|Symbol description||Yawgmoth's mask|
Paul Peterson (lead)|
Mike Elliott (lead)|
with contributions from Brady Dommermuth
|Art direction||Dana Knutson & Ron Spears|
|Release date||June 4, 2001|
|Disciples, Envoys, Flagbearers, Sanctuaries, "Syphon" creatures, Split cards, Volvers|
or ability words
|Set size||143 (55 Common 44 Uncommon 44 Rare)|
|Magic: The Gathering chronology|
Set details[edit | edit source]
Apocalypse featured 143 black-bordered cards (55 commons, 44 uncommons and 44 rares). Its expansion symbol is Yawgmoth's mask. Like Invasion and Planeshift, Apocalypse prominently features multicolored cards. Unlike its predecessors, Apocalypse focused on cards with "enemy" color pairings. Examples of the enemy color theme include painlands, split cards, cards with enemy color kicker costs (e.g. Orim's Thunder), cards with two enemy color kicker costs (the Volver cycle), cards with abilities requiring an enemy color (e.g. Angelfire Crusader, enchantments which gave bonuses if you controlled permanents of an enemy color (the Sanctuary cycle) and cards with enemy color casting costs. Apocalypse also expanded on the kicker block mechanic and introduced enemy-color gradient text boxes on lands to match the friendly-color ones added in Invasion.
Storyline[edit | edit source]
The Coalition forces hurled their might at the Stronghold, now overlaid onto the swamps of Urborg. Urza led a powerful group of planeswalkers to Phyrexia itself, hoping to destroy the invaders in their home. Gerrard and Urza are forced to fight each other in an arena, and when one kills the other, the loser is returned to life by Yawgmoth's power and the two must fight again. Eventually, Urza is decapitated and Gerrard escapes with the head, only to find himself in the Stronghold throne room, with a crazed Crovax standing over the broken form of Squee. Sisay, Karn, Tahngarth and the rest of the Weatherlight crew desperately search the Thran Tome, attempting to figure out how the Legacy and the Weatherlight are supposed to save Dominaria. The remaining coalition forces, lead by Grizzlegom, Eladamri and Lin Sivvi fight their way to the Stronghold, where they battle Crovax's Phyrexian soldiers. When Yawgmoth himself arrives from Phyrexia, the final battle begins in earnest. Gerrard and his allies try to channel the mana from the Null Moon into a destructive beam to eradicate Yawgmoth, but fail to kill him. Without any further options, Urza, who is still alive since decapitation isn't lethal to planeswalkers, asks Gerrard to take out his powerstone eyes and place them in two sockets in Karn's chest. This completes the Legacy, forming that which legend refers to as the Legacy Weapon. Light spreads all over the world, eradicating Yawgmoth's essence. Gerrard and Urza do not survive the Weapon's activation, and the Weatherlight crashes into the ocean, its planeswalking powers permanently burned out and transferred to Karn, who has become a planeswalker in his own right.
Marketing[edit | edit source]
The cards were sold in 15-card boosters which had artwork from Anavolver, in four preconstructed theme decks and a fat pack, which is notable for being the first to include the modern set symbol spindown life counters. At Apocalypse prerelease events on May 26, 2001, a foil फंगल्शम्ब्लर् (Fungal Shambler printed in Sanskrit text) was handed out. The set was accompanied by the novel of the same name.
Token[edit | edit source]
Mechanics[edit | edit source]
Each color contains a few creatures that have a new kind of ability, sometimes forming a vertical cycle. For example, blue gets Whirlpool creatures, red gets Bloodfire creatures, etc.
- Bloodfire — The ability to pay , sacrifice the card then deal damage to creatures and players. A vertical cycle of creatures were printed with the ability plus an aura that granted a creature the ability. (see cycles)
- Flagbearer — As long as you have one in play, any spell or ability your opponent plays that can target a Flagbearer must target a Flagbearer. If a spell has multiple targets, only one of the targets needs to be a Flagbearer. There were 2 White Flagbearer creatures (Standard Bearer and Coalition Honor Guard) and an aura (Coalition Flag) that granted a creature the Flagbearer subtype as well as the inherent ability.
- Penumbra — Which brings a black token creature of the same power/toughness into play whenever the original green creature is put into a graveyard. (see cycles)
- Syphon — Phyrexian abominations that take some life from their controller in exchange for an equal number of cards (e.g. When Phyrexian Rager comes into play you drew a card and lose 1 life). Phyrexian Gargantua and the enchantment Phyrexian Arena are also considered part of the "syphon" mechanic.
- Whirlpool — Drake and Merfolk that allow the owner to shuffle cards in their hand into their library, and then draw that many cards. (see cycles)
Creature types[edit | edit source]
The following creature types are used in this expansion but also appear in previous sets: Angel, Ape, Beast, Cat, Drake, Dwarf, Elf, Giant, Goblin, Golem, Horror, Kavu, Merfolk, Minotaur, Ship (later changed to Metathran), Snake, Soldier, Treefolk, Wall, Wizard, Zombie.
