The Greek mythology-inspired world of Theros is coming to MTG Arena in a little over a month. One of the most popular modern sets, the original block released in 2013 to huge praise from fans. Focusing heavily on enchantments, Theros wove an intriguing story about the plane’s gods, different factions, and the planeswalker, Elspeth. With the story culminating in the death of Elspeth at the hands of the god Heliod, Beyond Death appears to explore this planeswalker’s escape from the underworld.
Set to release next month, Beyond Death will be entering a chaotic Standard meta. With several cards already banned, one has to wonder what the “power level” of this set will be. However, judging from some of the cards already spoiled, it’s clear that Theros: Beyond Death is shaping up to be another potent set.
- Name: Theros: Beyond Death
- Release Date: January 16, 2020 (MTG Arena), January 24, 2020 (Paper)
- Number of Cards: 254
- Themes: Enchantments, Devotion, Graveyard
- Format Legality: Standard, Draft, Pauper, Sealed, Brawl, Historic
- Mechanics: Constellation, Escape, Saga, Devotion
Theros: Beyond Death Release Date
For those wanting to hop into this set, Theros: Beyond Death is scheduled to release on January 16 for MTG Arena. Currently, there are already two bundles for sale that include some of the upcoming cards. However, since you will be unable to use these cards until the set is officially released, we recommend saving your money and waiting. If you’re a fan of paper Magic: The Gathering, Theros: Beyond Death is scheduled to release on January 24. This means that pre-release events will most likely take place between January 17-19.
Cards – Red
Cards – Blue
Cards – Black
Cards – White
Cards – Green
Cards – Multi-Colored
Cards – Artifacts/Lands
Theros: Beyond Death Trailer
Theros: Beyond Death Themes
The primary theme of the Theros block is enchantments and how they interact with the board. Beyond Death is embracing this theme once again via the return of the Constellation mechanic. This Enter-The-Battlefield (ETB) effect only triggers whenever an enchantment comes into play. For example, if you play an enchantment when Setessan Champion is on the field, that creature’s Constellation ability will trigger. It’s a superb mechanic that rewards players for embracing the different enchantments and enchantment creatures in the set. Given how many enchantments have already been spoiled, we suspect this will be the primary theme for the majority of Sealed formats.
Another big mechanic returning in Beyond Death is Devotion. Revolving around the mana symbols in a card’s casting cost, Devotion rewards players for having a lot of a specific mana type. Previously, this mechanic pushed a lot of extremely powerful mono-colored decks to the forefront of the Standard meta. Typically seen in aggressive, mid-range decks, Devotion has the potential to take over the current Standard format thanks to the plethora of aggressive decks. You can also see Devotion on the various gods, as having enough of a specific mana symbol turned these insane enchantments into indestructible creatures.
Tying in with Theros: Beyond Death’s main story, this set’s new mechanic is all about the graveyard. Called “Escape,” this ability allows players to recast cards from their graveyard by paying mana and exiling a specific amount of cards from their graveyard. Mainly on enchantments and creatures, Escape gives users access to more resources the longer a game goes. This will offer more flexibility as a match progresses since you’ll be able to replay potent cards such as Ox of Agonas. While we still don’t know how many cards will utilize this new mechanic, it’s clearly a very pushed concept in this set. Expect to see a lot of “graveyard hate” cards making their way into sideboards!
Just like previous sets, there are various bundles available for pre-order before Theros: Beyond Death goes live. Broken up across two different pre-order deals, both of these bundles cost a hefty $49.99 and come with vastly different rewards. Here is what’s included in both the Ashiok and Elspeth bundles:
- Theros: Beyond Death Set Mastery
- 10 Set Mastery Bonus Levels
- 2 Sealed Tokens
- Elspeth Mosaic Sleeve
- 1 Elspeth, Sun’s Nemesis
- Elspeth, Sun’s Nemesis Card Style
- 50 Theros: Beyond Death Booster Packs
- Ashiok, Mosaic Sleeve
- 1 Ashiok, Nightmare Muse
- Ashiok, Nightmare Muse Card Style
Purchasing both of these sets before January 16 will also award you the Cerberus pet. If you’re debating picking up one of these bundles you should consider what you need. For those with a small collection or dwindling Wild Cards, the Ashiok Bundle is definitely the better choice. Getting 50 Theros: Beyond Death packs will vastly bolster your card number and set you up to build whatever deck you desire.
Inversely, if you have a ton of cards/Wild Cards then the Elspeth Bundle is the better choice. This gives you more cosmetic and general rewards when the new season begins on January 16. While it’s a bit disappointing that the Elspeth Bundle lacks any booster packs, the amount of rewards you get is certainly worth the $49.99. As for buying both, we only suggest this if you have a lot of money to spare. The Cerberus pet is cool, but unnecessary for enjoying the game.