When To Choose Each LoR Invoke Card: Part 2 (4-6 Mana)

When To Choose Each LoR Invoke Card: Part 2 (4-6 Mana)

Invoke Deep Dive (Part 2 of 3)

Hey, this is XxWhatAmIxX and this is Part 2 of 3 on how to pick cards from Invoke, covering the 4-6 mana cards.

To learn more about the 0-3 mana Invoke cards, revisit When To Choose Each LoR Invoke Card: Part 1.

We’ll be covering the strengths and weaknesses of each card and context in different deck examples.

Throughout the article, we’ll be discussing these Invoke-heavy decks:

Unlike Part 1, we’re going to be dropping the Lee/Zoe advice column.

This drop is because while that deck will occasionally nab one of these off a Leveled Zoe, most variations have no other way to acquire them and the situations don’t really come up often enough to be worth discussing.

These folks will most often show up from a day broken Solari Priestess, but can also be generated by Mountain Scryer, Moon Dreamer, a Leveled Zoe, or even our first showcase today, The Traveler herself.

The Traveler

Ascending the mountain to show us that change, diversity, and above all value are great things in our world, please welcome The Traveler to center stage.

The Traveler (LoR Card)

Strengths

  1. The Value:
    • Four mana for a vanilla 3/4 isn’t really all that bad a rate.
    • Chica here attacks and blocks surprisingly reasonably for her mana cost.
    • When you staple an entire second powerful card on top of that the traveler can start a serious cascade of value to bury your opponents in.
  2. The Curve:
    • As we talked about earlier this card will most often be seen off of a Solari Priestess.
    • What that means is that it’s quite easy to curve that three mana Daybreak Invoke directly into this on four.
    • Potentially even further up the chain depending on what the traveler finds means this is an extremely potent way to unbrick almost any hand.
  3. The Stabilization:
    • It doesn’t look all that impressive on the surface, but this unassuming 3/4 matches up surprisingly well into many other turn one to three plays.
    • Against aggressive decks you can often get two reasonable blocks or one quite nice block out of this card, and sometimes that’s all you need.
  4. The Herald:
    • Yes, I know I’ve used this one twice already, but I’m going to keep harping on it because it’s a big deal.
    • The Traveler does this in a different way then the small folks that speed up the Descending Sky the turn their played.
    • Because of her slightly beefier body, The Traveler can often block once and then stick around for a few turns to help the team summon their spirit bomb.
  5. The Search:
    • If you were trying to hit a specific invoke and missed traveler can give you another shot at that necessary target for just an additional four mana. It’s kind of steep, but sometimes absolutely necessary.

Weaknesses

  1. The Impact:
    • While Traveler does an awful lot of things if you match this turn four play up against a midrange deck dropping an Ashe, Yeti, or even just random 5|4 with Lifesteal, it’s going to lose you some serious tempo.
    • This problem only gets worse as you try to find time to play out The Traveler on later turns of the game.

When you want it Playing Zoe/Sol

You’re usually going to want to look for higher impact plays off of your Solari Priestess in this deck because you are often swimming in value and your four drop slot really wants to be trying to get your tempo back.

That said, if your hand is ever looking a little clunky or bricked out, The Traveler is always going to be your go-to girl to get you out of that situation.

When you want it playing Zoe/Diana

I can’t say “Always,” because that would make me a Sith, so I think we’ll go with “Any time you can get away with it.”

The Traveler sets up your Skies, clogs the board, grows your giant Celestials, and finds them when you need them.

Unless you are actively dying and need something to stop the bleeding, need something smaller to set up an earlier Skies Descend, or have already found your game-winning threat as one of the other two options, go for The Traveler.

Written In Stars

Next in line we will be messing with the constellations to same the great and mighty Cth-, I mean, Aurelion Sol. Let’s look over Written In Stars.

Written in Stars (LoR Card)

  • Written In Stars
    • 4 mana Burst spell
    • Text: Draw a champion. Reduce its costs by 1 and grant it +2|+2

Strengths

  1. The Tutor:
    • There aren’t many ways in LoR to draw a specific card from your deck, much less a champion, so this gets the nod simply for its rarity.
    • Sometimes you need the lynchpin of your game-plan and it’s worth paying four extra mana to search it out.
  2. The Accelerant:
    • You don’t usually think of four mana as being particularly speedy, but for extremely high-cost champions *cough* Aurelion Sol *cough*.
    • you can actually use this to cheat them out a turn earlier which can be a big deal.

