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Set Information
Set symbol
Symbol description Coalition symbol
Design Bill Rose (lead)
Mike Elliott
Mark Rosewater
with contributions from:
Barry Reich[1]
Development Henry Stern (lead)
Randy Buehler
Robert Gutschera
William Jockusch
Mark Rosewater
with contributions from:
Brady Dommermuth
Beth Moursund
Art direction Dana Knutson & Ron Spears
Release date October 2, 2000
Plane Dominaria
Themes and mechanics Split cards, Domain, Divvy
Keywords/​ability words Kicker
Set size 350 cards
(110 commons, 110 uncommons, 110 rares, 20 basic lands)
Expansion code INV (formerly IN)[2]
Development codename Beijing
Invasion block
Invasion Planeshift Apocalypse
Magic: The Gathering Chronology
Beatdown Invasion Planeshift
For other uses, see Invasion (disambiguation).

Invasion is the twenty-first Magic expansion and was released in October 2000 as the first set in the Invasion block.[3][4]

Set details[ | ]

Invasion contains 350 black-bordered cards (110 rare, 110 uncommon, 110 common, and 20 basic lands). Invasion's expansion symbol is the symbol of the coalition, a cooperative effort of Dominarian forces from all five colors banded together to oppose Yawgmoth and the Phyrexians.[5] The designers used parts of the unpublished Spectral Chaos set, that was designed by Barry Reich. The set introduced split cards and saw the return of multicolored "gold" cards, absent since the Stronghold expansion. In fact, its major themes revolved around multicolor decks and strategies. The popularity and appeal of gold cards along with high but balanced power level culminated into making Invasion one of the most popular Magic sets in the game's history. The set featured some legendary cards of the Weatherlight's crew: Captain Sisay and Hanna, Ship's Navigator. It also introduced the kavu. The set was accompanied by the novel of the same name.

In keeping with the focus on multicolored cards, Invasion also introduced the gradient dual-colored land text boxes for lands producing mana of two different colors, such as Coastal Tower (Invasion) and Elfhame Palace (Invasion), which would be used in all subsequent expansions and editions of Magic.

Storyline[ | ]

Main article: Invasion (novel)

As the hordes of Phyrexia begin pouring into Dominaria,[6][7] the world looks to Urza, planeswalker and master artificer, for defense against the onslaught. As entire cultures fall under the Phyrexian hell, Urza gathers heroes, renegades,[8] common folk, and powerful artifacts to fight the invasion.

Marketing[ | ]

Invasion was sold in 75-card tournament decks, 15-card boosters, four preconstructed theme decks and a fat pack. The booster packs featured artwork from Captain Sisay, Dromar, the Banisher and Kavu Titan. At Invasion prerelease events on September 23, 2000, a foil Kavu Furens was handed out as a novelty. This was a Raging Kavu printed with Latin text. The set was accompanied by the novel of the same name.

Tokens[ | ]

Several tokens for Invasion cards were offered as Magic Player Reward.[9]

Mechanics[ | ]

Invasion introduced the following mechanics:[10]

  • Domain — cards which increase in power depending on the number of different basic lands you have in play.
  • DivvyPhyrexian Portal from Alliances was the inspiration for this mechanic which a player separates a number of cards into two piles and the other player chooses what to do with them.
  • Kicker — pay an extra cost for a bonus effect. Invasion's five-colored Coalition Symbol, or at least part of it, is buried in the art of most cards with the kicker ability.[11][12]
  • Split cards — cards with two sides, each with different costs and effects respectively, effectively serving as modal spells.

Creature types[ | ]

The following creature types are introduced in this expansion: Kavu, Plant.

The following creature types are used in this expansion but also appear in previous sets: Angel, Assassin, Barbarian, Bird, Cat, Cleric, Crab, Djinn, Dragon, Drake, Dryad, Elemental, Elephant, Elf, Faerie, Giant, Goblin, Golem, Guardian (later changed to Soldier), Griffin, Horror, Knight, Leech, Lord (later changed to Elf), Merfolk, Minion, Mongoose, Rat, Serpent, Shade, Ship (later changed to Metathran), Skeleton, Soldier, Specter, Spider, Treefolk, Troll, Unicorn, Wall, Wizard, Wurm, Zombie.

