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Weatherlight booster pack contains 15 cards per pack. Distribution is 1 rare, 3 uncommon, and 11 commons. The set contains 167 black-bordered cards (50 rare, 55 uncommon, and 62 commons).
Weatherlight is the nineteenth Magic: The Gathering set and eleventh expert level set, third and last in the Mirage Block. Its expansion symbol is a book (the Thran Tome). It was released in June 1997 and later released for Magic: The Gathering Online on 12 December 2007.
Weatherlight marks a turning point in design and marketing philosophy for the Magic game & brand. While previous sets 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.
The Weatherlight set was accompanied by a series of fictional works collectively known as the Weatherlight Saga. The saga was intended to be a "hero's journey"-style story, in which the characters were classic archetypes. Each was also assigned to represent a color in Magic's color wheel, so that the narrative and mechanical elements of the project would be more closely joined.
Then-developer Mark Rosewater chose the skyship Weatherlight and it's captain, Sisay, as the germ of the new story. Rosewater has stated that basing the story around a ship allowed for narrative flexibility in setting. After developing story and character ideas with Michael Ryan, Rosewater pitched the Saga idea to his bosses.
The story introduces the Weatherlight and her crew, who travel the planes of the multiverse in search of ancient artifacts known collectively as the Legacy. The captain of the ship, Sisay, is abducted to the shadowy world of Rath. Her old friend and crewmate, a former soldier named Gerrard, is pressed into taking command of the ship to rescue her. The story is continued in Magic's Tempest set.
The Saga was released as a series of novels and was also heavily referenced in the flavor text and card names of the set. Weatherlight marks the first use of a metaplot tied to a Magic set. The first novel, Rath and Storm, covers events shown in the Weatherlight set, while later novels tell stories for later game sets.
The Weatherlight Saga ended wit the release of Apocalypse, although the aftermath of Saga events continued to be explored thereafter.
The Weatherlight set, as an expansion for the Magic: The Gathering game, has several mechanical distinctions:
It is the last set to use the banding mechanic, which was deemed too confusing.
It had many "cantrips" - cards which replace themselves once spent. Weatherlight pioneered cantrips in their modern form, which alleviates tempo problems by immediately replacing a spent card with a freshly drawn one.
It had a strong theme of graveyard-related abilities (that is, effects which interact with a player's discard pile). Many Weatherlight cards allowed retrieving discarded cards for reuse. Others allowed the player to pay for effects by removing discarded cards from the game. This changed the graveyard's role in the game from a mostly static zone to one that can be actively used as a resource.
Weatherlight provided a new twist on cumulative upkeep by introducing cards whose effects scaled as their cumulative upkeep costs increased. (Cumulative upkeep would not be used again until 2006's Coldsnap.)
Although Weatherlight is considered the third set in the Mirage block, it is mechanically distinct and does not prominently feature the keywords introduced in Mirage. Phasing appears on only three cards in Weatherlight, and flanking on only two.