Weatherlight

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WTH logo.png
Set symbol
WTH symbol.png
Symbol description
Thran Tome
Design team
Dan Cervelli (lead)
Mike Elliott
Joel Mick
Teeuwynn Woodruff
Development team
Mike Elliott (lead)
William Jockusch
Bill Rose
Mark Rosewater
Henry Stern
Release date
June 6, 1997
Themes and mechanics
"Graveyard matters"
Keywords and/or ability words
Cumulative upkeep, Flanking, Phasing
Set size
167 (62 Common 55 Uncommon 50 Rare)
Expansion code
WTH
Development code name
Mocha Latte
Mirage block sets
Mirage Visions Weatherlight
Magic: The Gathering chronology
Portal Weatherlight Tempest

Weatherlight is the eleventh Magic expansion, released in 1997 as the third set and second small expansion of the Mirage block. Weatherlight also saw the beginning of the Weatherlight Saga, the most important Magic storyline that would continue through 2001. [1]

Contents

Set details

The set contains 167 black-bordered cards (50 rare, 55 uncommon, and 62 commons). It is considered an expansion for Mirage, as well as for the basic set. 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 is the components and intended operation of the Legacy itself. [2]

Marketing

The set was sold in booster packs containing 15 cards (1 rare, 3 uncommon, and 11 common). Alle 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 dooms-day 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 released on Magic Online on December 12, 2007. Release events began on December 14, 2007.

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. [3]

Weatherlight contained no new named mechanics. It contained the following previously used mechanics: Banding, Cumulative upkeep. 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, Illusion, Knight, Merfolk, Minotaur, Ogre, Ooze, Orc, Rat, Serpent, Snake, Soldier, Spirit, Treefolk, Unicorn, Wall, Wizard, Wolf, Wurm, Zombie.

Cycles

Weatherlight has three cycles:

Functional reprints

Weatherlight has two Functional reprints:

Notable cards

  • Gemstone Mine
  • Lotus Vale was very popular, although it was very vulnerable to land destruction.
  • Null Rod has become a powerful artifact stopping cards in Vintage tournaments.
  • Redwood Treefolk is one of the first cards that improved upon its predecessor. It cost the same as Ironroot Treefolk at Mana4.gifManag.gif but had a power/toughness of 3/6 instead of the latter's 3/5.

Theme decks

The Mirage block theme decks were designed for MTGO, as these expansion sets were printed before theme decks were first printed in the Tempest block.

The pre-constructed theme decks are:

Theme deck name
Colors included
White Blue Black Red Green
Air Forces
Dead and Alive
Fiery Fury
Gatecrasher

References

  1. Mark Rosewater. (December 03, 2007.) "Weather(light) Report", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Brady Dommermuth. (October 31, 2006.) "Ask Wizards", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater. (December 7, 2009.) "Playing with Blocks", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.

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