing of Ertai, the Corrupted in Planeshift. The set featured Rootwater Thief, Mike Long's invitational card.
Marketing[edit | edit source]
The cards were sold in 15-card boosters which had artwork from Sliptide Serpent, in four preconstructed theme decks and a fat pack. Nemesis prerelease events were held on February 5, 2000. At these events the prerelease card, a foil Rathi Assassin, was handed out. The set was accompanied by the novel of the same name.
Storyline[edit | edit source]
The Phyrexian invasion of Dominaria is nearing; the Dark Lord's plans are almost complete. Only the Planeswalker Urza stands in his way. Rath's Evincar Volrath has abandoned his post, sparking a brutal contest among his would-be successors. Phyrexia has chosen Crovax to take Volrath's place, bestowing terrible new powers on the bloodthirsty noble. Crovax must still prove his worth, however, before he can claim the position. Meanwhile, Rath's rebels have united in the name of Eladamri, Lord of Leaves, in order to break free of Phyrexia's tyranny once and for all.
Tournament impact[edit | edit source]
Several cards from the set have made marks on the tournament scene, including Blastoderm, Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero, Parallax Wave, Accumulated Knowledge, Daze, Submerge, Tangle Wire and the five seals (for example, Seal of Fire).
Keywords and mechanics[edit | edit source]
Nemesis introduced the only keyword mechanic of the Masques block, Fading.  The only cards in the block with Fading appear in the Nemesis expansion. The keyword meant that cards with the ability only remained in play for a few turns, but were typically heavily discounted as a result. Many cards with fading also had activated abilities that traded the card's fade counters for various effects. Since fading is a "quick and dirty" form of summoning creatures, the creatures had to be shown as unstable in the art. 
Creature types[edit | edit source]
No new creature types were introduced in this expansion.
The following creature types are used in this expansion but also appear in previous sets: Angel, Beast, Bird, Cleric, Elephant, Elf, Goblin, Golem, Hound, Hydra, Illusion, Insect, Knight, Mercenary, Merfolk, Rebel, Serpent, Ship (later changed to Human), Soldier, Spellshaper, Wall, Wurm.
Cycles[edit | edit source]
- Free spells: If your opponent controls a certain land and you control a certain land you may play each of these spells without paying their mana cost — Sivvi's Ruse, Submerge, Massacre, Mogg Salvage and Refreshing Rain.
- Seals: Each of these common enchantments can be sacrificed to mimic the effect of a certain common instant — Seal of Cleansing (Disenchant), Seal of Removal (Unsummon), Seal of Doom (Dark Banishing), Seal of Fire (Shock) and Seal of Strength (Giant Growth).
- Tribal-Rebels: Augmenting the Rebel and Mercenary mechanics in white and black, the other colors are given cards which are either Mercenaries or Rebels and have the ability ", : Search your library for a [Creature type] card and put that card into play. Shuffle your library". The blue Seahunter searching for Merfolk, the red Moggcatcher searching for Goblins and the green Skyshroud Poacher searching for Elves.
- Common Spellshapers: Each of these 1/1 creatures have a one-mana activated spellshaper ability (pay mana, , discard a card: get an effect) — Netter en-Dal, Trickster Mage, Plague Witch, Bola Warrior, and Harvest Mage.
Vertical cycle[edit | edit source]
- Calling creatures: Each of these green spells allows you to search your library for cards with the same name as a creature you control, representing the creature calling its fellows — Skyshroud Sentinel (common), Nesting Wurm (uncommon) and Pack Hunt (rare). These cards were heralded by Howling Wolf in Mercadian Masques.
- Laccoliths: When one of these red beasts become blocked, you may have it deal damage equal to its power to target creature; if you do so, the creature deals no combat damage that turn — Laccolith Whelp (common), Laccolith Warrior (uncommon) and Laccolith Titan (rare).
Mega-mega cycle[edit | edit source]
- Legendary land: Kor Haven is the fourth card in this mega-mega cycle, which also includes Teferi's Isle, Volrath's Stronghold, Yavimaya Hollow and Keldon Necropolis
- Voices: Voice of Truth is the final card in this mega-mega cycle, which also includes Voice of Grace and Voice of Law from Urza's Saga, Voice of Duty and Voice of Reason from Urza's Destiny. These are uncommon white angels, each of which had a different protection from color.
Pairs[edit | edit source]
Nemesis has the following parallel pairs:
- Lawbringer and Lightbringer are both 2/2 Kor Rebels having a mana cost of with the ability of and sacrificing themselves to exile a target red (Lawbringer) / black (Lightbringer) creature from the game.
- Rackling and Viseling are both 2/2 artifact creatures having a mana cost of that deal damage to your opponents based on whether they have less than 3 or more than 4 cards in their hand (respectively), which echoes the old artifacts The Rack and Black Vise. Their flavor texts also parallel to each other.
- Stronghold Biologist and Stronghold Machinist are both Spellshapers having a mana cost of with an activated ability (costing ) to counter either creature spells or non-creature spells. Their flavor texts also parallel to each other, as well as the card art being a single image divided between the two cards.
Functional reprints[edit | edit source]
Nemesis has one functional reprint:
- Spineless Thug is a functional reprint of Craven Knight from Portal and Young Wei Recruits from Portal Three Kingdoms, save for creature type.
Theme decks[edit | edit source]
The pre-constructed theme decks are:
|Theme deck name||Colors included|
References[edit | edit source]
- Wizards of the Coast. (2004-08-02.) “Ask Wizards - August, 2004”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Brady Dommermuth. (October 31, 2006.) "Ask Wizards", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
- Wizards of the Coast. (February, 2000.) "Nemesis Game Features Guide", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
- Magic Arcana. (November 27, 2002.) "Fading artwork", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
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