Cycles[ | ]

Invasion has 25 cycles:

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Djinn Ruham Djinn Zanam Djinn Goham Djinn Halam Djinn Sulam Djinn
Each of these uncommon djinn get weaker if their color is the most common or tied for the most common color among all permanents.
Leeches Alabaster Leech Sapphire Leech Andradite Leech Ruby Leech Jade Leech
Each of these rare leech is aggressively costed but with the drawback that all colored spells of its color that you play cost an additional mana of that color.
Forward-Allied-color activated ability creatures Glimmering Angel Metathran Zombie Firescreamer Viashino Grappler Llanowar Cavalry
Each of these common creatures has an activated ability that requires a colored-mana from the next color in the color wheel ({W} requires {U}, {U} requires {B}, etc.).
Backward-Allied-color activated ability creatures Rampant Elephant Tower Drake Urborg Phantom Hooded Kavu Serpentine Kavu
Each of these common creatures has an activated ability that requires a colored-mana from the previous color in the color wheel ({W} requires {G}, {U} requires {W}, etc.).
Allied-color plus Tapping activated ability creatures Benalish Heralds Vodalian Hypnotist Trench Wurm Firebrand Ranger Treefolk Healer
Each of these uncommon creatures has an activated ability that requires a colored-mana from the next color in the color wheel ({W} requires {U}, {U} requires {B}, etc.) plus {T}.
Colorless-Kicked Creatures Ardent Soldier Vodalian Serpent Urborg Skeleton Kavu Aggressor Pincer Spider
or Llanowar Elite
Each of these common creatures had one ability plus it could come into play with extra +1/+1 counters if you paid its colorless kicker cost.
Same-Color-Kicked Creatures Benalish Lancer
or Prison Barricade
Faerie Squadron Duskwalker Pouncing Kavu Kavu Titan
Each of these common creatures could come into play with extra +1/+1 counters plus a color-appropriate ability if you paid its same-color kicker cost. Green stands out by having its creature be rare.
Emissaries Benalish Emissary
Tolarian Emissary
Urborg Emissary
Shivan Emissary
Verduran Emissary
Representing one of Dominaria's signature locations, each of these uncommon human wizards has a converted mana cost of {3} and an allied-color kicker cost that provides an enter-the-battlefield ability that either destroys one of an opponent's permanents or returns it to its owner's hand. The kicker costs go backward in the color wheel ({W} gets a {G} kicker cost, {U} gets a {W} kicker cost, etc.).
Domain Spells Strength of Unity Worldly Counsel Exotic Curse Tribal Flames Wandering Stream
Each of these common spells has the Domain ability, making them scale in effectiveness with the number of different basic land types the player controls.
Auras with Self-Bounce Shackles Shimmering Wings Mourning Crown of Flames Whip Silk
Each of these common enchant creatures includes the following activated ability: "M: Return [cardname] to its owner's hand".
Kicked Spells Orim's Touch Prohibit Hypnotic Cloud Overload Explosive Growth
Each of these common spells (instants or sorceries) did something traditionally associated with its color and did more of it if you paid its colorless kicker cost.
Allied kicker costs Spells Dismantling Blow Probe Agonizing Demise Savage Offensive Vigorous Charge
Each of these common spells (either instants or sorceries) had a kicker cost requiring a colored-mana from the next color in the color wheel ({W} requires {U}, {U} requires {B}, etc.).
Instant sorceries Rout Breaking Wave Twilight's Call Ghitu Fire Saproling Symbiosis
Each of these rare sorceries could be played any time you could play an instant for an extra cost of {2}.
Cycle name {W}{U} {U}{B} {B}{R} {R}{G} {G}{W}
Allied-color two-mana 2/2 creatures Galina's Knight
Vodalian Zombie
Shivan Zombie
Yavimaya Barbarian
Llanowar Knight
Each of these 2/2 common multicolored creatures has a mana cost comprised of two allied colors, a converted mana cost {2} and protection from their enemy color. Each shares one creature type with two other cards in the cycle based on its colors. This cycles forms a ten-cards mega-cycle with the corresponding enemy-color two drop cycle from Apocalypse. This cycle is sometimes nicknamed the "Invasion bears" after Grizzly Bears, the archetypal 2/2 2-drop.
Allied-color gold Spells Wings of Hope Recoil Plague Spores Frenzied Tilling Armadillo Cloak
Each of these common spell has a mana cost with two allied colors of mana.
Allied-color gold Enchantments Angelic Shield Seer's Vision Smoldering Tar Fires of Yavimaya Sterling Grove
Each of these uncommon enchantments has a static or triggered ability and an activated sacrifice effect.
Allied-color Split cards Stand // Deliver Spite // Malice Pain // Suffering Assault // Battery Wax // Wane
Each of these split cards is made up of two spells, each of which is an allied color to the other.
Cameos Seashell Cameo Drake-Skull Cameo Bloodstone Cameo Troll-Horn Cameo Tigereye Cameo
Each of these uncommon artifacts costs {3} and can be tapped for one mana of any two allied colors.
Taplands Coastal Tower Salt Marsh Urborg Volcano Shivan Oasis Elfhame Palace
Each of these dual lands comes into play tapped and can be tapped for one mana of any two allied colors.
Cycle name {G}{W}{U} {W}{U}{B} {U}{B}{R} {B}{R}{G} {R}{G}{W}
Apprentices Sunscape Apprentice Stormscape Apprentice Nightscape Apprentice Thunderscape Apprentice Thornscape Apprentice
Each of these common 1/1 wizards has two minor activated abilities with allied-color costs. This cycles forms a ten-cards mega-cycle with the Disciples from Apocalypse.
Masters Sunscape Master Stormscape Master Nightscape Master Thunderscape Master Thornscape Master
Each of these rare 2/2 wizards has two powerful activated abilities with allied-color costs.
Weavers Spirit Weaver Sky Weaver Hate Weaver Rage Weaver Might Weaver
Each of these uncommon 2/1 wizards has an activated ability that cost {2} and can only target creatures of its allied colors to give them a bonus. This cycle was reprinted in Tenth Edition.[13]
Attendants Treva's Attendant Dromar's Attendant Crosis's Attendant Darigaaz's Attendant Rith's Attendant
Each of these uncommon 3/3 Golem artifact creatures costs {5} and has "{1}, Sacrifice this creature: Add MNO", where M, N, and O are mana of colors that help to cast one of the legendary dragons.
Legendary Dragons Treva, the Renewer Dromar, the Banisher Crosis, the Purger Darigaaz, the Igniter Rith, the Awakener
Each of these rare 6/6 legendary dragons has converted mana cost {6} that include 3 allied colors, flying, and a triggered ability with a cost of {2}M (M being the middle color of the casting cost) that triggers on dealing combat damage to a player. These are the primeval dragons of the Invasion storyline (introduced in Planeshift (novel)).
Sac lands Irrigation Ditch Ancient Spring Sulfur Vent Geothermal Crevice Tinder Farm
Each of these common triple lands comes into play tapped, can be tapped for one mana of a given color, or tapped and sacrificed for one of each of that color's allied colors.

