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Limited Casualties 3 - Invasion
By Alex Makhovykh
Invasion. It is here. I got the spoiler about 5 minutes after it was posted on the website, but it took me damn long to get to write this article. But man, I love Invasion! Multi-colored cards are back, but Kicker is just awesome, new Duals rule- and they are uncommon, and there are wicked cards like Kavu Titan, Fact or Fiction, and Atalya, Samite Healer. From what I heard there are also split cards- a card with two cards on it either of which can be used. I think I have found my perfect set. Soon after Invasion comes out, my group is starting a league- as many people as possible- so I will tell you a lot about that in future articles. What league is, weíre basically going to draft 3 boosters of Invasion, like usual, but keep on drafting packs later- maybe a pack per week or something. Then, obviously, playing with the decks that we make. That should be a lot of fun.

Oh yeah, and an apology for making this article so late- I started writing it in September. Homewrok, and a lot of other stuff contributed to how late it is. Forgive my lateness.

In this article Iíll go over the cards that Iíd pick in a draft for each color. Since in a base set like Invasion, certain rares only come once in a while, I wont mention them in top picks, but I will mention what rares you should take if you getíem in my next article.

White:

#5
Ruham Djinn, 5W, Creature - Djinn 5/5, Uncommon
First strike Ruham Djinn gets -2/-2 as long as white is the most common color among permanents or is tied for most common.

Djinns are one thing that I always try to splash in when drafting Invasion. This oneís actually really good, because it usually stands at 5/5 with first strike. Thatís nothing to sneeze at. Your opponent whoís facing this better have some removal, or heíll face the consequences.

#4
Dismantling Blow, 2W, Instant, Common
Kicker 2U (You may pay an additional 2U as you play this spell.) Destroy target artifact or enchantment. If you paid the kicker cost, draw two cards.

Since Disenchant isnít in the set, this works nicely. The kicker is good too- card drawing is important , especially in a blue/white deck. Good card.

#3
Benalish Lancer, 2W, Creature - Knight 2/2, Common
Kicker 2W (You may pay an additional 2W as you play this spell.) If you paid the kicker cost, Benalish Lancer comes into play with two +1/+1 counters on it and has first strike

Really decent creature. Either an OK priced creature if you need it really early on, or a big-hard-to-kill creature if you pay its kicker. Always try to pay its kicker. A 4/4 first strikers for 6 mana donít usually come as commons in drafts. If you see it, take it.

#2
Angel of Mercy, 4W, Creature - Angel 3/3, Uncommon
Flying When Angel of Mercy comes into play, you gain 3 life.

This I like. A 3/3 flier that nets you 3 life for a cost of five mana is nice. Good creature for either attacking or blocking, and splashable too. Very nice. If you can, get him, because he will help you a lot.

#1
Benalish Heralds, 3W, Creature - Soldier 2/4, Uncommon
3U, T: Draw a card.

The #1 white card is this uncommon soldier. A great defensive creature that will definitely slow down your opponent, or will hit him for 2 each turn is nice. Its toughness is great, and his card drawing ability makes it great. You can use the ability at the end of opponentís turn, and gain serious card advantage. Benalish Heralds are sort of like a chump blocker and an extra card each turn in one. A little situational, since you have to draft blue/white if you get it, but that shouldnít be much of a hassle, especially with all the mana producers in Invasion.

Honorable Mention:
Benalish Trapper, 1W, Creature - Soldier 1/2, Common
W, T: Tap target creature.

Most people underestimate how important creature control is in draft. Well this soldier can lock down any one creature for just one mana per turn. Anything. Whether its a Dragon Legend, or another fatty that is troubling you, Benalish Trapper locks it down. Only protection from white or untargetable creatures are safe from this. And its a 1/2 for 1W.

Blue:

#5
Tidal Visionary, U, Creature - Wizard 1/1, Common
T: Target creature becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.

This little guy is just full of tricks. He can turn black creatures into non-black, or non-black into black for purposes of removal. He works well with weavers. He can tip the number of permanents of a color the way you want to for your djinn. Overall, heís great in invasion, and still stands as a 1/1 for one blue mana.

#4
Stormscape Apprentice, U, Creature - Wizard 1/1, Common
W, T: Tap target creature. B, T: Target player loses 1 life.

My favorite apprentice. This one can either keep a creature down, or slowly drain your opponent. A little fragile at 1/1, but still a very decent, if not great, card.

