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Iron Sulfite
By David Zadok Stroud
Iron Sulfite
David Zadok Stroud

I feel somewhat jilted. Iíve seen a lot of reviews of Invasion cards, ranging from some of the brilliant work on Starcityccg to Mindripperís multiple-author review-by-color. Some of them were excellent, some controversial, and a few were just plain laughable. They all had their good points and bad points, though. Most notably, there have been an overwhelming number of reviews going by color, reviewing all the Green cards, or all the Blue cards, or all the Red cards.

I promised myself I wouldnít write any card-by-card analyses of Invasion. As I said, thereís been a ton. But yaí know, I canít seem to shake the feeling that no oneís paying enough attention to the Gold cards and their oddball abilities. (The day after this article was started, Will Rieffer did exactly this. Of course.) So, Iím breaking my promise. Hey, I never said I was overly trustworthy.

Invasion: Gold!

(I wonít be giving a quantitative value for each card, i.e., no stars. Rather, Iíll just go over how I feel about the card, and why I believe it to be good or bad. Please keep in mind that this is the Greater Good fanatic talking, Iíve been known to go nuts over cards that really have no use whatsoever, and Iíve also been seen saying ĎMasticore? Why? Powder Keg is just so much better for removal.í)

Absorb WUU
Instant
Rare
Counter target spell. You gain three life.

As the Invasion spoiler first hit the net, a few observant people said to themselves, ďHmmÖ Blue is going to have a problem, here.Ē In MBC, Blue built itself around cards like Thwart, Daze, Gush, and Foil, cards that have some reliance on Islands being available. With the release of Invasion, the need for a multi-color deck leads Blue to drop Islands from their standard decklists, thus leaving those previously-key cards out in the rain. Absorb, and itís twin, Undermine, are the solution, giving Blue a true counter without any need for land of a specific type. Three colored mana can, of course, be hard to come by, and limits Rishidan Portís playability alongside this card, but hey, itís says ĎCounter target spell.í It will therefore see play.

Aether Rift IGR
Enchantment
Rare
At the beginning of your upkeep, discard a card at random from your hand. If you discard a creature card in this way, put that creature into play unless any player pays 5 life.

Itís rather ironic that you can counter this ability yourself. Generally, though, discarding a card at random is considered a Bad Thingô. Obviously, this is a card meant for constructed decks based around it. Unfortunately, the discard effect will only occasionally get you a creature. The rest of the time, youíre discarding playable spells. The deck based around this would need to minimize itís non-creature card count, perhaps limiting it to only the Rift and Enlightened Tutor. The Rift is, perhaps, well suited to bringing Godzilla to Type 2.

Angelic Shield UW
Enchantment
Uncommon
Creatures you control get +0/+1.
Sacrifice Angelic Shield: Return target creature to its ownerís hand.

In drafts, it was a rare Spidersilk armor that rounded the entire table even once. This card is almost as good, perhaps even workable in Type 2. It even costs one less. Taking into account the second ability, Angelic Shield may very well be a defensive standout. The drawback is, the Shield doesnít have the same anti-flyer ability. Anyone who played with Spidersilk will tell you, that was a key reason to use it. Donít set aside the Shield just because of that, though. It does happen to be in two colors known for already being flyer-heavy.

Armadillo Cloak 1GW
Enchantment
Common
Enchanted creature gets +2/+2 and has trample. Whenever enchanted creatures deals damage, you gain that much life.

If you were at the Prerelease, you faced this card. And you know it was a beating. For only 3 mana, this card has allowed players to end games at more than 30 life with relative ease. Even being a common, this guy can obviously be an easy first pick in draft. In constructed, the total slowdown of the environment may make the Cloak a worthy successor to Empyreal Armor. It certainly fits Armageddon decks nicely.

Armored Guardian 3UW
Creature Ė2/5
Rare
1WW: Target creature you control gains protection from a color of your choice until end of turn.
IUU: Armored Guardian cannot be the target of spells or abilities until end of turn.

Letís get one thing straight: This ainít Morphling. This ainít even Morphling Jr. The Guardian is a mediocre defensive card, holding off removal while protecting itself even more efficiently. On the downside, itís also a five mana 2/5, not exactly a beating stick. Historically, control decks have wanted creatures that both control the game and can finish the game. Armored Guardian has a limited ability to control, but cannot easily win without some serious back up.

Artifact Mutation GR
Instant
Rare
Destroy target artifact. It canít be regenerated. Put X 1/1 Green Saproling tokens creatures into play, where X is its converted mana cost.

Why is this rare? Oh, well. This is actually a very good card, just not a rare-slot worthy card. Shatter costs two mana, like this, but isnít half as good. At worst, youíre paying two mana to destroy an artifact. At best, youíre grabbing a bunch of 1/1s in the process. Now, 1/1s are notoriously bad to attacking, but when you have a bunch of ĎemÖ Artifact Mutation perhaps works best as a sideboard card, taking out such major threats as Predator, Tangle Wire, and Rusting Golem. (Iím kidding.)

