|Paul Peterson (lead)|
|Mike Elliott (lead)|
with contributions from Brady Dommermuth
|Dana Knutson & Ron Spears|
Themes and mechanics
|Disciples, Envoys, Flagbearers, Sanctuaries, "Syphon" creatures, Split cards, Volvers|
Keywords and/or ability words
|143 (55 Common 44 Uncommon 44 Rare)|
|Invasion block sets|
|Magic: The Gathering chronology|
Apocalypse' featured 143 black-bordered cards (55 commons, 44 uncommons and 44 rares). Its expansion symbol is Yawgmoth's mask.  Like Invasion and Planeshift, Apocalypse prominently features multicolored cards. Unlike its predecessors, Apocalypse focused on cards with "enemy" color pairings. Examples of the enemy color theme include painlands, split cards, cards with enemy color kicker costs (e.g. Orim's Thunder), cards with two enemy color kicker costs (the Volver cycle), cards with abilities requiring an enemy color (e.g. Angelfire Crusader, enchantments which gave bonuses if you controlled permanents of an enemy color (the Sanctuary cycle)and cards with enemy color casting costs. Apocalypse also expanded on the kicker block mechanic.
The Coalition forces hurled their might at the Stronghold, now overlaid onto the swamps of Urborg. Urza Planeswalker lead a powerful group of planeswalkers to Phyrexia itself, hoping to destroy the invaders in their home. Gerrard and Urza are forced to fight each other in an arena, and when one kills the other, the loser is returned to life by Yawgmoth's power and the two must fight again. Eventually, Gerrard wins free and Urza is decapicitated, only to find himself in the Stronghold throne room, with a crazed Crovax standing over the broken form of Squee. Sisay, Karn, Tahngarth and the rest of the Weatherlight crew desperately search the Thran Tome, attempting to figure out how the Legacy and the Weatherlight are supposed to save Dominaria. The remaining coalition forces, lead by Grizzlegom, Eladamri and Lin Sivvi fight their way to the Stronghold, where they battle Crovax's phyrexian soldiers. Things get worse when Yawgmoth himself steps through the portal from Phyrexia. The heroes regroup on the Weatherlight, and the final battle begins in earnest. Gerrard and his friends try to channel the mana from the Null Moon into a destructive beam to eradicate Yawgmoth, but fail to kill him. Without any further options, Urza, who is still alive since decapitation isn't lethal to planeswalkers, asks Gerrard to take out his powerstone eyes and place them in two sockets in Karn's chest. This completed the Legacy, forming that which legend refers to as the Legacy Weapon. Tahngarth's axe was imbued with all its energy, and with one strike at the tentacles Yawgmoth was attacking Weatherlight with, light spread all over the world, eradicating his essence wherever it touched the ancient evil. Then Gerrard, Urza, Karn, and the Legacy disappeared.
The cards were sold in 15-card boosters which had artwork from Anavolver, in four preconstructed theme decks and a fat pack. At Apocalypse prerelease events on May 26, 2001, a foil फंगल्शम्ब्लर् (Fungal Shambler printed in Sanskrit text) was handed out. The set was accompanied by the novel of the same name.
Each color contains a few creatures that have a new kind of ability, sometimes forming a vertical cycle. For example, blue gets Whirlpool creatures, red gets Bloodfire creatures, etc.
- Bloodfire — The ability to pay , sacrifice the card then deal damage to creatures and players. A vertical cycle of creatures were printed with the ability plus an aura that granted a creature the ability. (see cycles)
- Flagbearer — As long as you have one in play, any spell or ability your opponent plays that can target a Flagbearer must target a Flagbearer. If a spell has multiple targets, only one of the targets needs to be a Flagbearer. There were 2 White Flagbearer creatures (Standard Bearer and Coalition Honor Guard) and an aura (Coalition Flag) that granted a creature the Flagbearer subtype as well as the inherent ability.
- Penumbra — Which brings a black token creature of the same power/toughness into play whenever the original green creature is put into a graveyard. (see cycles)
- Syphon — Phyrexian abominations that take some life from their controller in exchange for an equal number of cards (e.g. When Phyrexian Rager comes into play you drew a card and lose 1 life). Phyrexian Gargantua and the enchantment Phyrexian Arena are also considered part of the "syphon" mechanic.
- Whirlpool — Drake and Merfolk that allow the owner to shuffle cards in their hand into their library, and then draw that many cards. (see cycles)
The following creature types are used in this expansion but also appear in previous sets: Angel, Ape, Beast, Cat, Drake, Dwarf, Elf, Giant, Goblin, Golem, Horror, Kavu, Merfolk, Minotaur, Ship (later changed to Metathran), Snake, Soldier, Treefolk, Wall, Wizard, Zombie.
- Disciples: Each of these common 1/1 Wizard creatures has two activated abilities, each of which costs one mana of one of the card's enemy colors to use — Ana Disciple, Ceta Disciple, Necra Disciple, Raka Disciple, and Dega Disciple. This cycle mirrors the apprentice cycle from Invasion.
