I saw a LOT of this card in Lorwyn block, and
for the most part it was just -3 toughness for
1B. That's what people wanted, and that's what
people used it for. And if that's all you use it
for, then that's fine. Ravnica's Last Gasp was a
solid kill spell and this can do that. But
there's a lot more going on here for you to take
First of all, it's not -3/-3, it's +3/-3. This
means that if you've got a creature big enough
to survive this thing, you can give it +3 power
for that extra push. This can end the game a
turn earlier, or turn a "bounce off the wall"
block into a trade. It also means you can't use
it to shrink a creature's power. Using Last Gasp
for the power part is only good if it's letting
your blocker survive blocking-- if you're using
it on no blocks to take 3 fewer damage and not
kill the creature, you're wasting it and
misplaying. I like that you can't do that with
Nameless Inversion, because you shouldn't be
doing that in the first place.
Second, if the target survives, it now has no
creature types. In Lorwyn block, most of the
creatures that could spare 3 toughness were
either Treefolk or Giants... or were benefiting
from several tribal buff effects to achieve
their size. That 5/5 Kithkin Daggerdare? It
looks like it can survive +3/-3, but not if it
isn't a Kithkin anymore. Even if robbing a
creature of its tribal synergies didn't kill it,
it usually hobbled it further. In a wider casual
format that isn't to strongly tied to Lorwyn
block, not so much, but then again, Casual
players do love their tribal decks...
Finally, this card itself has all creature
types. That means you can use it in a tribal
deck and count it as one of the tribe, provided
the tribe in question doesn't need it to be on
the battlefield. Door of Destinies, for example,
will gain a counter when you cast Nameless
Inversion regardless of what type you choose.
Find a combo!
Now, if you were reading yesterday, you read
that whole thing about my lower enthusiasm for
"this year's Terror" type cards. Nameless
Inversion is one of the few; in fact, it made me
genuinely smile when it came out. Not only was
it part of a mini-cycle of "omg where did my
face go" art in Lorwyn, it is one of the few
this-year's-Terrors that has applications beyond
the obvious. Is that dragon about to kill you in
one hit because of Crucible of Fire? Not any
more. Do you have a Tombstalker that can attack
unhindered, but your opponent is on eight life?
This is the card you want in your hand. Do you
need to kill something through the protection of
your opponent's Shared Triumph or Brass Herald?
Go for it. I wish more this-year's-Terrors were
Today's card of the day is Nameless Inversion
which is a two mana Black tribal instant with
Changeling that is all creature types and when
played gives target creature +3/-3 and removes
all types until end of turn. While Grasp of
Darkness is more potent as removal in
mono-Black, this works very well in multicolor
decks and can potentially power up your own
creatures if they have four or more toughness.
The tribal aspects work in your own theme decks
allowing this to be searched, reduced in cost,
recovered from the graveyard, or even trigger
tribal effects depending on the build.
Offensively this works as removal and negating
types can be beneficial in some situations.
Overall this is a removal card with quite a few
applications that make it a top choice in tribal
decks that can get several other benefits from
In a Limited setting with this it is a very
powerful removal card and decent power up in
some situations. The tribal aspect has a great
deal of support and will often be a factor when
used against an opponent's creature. An easy
second or third pick in Booster with a Black
first pick or when using it to start a second
color, which is very likely with the block's
hybrid mana costs. In Sealed this is an
automatic inclusion when using Black and
multiple copies are reason enough to splash the
color even if the pool is weak.
Nameless Inversion saw a lot of play back in
the days of Lorwyn. Generally used as a solid
piece of removal or combat trick, Nameless had a
few interesting mechanics up its sleeve that
made it very fun to play with.
Having an instant with Changeling on it can
actually prove more relevant than you might
think. Anything that searches your deck for a
tribal card (an elf card, a goblin card, a
vampire card, any subtype so long as they don't
specify it also has to actually be a creature)
can find Nameless for you. There are also plenty
of "reveal a [tribal] card from your hand"
abilities to get some kind of beneficial effect.
Plus of course there are even cards that say
"return a [tribal] card from your graveyard to
your hand." ALL of these things work with
Nameless Inversion, giving it much more combo
potential than a mere Doom Blade.
You mostly want the -3 toughness here, though
there are situations where the +3 power could
come in handy. Lowering toughness to 0 is always
fun for black, as it's one of the few ways to
easily get around indestructible and regenerate.
Having the target lose all creature types can
sometimes be relevant, but won't always be. Back
in the day there were lots of sneaky
Shapeshifters and Changelings sneaking their way
into tribal decks, getting crazy bonuses and
setting up huge combos. Nameless Inversion was
able to shut a lot of that down. Nowadays I
don't think it'd be as important or powerful,
unless you were fighting Slivers or something.
Overall Nameless Inversion has some of the
things that are the hallmark of great and fun to
use cards. I don't think it's uber powerful or
broken or anything, nor is it for every deck,
but it's got a decent amount of versatility and
it's efficiently costed for what it does.
Plus now you know what would happen if only
your arms turned into The Hulk!