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Rare Earths: Casual Invasion
By Russell Sherman
Rare Earths: Casual Invasion

Yes, I am buying a box of Invasion. It is not, as many people think, because I determined Invasion to be the best set coming out recently. Frankly,I'm dissapointed by the lack of mana acceleration and lack of big creatures I see. Invasion is a lot of mediocre cards mixed with some good ones, and you can ban the Recurring Nightmares, but you can't do anything with Security Detail. So then, why did I spend $69.50 on a bunch of cards that I don't deem up to my standard? Simply put, invasion will completely change the casual environment.
Now, I'm not a tournament player, so I couldn't tell you if Invasion will alter the dominating styles or players, but it will change how multiplayer works. It will change which sets I use in designing decks. It will change what I expect to be facing when I go to school. An old deck of mine (type 0 collossus/tinker) that is janky in Masques block will be better now.
But even then, surely Rath speed and elimination, or Urza's mono-powerhouses could stop Invasion, right? Yes. So? This is a different world. I think Invasion, though not containing any game changing cards (Potence, donate, bogardan) Is a game changing SET.
Right before invasion came out, wizards were all agog with comments about how this is the best set for a long time and it will change the way magic is played. In a way, they were right. Invasion is out to make sure my group game never looks so dull again. Invasion is out to make me drop my suicide black deck for my 5c combo deck and my Tri-color beatdown. Invasion is out to shut down the red player in our group who got ahold of 4 lightning bolts and 4 chain lightnings and uses them. No individual cards will be able to hold out, I think, against a combined change in the GAME. Type 1 will not change. Those decks have too much access to too many broken cards.
I've heard reference to two decktypes: Synergy and Beatdown. This is true as much as it was for other sets. I think these are player types. And not black-or-white. And I, admittedly, preferred beatdown. So when I found myself staring at the "djinns" and imagining the REAL ones taking them apart, I realized that invasion was put out to make someone like me change the way I looked at the game.
You remember how WOTC used Pokemon to attract many younger kids to magic? Ever think that Urza and Masques was like that? First came an old, powerhouse set. Then a simple set, where you can still fall back on the power cards if you need to, but those who joined in masques will find themselves trying to collect "old" Saga cards. See?
And now we have a new game here. And make no mistake, for me it is a brand new game. Some players won't need to revamp their methods. Zadok, for instance, always seemed to be able to play in the style Invasion demands. Sakurai (See "The Spark" by David Zadok Stroud) was playing Invasion before Invasion came out! But, alas, poor old players like me, who thrilled to running over people with Hatred or Sneak Attack will find themselves in a midst of cards working together like you've never seen before.
I'm designing a tenative R/G Obliterate deck called 10,000 Maniacs, which I consider to be a transition deck. It departs from my usual thought process, which is either "what's the quickest way to deal 20 damage?" or "What's the quickest way to clear THEIR side of the board?" I'm moving over to the play style Invasion brings, and I think that I won't be alone.

anachronism42@hotmail.com

Read More Articles by Russell Sherman!

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