|Mark Rosewater (lead),|
|Randy Buehler (lead),|
|September 21, 2001|
Themes and mechanics
Keywords and/or ability words
(20 basic lands, 110 commons, 110 uncommons, 110 rares)
Development code name
|Odyssey block sets|
|Magic: The Gathering chronology|
Flavor and storyline
The Odyssey block storyline features desert nomads and bird (aven) warriors of the Order; the highly advanced underwater Mer Empire of the cephalids; barbarian and dwarves of the Pardic Mountains; and the centaurs, druids, and other creatures of the Krosan Forest. Each of these civilizations struggle to survive day by day, a fact off which the Cabal, an occult and sinister organization, led by the Cabal Patriarch and includes members such as Braids and Chainer, that controls most of the land and its wealth, benefits, as it operates pit fights for entertainment of the masses and, for the one lucky pit warrior who survives, fame and fortune.
The Order, structured like an army, counts among its leaders the militaristic Kirtar, Pianna, Teroh, and Eesha, and strives to break the Cabal's iron fist over the populace. Meanwhile, the Mer Empire, led by Aboshan and his wife Llawan, and advised by Laquatus, ambassador to the Cabal, scheme for absolute control of the continent by flooding the continent and killing the "inferior air-breathers". The Krosan Forest, having survived the plague of Phyrexians, grows more self-sufficient and hostile to outsiders; but, it also has a peaceful side to its existence, with figures such as Thriss and Seton being comparably more receptive of outsiders, one of whom will be Kamahl, the protagonist of the storyline cycle and, during the events of the Odyssey novel, is a young Pardic barbarian and warrior proficient with weapons and fire magic who seeks glory within the pits of the Cabal.
In leaving behind the Pardic Mountains, where age-old territorial skirmishes between the barbarians and dwarves continue to rage on, Kamahl leaves his sister Jeska; and, in an attempt to make a name for himself, Kamahl will forge new alliances, make new friends, lose friends, and irrevocably change his fate and fortune as well as that of the continent, in no small part due to the alluring and mysterious Mirari, a magical orb that calls out to all who gaze upon it and fills their heads with delusions of grandeur and dreams of conquest.
Critical reception and tournament impact
While by no means comparable to the power level of the Urza block expansion sets but also incomparable to the dearth of power in Masques block, Odyssey and its subsequent expansion sets were moderately powerful. However, it nevertheless received a mixed reception from players, who were "forced" to play Magic with the graveyard in mind.
Magic writer Abe Sargent of StarCityGames.com wrote that, of 350 cards, of which 20 are basic lands, only four — Wild Mongrel, Psychatog, Upheaval, and Roar of the Wurm — were good. However, he noted that the expansion was influential in establishing the graveyard as a relevant zone of the game. D. Gran, also of StarCityGames.com, however, listed Braid, Cabal Minion and Entomb as tournament-worthy cards from the set.
Magic readers and forum-goers noted that Odyssey was a welcome departure from non-interactive and unfun Magic; however, it was also noted that Odyssey and Onslaught blocks were, to an extent, dominated by blue decks or decks containing blue.
As of the Grand Creature Type Update, the card has since gained a class subtype of Rogue; as such, Cephalid Looter's subtypes are now officially Cephalid Rogue.
Themes and mechanics
Odyssey introduced the graveyard-related keywords Flashback, which allowed players to replay instants and sorceries with the ability one more time for their flashback cost, and Threshold, which conferred some sort of bonus if and when the permanent or spell's controller had seven or more cards in his or her graveyard. Odyssey was the first set in which protection from all colors (Iridescent Angel), creatures (Beloved Chaplain), enchantments (Tattoo Ward), and instant and sorcery spells (Devoted Caretaker) were printed.
Cards with flashback featured a tombstone icon, an indicator, in the upper-left-hand corner of the cards. so as to facilitate playing with cards with the graveyard-active ability. Flashback would be revisited in Innistrad block, but the tombstone icon was not featured on cards after Odyssey, with exception to the reprinted Call of the Herd and Judgment's Valor, from Time Spiral. This was, in part, due to the change in card frames between the Scourge and Mirrodin expansions.
In addition to the "graveyard matters" theme, Odyssey had a minor token subtheme, as reflected in the number of token-generating cards, and a significant number of cards with activated abilities involving discarding cards from one's hand or sacrificing permanents.