Weaknesses

  1. The Mana:
    • Four is a lot of mana. Four is even more mana when it has literally zero effect on the board state.
    • Spending this much mana and not losing so much tempo that your opponent just runs you over is a tall order.
  2. The RNG:
    • Almost every LoR deck runs two different champions.
    • That means that whenever you cast this spell there’s a reasonable chance you’re not going to get what you want.
    • Even if you have already drawn two of the champion you don’t want you’re still only 75% to get what you need, which is kind of sad.
  3. The Waste:
    • On those occasions, you cast this and you get a champion already in your hand it’s a little bit sad.
    • When you cast this and get a champion already in play it’s horrid because unless that champ dies that +2|+2 you paid so much for is never seeing the light of day.

When you want it Playing Zoe/Sol

You’re basically only going to take this card when the board state is extremely mellow and you hope to set up an early Aurelion Sol for turn nine.

The only matchups this is really a good choice in are big Invoke Mirrors and occasionally Feel The Rush.

When you want it playing Zoe/Diana

Four mana is almost always going to be too much to pay for this effect, but three mana, three mana might be ok.

You can occasionally take this if you have a Mountain Scryer to go get a one mana buffed Diana for a big removal spell, or a zero mana harder to clear Zoe.

I’d still be careful with this as taking non-creature Celestials makes Skies hard to cast, but it can occasionally be worthy of more consideration than it often gets.

The Warrior

Often referred to as “The Challenger,” or “That Five Mana Whatsit,” or “Dave,” let’s take a closer look at one of the more rarely taken Celestials, The Warrior.

The Warrior (LoR Card)

Strengths

  1. The Removal:
    • While Dave here isn’t exactly the most reliable tool, in a pinch sometimes you just have to hope they can’t answer him
    • He’ll be able to get that five damage through on to a pesky Miss Fortune, Twisted Fate, or other game-ending backline threat.
  2. The Booty:
    • Five mana for 5|5 worth of stats is nothing to sneeze at.
    • While there’s definitely some meme-ry to be had here between this guy and Avarosan Hearth Guard, sometimes you just need a stat-stick, and Warrior is there to help.

Weaknesses

  1. The Reliability:
    • Whether it’s a Concussive Palm, a Barrier, a Hush, a Thermogenic Beam, or even just a simple enemy pump spell, Dave here has some problems delivering on his promises to oust our opponent’s creatures for us.
    • When you play this card you will unfortunately often be silently praying “Please don’t have it,” over at least something, if not multiple somethings.
  2. The Stamina:
    • While 5|5 might look ok going in to the first fight, it’s basically never going to survive the second one.
    • And while paying five mana for two trades can be ok, that’s the absolute top end of what you’re going to get.
    • Staying power is just really not in Dave’s bag of tricks.

When you want it Playing Zoe/Sol

Oof, basically only take this card if you really need a creature to impact the board and have no other options.

You can also consider him when you are truly desperate for removal and lack a plaza, but think really carefully before you invest in something this fragile for your game plan.

When you want it playing Zoe/Diana

This is going to read a lot like what I wrote above except that it’s ok to occasionally take him if you are looking to set up one good pull and then have him sit back for a turn or two to power a Skies Descend.

This is still most of the time not what you want, but every once in a while it’s what you need.

Meteor Shower

Sometimes you’ve just got to give ‘em the old one-two, the old whap-bam, the old four-one, the old Meteor Shower.

Meteor Shower (LoR Card)

  • Meteor Shower
    • 5 mana Slow spell
    • Text: Deal 4 to an enemy and 1 to another

Strengths

  1. The Removal:
    • I know it seems obvious but you can’t underestimate how important it can be to have a few key pieces of removal in Targon which can have a hard time accessing these otherwise. Getting rid of a pesky enemy champion that stubbornly refuses to enter combat can be game breakingly huge.
  2. The Double Tap:
    • While you won’t often get to set this up dropping two creatures from this can be a real blow out. My favorite scenario is seeing an Ashe and a trifarian glory seeker bite the dust in tandem.

Weaknesses

  1. The Tempo:
    • While you can sometimes trade up in tempo, the vast majority of the time your five mana is going to be trading for four or less of your opponents.
    • Having to target a Zoe with the four damage side of this to play around a Pale Cascade is a truly terrible feeling.
  2. The Smol:
    1. Four damage looks like an awful lot in the early turns of the game, but past turn five or so, and sometimes even before then it just often won’t get the job done.
    2. When the butts get too big and you’re left with a five mana do nothing, life can be hard.