Aura Mutation GW
Instant
Rare
Destroy target enchantment. Put X 1/1 Green Saproling creature tokens into play, where X is its converted mana cost.

See Artifact Mutation. I found it interesting that this card lacked the Ďcannot be regeneratedí clause. After Opalescence, I thought they would do that on any such card!

Aura Shards 1GW
Enchantment
Rare
Whenever a creature comes into play under your control, you may destroy target artifact or enchantment.

Itís the Age of the Rare Disenchant. This is different, however, and ranks as one of the more versatile gold cards Iíve seen lately. The drawback of needing a creature to work is generally minimal, since any deck using this would be designed to have plenty of fodder for it. Note the use of Ďyou may,í keeping you safe from having the ability backfire onto the Shards themselves.

Backlash 1BR
Instant
Uncommon
Tap target untapped creature. That creature deals damage equal to its power to its controller.

A more versatile version of Mirror Strike, Backlash is a fairly strong direct damage card. Unfortunately, like many cards that seem strong but are proven weak, it relies on another player. Furthermore, for it to reach its full potential, said creature must be fairly large. And if this is your way of dealing with a large creature in play on the other side of the table, youíre better off conceding now and saving your opponent the time.

Barrinís Spite 2BU
Sorcery
Rare
Choose two target creatures controlled by one player. That player sacrifices one of them, then returns the other its ownerís hand.

Obviously, this card is exceedingly strong in limited formats. In constructed, however, it runs into the common snag of requiring two targets. This is why Symbiosis never saw much play, you didnít always want to over-commit your forces. Barrinís Spite punishes someone else for over committing two strong creatures to the board at once, but if youíre playing some who really knows what theyíre doing, youíll often end up taking out a tiny creature and only bouncing the real threat. Despite this problem, itíll still go one for one, and tap some mana as an added bonus. And it works nicely to clear a path for your creatures.

Blazing Specter 2BR
Creature Ė 2/2
Rare
Flying, Haste
Whenever Blazing Specter deals combat damage to a player, that player discards a card from his or her hand.

This is a wonderful creature. Its undercosted for its abilities, evasion, and haste. However, it also has a little Ď2í in the lower-right hand corner. That means itís Shockable, Sealable, and Assaultable. There are no less than three separate two-damage dealing red spells in Type 2, and this guy is just asking to be blown out of the sky by one. Against any non-red deck, heís a beating stick that canít even be Terrored. But against redÖ Heís fried chicken.

Captain Sisay 2GW
Creature Ė 2/2
Rare
T: Search your library for a Legend or Legendary permanent and put that card into your hand. Then shuffle your library.

T: Search your library for a Squee. Seriously, thatís what weíre looking at here. Which isnít half bad. The mere fact that Sisay taps to put a card into your hand at no additional cost makes her strong, that she can pick a card for you to get makes her slightly bent. With the slowdown of the environment, her four casting cost isnít that bad, and with cards like Squee and Mageta to look for, thereís some potential for a strong deck. On the downside, sheís not too powerful, and canít stand up in a fight. But when she gets her pals to join her, she shouldnít need to fight.

Cauldron Dance 4BR
Instant
Uncommon
Play only during combat.
Return target creature card from your graveyard to play. That creature gains haste. Return it to your hand at end of turn.
Put a creature from your hand into play. That creature gains haste. Put it into the graveyard at end of turn.

The fact that this costs six is its only major drawback. Put simply, this is the biggest combat trick since Overrun, and possibly even bigger than that. Drop two surprise attackers to kill your opponent and throw their math off. Drop a pair of blockers to kill whatever is the biggest attacking threat. Use it to pull back a good creature from your graveyard and block something. Obviously, it takes some fore-planning to use this card well, but when used well, it can be powerful enough to force a concession. (Note the wording. You must have a creature in your graveyard to cast it, but you donít need a creature in your hand.)

Charging Troll 2GW
Creature Ė 3/3
Uncommon
Attacking doesnít cause Charging Troll to tap.
G: Regenerate Charging Troll.

Explain to me how a ĎChargingí troll doesnít tap? Isnít that backwards? Not that Iím complaining, this is the single most powerful defensive unit in G/W in some time. Heís obviously undercosted, and regeneration gives him an edge as a blocker and as an attacker. It also makes him less likely to end up as a one for two if you enchant him. A lot of people are speaking the praises of Noble Panther, but this guy is at least on par with the Panther, in all respects.

Cinder Shade 1BR
Creature Ė 1/1
Uncommon
B: Cinder Shade gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
R, sacrifice Cinder Shade: Cinder Shade deals damage equal to its power to target creature.