Odyssey block is said to be the spiritual predecessor of Innistrad block due to the thematic similarities, namely, the emphasis on the graveyard. Interestingly, both blocks share the mechanic Flashback.
In order to establish a distinct setting from the Weatherlight Saga, a majority of common creature types from the Weatherlight Saga, such as elves and goblins, were removed and replaced with completely novel or unusual tribes, including, but not limited to, barbarians, birds (avens), centaurs, cephalids, druids, dwarves, and insects.
The following creature types that are not new to Magic are used in this expansion:
- Archer (retroactively)
- Berserker (retroactively)
- Construct (retroactively)
- Human (retroactively)
- Juggernaut (retroactively)
- Rogue (retroactively)
- Scout (retroactively)
The creature types Guardian and Townsfolk were used in this expansion at the time of printing but were later removed.
|Cycle name||Description and notes||White card(s)||Blue card(s)||Black card(s)||Red card(s)||Green card(s)|
Each of these common instant or sorcery spells has an effect that linearly scales up by the number of similarly named cards in all graveyards.Two of these spells, namely Flame Burst and Muscle Burst, also scaled with the number of cards named Pardic Firecat and Diligent Farmhand, respectively, in all graveyards.These five spells were inspired by Kindle (Tempest) and Accumulated Knowledge (Nemesis).
|Life Burst||Æther Burst||Mind Burst||Flame Burst||Muscle Burst|
Each of these common Auras has static ability, a static threshold ability, and a name alluding to a notable Odyssey block storyline character associated with the respective color.
|Kirtar's Desire||Aboshan's Desire||Patriarch's Desire||Kamahl's Desire||Seton's Desire|
Each of these five common 2/2 Hounds cost C and have an activated or triggered ability.
|Patrol Hound||Phantom Whelp||Filthy Cur||Mad Dog||Wild Mongrel|
Each of these five uncommon Auras enchant lands. Four of them confer a beneficial activated ability, while one (Steam Vines) has a detrimental triggered ability.
|Animal Boneyard||Chamber of Manipulation||Caustic Tar||Steam Vines||Squirrel Nest|
Each of these five common instants whose effect is determined and proportional the number of cards discarded at the resolution of the spell.
|Sacred Rites||Rites of Refusal||Last Rites||Rites of Initiation||Rites of Spring|
Each of these five rare enchantments costing CC and with a triggered ability, triggering whenever a player casts a spell and having an effect depending on the number of cards in all graveyards with the same name as that spell.
|Aven Shrine||Cephalid Shrine||Cabal Shrine||Dwarven Shrine||Nantuko Shrine|
Each of these five white enchantments with an ability that reduces 2 damage of damage that would be dealt to its controller by a source of a specific color.
|Sphere of Truth||Sphere of Reason||Sphere of Grace||Sphere of Law||Sphere of Duty|
Each of these five common lands come into play tapped and have two mana abilities, one of which is the ability to tap for one mana of a specific color and the other is the ability to tap for one mana of any color but also requiring the land's sacrifice.
|Abandoned Outpost||Seafloor Debris||Bog Wreckage||Ravaged Highlands||Timberland Ruins|
Each of these five uncommon lands with an ability to tap for mana of a specific color, albeit at the cost of 1 point of damage, and an ability that may only be activated if a player has threshold.These lands represent the pit arenas used by Otaria's different cultures and tribes within the Cabal's gladiatorial games and pit fights.
|Nomad Stadium||Cephalid Coliseum||Cabal Pit||Barbarian Ring||Centaur Garden|
|Cycle name||Description and notes||card(s)||card(s)||card(s)||card(s)||card(s)|
Each of these uncommon allied-color gold creatures with a CMC of 3 and two activated "eating" abilities, or abilities that cost a resource associated with that color to increase their power/toughness by +1/+1 per activation, that are an homage to the those of the Atog mega cycle comprising Auratog, Chronatog, Necratog, Atog, and Foratog.Originally, these Atogs were conceived as "hybrids" of the original Atogs.Of these Atogs, Psychatog was the only one to have made a significant impact on competitive Magic; the abilities of the others as well as their colors were not overwhelmingly conducive to competitive Magic, and there was a lack of synergy between the abilities of the other Atogs.In addition to this cycle of Atogs, Odyssey featured Atogatog, a legendary Atog "Lord" who ate Atogs to increase its power and toughness.
