Yeah, who cares about spoilers, it’s a 15 year old set. I will do some shooting and revision later this weekend.
AR 11 Exodus Retrospective
Hi there, and welcome to Ancestral Recall. I’m your host, Eli Kaplan. Today’s story will look at the third set in Tempest block, Exodus. Why listen to my stories? Because my stories are best stories.
I want to start today with a little discussion of third sets. Historically, third sets are small and don’t get drafted a lot in comparison with the second set, let alone the third set. Financially, this makes a difference, as fewer cards are opened and thus chase rares in these sets are particularly valuable, despite having less total play time in Standard. In retrospect, a lot more cards seem more powerful in third sets than in previous sets. This is what it is.
Anyway, since Mirage codified the block system, Exodus was an exemplar third set. It had lots of powerful cards that shook up formats.
[Exceptions: Rise of the Eldrazi, Avacyn Restored, Lorwyn/Shadowmoor Block. That’s a lot of exceptions.]
Exodus had a number of staple cards that have since seen LOTS of print in core sets. Soul Warden, Merfolk Looter,
Reclaim, Wood Elves.
Limited Resources – Banned in Commander, and for good reason. This just shouldn’t exist in any multiplayer format.
I really want to know what this card does. I guess it’s a good idea to look at the card text. [Curiosity]
Cataclysm – The fixed Balance. Just one land, one artifact, one enchantment, and one creature for each player, and all other permanents get sacrificed. Incidentally, no Planeswalker shall survive the Cataclysm.
Paladin en-Vec – The first double protection knight, this guy was a mainstay in Standard for quite a while.
Soul Warden – This essential component of lots of decks, such as Soul Sisters and any number of Life decks, first saw print here. It’s been in standard in one form or another ever since.
Curiosity – Niv Mizzet’s ultimate combo piece saw print here. I love this card, it enables aggro decks to keep playing guys.
Equilibrium – Even without abusing 187 (CIP abilities), this card’s broken because it gives all your guys an additional Unsummon for just one small mana. That’s gigantic tempo advantage.
Ertai, Wizard Adept. The first Counterspell on a stick. He got worse later on.
Forbid – Good Lord, what were they thinking? Counterspell with buyback? This was a key component of Randy Buehler’s “Buehler Blue” deck. The World Championship gold-bordered precon was the deck I used to learn how to play control successfully. And Forbid was amazing, ignoring card advantage for board advantage.
Carnophage is the second one mana bear for black, after Sarcomancy. (It even provides for the upkeep cost if you lose the Sarcomancy token.) These cards were critical in a black aggro deck. Hmm, if there were some kind of card that could help this archetype…
Oh yeah, Hatred. Unless something horribly goes wrong, as long as you’re ahead in life, have an unblocked attacker, and can pay for this, you win. It’s Channel-Fireball in a single card.
Recurring Nightmare – This card was partnered with Survival of the Fittest to power out ginormous guys and brutal combos.
Slaughter – Buyback Dark Banishing! All it costs is four life… I like this card for cubes. It makes for tough decisions.
If your Commander table has way too many plus one plus one counters on it, teach them a lesson with Spike Cannibal.
Keeper of the Flame used to be stronger until they took mana burn out of Magic. Having the ability to lower your life at will actually mattered with Keeper of the Flame.
It’s symmetrical, but if you want to find a different alternative to giving all your guys haste, there’s always Pandemonium.
Price of Progress – This is a staple in Legacy and Vintage burn decks. Ow, have mercy.
Seismic Assault is yet another combo engine. Yes, it has harsh color requirements. The Swans of Argyl combo works well.
Rather than just show you his card, let’s play his entrance music.
Oath of Druids. Yeah, this card’s really fair. You can use Forbidden Orchard from Kamigawa to give them a 1/1 spirit token, and then on your upkeep, you can oath out Progenitus. Or Emrakul. Or any other patently ridiculous giant fattie, without paying for it. There’s a very good reason this is banned in Legacy.
Final rating: This set’s incredibly powerful and chock loaded with all sorts of broken engines, which got exploited to insane levels with Urza’s Saga. There are a large number of iconic effects such as looting which got viable, fairly printed forms in this set.