Obviously, this is a #1 pick in a draft format. Between being a Frozen Shade and a Cinder Elemental, he really couldnít be a bad choice. In constructed, heís a tad expensive to use, especially considering he only hits creatures, but nonetheless effective, an easy way to get two for one. I was amazed the second ability wasnít limited to being played as a sorcery, but I was still more impressed in the amount of fear this little 1/1 can instill in an opponent.

Coalition Victory 3BUGRW
Sorcery
Rare
You win the game if you control a land of each basic land type and a creature of each color.

The least they could have done was made it an instant. Sheesh. A lot of people speak of decks based around this. I think it would actually work better as a single copy in a 5cG deck. Yeah, it requires that you play with all those things it needs to work, but the fear factor of merely having the card available may make it worth your time. Furthermore, 5cG spends most of its time on one attack method; that of ĎWhack, whack, whack, DIE.í This gives it a fall-back plan, albeit an expensive and hard to use one.

Crosis, the Purger 3BUR
Creature Ė 6/6
Rare
Flying.
Whenever Crosis, the Purger deals combat damage to a player, you may play 2B. If you do, choose a color. That player reveals his or her hand and discards all cards of that color from it.

This is my favorite Dragon. They are all quite strong, at 6/6 for six, but the additional card advantage provided by Crosis, combined with the fact that heís black, make him perhaps the greatest threat. Also notice that by choosing Red, most of the cards that can kill Crosis go awayÖ

Darigaaz, the Igniter 3BGR
Creature Ė 6/6
Rare
Whenever Darigaaz, the Igniter deals combat damage to a player, you may pay 2R. If you do, choose a color. That player reveals his or her hand and Darigaaz deals 1 damage to him or her for each card revealed of that color.

As a 6/6, Darigaaz takes four turns to finish an opponent unaided. But by adding just one to his power, that number if reduced to three turns. On that basis, Darigaaz is playable, being the only Dragon aside from Rith that can hit for more than 6 in a single attack. Finishing your opponent quickly is an enormous help. Also see Crosis, the Purger.

Dromar, the Banisher 3BUW
Creature Ė 6/6
Rare
Flying.
Whenever Dromar, the Banisher deals combat damage to a player, you may pay 2U. If you do, choose a color. Return all creatures of that color to ownerís hand.

A common rule of Magic is that you donít usually want to spend a lot of mana each turn for the same thing. Dromar has a terrible habit of shooting himself in the foot by having you choose Black, Blue, or White. 3 out of every 5 times you use him, Dromar Ďbanishesí himself. This is not a Good Thingô, as it then requires that you replay him.

Dueling Grounds 1GW
Enchantment
Rare
No more than one creature may attack each turn
No more than one creature may block each turn

This card obviously begs for combat tricks like the Apprentices and Masters. But leaving that aside, it reduces the army you face to one creature. With a single high-toughness blocker, you become nigh-invulnerable to combat damage. Of course, you canít attack with your horde either, but the advantage nullifies the drawback. Dueling Grounds is a weenie hoser, and it takes Saprolings with it. It may also see use in some random pile of a deck, but God only knows how it would function adequately outside of a sideboard.

Fires of Yavimaya 1GR
Enchantment
Common
Creatures you control have Haste.
Sacrifice Fires of Yavimaya: Target creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn.

Letís seeÖ Fervor costs 2R. Elvish Fury costs G. Here we have the two combined into one, and it costs 1GR. Good deal, neh? This card can take many positions in a deck, saving one of your creatures, killing someone elseís, giving you the advantage of surprise and forcing your opponent to leave a blocker back, etcÖ It also makes for an excellent draft pick, letting you have still another one of the all-important draft items: tricks. Lots of tricks.

Frenzied Tilling 3GR
Sorcery
Common
Destroy target land. Search your library for a basic land card and put that card into play tapped. Then shuffle your library.

A combined Stone Rain and Rampant Growth, for the exact combined cost of the two cards. Tilling is really quite impressive; while it doesnít directly affect game state the same way that Do or Die can, it puts you ahead by two land drops. Plow Under did the same thing. It had the added advantage of taking away two of your opponentís draw phases, but it also didnít fit well in a true land destruction deck, unlike Tilling. Suprisingly, Tilling fits very well into any R/G in limited, since it gives you a nice two for one and accelerates your mana quite well. Additionally, it can pull any color you happen to be looking for, which isnít to be ignored in an environment like Invasion.

Galinaís Knigh UW
Creature Ė 2/2
Common
Protection from red

Note that this guy is a Merfolk. As your basic Grizzly Bears, the Knight is a fairly strong offensive candidate. His protection element keeps him from being easy prey to a Shock, and lets him block some fairly powerful Type 2 creatures. Not the best Grizzlies ever printed, but if Fish ever needed some back up, heís a good option to look at.

