I thought I would give an early list of the more powerful cards for the limited environment in Invasion. I will focus more on commons, uncommons since rares are usually more obvious and decisions involving them will come up less often. I will focus more on white/blue/green cards as my sneak preview weekend deck used those colours. Any commentary on my choices or cards you feel are worthy additions can be thrown on. Anyway, here we go in no particular order:
Armadillo Cloak: Who hasnt mentioned this! Against anything that cant remove it or it's creature, this card is sick, sick ,sick. It wins games by itself. This is because it is backed up by my next pick:
Knights/Barbarians: A protection creature with an armadillo cloak is usually game unless your opponent has two colours of removal available. The 2cc gold knights and barbarians swing many games, and unfortunately (as I see it) really speed up the environment, as it becomes similar to the old shadow vs non-shadow races. That being said they are balanced, but effective, and at least every colour gets an equal piece of the pie.
Wash Out: I had this in my deck, and it was a bomb. When I got it, I often won (or at least won more). Maybe side it out vs same colours, but this can solve soo many problems. Every game I lost I dided thinking 'if I just had my wash out, I'd win'.
The Djins: Creatures this fat can be ignored, even at the 6cc level. I spoke to a lot of people who said that the green one was the best, but I think the blue one is key (maybe less so at highly combetitive levels where blue is more popular). But in invasion , you can be pretty sure that green has an excellent chance of being the most common colour, so this guy is a 4/4. Meanwhile, my blue djinn was a 5/6 flyer throughout, and at uncommon, thats just disgusting.
Harrow: I usually either got a decent mana draw or didnt get this, but even when you have the right mana this card is solid acceleration. It's well known, so I'll leave it at that.
Apprentices: The master decoys can lead to very tactical play, and every apprentice ability can alter the shape of the game. Excellent 1 drop.
I will add some others to the list later on, as I need to doublecheck names on red/black cards. This is by no means a comprehensive summary, but a discussion starter. Looks like an interesting, hard to think out environment though.
Let's have these discussions broken down into more manageable one-card-or-set-per-thread chunks, shall we? :)
I think one part of your discussion should deal with the blue common manipulation readily available (Probe, Opt, Worldly Counsel) and how to use it.
Your the boss.
Anyway, I have not yet played with wordly counsel or probe yet, but I can say that opt is definely solid. Playing 3 colour, it doubles in value (as do most search cards. I would also like to suggest that green may (note the word may) be the strongest overall limited colour, only because it brings all of the others together. Comments are welcome on this. I think blue may be the best splash, as it's depth isnt terrific but it has some great creatures, and the search cards help considerably.
With regards to rakso suggestion , however, I think that one should be careful about the amount of manipulation included. Unless your mana distribution is a stretch, I believe that tier 1/2 threats and removal should be a priority over the blue manipulation cards. 1-3 of these in a deck can be quite good, but they will not win you a game. A search card is only as good as the cards that it gets you.
Yeah, but with the tendency towards 3-color decks, I figure blue manipulation is roughly as important as green consistency measures like Harrow and Nomadic Elf.
Good point. I believe that the green cards are more effective in straightening out mana, however. And they also incorporate mana acceleration. If you draw first and harrow on thrid turn, then your the first to 4 mana, creating a pseudo 'played first' effect,as well as giving you card advantage. Blue can give you a card advantage but doesnt give the same time advantage. But I think that green also demands a heavier commitment, as there are still alot of double green spells and there are several green cards you will want to play. Thats why I think blue is by far the best 3-5 card splash. A couple search, a breaking spell or trick, and a couple flyers (especially djinn or faerie squadron) are easy to integrate and bring a lot to the table.
I always try to go for good creatures and removal first, but have found that blue manipualtion is invaluable. I won a draft at the pre-realease where I had only so-so removal, but I had great manipualtion (3 Opts, 3 Worldy Counsels, 1 probe). I would usually take an early hit, then equalize and drop a bomb (Treva, or 1 of the Djinns).