Invasion’s Impact On Type 2, Post-States

In the wake of States, we can give a preliminary estimation of the impact cards from Invasion; while there are undoubtedly still some sleepers waiting to catch on, the top 8 decklistings from States gives us enough data to start on. What will be interesting to see is whether there are Invasion cards that were…

In the wake of States, we can give a preliminary estimation of the impact cards from Invasion; while there are undoubtedly still some sleepers waiting to catch on, the top 8 decklistings from States gives us enough data to start on. What will be interesting to see is whether there are Invasion cards that were largely ignored at States, but will prove to be breakout performers in the hands of the pros at Chicago.

Based on the rough data from States, I’ve compiled a Top 10 list of cards from Invasion to watch for in the new Type 2.

#10-VOID (rare)
A very powerful control card, I think people are still getting a handle on how to best use Void and what deck to put it in. I expect Void to gain in prominence once it finds a solid home, especially since the power cards of the new Type 2 are often the same casting cost (Blastoderm, Armageddon, Parallax Wave, and so on.) As Void gets more popular, an anti-Void strategy might be to build decks with more diverse casting cost spells.

#9-UNDERMINE (and ABSORB) (rare)
The more aggressive new counterspell had an edge in numbers over Absorb, but both of these have proven to be powerful additions to the counterspell arsenal. The main beauty of these cards are that, basically, three mana = spell countered. With the huge number of situational counterspells that have been offered lately, a guaranteed counter is a blessing to control freaks out there. I think the fact that Undermine can actually help you win the game gives it an edge on its blue-white counterpart, which simply helps you not lose.

#8-FIRES OF YAVIMAYA (uncommon)
I’d consider this a sleeper card going into States weekend, but it sure made a big splash! Stepping up aggressive creature strategies by a full turn, it made the already-good Blastoderms and Saproling Bursts even better. Probably the one thing that kept this enchantment from being even more dominant is the fact that, with so many fantastic enchantments in the new Type 2, there’s plenty of maindeck enchantment kill being played.

#7-SKIZZIK (rare)
Who needs Fires of Yavimaya for Haste? Skizzik’s got it naturally, and adding trample to the mix makes this card an aggressive powerhouse. If you made the mistake of thinking this card was overrated as the next Ball Lightning, think again – I’ll go out on a limb and say this card is *better* than Ball Lightning. The sheer fact that you can cheaply kick it to stick around, and the magic Shock-proof three toughness add up to a fantastic beatdown creature.

#6-RECOIL (common)
Blue/black has finally been given a way to handle problematic enchantments and artifacts (or just about any permanent) without losing card advantage to it. Backed with hand destruction, Recoil becomes an instant-speed Desert Twister. If you liked Boomerang, you’ve got to go gaga over Recoil. Expect to see Recoil in any B/U control deck.

#5-THE NEW DUAL LANDS (uncommon)
The new dual lands have made a big splash, and have really helped fuel the resurgence of multicolored decks. I think they made a huge showing at States simply because everyone threw four of the appropriate ones in any deck, but that’s going to change as people get used to their impact on deck design. The”coming into play tapped” cost is a heavy one to pay for some decks, so don’t just automatically assume you need four to eight in every deck you play. Still, the environment is slow enough to minimize that drawback in most cases, and I expect these to be in most top Type 2 decks for the near future.

#4-SCORCHING LAVA (common)
Another sleeper going into States, Scorching Lava has proven to be solid, flexible, and cheap removal. From burning off early Birds and Elves to permanently ridding yourself of troublesome River Boas, Nether Spirits and Pyre Zombies, expect to see a lot of this card.

#3-KAVU CHAMELEON (uncommon)
He’s big, he generally laughs at black removal, and he can’t be countered. All these really good qualities bundled up in relatively cheap casting cost made this creature too good a bargain to pass up. While some unbelievers relegated the Chameleon to their sideboard, enough people played him to success maindeck to change quite a few minds (myself included).

#2-FACT OR FICTION (uncommon)
Coming into States there was a lot of controversy over this card. Was it broken? Was it overhyped? The top 8 success of decks including Fact or Fiction clearly prove this card is really good, but probably not TOO good. I personally did not lose a game to anyone playing Fact or Fiction at States, though I attribute that more to actually playing Fact or Fiction a lot myself, so I felt confident playing against it. Being able to see a lot of your opponent’s cards is a bigger disadvantage than people thought at first blush, so throwing this card in any deck that can splash blue is probably not an automatic.

And the number one card from Invasion for Type 2 is…

#1-URZA’S RAGE (rare)
This card lived up to its hype, and probably exceeded the expectations of those playing it. Going into States, everyone knew that three points of uncounterable damage were good. Everyone also chuckled at the kicker cost-who would ever pay it? But then a funny thing happened… against any non-‘geddon deck, getting twelve mana on the board during the course of the game was not only possible, but likely! Type 2 has slowed down enough to make a kickered Rage a huge threat. I expect Misdirection’s stock has risen since States…

So after digesting these facts, what does Invasion bring to the table? Aggression! The surprise hit of the weekend were the successful R/G decks, many sporting Fires of Yavimaya along with the bevy of good red burn. An update of the cheap beats + removal formula in the spirit of Erhnam-Burn’em decks, the deck was able to pack a powerful punch to the unprepared. It’s not surprising that, in an unknown metagame, people went for aggressive strategies to carry the day; Invasion offered many cards easily seen as ideal for that strategy. The top 10 cards are rife with them.

If we look past the top 10 Invasion cards in the top deck, we can see another trend the new set brings us – really good utility cards. The new spins on Disenchants, from the obvious Dismantling Blow to the nicely aggressive Mutations, offer deckbuilders some fantastic options for enchantment and artifact removal. Wax/Wane, Lobotomy, Opt, Cremate – all are solid utility cards to round out decks and sideboards. And the nice thing is that most of Invasion’s utility can be found in the common and uncommon runs. In fact, looking at the top 10 list, it’s refreshing to see cards spread out over all the commonalties.

Those of you who compared Invasion to Homelands really missed the boat – Invasion is proving to be a fantastic set, and I have to give Wizards a big hand for finally giving us a Type 2 environment worth playing and enjoying again after so long. Bravo!!