Hanna, Shipís Navigator 1UW
Creature Ė 1/2
Rare
1WU, T: Return target artifact or enchantment card from your graveyard to your hand.

Perhaps best utilized with the Nemesis Seals, Hanna follows up Sisay as card advantage producing Legends. Hanna is quite versatile, and generally one of the stronger recovery cards available, but not exactly overpowering. Even recurring a Seal of Removal isnít too broken. But the amount of utility Hanna can provide makes her a good addition to most decks that tend to use up their Disenchantables.

Heroís Reunion GW
Instant
Uncommon
Target player gains 7 life.

As a rule, life gain is weak. It simply doesnít do anything to affect the game. You gain a few life, but they go away in the next several turns. Unlike most life gain, this is actually a fairly strong card. Two mana can cancel out almost two turns of beat down, and give you the time you sometimes need to get up and running until you can win. The mere fact that is it life gain means it will probably be very bad, but as life gain goes; this is the best.

Horned Cheetah 2GW
Creature Ė 2/2
Uncommon
Whenever Horned Cheetah deals damage, you gain that much life.

Again, life gain is not strong. Compare this to Charging Troll. How often would you rather have a 3/3 non-tapping regenerator than this? They fill identical slots by casting cost, but one is almost always superior. Having only two toughness and no way to stay alive, Horned Cheetah is asking to be knocked off, making him a 2 point Stream of Life. Not strong.

Hunting Kavu 1GR
Creature Ė 2/3
Uncommon
1RG, T: Remove from the game Hunting Kavu and target creature without flying thatís attacking you.

In the latest environment, 2/3 is a fatty. Not much of one, but still a fatty. It dodges most red removal, and is a major defensive threat. Few decks will risk an attack when one of these is sitting ready to go. However, the mana cost required to activate the Kavu can make it nearly unusable, forcing you to leave three mana open so you can hold off an attack each turn. (Note that you can use the Kavu to block, and the remove another creature from combat before it deals damage, thus neutralizing two attackers.)

Kangee, Aerie Keeper 2UW
Creature Ė 2/2
Rare
Kicker 2X
Flying
When Kangee, Aerie Keeper comes into play, if you paid the kicker cost, put X feather counters on it. All birds gets +1/+1 for each feather counter on Kangee, Aerie Keeper.

Oh, man. Talk about painting a really big target on your face, Kangeeís two toughness makes her a tempting target, especially if the kicker has been paid. Bird decks have never really seen play before (how many people have ever even noticed birds?), and Kangeeís low toughness and high cost makes me think that is one thing that will not change. It must be noticed, however, that Kangee, if cast with the kicker with a couple birds in play, can be quite a kill. She is the only Lord to give +X/+X, and that makes her a threat, if only a minor one.

Llanowar Knight GW
Creature Ė 2/2
Common
Protection from Black

See Galinaís Knight. Again, a 2/2 for only two mana is often a good deal, and this Knight is no exception. The pro-black keeps him from being shredded by Vendetta, but heís still Massacre-able. A fair 2-drop, but probably not the best.

Lobotomy 2BU
Sorcery
Uncommon
Look at target playerís hand and choose a card other than a basic land card from it. Search that playersí graveyard, hand, and library for all cards with the same name as the chosen card and remove them from the game. Then that player shuffles his or her library.

Lobotomy was a popular combo-breaker when it was previously available in Type 2. Itís ability to take out any major threat, and take it out for good makes it a strong addition to most decks that can handle its casting cost. Unfortunately, there arenít a ton of combos left in Type 2, and therefore Lobotomy wonít have a ton of things to break. Oh, yeah. And the art is worse than the first time around.

Meteor Storm GR
Enchantment
Rare
2RG, discard two cards at random from your hand: Meteor Storm deals 4 damage to target creature or player.

Meteor Storm is obviously powerful removal, four damage is nothing to laugh at. Sadly, discarding two cards isnít something to laugh at either. Even a Squee leaves the activation cost somewhat painful. There are often times when losing two cards is nothing if it takes out something on the board, but those times donít come often. Note that Meteor Storm is very well suited for beating B/U control decks, since it costs only two to cast, and once its down, it canít be easily removed.

Noble Panther 1GW
Creature Ė 3/3
Rare
1: Noble Panther gains first strike until end of turn

A three mana 3/3 is a wonderful deal in the modern Type 2. This fits as the best three drop available in G/W, especially since it can generally dominate early and late game combat via First Strike. Charging Troll is the better creature, but for the cost, the Panter is a steal.

Ordered Migration 3UW
Sorcery
Uncommon
Put a 1/1 blue Bird creature token with flying into play for each basic land type among the lands you control.

