Last updated on October 17, 2023
Invasion of Arcavios | Illustration by Dmitry Burmak
Magic: the Gathering has hundreds of mechanics that make it a fun, yet complex strategy card game. Many new mechanics are released every year, including in 2023.
Phyrexia: All Will Be One introduced toxic, a mechanic that used poison counters much like infect. In Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth, MTG introduced the Ring-bearer and “tempted by the ring” mechanics. Today, we’ll discuss one of the newest mechanics: battle cards.
Let’s jump in!
Invasion of Kamigawa | Illustration by Kekai Kotaki
Battles are a new type of double-faced card that made their debut in March of the Machine. Rather than the headline, text, and art printed in its usual vertical style, everything is printed in a horizontal style on the front side. When you flip the card, everything is printed in the quintessential vertical style.
This means that the spell’s owner assigns it to an opponent for them to protect. You and other opponents in the play pod can attack the battle just as if you were attacking a player or a planeswalker. If the opponent cannot successfully protect the battle and the defense counters go to zero, then the card exiles itself and you cast the transformed side.
Invasion of Kamigawa can slow down an opponent’s board state by tapping down their best creature or artifact upon entering the battlefield and placing a stun counter on it. This prevents the permanent from being untapped during its next untap step.
Once the four defense counters are removed, the card transforms into a moonfolk ninja that helps with card draw. While many cards have a special effect when dealing combat damage to a player, Rooftop Saboteurs also lets you draw cards when it deals damage to a battle. Plus, with its evasion tactic of flying, there’s an increased chance of damage getting through for more card draw.
Yuriko, the Tiger’s Shadow and Goro-Goro and Satoru are a couple of commanders that can benefit from Invasion of Kamigawa in their deck builds. The battle’s ability to tap down a creature can help Yuriko to get combat damage through for its ability. The same is true for Goro-Goro and Satoru. Invasion of Kamigawa can tap down an opponent’s creature in the early game to get combat damage through and make a flying dragon spirit token.
A 4-drop spell that allows you to draw three cards and discard a card? Cool beans! Having this effect on the opening of a battle can help you find ways to reduce the defense counters on it much quicker and transform it.
When Invasion of Vryn becomes Overloaded Mage-Ring, you can keep it on the battlefield until you’re ready to copy one of your win condition spells. Copy Expropriate to get multiple extra turns, depending on how the opponents vote. Worst-case scenario, even if you can’t get extra turns, you can gain control of your opponents’ best permanents.
Invasion of Segovia is best for blue Voltron decks since it creates a couple of krakens with trample when it enters the battlefield. Commanders such as Charix, the Raging Isle and Urza, Lord High Artificer are a couple of commanders that can have a mono-blue equipment theme for a Voltron build.
Cast Invasion of Segovia and place multiple pieces of equipment on one of the krakens with trample to quickly swing out for the win. When the battle transforms to Caetus, Sea Tyrant of Segovia, you can untap your formidable creature to act as a blocker and discourage opponents from attacking you.
Instant and sorcery spells can turn the tide of the game in your favor with their special effects. Tutoring for an instant or sorcery from outside of the game with Invasion of Arcavios is already powerful in itself.
However, when the card transforms into Invocation of the Founders, it can copy all of the upcoming instant and sorcery spells. This is more valuable than Overloaded Mage-Ring where it has to be sacrificed to copy only one spell throughout the game.
There are some blue battle payoffs to make them more valuable in your deck builds. Include Power Artifact and Grim Monolith in a deck featuring the blue battles to generate infinite colorless mana to continuously cast colorless instant and sorcery spells for multiple copy triggers from Invocation of the Founders.
Jace, the Mind Sculptor helps you with card draw and essentially scrying with its zero ability. Then, you can get access to more instant and sorcery spells that you can copy with Invocation of the Founders.
Invasion of Segovia | Illustration by Edgar Sanchez Hidalgo
Battles are fun, competitive cards that can keep opponents on their toes, even though it takes some work to get them transformed. Have you tried using any of the blue battles or battles of a different color in your decks yet?
Battle it out (peacefully and courteously, of course) and highlight your experiences in the comments below to inspire other players who haven’t used them to try them out. Follow our Facebook page or Twitter to be updated on new Magic content daily.
Now go battle it out by placing one of the new battle cards in your deck!Follow Draftsim for awesome articles and set updates: