was the nineteenth Magic: The Gathering
set and eleventh expert level set, third and last in the Mirage Block
. It was released in June 1997
. Its expansion symbol is the Thran
began the longest story arc in Magic's history, which would last continuously until the release of Apocalypse
four years later (the aftermath of the story was explored for two years afterward). The story introduces the crew of the flying ship Weatherlight
, which traverses the planes of the multiverse
in search of the scattered group of ancient artifacts known collectively as the Legacy. The captain of the ship, Sisay
, is abducted to the shadowy world of Rath
, and her old friend and crewmate, a former Benalish soldier named Gerrard
, is pressed into taking command of the ship to rescue her.
Even though Weatherlight
was the last expansion in the Mirage block it does not continue the story set in Mirage
. Instead, this expansion begins a new story with new characters. It should be noted that Sisay and the flying ship Weatherlight
had been mentioned in and played a relatively minor role in Mirage
. Mechanics from the other expansions in this block do appear as well as some new ones.
- Weatherlight was based largely around the use of the graveyard. The set boasted more ways to retrieve cards from the graveyard than ever before, and other spells used the graveyard as a resource by removing cards in it from the game.
- Weatherlight was the last set, until Coldsnap, to use cumulative upkeep which had been introduced in Ice Age, but the set provided a new twist: cards with effects which became larger as their cumulative upkeep costs increased.
- Weatherlight was also the last set to use banding, a mechanic created in Alpha, because it was deemed too confusing.
- Weatherlight had many so-called "cantrips", another idea that was created for Ice Age - spells that let you draw a card in addition to their normal effect. Weatherlight's innovation was to draw the card as soon as the spell resolved, rather than next turn, a change which is still used on cantrips to this day.
- Though the third set in the Mirage block, Weatherlight does not prominently feature the keyword mechanics introduced in Mirage, phasing and flanking, which appear on only three and two cards, respectively, in this set.