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Exodus booster pack containing 15 cards per pack. Distribution is 1 rare, 3 uncommons, and 11 commons per pack. Released on June 15th, 1998, Exodus is the third set in the Tempest or Rath block. The set contains 143 black-bordered cards (44 rare, 44 uncommon, and 55 commons). Exodus was the first set to use color to denote rarity and to number each card in the set.
Exodus was the 22nd Magic the Gathering set, fourteenth expert level set, and the third and final set in the Rath Block. Its expansion symbol is a bridge. On 7 December 2009 Exodus was released on Magic the Gathering Online.
The crew of 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 of Weatherlight.
Also, a disturbing change has happened to Crovax, the noble who accompanied Weatherlight to Rath. His newly-formed bloodlust and thirst for power threatens to destroy the entire ship.
Exodus is the first set to make a card's rarity visibly apparent on the card itself. All previous expansions had no way to tell whether a card was a common card or a rare card. From Exodus on, the expansion symbol reveals what rarity a card is. If a card has a black expansion symbol, it is a common card (there are eleven common cards in a fifteen-card booster pack). If it has a silver expansion symbol, it is an uncommon card (three in a booster pack). If it has a gold expansion symbol, it is a rare card (one in a booster pack).
Exodus is also the first set to add collectors' numbers to the cards themselves. Next to the copyright information are two numbers in the format X/Y, where X is the card's collectors' number and Y the number of cards in the set in question. The cards were numbered in alphabetical order by color according to the Magic color wheel, starting with white and going clockwise (to blue, then black, then red, then green, then multicolored cards,then split cards -first appeared in Invasion-, then artifacts, then lands). Thus, in Exodus, the last white card alphabetically in the set, Zealots en-Dal, is numbered 26, and the first blue card alphabetically in the set, Æther Tide, is numbered 27.
Exodus is also 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.
Exodus introduces no new keywords or mechanics, but it did use the Buyback and Shadow mechanics introduced in Tempest.
There were two cycles in Exodus called by the name of "underdog" cards: cards that aid the player most when he is behind his opponent in a certain aspect of the game. The first cycle are the Oaths, one rare enchantment of each color, that would check a resource (life, creatures, cards in hand) of each player and then balance them out. There were also the keepers, that were weaker creature versions of the oaths, and uncommon.
- Survival of the Fittest— The signature card of "Survival" decks. Survival of the Fittest acts as a search engine for silver-bullet creatures or as a combo engine with cards like Loyal Retainers and Iona, Shield of Emeria or Basking Rootwalla and Vengevine. The printing of Vengevine greatly increased the power of Survival of the Fittest and led to its banning in Legacy in 2010.
- Oath of Druids — Of the five Oath cards in Exodus Oath of Druids had the most impact on tournament Magic. It is one of the game's most efficient means of putting expensive creatures into play without paying their mana costs, and modern Vintage decks still use it for that reason.