Cycles[edit | edit source]
|Cycle name||Description and notes|
|Envoys||Each of these uncommon creatures cost M to cast and has "When this creature comes into play, reveal the top 4 cards of your library. Put all creature cards of this creature's type revealed this way into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library". Two cards were not part of this cycle, but had a related ability: Kavu Howler, a green creature that calls Kavu, is also uncommon but costs more to cast; and Brass Herald is a uncommon artifact creature that allows you to choose the creature type it calls and also grants creatures of that type +1/+1.||Enlistment Officer
|Sylvan Messenger |
|Cycle name||Description and notes|
|Enemy-color two-drops||Each of these common multicolor creatures is two enemy colors, has a converted mana cost of 2, and shares one creature type with two other cards in the cycle based on its colors. This is the opposite cycle of the allied-color two-drop cycle from Invasion.||Putrid Warrior
|Gaea's Skyfolk |
|Enemy-color noncreatures||Each of these common multicolor spells are composed of two enemy colors.||Soul Link||Quicksilver Dagger||Consume Strength||Squee's Embrace||Temporal Spring|
|Enemy-color permanents||Each of these uncommon cards are enemy-colored permanents.||Martyrs' Tomb||Minotaur Illusionist||Ebony Treefolk||Flowstone Charger||Jungle Barrier|
|Enemy-color Split cards||Each of these split cards is made up of two spells, each of which is an enemy color to the other.||Night // Day||Fire // Ice||Life // Death||Order // Chaos||Illusion // Reality|
|Enemy-color Painlands||Each of these rare lands has ": Add " and ": Add M or N. This card deals 1 damage to you", where M and N are two enemy colors of mana.||Caves of Koilos||Shivan Reef||Llanowar Wastes||Battlefield Forge||Yavimaya Coast|
|Cycle name||Description and notes|
|Disciples||Each of these common 1/1 Wizard creatures has two activated abilities, each of which costs one mana of one of the card's enemy colors to use.This cycle mirrors the Apprentice cycle from Invasion.||Dega Disciple||Ceta Disciple||Necra Disciple||Raka Disciple||Ana Disciple|
|Sanctuaries||Each of these uncommon enchantments produces an effect during your upkeep if you control a permanent of one of its enemy colors or produces a greater effect if you control any permanents of both its enemy colors.||Dega Sanctuary||Ceta Sanctuary||Necra Sanctuary||Raka Sanctuary||Ana Sanctuary|
|Volvers||Each of these rare creatures has one kicker cost for each of its enemy colors, each of which increases its power and toughness and grants extra abilities.||Degavolver||Cetavolver||Necravolver||Rakavolver||Anavolver|
|Wedge Spells||Each of these rare multicolored spells requires three colors of mana to cost, including two allied-color mana and their mutual enemy color.||Fervent Charge||Guided Passage||Overgrown Estate||Lightning Angel||Fungal Shambler|
Vertical cycles[edit | edit source]
|Cycle name||Description and notes|
|Bloodfire||Each of these red creatures has an activated ability that requires paying and sacrificing it to deal damage to each creature (and player for the Colossus). Each member of the cycle mimics the effect of a famous red damage spell. The aura Bloodfire Infusion gives a similar ability to the enchanted creature.||Bloodfire Dwarf
|Bloodfire Colossus |
|Penumbra||Each of these green creatures creates a black creature token of its power and toughness whenever it is put into a graveyard from play. The white card Haunted Angel is similar to this cycle. The Time Spiral card Penumbra Spider is a reference/hommage to this cycle.||Penumbra Bobcat||Penumbra Kavu||Penumbra Wurm|
|Syphon||Each of these black spells has an effect that lets you draw cards at the cost of life.||Phyrexian Rager||Phyrexian Gargantua||Phyrexian Arena|
|Whirlpool||Each of these blue creatures has "When this creature comes into play, shuffle the cards from your hand into your library, then draw that many cards".||Whirlpool Rider||Whirlpool Drake||Whirlpool Warrior|
Pairs[edit | edit source]
Apocalypse has one parallel pair:
- Desolation Angel and Desolation Giant: Each of these rare creatures has a double colored mana cost (black and red respectively) with a kicker cost (their enemy color) that turns its enter the battlefield effect into either an Armageddon or a Wrath of God, respectively.
Reprints[edit | edit source]
Apocalypse has no reprints
Card comparisons[edit | edit source]
Notable cards[edit | edit source]
- Vindicate — Destruction of a permanent for the low cost of .
- Pernicious Deed — An enchantment that sweeps the entire board.
- Mystic Snake — A Counterspell and a 2/2 creature in one card.
- Spiritmonger — An aggressive 6/6 creature for that has regeneration.
- Shield of Duty and Reason — Its name and abilities are a reference to Voice of Duty and Voice of Reason from Urza's Destiny. It forms a parrallel pair with Mask of Law and Grace from the same set.
Preconstructed decks[edit | edit source]
Apocalypse has four theme decks.
References[edit | edit source]
- Wendy Wallace (August 12, 2004). "Ask Wizards - August, 2004". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Brady Dommermuth (October 31, 2006). "Ask Wizards - October, 2006". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana (August 02, 2007). "Ichor Eyes and the Mask of Yawgmoth". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana (May 27, 2002). "Player Rewards tokens". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
[edit | edit source]