At best, five 1/1 flyers for 5 mana. Thatís a fair deal, but a bunch of 1/1s just arenít too threatening anymore. They make wonderful chump blockers, but for five mana, there are probably better blockers out there. Obviously, this card was meant to be followed on the next turn by a one-point Kangee, making for 2-5 2/2 flying beaters. But even then, itís not very good compared to what else can be done for 11 mana spread out over two turns.

Overabundance 1GR
Enchantment
Rare
Whenever a player taps a land for mana, that player adds one additional mana to his or her mana pool of the same type, and Overabundance deals 1 damage to him or her.

It would seem to me that if Abundance is in the name of a card, it really ought to do something similar. But no, itís a Mana Flare/Mana Barbs for the same cost as only the Flare. Now, this can be a wrecker of a card. On the one hand, it encourages the spending of mana, but on the other, it punishes you for actually spending the mana. Choices, choices. In a deck built to take advantage of the mana while fairly neutralizing the damage, this could be a very powerful card. Problem is, itíll really get to be a pain for both players if it sticks around too long.

Plague Spores 4BR
Sorcery
Common
Destroy target nonblack creature and target land. They canít be regenerated.

Well, itís a two for one. Itís very expensive, but another game-breaking effect. The cost really isnít that important, though, as it will keep your opponent from a key color of mana and destroy the best creature they have. Sounds like a deal to me, at least in limited. In constructed, thereís probably something more cost-effective for the purposes.

Pyre Zombie 1BR
Creature Ė 2/1
Rare
At the beginning of your upkeep, if Pyre Zombie is in your graveyard, you may pay 1BB. If you do, return Pyre Zombie from your graveyard to your hand.
1RR, sacrifice Pyre Zombie: Pyre Zombie deals two damage to target creature or player.

The first card that comes to mind, of course, is Hammer of Bogardan. For 3RRRRR, Hammer dealt three damage once a round. For 3BBBRRR, the Zombie deals 2. But the Zombie is also a 2/1 attacker, which means it can attack and help take down an opponent for free each turn, simply doubling as the Hammer for removal. And in an environment overwrought with two toughness, the Zombie is pretty fair removal. And he chump blocks for 2BBBR each turn. For power, Hammer is better, but for sheer multi-use versatility, the Zombie can be very strong.

Raging Kavu 1GR
Creature Ė 3/1
Rare
Haste
You may play Raging Kavu any time you could play an instant.

Explain this card to me. If you can play it as an instant, the best use is to play it at the end of your opponentís turn so you can attack with it. But this has Haste. Or you could play it as a blocker, and attack with it the next turn. But this has one toughness. So, why does it get to be played as an instant? At 3/2, it would be a fairly strong card. At 3/1, its mediocre with an ability that does nothing but take up text space on the card.

Reckless Assault 2BR
Enchantment
Rare
1, pay 2 life: Reckless Assault deals 1 damage to target creature or player

Obviously, this ainít a kill method. What it is, removal. The new Apprentices, Raging Kavu, and some other threatening X/1s are usually quite easy to take out in B/R, but this just gives you one more possible option. Are there enough X/1 threats to make this playable? I havenít a clue. But if you start seeing Apprentices everywhere, hereís your solution.

Recoil 1BU
Instant
Common
Return target nonland permanent to its ownerís hand. Then that player discards a card from his or her hand.

Boomerang has often been ratted on for being so obviously anti-card advantage. Recoil is very kind in one respect, it doesnít have that problem. When your opponentís hand is empty, itís a Desert Twister. Quite strong. With only a few cards in B/U that can remove enchantments and artifacts, Recoil fills a much needed slot. It bounces the card to either be discarded or dealt with later.

Reviving Vapors 2UW
Instant
Uncommon
Reveal the top three cards of your library and put one of them into your hand. You gain life equal to that cardís converted mana cost.

HmmÖ More life gain. Of course, this life gain doubles as a search card, giving it some redeeming value. Even so, you wonít often gain more than three or four life off this, and when you do, it usually wonít matter much. Itís a horrible card to use searching for land, and its mana cost is really too high for it to be any competition with Brainstorm, Opt, Soothsaying, and Fact or Fiction (all of which only cost one blue mana).

Riptide Crab 1UW
Creature Ė 1/3
Uncommon
Attacking doesnít cause Riptide Crab to tap.
When Riptide Crab is put into a graveyard from play.

I keep looking for the part of this card that says ĎTap all Blue creatures.í If it has Riptide in the titleÖ This is a mediocre creature, obviously better suited to limited than constructed. It doesnít lose you any cards to chump block with it, but it doesnít gain you any, either. The non-tapping attack is really rather irrelevant; there are almost no situations where you would both want and be able to both attack and block with this more than once.