Mega Vertical cycles[ | ]

Cycle name
Sunscape Wizards Sunscape Apprentice Sunscape Battlemage Sunscape Master
White Wizards with two allied-color costs abilities.
Stormscape Wizards Stormscape Apprentice Stormscape Battlemage Stormscape Master
Blue Wizards with two allied-color costs abilities.
Nightscape Wizards Nightscape Apprentice Nightscape Battlemage Nightscape Master
Black Wizards with two allied-color costs abilities.
Thunderscape Wizards Thunderscape Apprentice Thunderscape Battlemage Thunderscape Master
Red Wizards with two allied-color costs abilities.
Thornscape Wizards Thornscape Apprentice Thornscape Battlemage Thornscape Master
Green Wizards with two allied-color costs abilities.

Mega-mega cycles[ | ]

Cycle name {W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Legendary lands Kor Haven (Nemesis) Teferi's Isle (Mirage) Volrath's Stronghold (Stronghold) Keldon Necropolis (Invasion) Yavimaya Hollow (Urza's Destiny)
Keldon Necropolis is the final card in this mega-mega cycle of lands representing notable locations from the Weatherlight Saga storyline.

Pairs[ | ]

Invasion has four mirrored pairs and two matched pairs.

Mirrored Pairs[ | ]

Mirrored Pairs Description
Crusading Knight
Marauding Knight
Each of these rare 2/2 knight creatures costs {2}MM, has protection from the other's color, and gets +1/+1 for each land of a certain type (Swamps or Plains respectively) your opponents control.
Canopy Surge
Breath of Darigaaz
These two mana sorceries deal 1 damage to each creature (either with or without flying) and player, or 4 damage if the kicker cost of {2} was paid.
Each of these rare counterspells costs UUM and has the additional effect of causing a change in 3 life.
Artifact Mutation
Aura Mutation
Each of these rare instants sharing a {G} cost destroy an artifact or enchantment (respectively) and then put X Saproling tokens into play equal to the converted mana cost of the destroyed artifact or enchantment. Their flavor texts are by the two maro-sorcerers (Molimo and Multani).

Matched Pairs[ | ]

Matched Pairs Description
Crimson Acolyte
Obsidian Acolyte
Each of these common 1/1 Cleric creatures costs {1}{W}, has protection from one of white's enemy colors (Red or Black, respectively), and has an activated ability for {W} that allows it to grant any target creature protection from the same enemy color. Even the flavor text is parallel.
Phyrexian Slayer
Phyrexian Reaper
Each of these common black creatures has an ability that says whenever this creature is blocked by a creature of one of black's enemy colors (White or Green, respectively), that creature is destroyed and can't be regenerated.
INV Coalition Victory

Coalition Victory from Invasion is an example of an alternate-win card.

Reprinted cards[ | ]

The following 20 cards have been reprinted from previous sets and included in Invasion.

Functional reprints[ | ]

Invasion has eleven functional reprints:

Misprint[ | ]

  • The prerelease version of Raging Kavu shows a copyright line of 1993–1999, and is the only Invasion card to have these dates; Invasion was released in late 2000.

Notable cards[ | ]

Preconstructed decks[ | ]

Invasion has four theme decks.

deck name
Colors Included
{W} {U} {B} {R} {G}
Dismissal U B
Blowout B R
Heavy Duty W G
Spectrum W U B R G

References[ | ]

  1. Mark Rosewater (December 8, 2003). "Red Letter Day". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Wizards of the Coast (August 02, 2004). "Ask Wizards - August, 2004". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater (August 08, 2005). "Body Snatchers of the Invasion". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Bill Rose (August 09, 2005). "Setting the Standard". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Brady Dommermuth (October 02, 2006). "Ask Wizards". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Mike Mikaelian (April 04, 2011). "Better Living Through Spinal Replacement". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Magic Arcana (August 11, 2005). "Invasion Style Guide: Phyrexian Portal Ships". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Magic Arcana (August 09, 2005). "Invasion Style Guide: Gerrard's Troops". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Magic Arcana (May 27, 2002). "Player Rewards tokens". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Invasion Frequently Asked Questions
  11. Magic Arcana (February 14, 2002). "Kicker - sacrifice land". Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Magic Arcana (March 17, 2003). "Colorless kicker". Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Magic Arcana (August 01, 2007). "Five Weavers Weaving". Wizards of the Coast.

External links[ | ]