|Gold spells (rare)||Iridescent Angel,||Shadowmage Infiltrator,||Vampiric Dragon,||Decimate||Mystic Enforcer|
Each of these five uncommon artifacts with ", , Sacrifice this card: Add two mana, one mana each of the colors of an allied-colored combination, to your mana pool. Draw a card.".
|Skycloud Egg||Darkwater Egg||Shadowblood Egg||Mossfire Egg||Sungrass Egg|
Each of these five rare lands with ", : Add two mana, one mana each of the colors of an allied-colored combination, to your mana pool.".
|Skycloud Expanse||Darkwater Catacombs||Shadowblood Ridge||Mossfire Valley||Sungrass Prairie|
|Cycle name||Description and notes||Common card(s)||Uncommon card(s)||Rare card(s)|
|Flashback creature token producers||
Each of these green sorcery spells with flashback creates a green token creature.
|Chatter of the Squirrel||Roar of the Wurm||Call of the Herd|
Each of these red instant spells provides the targeted opponent with the choice of two generally unfavorable effects, one of which is direct damage.
|Blazing Salvo||Lava Blister||Molten Influence|
Each of these aggressively costed blue Beast creatures with flying reduces your maximum hand size.
|Thought Nibbler||Thought Eater||Thought Devourer|
Odyssey has two matched pairs.
- Pilgrim of Justice and Pilgrim of Virtue are both Clerics with protection from an enemy color of White and an activated ability, costing and the sacrifice of itself, to prevent the damage from a source of the enemy color in question.
- Aven Smokeweaver and Treetop Sentinel are both 2/3 Bird Soldiers with flying and protection from an enemy of Blue.
Odyssey has no mirrored pairs.
|Odyssey block preconstructed theme decks|
|Odyssey theme decks: Liftoff () | Pressure Cooker () | One-Two Punch () | Trounce-O-Matic ()|
|Torment theme decks: Sacrilege () | Grave Danger () | Insanity () | Waking Nightmares ()|
|Judgment theme decks: Air Razers () | Inundation () | Painflow () | Spectral Slam ()|
|Related pages: Odyssey block/Preconstructed theme decks • Odyssey block theme decks|
Odyssey has four bicolored theme decks.
|Theme deck name|
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Wizards of the Coast. (June 11, 2003.) "Eighth Edition Rollout: Odyssey", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Mark Rosewater. (November 14, 2011.) "Grave Consequences, Part 1", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ Vance Moore. (2001.) Odyssey Cycle, Book I: Odyssey, Wizards of the Coast. ISBN-13 978-0786919000.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Rei Nakazawa. "Odyssey Story Summary", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ Mark Rosewater. (October 5, 2009.) "Leading a Horse to Water", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ Abe Sargent. Do You REMEMBER What The Old Sets Were Like?.
- ↑ D. Gran. The Top 10 Broken Cards in Odyssey Block.
- ↑ Discuss: Do You REMEMBER What The Old Sets Were Like? - Page 1 — StarCityGames.com
- ↑ Pete Hoefling. (2005.) "Insider Trading #2", StarCityGames.com.
- ↑ Mark Rosewater. "What prompted the use of the tombstone symbol on Odyssey's flashback cards, and why wasn't the same reasoning applied in Innistrad's flashback cards, or the ones from Time Spiral for that matter?", Blogatog, Tumblr. (November 5, 2011.)
- ↑ Mark Rosewater. "What happened the the tombstone on flashback cards?", Blogatog, Tumblr. (June 12, 2012.)
- ↑ Mark Rosewater. (August 29, 2011.) "Every Two Sides Has a Story", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ Mark Rosewater. (September 12, 2011.) "C'mon Innistrad, Part 2", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ Ben Bleiweiss. (July 17, 2002.) "Set of Five, Part 2", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ Mark Rosewater. (January 21, 2002.) "Finding a Good Mechanic", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ Wizards of the Coast. (N/A.) "The Lexicon Archive", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ Wizards of the Coast. (February 27, 2002.) "Atog Breeding", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ Anthony Alongi. (September 13, 2001.) "Odyssey Card Preview: Atogs", Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ Mark Rosewater. (May 18, 2009.) "Golden Oldies", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ Ben Bleiweiss. (July 17, 2012.) "Sets of Five, Part 2", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ Wizards of the Coast. (N/A..) "Odyssey Frequently Asked Questions", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.