”This is where we belong. There is no vessel I’d rather sail, and no crew I’d rather command. There is no enemy I’d rather fight, and no world I’d rather defend. We took the fight to our enemy’s command post, and then his stockpiled fleet. Now it seems he is returning the favor. Now our home is under attack, or more specifically, my home – Benalia. Phyrexia comes to our world in force. Their goal is no less than the destruction of all nations and the extinction of all species. The invasion has begun!”Consisting of Invasion, Planeshift and Apocalypse, the Invasion Cycle by J. Robert King is the Grand Finale of the Weatherlight Saga. Returning to Dominaria after their adventures on Rath and Mercadia, Gerrard and the rest of the Weatherlight crew find their homeworld under attack by the Phyrexians. They are the first line of defense in a global war against the invaders, while Urza assembles a team of nine planeswalkers to infiltrate and destroy Phyrexia itself.After this cycle, Magic: The Gathering largely returned to shorter storylines, usually spanning only a single block. The first such story is the Odyssey Cycle, taking place a century after the events of the Invasion Cycle.
— Gerrard Capashen
Tropes in the Invasion Cycle:
- Alien Invasion
- Anyone Can Die: This trilogy’s body count is extraordinary. It would be easier to count the characters who survive than those who die.
- But since you asked: Takara, Hanna, Thaddeus, Barrin, Tsabo Tavoc, Agnate, Dralnu, Kristina, Daria, Tevesh Szat, Taysir, Greven il-Vec, Rhammidarigaaz, Crovax, Ertai, Commodore Guff, Bo Levar, Eladamri, Lin Sivvi, Urza, Gerrard and Yawgmoth all bite the dust.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Karn becomes a planeswalker at the end.
- Battle Couple: Eladamri and Lin Sivvi become this over the course of the trilogy.
- Better to Die than Be Killed: Eladamri and Lin Sivvi jump into lava when Yawgmoth approaches.
- Big Bad: Yawgmoth.
- Bittersweet Ending: The Phyrexians are destroyed, but Dominaria is in ruins and many, many people have died.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Commodore Guff rather infamously does this.
- Cessation of Existence: Lich lord Dralnu claims this happened to him when he died.
- Ending Memorial Service
- Evil Is Petty: Not long after Yawgmoth finally makes his triumphant return, it becomes clear that several millennium of godhood haven't changed his core personality. Underneath the grandiose statements and divine powers he's still a smug, self-absorbed, jilted ex-lover.
- Grand Finale: Of the Weatherlight Saga.
- The Hero Dies: Gerrard and Urza both die.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Rhammidarigaaz, Urza, Gerrard.
- He Who Fights Monsters: While preparing the destruction of Phyrexia, Urza comes to realize that he admires Phyrexia – so much so that he is unable to go through with his plan. He snaps out of it after being beheaded by Gerrard.
- Humongous Mecha: Urza’s titan engines.
- Last Stand: It’s even a card.
- Losing Your Head: Urza spends most of Apocalypse as a disembodied head.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Tsabo Tavoc.
- Offscreen Inertia: This is what makes the fate of Mishra so unsettling.
- Prophecy Twist: The Keldons have always taken the twilight prophecy to mean that their dead heroes would rise again to fight with them. Instead, they turn against the Keldons, allowing the true heroes of Keld (i.e. the living) to rise.
- Save the World Climax: As noted before, the Weatherlight Saga started out with our heroes just trying to rescue their captain, but here they are indeed saving the world.
- Servant Race: The Metathran.
- You Have Failed Me: Crovax eats Tsabo Tavoc after her failure at Koilos.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The fates of Treva and Dromar are unknown.
- Where It All Began: The finale of Invasion takes place at Koilos, where Urza and Mishra first opened the portal to Phyrexia.