#3
Wash Out, 3U, Sorcery, Uncommon
Return all permanents of the color of your choice to their owners' hands.

This card proves to be a game winner a lot of times, especially if your opponent is playing a deck that is different from yours. Its not an instant, but it will usually give you the edge you need to win. Even if it doesnít win you the game, it will tremendously slow down your opponent.

#2
Exclude, 2U, Instant, Common
Counter target creature spell. Draw a card.

This gives you a great advantage. Not only is it very splashable, it also doesnít really cost you a card, and gets rid of any creature that your opponent is trying to cast. This card works very well in limited.

#1
Fact or Fiction, 3U, Instant, Uncommon
Reveal the top five cards of your library. An opponent separates those cards into two face-up piles. Put one pile into your hand and the other into your graveyard.

Card drawing is important in limited, and this card guarantees you at least 3 decent cards for 4 mana as an instant. Usually, your opponent canít get a good deal out of this, and it will always get you at least one card that you need.

Honorable Mentions:
Traveler's Cloak, 2U, Enchant Creature, Common
As Traveler's Cloak comes into play, choose a land type. Enchanted creature has landwalk of the chosen type. (It's unblockable as long as defending player controls a land of that type.) When Traveler's Cloak comes into play, draw a card.

This card makes one of your critters unblockable, and it doesnít even cost you a card! This is a very good card in limited, because it replaces itself and has a very nice effect on one of your creatures.

Green:

#5
Sulam Djinn, 5G, Creature - Djinn 6/6, Uncommon
Trample Sulam Djinn gets -2/-2 as long as green is the most common color among permanents or is tied for most common.

If this is a 6/6 it is huge. If it is 4/4 it is just big. Even at 6 mana, a 4/4 splashable trampler is nothing to sneeze at.

#4
Quirion Elves, 1G, Creature - Elf 1/1, Common
As Quirion Elves comes into play, choose a color. T: Add G to your mana pool. T: Add one mana of the chosen color to your mana pool.

This is a great card to speed up mana production or to splash cards in for. Not much else to say except that it will really allow you to use all those cards that you wanted to splash but couldnít.

#3
Kavu Chameleon, 3GG, Creature - Kavu 4/4, Uncommon
Kavu Chameleon can't be countered. G: Kavu Chameleon becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.

Now thatís a beat stick! There arenít many cards that can take this out. Even though it requires 2 green mana to cast it, it negates that drawback with its abilities. It canít be countered. It canít be destroyed by black. It canít be burned since its a 4/4. Very possibly a first pick.

#2
Nomadic Elf, 1G, Creature - Elf 2/2, Common
1G: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.

This card is rated so high not only because it allows you to splash cards in your deck, but it is also a good version of Grizzly Bears. It beats down early and produces different colored mana. And its common.

#1
Harrow, 2G, Instant, Common
As an additional cost to play Harrow, sacrifice a land. Search your library for up to two basic land cards and put them into play. Then shuffle your library.

This is a #1 green card for a lot of reasons. Opponents land destruction is no more. You can splash cards of any color. It thins out your deck. Need I say more?

Honorable Mention;
Treefolk Healer, 4G, Creature - Treefolk 2/3, Uncommon
2W, T: Prevent the next 2 damage that would be dealt to target creature or player this turn.

This is kind of like a Sanctum Custodian from Urzaís Saga. It is a bit beefed up, but its ability has an activation cost. It saves your creatures in combat, defends against any creature with power of 4 or less, and prevents direct damage spells from resolving. A very nice card.

Black:

#5
Plague Spitter, 2B, Creature - Horror 2/2, Uncommon
At the beginning of your upkeep, Plague Spitter deals 1 damage to each creature and each player. When Plague Spitter is put into a graveyard from play, Plague Spitter deals 1 damage to each creature and each player.

This is a mini wumpus with no activation cost. I like this a lot, It gets rid of birds, elves, apprentices and almost anything else. It also has a big effect on combat. A really good card, considering the fact that invasion environment is filled with small creatures.

#4
Soul Burn, X2B, Sorcery, Common
Spend only black and/or red mana on X. Soul Burn deals X damage to target creature or player. You gain life equal to the damage dealt, but not more than the amount of B spent on X, the player's life total before Soul Burn dealt damage, or the creature's toughness.

