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INV logo.png
Set symbol
Symbol description
Coalition symbol
Design team
Bill Rose (lead)
Mike Elliott
Mark Rosewater
with contributions from:
Barry Reich
Development team
Henry Stern (lead)
Randy Buehler
Robert Gutschera
William Jockusch
Mark Rosewater
with contributions from:
Brady Dommermuth
Beth Moursund
Art Director
Dana Knutson & Ron Spears
Release date
October 2, 2000
Themes and mechanics
Split cards, Domain, Divvy
Keywords and/or ability words
Set size
350 (110 Common 110 Uncommon 110 Rare 20 Land)
Expansion code
Development codename
Invasion block sets
Invasion Planeshift Apocalypse
Magic: The Gathering chronology
Beatdown Invasion Planeshift

Invasion is the twenty-first Magic expansion and was released in October 2000 as the first set in the Invasion block. [2] [3]

Set details[edit | edit source]

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forces from all five colors banded together to oppose Yawgmoth and the Phyrexians.[4] The designers used parts of the unpublished Spectral Chaos set, that was designed by Barry Reich.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 and Elfhame Palace, which would be used in all subsequent expansions and editions of Magic.

Storyline[edit | edit source]

As the hordes of Phyrexia begin pouring into Dominaria,[5][6] 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,[7] common folk, and powerful artifacts to fight the invasion.

Marketing[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

Several tokens for Invasion cards were offered as Magic Player Rewards.[8]

Mechanics[edit | edit source]

Invasion introduced the following mechanics: [9]

  • 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. [10] [11]

Creature types[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

Invasion has 22 cycles:

Pairs[edit | edit source]

Invasion has two mirrored pairs.

  • Crusading Knight (white) and Marauding Knight (black): 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.
  • Absorb (blue/white) and Undermine (blue/black): Each of these rare counterspells costs UUM and has the additional effect of causing a change in 3 life.

Invasion has four parallel pairs.

  • Crimson Acolyte and 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 and 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.
  • Artifact Mutation and 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).
  • Canopy Surge and 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.
Coalition Victory from Invasion is an example of an alternate-win card.

Reprinted cards[edit | edit source]

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

Functional reprints[edit | edit source]

Invasion has eleven functional reprints:

Misprint[edit | edit source]

  • 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.

Preconstructed decks[edit | edit source]

Invasion has four theme decks.

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

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wizards of the Coast. (2004-08-02.) “Ask Wizards - August, 2004”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater. (August 08, 2005.) “Body Snatchers of the Invasion”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Bill Rose. (August 09, 2005.) “Setting the Standard”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Brady Dommermuth. (October 02, 2006.) “Ask Wizards”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Mike Mikaelian. (April 04, 2011.) “Better Living Through Spinal Replacement”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Magic Arcana. (August 11, 2005.) “Invasion Style Guide: Phyrexian Portal Ships”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Magic Arcana. (August 09, 2005.) “Invasion Style Guide: Gerrard's Troops”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Magic Arcana. (May 27, 2002.) “Player Rewards tokens”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Invasion Frequently Asked Questions
  10. Magic Arcana. (February 14, 2002.) “Kicker - sacrifice land”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Magic Arcana. (March 17, 2003.) “Colorless kicker”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Magic Arcana. (June 11, 2002.) “Name/Change”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Magic Arcana. (June 18, 2002.) “Middle mana”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Magic Arcana. (July 17, 2002.) “Golem filters”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Magic Arcana. (August 01, 2007.) “Five Weavers Weaving”,, Wizards of the Coast.

External links[edit | edit source]