When you want it Playing Zoe/Sol

There are usually going to be better options, but this is your desperation removal play that you go to half a step before Challenger.

No Plaza, no Concerted Strike, Single Combat too risky, and that scary thing over there has got to go? Well, we do what we have to.

When you want it playing Zoe/Diana

I’m going to keep bringing this up because it is very important for this deck.

Think twice or three times before you take a non-creature Invoke card.

If you have to do it to slow your opponent down because they’re just going to kill you, you do it.

It’s just important to make sure you’re not sacrificing your later win conditions unnecessarily for what looks like a juicy trade right now.

The Sisters

Aggro hates to see them, control doesn’t know what to do about them, and anytime they show up to cheerlead for us we love it. Golden Sisters come on down.

The Golden Sister (LoR Card)The Silver Sister (LoR Card)

Strengths

  1. The Tempo:
    • Dropping two creatures down for one action and six mana, one of which has Lifesteal, and the other of which has Elusive is one of the biggest tempo swings you can find.
    • Few boards will fail to turn around when the golden duo walks on by.
  2. The Pressure:
    • The elusive half of this card is absolutely nasty. It’s just big enough to put on a serious clock while being just small enough to make your opponent feel bad for removing it.
  3. The Gains:
    • If this gets one solid hit or trade-off then it can be hard for aggro decks to finish you off. If it gets two, then backed by basically anything else it becomes pretty close to impossible.
  4. The Herald:
    • Ok, this is the last time I’m going to use this one I promise, but it’s a big deal and this one does this effect in another different way.
    • This one card reduces Skies Descend by four mana.
    • If you play sisters on turn seven they enable Skies Descend on turn eight all by themselves if you’ve got the spell mana to back them up.
    • Don’t underestimate this ability, it swings games.

Weaknesses

  1. The Fragility:
    • Everything The Sisters do, they do amazingly, but while it does provide 8|6 worth of stats, it only takes three damage to significantly reduce those, so keep an eye out for how easy it is to take half the dynamic duo out of the equation.

When you want it Playing Zoe/Sol

This card does well enough on its own and is an absolute game-breaker with a Plaza empowered attack token.

Two good trades and five points of life gain? Sign me up.

Sisters are probably the default card you want off of your Solari Priestess in this deck.

Unless something more important puts in an appearance, let Sister-Sister here swing the game for you.

When you want it playing Zoe/Diana

Sisters are still very good, but a little less ubiquitous here because there are so many other good options and we don’t have Plaza to back them up.

They’re still a very good choice for board stabilization or to set up our skies, but depending on our hand state lower mana cost units, necessary removal spells, or the value of The Traveler may quite often jump ahead of the Sisters in our considerations.

Falling Comet

Sometimes you just see a card on the table and think to yourself @#$*! that whatsit in particular. And when that’s the thing to do falling comet is the only celestial to turn to.

Falling Comet (LoR Card)

  • Fallen Comet
    • 6 mana Slow spell
    • Text: Obliterate and enemy unit or landmark

Strengths

  1.  The Die, Die, Die:
    • There are very few cards in the game this little buddy can’t answer, and almost all of them have Spellshield.
    • Team it up with a Hush or a helpful Single Combat and there’s almost no single problem this can’t deal with.

Weaknesses

  1. 1. The Tempo:
    • Six is a whole lot of mana, even when you can use spell mana to help you out, and even when you are going to be getting rid of something on the board.
    • While you may need to hit a Landmark with this, and it may be a game winning move, you will almost always be trading down mana to do so.
  2. 2. The Deny:
    • Choosing this card makes you inherently vulnerable to a card that you can often blank.
    • You’ll always have few targets in your deck for it, but voluntarily adding more is something to carefully consider against Ionia.

When you want it Playing Zoe/Sol

You’ll most often want this in the mirror to team up with a Spellshield breaker to kill an Aurelion Sol.

It can also do good things against the Feel the Rush matchup, and take out pesky Landmarks ala Hexcore or Star Spring.

I wouldn’t take this card unless you have a specific plan for it though, as it’s easy to have it clog your hand.

When you want it playing Zoe/Diana

You’ll usually only want to go for Comet if you are already feeling pretty in control of the game and want to make sure your opponent can’t take it back, or if there’s a Landmark that just has to die *cough* Star Spring *cough*.

While this is probably the most often taken non-creature I will still continue to caution how frequently such things get chosen in a deck trying to Descend some Skies.

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, feel free to ask WhatAmI during his streams (around 10AM PST basically every day).

WhatAmI streams at twitch.tv/xxwhatamixx around 10AM PST every day