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The new year is almost here, and spoiler season has officially started for the newest Magic: The Gathering set, Theros Beyond Death. Today we got some returning favorites, an old god with a beefy update, and some powerful spells.
Legendary Enchantment Creature – God
As long as your devotion to green is less than five, Nylea, Sharp-eyed is not a creature.
Creature spells you cast cost 1 less to cast.
2G: Reveal the top card of your library. If it’s a creature card, put it into your hand. Otherwise you may put it into your graveyard.
Nylea is the second god we’ve seen from Theros Beyond Death, and she does not disappoint. At four mana, Nylea is aggressively costed, especially considering her ability to reduce creature spells the player casts by 1. That means other, larger creatures will hit the board sooner as well. With cards like Paradise Druid to accelerate Nylea on turn three, your fourth turn play could be anything your green heart desires.
Her real power comes in her last ability. 3 mana to Surveil 1 for a creature card is amazing. If the top card is a creature, great, you can cast it for cheaper because of Nylea’s ability. If it is not, you pitch it to the graveyard and potentially fuel another card with the Escape mechanic. It’s a win-win situation. Nylea will shine on Arena with cards like Burning-Tree Emissary to fuel that devotion cost and hit your opponent harder and faster.
Thirst for Meaning
Remember Compulsive Research? What if Wizards of the Coast just reprinted it but made it better? At three mana, drawing three cards is an incredible value, especially at instant speed. The discarding clause on this card is nothing. Honestly, in Theros it is even better because of the Escape mechanic. The set is full of enchantments, too. With tier 2 decks like Dance with the Manse, this can be a powerful draw effect that might just push it to top tier.
Underworld Breach is a weird card. Functionally, it’s similar to cards like Past in Flames, where the player suddenly gains access to a lot of powerful spells they have cast previously in the game. But where does a card like this fit in the game now? Not to mention, this card is unique in that it functions like a sorcery typically would. Underworld Breach must be sacrificed at end of turn, probably to prevent itself from being used to Escape cards. Still, it’s an interesting design choice for a set full of enchantments.
Hopefully, this card means we will get other sorcery or instant effects on enchantments too. Underworld Breach will likely slot into a combo deck once more of the set is revealed, but until then we can only speculate.
This card is scarily powerful. It’s a three-mana 3/2 that creates a token when it enters the battlefield, thus making it an automatic 2-for-1 out the gate. Also, it is a free creature sacrifice outlet – Magic doesn’t make one of these too often. And don’t forget, it can also Escape, coming back bigger than before with two +1/+1 counters on it.
While this card might not see a ton of play, it will likely become a staple in Jund Sacrifice decks and the Mono-Black Devotion lists that will get hammered out once more of the set releases. However, this card will truly shine in Commander decks, where free sacrifice outlets are in high demand. Keep an eye out for any player who drops this, because they are going to combo out next turn. Maybe even this turn, if you’re unlucky.
Wrath of Storm
Tentatively translated to “Wrath of Storm,” this four-mana Sorcery deals four damage to each creature and planeswalker. Doesn’t matter whose it is, it’s taking four damage right now. This is just double Pyroclasm, and it’s great. This card will likely slot into the Fires of Inventions decks and maybe a more controlling version of Jeskai control. It kills the board and leaves plenty of space to play your next big spell.
Erebos has been a Commander staple since its release, and paying life and drawing cards has been his specialty. The new version from Theros Beyond Death just does it better. Now, instead of paying two mana, players can pay two life when a creature they control dies to draw a card. While this may knock him out of his devotion trigger, card draw is far more important. And if you have that two mana and a creature lying around, why not sacrifice them to make another creature smaller and get that card draw?
Erebos will likely find a spot or two in U/B Control decks, Mono-Black Devotion lists, and every black commander list.
Anytime WotC prints something with the word Lotus in it, it demands attention. Sure, this one is a little rough at first glance. Entering tapped isn’t good for a mana ability, and at four mana, Nyx Lotus isn’t coming down until the middle of the game. But once it is out and you have a demanding board presence, it will give you all the mana in the world. If there was a way to untap it continuously or have it enter untapped, then we’d be talking. As it is, Nyx Lotus feels like a powerful Brawl or Commander mana accelerator, but it might not see much Standard play.
Return of the Temples
Look who’s back! It’s the other half of the Temples that were released back in Core Set 2020. I don’t think too many people are surprised to see these in Theros, given how we only had half of the cycle. The scry lands are always pretty well balanced, smoothing out draws while not being too aggressive.
How do you feel about the newest spoilers from Theros Beyond Death? Do you like the changes Magic is making to card design? How busted is Escape going to be in the meta? Let us know in the comments below, and for all your Magic: The Gathering news, follow us at Daily Esports.
Ryan Hay is a writer and content creator currently living in New York. Video games, anime, and Magic: The Gathering have all been strong passions in his life and being able to share those passions with others is his motivation for writing. You can find him on Twitter where he complains about losing on MTG Arena a lot.