Invasion Earth: Looking Beyond the Hype

cvhRecently, there was a post on the Kaijudo Dojo Facebook group that caught my eye.  Someone asked what everyone's picks were for the most overhyped and underhyped cards in Invasion Earth.  This is a fun subject to talk about because as we look back in Kaijudo's history, every set has had its share of under-appreciated cards that went on to dominate for months as well as cards that everyone thought would dominate that wound up being just a little lackluster.  In this article, I've assembled a short list of cards I feel have been slightly over-hyped, as well as a few that deserve more recognition.

Overrated Card #3: Veil Slip

While no one has said this card is the best card in the set, it's received a good amount of attention.  A lot of this has to do with the recent retirement of [ccProd]Bottle of Wishes[/ccProd], which I discussed in my last article.  While there are some similarities as they're both level five Water Shield Blasts, Bottle was infinitely better.  [ccProd]Veil Slip[/ccProd] really only functions when it can interact with very specific creatures.  Admittedly, a lot of the combos are pretty neat; Shield Blast Veil Slipping in a [ccProd]Lyra, the Blazing Sun[/ccProd] to tap an enemy creature and maybe get a draw off an on-board [ccProd]Nix[/ccProd] is neat even though you don't get to keep the Lyra in the battle zone, but the inconsistencies of this card have to be addressed.  In a competitive constructed environment,a lot of things just do what this card does better.

Underrated Card #3: Crash and Burn

I haven't seen a lot of talk about this card, and I think the reason for that is the banishing effect on it targets creatures with so little power.  However, with Corrupted creatures having a ton of hype at the moment, [ccProd]Crash and Burn[/ccProd] does a lot to answer them.  It 250px-Crash_and_Burn_(10INV)can take care of almost all of the little guys like [ccProd]Aqua Trickster[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Fallen Keeper[/ccProd] while tapping another creature to potentially kill through attacking.  One of my favorite aspects about this card is that it's level five, meaning it bypasses the effect of [ccProd]Seneschal, Choten's Lieutennant[/ccProd].  Seneschal's ability to protect all the Corrupted creatures from low-level effects is quite possibly the most annoying effect in current Corrupted lists, and having a spell that can banish two creatures even with it on board is very beneficial.  Decks like Dragons could use this card as a supplemental Shield Blast, removal, and a way to tap creatures to attack with [ccProd]Herald of Infernus[/ccProd].

Overrated Card #2: Megaria, the Deceiver

Before I go any further, I want to say that I really like this card.  It can do some crazy things and has a lot of potential in the right deck - I just don't think it's quite as good as the hype surrounding it.  While the potential to get a ridiculous finisher out is cool, it's much harder to cast than [ccProd]Bottle of Wishes[/ccProd] ever was, not being a Shield Blast, so there are few times when you really want to summon a [ccProd]Megaria, the Deceiver[/ccProd] instead of doing something more productive with your turn.  If the metagame shifts to be more focused on the late game, I could see it being used, but all the tempo decks floating around make this card a scary pick.  There are some things I like about it, though; no matter what, it's giving you a card in hand if you hit a Spell, and 7000 power is usually pretty relevant.  This is one of those cards that has potential in the future, but isn't the "new Bottle" people are making it out to be.

Underrated Card #2: Reverberate

This is another one of those meta-dependent cards, but against the right field of decks, the payoff is huge.  [ccProd]King Tritonus[/ccProd] ran the control-dominated Clash meta for a while because of its ability to replenish a player's hand.  The giant power level was nice too, but [ccProd]Reverberate[/ccProd] has the ability to get you a ridiculous amount of options much sooner in the game.  In a control mirror match, drawing five cards with [ccProd]Reverberate[/ccProd] on turn six is a very real possibility, and one your opponent is going to have a hard time coming back from.  What keeps this card balanced is the potential to be dead weight in your hand.  Rush and tempo decks are going to break shields early, and decks like Dragons are also more likely to take that risk if they know you run [ccProd]Reverberate[/ccProd].  When getting beaten down by an army of creatures and [ccProd]General Finbarr[/ccProd] is threatening to put the nail in the coffin, you don't really want to be caught wasting your turn to draw a couple cards, especially since your shields have probably been making own way to your hand.  Of course, those decks are only a part of the metagame.  [ccProd]Reverberate[/ccProd] is far from useless now and could be a major player if control decks dominate things in the future.