Rith, the Awakener 3GRW
Creature Ė 6/6
Rare
Whenever Rith, the Awakener deals combat damage to a player, you may pay 2G. If you do, choose a color. Put a 1/1 green Saproling creature token into play for each permanent of that color.

Look! Exponential Saprolings! Of course, Rith will finish your opponent in about the same time whether he gets Saproling back-up or not. First turn, make 2-4 Saprolings. Second turn, deal 11 (best case), and make some more. Third turn, kill. Darigaaz will normally kill in the same amount of time, but he doesnít die to a Snuff Out or other Terror-esque. On the plus side, a Rith that gets through once will often win you the game even if he never gets through again, whereas Darigaaz will often just deal damage and instill fear.

Sabertooth Nishoba 4GW
Creature Ė 5/5
Rare
Trample, protection from Blue, protection from Red

I donít suppose it would have Pro- Black, too? And save itself? Nope. Oh, well. This is the last straw, proof that WotC wants to see a G/W beatdown deck with a mana curve that looks like something out of a Wildfire deck. Noble Panther, Armadillo Cloak, Charging Troll, and this all make for a powerful offensive force. The Nishoba is really quite good of his own accord, being a 5/5 trampler for only six, but he is also the most expensive creature you can find to fulfil his role of finisher.

Samite Archer 1UW
Creature Ė 1/1
Uncommon
T: Prevent the next 1 damage that would be dealt to target creature or player this turn.
T: Samite Archer deals 1 damage to target creature or player.

HmmÖ There have been so many variations on Tim in the past that theyíve all begun to blur together, wouldnít you say? Well, hereís another one, and the Samite Archer happens to be quite good, at least in Limited. We all known the chaos Troubled Healer could wreck, Samite Archer plays in much the same way, threatening to control an attack phase all on his lonesome. In Constructed, I would say heís too weak to last, and his single point of power doesnít exactly make him an attacking powerhouse. If Type 2 degenerates into a bunch of creature stalls, this is one possible to way to escape, but there are better ways in these colors (not the least of which is Teferiís Moat).

Seerís Vision 2BU
Enchantment
Uncommon
All opponents play with their hands revealed.
Sacrifice Seerís Vision: Look at target playerís hand and choose a card from it. That player discards that card.

I have mixed feelings about this card. On the one hand, Seerís Vision really helps you understand how the game is developing. Is your opponent mana screwed? Are they holding removal for your win condition that you have to be able to counter? What color should you Addle for? Should you counter that Jade Leech? And it also takes over the game by removing extreme threats; take out a Blastoderm without wasting a counter, pull Urzaís Rage or Obliterate before itís Too Lateô, etc. On the other hand, youíre looking at a four mana enchantment that doesnít directly affect the board; which is not often the mark of a good card. I think Seerís Vision fits best in a U/b control deck, perhaps splashing White for Teferiís Moat and Disenchant. Itís a good defensive card, but it requires that you back it up with a way to control the board.

Shivan Zombie BR
Creature Ė 2/2
Common
Protection from Blue

This is one of the least effective allied Grizzlies in Invasion. Blue doesnít tend to be overly targeted, and while this is immune to Terror, there are certainly better cards to work with. Only rarely does Pro-Blue come into effect, and it is rarer still that itís game breaking.

Simoon GR
Instant
Uncommon
Simoon deals 1 damage to each creature target opponent controls.

Have you seen the art on this thing? Now THATíS a storm. My God. As for the card, Simoon is another reprint. It only does a single point of damage, so itís never highly destructive, and itís only rarely card advantage, but it is cheap and sometimes useful. It makes a wonderful post-combat trick in Limited, and often works the same way in constructed. But there arenít a lot of playable X/1s in the environment, except Elves and Mana Birds. This would be excellent sideboard material against 5cG.

Sleeperís Robe BU
Enchant Creature
Uncommon
Enchanted creature cannot be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or black creatures.
Whenever enchanted creature deals combat damage to an opponent, you may draw a card.

Feared Magpies? Right, sure, whatever. This two mana enchantment is probably better than either Curiousity or Fear, and is especially good since the two effects synergize so well. It negates some of the possible two-for-one drawback of enchant creatures by handing you extra cards, and itís very powerful as a card advantage machine against any deck not using Black or Red. A possible first-pick in Limited.

Slinking Serpent 2BU
Creature Ė 2/3
Uncommon
Forestwalk

Four mana. For a 2/3. With an aggressive ability? Whatís wrong with this picture? If this had Pro-Green, it would be far superior. As is, itís not a bad draft pick, but itís unplayable in constructed.

Smoldering Tar 2BR
Enchantment
Uncommon
At the beginning of your upkeep, target player loses 1 life.
Sacrifice Smoldering Tar: Smoldering Tar deals 4 damage to target creature. Play this ability only any time you could play a sorcery.

