Why we're excited for Theros: Beyond Death
We're still a month and a half from the next Magic: The Gathering set, but we're already getting excited to return to Theros and explore the underworld. So here's a few reasons why we're excited for Theros: Beyond Death.
Elspeth is back baby!
That's right. The God-killer herself, is coming back from the dead. Since she sacrificed herself for Daxos at the hands of Heliod, she's been roaming the underworld of Theros, searching for a way topside. And seeing that a mono-white extended art version of her has been spoiled, we at least know of one Elspeth card to be in the set. Is that the only Elspeth we'll get though? Will she retain her mono-white colour identity? or will the colour of death creep in to her mana cost? We'll find out when more spoilers drop next year.
A Devotion to Constellation
Two great mechanics make their return with Theros: Beyond Death. The first of these is Devotion, a mechanic based around how many instances of a coloured mana symbol appear on your permanents. While memories of its use within the original Theros block are mixed among the player base, Devotion has found a niche in our favourite format, Commander, where high-cost and mana-greedy permanents are routinely played. Hopefully, Theros: Beyond Death gives us a devotion-matters legendary to play with outside of the gods. After all, Core 2020 and Throne of Eldraine have given us plenty of creatures with two or three single-coloured symbols in their cost that we can make use of.
The second mechanic is Constellation. This mechanic was much-loved during the original Theros block, but mainly in a limited environment (competitive decks were basically devotion or bust), and for good reason. Constellation is a mechanic based on Enchantments entering the battlefield, and Theros has a lot of enchantments, including the hybrid Enchantment/Creature type. This made it easy to build a deck that could pull value out of itself without too much effort, triggering constellation effects consistently.
There's a lot of design space in Constellation, as it wasn't nearly as pushed as it could have been in Journey into Nyx, likely due to the mechanic's propensity to combo with itself, allowing for runaway value, much like the mechanics around Allies found in the Zendikar blocks. Provided Wizards of the Coast decides to take a few risks, it can open up some very interesting combinations in the limited environment, and possibly standard as well.
Sagas are back too
First seen in Dominaria, sagas are an enchantment that tells a story each turn. With Theros pulling from the antiquated Greek tales of old, there is so much space for these epic stories to be transferred into a Magic setting and given the saga treatment. Not to mention that they're enchantments, thus tying into the constellation mechanic mentioned above.
The Gods of Theros were a little hit and miss in the original Theros block (especially the multi-coloured gods), and, from what we know about Theros: Beyond Death, Erebos (Black), Nylea (Green), and Thassa (Blue) are making a return to the lineup (at least we think so considering they each have a card in the spoiled Omen cycle). It will be interesting to see what Wizards does with these gods, particularly as the original iterations were on-point with their mechanic-flavour matchup. And hopefully, they find a place in the standard format to push some of the lower-played decks to the forefront.
So, what's got you jazzed for Theros: Beyond Death? Does the new Escape mechanic seem interesting to you? Keen to see if Daxos is returned... again? Let us know. And don't forget to preorder your box of Theros: Beyond Death and book your Prereleases today.