Overrated Card #1: Tricky Turnip

This might be a shocking pick, but again, it's not that I think the card is bad (I think it's actually very good); the hype about it was just insane.  [ccProd]Tricky Turnip[/ccProd] has the "hexproof" effect, meaning it can't be the target of your opponent's spells or abilities, like other popular cards such as [ccProd]Keeper of Laws[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Eternal Haven[/ccProd].  Hexproof is often seen as an insane effect, and on the right card in the right set of circumstances, it definitely is.  I think we've all been staring down [ccProd]Eternal Haven[/ccProd] or a battle zone of multiple [ccProd]Keeper of Laws[/ccProd] at one point or another and just felt hopeless.  The turnip is Tricky_Turnip_(10INV)more comparable to [ccProd]King Neptas[/ccProd].  It's not valuable for its huge power or other useful effects, it's simply valuable for being a stable attacker and way to end the game without fearing most Shield Blasts.  Progressions like [ccProd]Tricky Turnip[/ccProd] to [ccProd]Keeper of Laws[/ccProd] to [ccProd]King Neptas[/ccProd] aren't going to ruin the game; not only are they a little optimistic, they easily get out-sped by Rush strategies.  Sure, they do a number to control decks, but [ccProd]Sword Horned[/ccProd] is almost interchangeable to Turnip in that case, and in some situations, [ccProd]Sword Horned[/ccProd] is actually better.

Turnip is still a great card.  I like its interaction with [ccProd]Bad Apple[/ccProd] leading into a turn five [ccProd]General Finbarr[/ccProd] quite a bit.  Providing something consistent to summon that won't die before [ccProd]Keeper of Laws[/ccProd] can come down and retain its own hexproof ability is also very relevant.  I expect this card to rightfully see a lot of play in the right tempo strategies, but the rationale shouldn't be, "It's hexproof, therefore it's broken" - it's simply a very good, solid card.

Underrated Card #1: Vile Malvictus

I still like this card just as much as I did when it was first spoiled, and that's a lot.  6000 power isn't really anything to write home about on a level eight creature, but [ccProd]Vile Malvictus[/ccProd] has a devastating effect in the right matchups.  Control decks, which are really the only decks that want this card, are always looking for new ways to clear boards, and this card does that to the extreme against the vast majority of tempo strategies.  It also functions as a Fire Bird killer against Dragon decks, easily slaying as many of them as your opponent summoned up to that point.  As icing on the cake, power reduction is more relevant than simply stating that it banishes every enemy creature with 3000 power of less because it can take larger creatures down a notch to a more manageable size, allowing something like a tapped [ccProd]The Hive Queen[/ccProd] to be eaten by a [ccProd]Lyra, the Blazing Sun[/ccProd] while banishing the little guys.  With Corrupted decks on the rise, I think this is a top choice for the meta right now.

Like I said, I don't necessarily think the "overrated" cards on this list are bad, especially in the case of Megaria and [ccProd]Tricky Turnip[/ccProd].  The hype was really the only issue I wanted to address.  On that note, the "underrated" cards probably aren't going to dictate the shape of the meta, but are all solid cards on their own right that, in my opinion, deserve just as much attention as the others I mentioned.  Hopefully you all enjoyed reading my opinions, and if you have your own, be sure to leave a comment down below!  I'd love to hear them.  This weekend, the ARG Circuit Series is in Worcester, MA featuring a Kaijudo tournament on Sunday, and next week is the second Kaijudo Championship in Texas, which I will be attending.  I'm looking forward to seeing how these cards and Invasion Earth in general affect these events.  Until next week, Play Hard or Go Home!