Mike Elliott (lead)|
William Jockusch (lead)|
|Art direction||Matt Wilson|
|Release date||June 15, 1998|
|Themes and mechanics||Keepers, Licids, Oaths, Spikes|
|Keywords/ability words||Buyback, Shadow|
(55 commons, 44 uncommons, 44 rares)
|Magic: The Gathering Chronology|
Exodus contains 143 black-bordered cards (44 rare, 44 uncommon, and 55 commons). 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. Exodus was the first set to use color-coding of the expansion symbol to indicate the rarity level of the cards. Common cards use a black-filled expansion symbol. Uncommon cards use a solid silver-filled expansion symbol. Rare cards use a gold-filled expansion symbol. It was also the first add a collector number (the number of the card-and how many are in the set) on the bottom of a card.
Furthermore, Exodus was the first set to center the artist and copyright information at the bottom of the card, rather than have that information aligned to the left side of the card. This change persisted until the card design change in 8th Edition.
The cards were sold in 15-card boosters which had artwork from Exalted Dragon and in four preconstructed theme decks. Each booster pack contained 1 rare, 3 uncommon, and 11 common cards. The prerelease was held on June 6, 1998; the prerelease card was a non-foil Monstrous Hound.
The crew of the Weatherlight has rescued the pieces of the Legacy and Captain Sisay, 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 them 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 happened to Crovax, the noble who accompanied the Weatherlight to Rath. His newly-formed bloodlust and thirst for power threatens 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.
Exodus didn't introduce any new keywords but rather evolved the two main ones, buyback and shadow, from earlier in the block. The buyback mechanic returned with the regular buyback being a mana cost, but others requiring a land sacrifice (like Pegasus Stampede), life payments, or discarding cards. Two more licids were printed to add to Stronghold's licid theme. Exodus includes two sets of cards with related themes. Each of them has an ability which works only for the player who has less of some resource. The Oaths are enchantments with upkeep effects which work to equalize their resource: if the active player has less of something than a target opponent, the player may take some action. The Keepers are creatures with abilities related to the same resources, usable only when you're behind in that resource.
The following creature types are used in this expansion but also appear in previous sets: Ape, Beast, Bird, Boar, Cat warrior, Dragon, Drake, Druid, Elemental, Elf, Fish, Goblin, Hound, Illusion, Insect, Knight, Merfolk, Licid, Lizard, Minion, Ogre, Salamander, Soldier, Spike, Spirit, Thrull, Troll, Wall, Wizard, Wolverine, Zombie.
Exodus has two cycles:
|Keepers||Keeper of the Light||Keeper of the Mind||Keeper of the Dead||Keeper of the Flame||Keeper of the Beasts|
|Wizards with abilities related to the resources used in the Oaths, usable only when you're behind in that resource.|
|Oaths||Oath of Lieges||Oath of Scholars||Oath of Ghouls||Oath of Mages||Oath of Druids|
|Enchantments with upkeep effects which work to equalize their resource: if the active player has less of something than a target opponent, the player may take some action.|
|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 were four from Exodus and one from Tempest. Four out of the five were reprinted in Odyssey.|
Exodus theme decks are unique as they included a booklet describing the theme deck and an advanced version of the theme deck (cards not included).
|“||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.||”|
The pre-constructed theme decks are:
- Coat of Arms - This artifact benefitted tribal decks.
- City of Traitors - This explosive Sol Land sees frequent play in Legacy, especially in decks that benefit from fast colorless mana, like MUD or Stax
- Hatred - Because of this card, Summer 1998 was known as the Summer of Hate.
- Null Brooch - The art for this card was originally commissioned for 'Jinxed Brooch' which would combo with Jinxed Idol and Jinxed Ring from the previous sets.
- Oath of Druids
- Recurring Nightmare
- Spike Cannibal - This is the first black spike printed. It was an anti-spike as sorts as it stole all other +1/+1 counters for itself when it came into play.
- Survival of the Fittest
- Mind over Matter
The following cards have been reprinted.
- Angelic Blessing — first printed in Portal.
- Charging Paladin — first printed in Portal.
- Raging Goblin — first printed in Portal.
- Theft of Dreams — first printed in Portal.
- Wood Elves — first printed in Portal.
- Wendy Wallace (August 12, 2004). "Ask Wizards - August, 2004". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Brady Dommermuth (October 31, 2006). "Ask Wizards". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (April 29, 2013). "Third Time's the Charm". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana (July 25, 2002). "The bad Oath". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Exodus Preconstructed Decks
- Magic Arcana (December 16, 2002). "Jinxed items". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Exodus Files Exposed, by Michael G. Ryan. The Duelist #28, August 1998
- Salmiakki_Aficionado (July 4, 2019). "Ever wondered what Censorship (Unglued) is censoring?". Reddit.
- Official Exodus Information Product Page — Magic: The Gathering (old)
- Exodus product information page — Wizards of the Coast (new)