This is one of the better reprints. Along with a Bog Initiate you can quickly finish the game. If not, it will surely buy you some time and/or get rid of an annoying creature.

#3
Reckless Spite, 1BB, Instant, Uncommon
Destroy two target nonblack creatures. You lose 5 life.

Also a reprint, this can take out 2 creatures for 3 mana as an instant. That gives you a 2 for 1 advantage, and often, during combat, even more. One of the best removal spells in Invasion.

#2
Goham Djinn, 5B, Creature - Djinn 5/5, Uncommon
1B: Regenerate Goham Djinn. Goham Djinn gets -2/-2 as long as black is the most common color among permanents or is tied for most common.

Since you splash this. . . Well, letís just say that a 5/5 regenerator is worth putting into any deck. A huge, unkillable creature, that can either stand back or attack for 5 each. . .Often a first pick.

#1 Annihilate
Annihilate, 3BB, Instant, Uncommon
Destroy target nonblack creature. It can't be regenerated. Draw a card.

This is a lot like exclude, in that it gets rid of a creature and replaces itself. A double B in the casting cost isnít always so good, but a card like this is just too good to pass up. Play with it if you can.

Honorable Mention:
Agonizing Demise, 3B, Instant, Common
Kicker 1R (You may pay an additional 1R as you play this spell.) Destroy target nonblack creature. It can't be regenerated. If you paid the kicker cost, Agonizing Demise deals damage equal to that creature's power to the creature's controller.

This works as both creature removal and direct damage. Really good if you can pull the kicker off, especially on something big. Otherwise, still a decent removal card, that is always welcome.

Red:

#5
Zap, 2R, Instant, Common
Zap deals 1 damage to target creature or player. Draw a card.

A decent removal card that can take put anything with a toughness of one, and there are a lot of those cards in Invasion- apprentices, elves, etc. It also nets you a card after it resolves, which is very important.

#4
Thunderscape Apprentice, R, Creature - Wizard 1/1, Common
B, T: Target player loses 1 life. G, T: Target creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn.

A really neat weenie that will either mess with combat or drain your opponent. Very useful, especially since the life drain canít be prevented.

#3
Scorching Lava, 1R, Instant, Common
Kicker R (You may pay an additional R as you play this spell.) Scorching Lava deals 2 damage to target creature or player. If you paid the kicker cost, that creature can't be regenerated this turn and if it would be put into a graveyard this turn, remove it from the game instead.

This is one of the best removal spells that red has in this set. It reminds me of Incinerate, and with so many low toughness critters in Invasion it will often become very useful. Kicker insures that you wonít see the threat again.

#2
Halam Djinn, 5R, Creature - Djinn 6/5, Uncommon
Haste (This creature may attack and T the turn it comes under your control.) Halam Djinn gets -2/-2 as long as red is the most common color among permanents or is tied for most common.

This is a big red meanie. Very splashable, and hits harder than most. Your opponent better have some defense ready. Surprise factor is also very valuable, and it is very large indeed at 6/5.

#1
Breath of Darigaaz, 1R, Sorcery, Uncommon
Kicker 2 (You may pay an additional 2 as you play this spell.) Breath of Darigaaz deals 1 damage to each creature without flying and each player. If you paid the kicker cost, Breath of Darigaaz deals 4 damage to each creature without flying and each player instead.

This is probably the best mass removal spell in all of the Invasion, not counting whiteís Rout. Either you have it deal one damage to all the non-flying critters, to get rid of elves and such, or you choose it to deal 4 damage to those critters, this time around working a lot like a Wrath of God.

Honorable Mention;
Tribal Flames, 1R, Instant, Common
Tribal Flames deals X damage to target creature or player, where X is the number of basic land types among lands you control.

This card will prove as a very useful form of removal. Even though it is a sorcery, you must consider the significant impact that it will have- up to 5 damage for 2 mana. It is a common so its easy to get. Consider it if youíre making a 3 or more colored deck.


Well, I hope that youíve learned something from this article, and sorry if I this article was too long. Promise to keep it shorter next time. : ) Also, I love e-mail, so please send any feedback to superguy98@hotmail.com

In the next article I will identify the useful gold cards and rares. Also, before I forget, Netdraft patch for Invasion is out, so get it at: http://www.e-league.org/patch.shtml

Alex Makhovykh
superguy98@hotmail.com
"Hatred outlives the hateful."
Alex, Emperor of Squirrels

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