Though slightly over costed, Smoldering Tar doubles as a slow, painful death for your opponent and as removal. You wonít often get the life loss more than two turns running, as you will usually have something worth using it on, but you will get to get a little ahead on life and almost certainly take something out (four damage is not to be trifled with).

Spinal Embrace 3BUU
Instant
Rare
Play Spinal Embrace only during combat.
Untap target creature you donít control and gain control of it. That creature gains Haste until end of turn. At the end of turn, sacrifice the creature. If you do, you gain life equal to its toughness.

Six mana is a high price to pay, but in return, this is an unrestricted creature removal without any drawback, and it also gives you a wonderful combat trick. Stealing a Dragon Legend is a personal favorite, but just grabbing a good blocker and taking out an attacker is worth the cost. Despite the six mana, Spinal Embrace can completely dominate the game when itís played well, and therefore is worthy of the casting cost. Playing it well is the real challenge. (Note you cannot use this as a mini-Burst of Energy, you must target someone elseís creature. Also note that the creature gains Haste. Iíve already seen people overlook this factor.)

Stalking Assasin 1BU
Creature Ė 1/1
Rare
3U, T: Tap target creature.
3B, T: Destroy target tapped creature.

Say it with me now: ďAt the end of your turnÖĒ This is a powerful but vulnerable creature. Anything with powers this widespread is usually painted with a set of large red concentric circles on its forehead. It destroys attackers, taps blockers, and just generally dominates the board. Heís certainly not Royal Assassin, but heís a better control card than Silent or Notorious Assassins, and heís more versatile too. Good deal. Just watch out for burn, Samite Archers, Tims in general, and everything else. Because there are no players that wonít take a shot at this guy, given the opportunity.

Sterling Grove GW
Enchantment
Uncommon
All other enchantments you control cannot be the target of spells or abilities.
1, Sacrifice Sterling Grove: Search your library for an enchantment card and reveal that card. Shuffle your library, the put that card on top of it.

A weak Enlightened Tutor and Disenchant killer. For the casting cost, this is quite reasonable. It forces the target of the first Disenchant an opponent draws, and even when killed off, it fetches a copy of itself or another key card. Iím hearing stories of this being used in Obliterate decks to control and protect other key enchantments like Elfhame Sanctuary. All in all, this is a focused card without too much use in most decks, but if your deck happens to be enchantment heavy or combo based, you probably want at least one copy of this.

Teferiís Moat 3UW
Enchantment
Rare
As Teferiís Moat comes into play, choose a color.
Creatures of the chosen color without flying cannot attack you.

Youíve seen the decklists for post-Invasion Stampy, no doubt. This is known as the post Invasion Stampy killer. Most Stampys donít bother running Creeping Mold maindeck, and even if they did, Teferiís Moat is in colors that happen to be oriented towards keeping that kind of thing away. This is the bane of most Type 2 speed decks, excepting 5cG, and even that is seriously bothered by the Moat. The Moat ranks as another contender for best defensive standout of Invasion, and is almost certainly one of the Ďchaseí rares of the set. Needless to say, if this shows up in Limited, you are now playing U/W. I donít care what you were playing, thatís what youíre playing now.

Treva, the Renewer 3UGW
Creature Ė 6/6
Rare
Flying
Whenever Treva, the Renewer deals combat damage to a player, you may pay 2W. If you do, choose a color. You gain 1 life for each permanent of that color.

Iíve said it again and again. Life gain is weak. Of course, a 6/6 Flyer is not, so this is very playable despite its weak ability. Darigaaz and Crosis are far superior, but Treva will do in a pinch. And at six mana, like the other Dragonís heís a bargain. It should also be noted that Treva counts permanents, not cards in hand. Whether this is good or bad is situation dependant, but it does encourage over-extension.

Tsabo Tavoc 5BR
Creature Ė 7/4
Rare
First Strike, Protection from Legends
BB, T: Destroy target Legend

For seven mana, a 7/4 First Strike is actually quite a bargain. Add to that Pro-Legends and destroy target Legend ability, and Tsabo Tavoc is a hell of a beating. There are a lot of must-kill legends, not the least of which are the Dragon Legends and Verdeloth. And even if thereís nothing for Tsabo to kill, heís 7/4, and dominates almost every creature you can put him up against. Heís also immune to Terrors, and is fairly tough to burn to death (two Shocks arenít always easy to come by). Strong.

Undermine BUU
Instant
Rare
Counter target spell. That spellís controller loses 3 life.

Obviously, this is a card to be added to a aggressive B/U deck. The three life is irrelevant in a more controlling deck, but when used with cards like Urborg Drake and Chimeric Idol, it can be quite powerful as an extra counterspell. But it is three mana, all of which are colored. If there is the deck to support it, this could be a top-of-the-line card. If there isnít, this will be trade bait.