- Enemy-color painlands: Each of these rare lands has ": Add to your mana pool" and ": Add C or D to your mana pool. This card deals 1 damage to you", where C and D are two enemy colors of mana — Battlefield Forge, Caves of Koilos, Llanowar Wastes, Shivan Reef, and Yavimaya Coast.
- Enemy-color split cards: Each of these split cards is made up of two spells, each of which is an enemy color to the other — Night/Day, Order/Chaos, Fire/Ice, Illusion/Reality, and Life/Death.
- Enemy-color two-drops: Each of these common multicolor creatures is two enemy colors, has a converted mana cost of , and shares one creature type with two other cards in the cycle based on its colors — Putrid Warrior (white/black soldier/zombie), Goblin Legionnaire (white/red soldier/goblin), Razorfin Hunter (blue/red goblin/merfolk), Gaea's Skyfolk (blue/green merfolk/elf), Llanowar Dead (black/green zombie/elf). This is the opposite cycle of the allied-color two-drop cycle from Invasion.
- Enemy-color noncreatures: Each of these common multicolor spells are composed of two enemy colours. — Quicksilver Dagger, Squee's Embrace, Soul Link, Consume Strength, Temporal Spring.
- Enemy-color permanents: Each of these uncommon cards are enemy-colored permanents. — Ebony Treefolk, Jungle Barrier, Minotaur Illusionist, Flowstone Charger, Martyrs' Tomb.
- Envoys: Each of these uncommon creatures cost C to cast and has "When this creature comes into play, reveal the top 4 cards of your library. Put all creature cards of this creature's type revealed this way into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library" — Enlistment Officer (Soldiers), Tidal Courier (Merfolk), Grave Defiler (Zombies), Goblin Ringleader (Goblins), and Sylvan Messenger (Elves). Two cards were not part of the above cycle, but had a related ability: Kavu Howler, a green creature that calls Kavu, is also uncommon but costs more to cast; and Brass Herald is a uncommon artifact creature that allows you to choose the creature type it calls and also grants creatures of that type +1/+1.
- Sanctuaries: Each of these uncommon enchantments produces an effect during your upkeep if you control a permanent of one of its enemy colors or produces a greater effect if you control any permanents of both its enemy colors — Ana Sanctuary, Ceta Sanctuary, Necra Sanctuary, Raka Sanctuary, and Dega Sanctuary.
- Wedge spells: Each of these rare multicolored spells requires three colors of mana to cost, including two allied-color mana and their mutual enemy color — Fervent Charge, Guided Passage, Overgrown Estate, Lightning Angel, and Fungal Shambler.
- Volvers: Each of these rare creatures has one kicker cost for each of its enemy colors, each of which increases its power and toughness and grants extra abilities — Anavolver, Cetavolver, Necravolver, Rakavolver and Degavolver
- Bloodfire: Each of these red creatures, one for each level of rarity, has an activated ability that allows it to deal a certain amount of damage to each creature at the cost of and sacrificing the creature — Bloodfire Dwarf, Bloodfire Kavu, and Bloodfire Colossus. Bloodfire Dwarf limits the damage to non-flying creatures while Bloodfire Colossus also deals damage to the creature's controller when the Colossus is sacrificed. In addition, the aura Bloodfire Infusion allows the enchanted creature to be sacrificed to deal damage equal to its power to each creature and player.
- Penumbra: Each of these green creatures, one for each level of rarity, creates a black creature token of its power and toughness whenever it is put into a graveyard from play — Penumbra Bobcat, Penumbra Kavu, and Penumbra Wurm. This cycle is featured in the Pandemonium theme deck. The white card Haunted Angel is similar to this cycle.
- Syphon: Each of these black spells, one for each level of rarity, has an effect that lets you draw cards at the cost of life — Phyrexian Rager, Phyrexian Gargantua, and Phyrexian Arena.
- Whirlpool: Each of these blue creatures, one for each level of rarity, has "When this creature comes into play, shuffle the cards from your hand into your library, then draw that many cards" — Whirlpool Rider, Whirlpool Drake, and Whirlpool Warrior
Apocalypse has one parallel pair:
- Desolation Angel and Desolation Giant: Each of these rare creatures has a double colored mana cost (black and red respectively) with a kicker cost (their enemy color) that turns its enter the battlefield effect into either an Armageddon or a Wrath of God, respectively.
Apocalypse has no reprints
- Vindicate — Destruction of a permanent for the low cost of .
- Pernicious Deed — An enchantment that sweeps the entire board.
- Mystic Snake — A Counterspell and a 2/2 creature in one card.
- Spiritmonger — An aggressive 6/6 creature for that has regeneration.
Apocalypse has four theme decks.
|Theme deck name|
|Invasion block preconstructed theme decks|
|Invasion theme decks: Blowout () | Dismissal () | Heavy Duty () | Spectrum ()|
|Planeshift theme decks: Barrage () | Comeback () | Domain () | Scout ()|
|Apocalypse theme decks: Burial () | Pandemonium () | Swoop () | Whirlpool ()|
|Related pages: Invasion block/Preconstructed theme decks|