Urborg Drake 1BU
Creature Ė 2/3
Uncommon
Flying
Urborg Drake attacks each turn if able.

Iím torn. Usually, undercosted flyers are wonderful. And with three toughness, heís out of Shock range and heís black, so he canít be Terrored. On the other hand, you canít hold the Drake back as a blocker even if you really want to. As a result, youíre occasionally left attacking when youíd rather hold back as a blocker. And since it takes a long time to kill with a 2/3, you may actually want to block with him once in a while. Nonetheless, this is an excellent aggressive creature for B/U.

Vicious Kavu 1BR
Creature Ė 2/2
Uncommon
Whenever Vicious Kavu attacks, it gets +2/+0 until end of turn.

Despite the name of this expansion being Invasion, nothing seems to be invading very well. In fact, this is one of the few creatures that attacks with power greater than its casting cost. As a result, itís probably fairly good. While itís very Shockable, itís capable of starting a beatdown early and following it through. And anything blocking it will probably die, making it all the stronger.

Vile Consumption 1BU
Enchantment
Rare
All creatures have ďAt the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice this creature unless you pay one life.Ē

There are a lot of cards like this in existence. The problem with them is, they give your opponent a choice. If a creature has been neutralized, itís goiní away. If itís still useful as an aggressive force, it sticks around and keeps hitting you. As a result, you simply thin your opponentís force down to the real threats. All in all, not a very useful card, even in drafts.

Voldalian Zombie BU
Creature Ė 2/2
Common
Protection from Green

This is the best of allied Grizzlies. For two mana, you block Blastoderm, youíre immune to Terror, and you have a 2/2 attacker that gets past River Boa and Walls. Itís cheap and powerful, and it beats out the best of the creature colors with ease. Strong on offense and defense. Just as an added bonus, the Zombie is a Merfolk, and therefore accepts the power of Lord of Atlantis.

Void 3BR
Sorcery
Rare
Choose and number. Destroy all artifacts and creatures with converted mana cost equal to that number. Then target player reveals his or her and hand discards from it all nonland cards with converted mana cost equal to the number.

A five mana Powder Keg with some added bonuses. As removal, this card is quite powerful. At the very least, it reads ĎDestroy a creature. This spell is untargeted.í That means it kills Blastoderm. And it will often take out two of the better creatures on the opposite side of the table. Additionally, your opponent wonít be defending against it by holding back creatures; they go away too! Of course, it does cost five mana, and itís a sorcery. But itís still very strong, and quite versatile. And it is undoubtedly one of the better B/R mass removal spells in the game. (Note it will force your opponent to discard enchantments.)

Voracious Cobra 2GR
Creature Ė 2/2
Uncommon
First Strike
Whenever Voracious Cobra deals combat damage to a creature, destroy that creature.

Well, hereís a limited beating. It single-handedly shuts down your opponentís attack phase, and is almost completely unblockable. Thatís some good. It is, however, Shockable, and costs four mana. Even with those drawbacks, this is undoubtedly one of the best limited cards in Invasion. It wonít see much play in constructed, as it costs too much for itís P/T.

Wings of Hope UW
Enchant Creature
Common
Enchanted creature gets +1/+3 and has flying.

Evasion is excellent in Limited. Unfortunately, itís not so hot in constructed. And even with the toughness boost, this card doesnít give much to an offensive force, and it doesnít protect against the two-for-one drawback inherent in creature enchantments. If it costed one more, and gave untargetability, it would be playable.

Yavimaya Barbarian GR
Creature Ė 2/2
Common
Protection from Blue

As I said before, Blue has very few threatening targeted effects. Counterspell is the card to be worried about, and protection doesnít help there. Nonetheless, this remains a 2/2 for 2 mana, with no drawbacks. It is therefore playable in any aggressive deck running green and red. (And there should be plenty of those, burn combined with weenies has been popular since the dawn of time.)

Yavimaya Kavu 2GR
Creature - */*
Uncommon
Yavimaya Kavu has power equal to the number of red creatures in play.
Yavimaya Kavu has toughness equal to the number of green creatures in play.

Keldon Champion wasnít that good. This is worse. Youíre paying the same amount of mana, except in two colors. And it lowers the P/T of Keldon Champion in a lot of cases. Instead of total number of creatures, it only takes R/G ones, and they only affect half of it. It may be playable in a Saproling deck, but since that would only increase its toughness, I seriously doubt it!

--Zadok001, aka Greater Good fanatic
CPA Founder
ďWe have more sprouts than they have hands.Ē

----------David Zadok Stroud
Searching For Jamie Wakefield and/or Aaron Forsythe
ďKeep moving way up high, you see the light, it shines forever. // Sail through the crimson skies, the purest light, the light will set you free.Ē -- You Can Still Be Free, Savage Garden

zad001@hotmail.com

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