[Top 25] Best Theros: Beyond Death Cards

Best Theros: Beyond Death Cards
Theros: Beyond Death

[TOP 25] Theros: Beyond Death Cards

What hides behind the mask

On the 16th of January, 2020, a new set has been released (or rather pre-released) on MTG Arena. Theros: Beyond Death takes us back to the ancient Greek mythology inspired plane of Theros.

The main set includes 254 cards and introduces some new mechanics, the most prominent of which being Escape. The gods of Theros also make a return in the form of Legendary Enchantment Creatures.

This set is big on enchantments with many enchantment synergies.

This article features 25 of the best, most flavourful, most fun cards in this set and is based entirely on my own opinion and experience with the set, which I have gained through games of Draft and Sealed.

Without further ado, here they are. Enjoy!

25. Shadowspear

  • The most powerful equipment in the set.
  • It’s very cheap to cast and equip, and it gives the equipped creature lifelink and trample.
  • The ability of this equipment can let you get rid of Gods and other indestructible cards. Not to mention that it is possibly the only reliable way to ensure removal of Dream Trawler.

24. Nadir Kraken

  • This is a cool early play in draft/sealed that will have to be answered by the opponent or it just might run away with the game.
  • It grows bigger every turn with a small investment of one mana per activation.
  • It pops out 1/1 tokens which can act as blockers or attackers if you have some pump effects in your deck.

23. Aphemia, the Cacophony

  • Aphemia is a great cheap flyer, and would be playable even without the extra text on the card.
  • As this set is full of graveyard interactions and enchantment synergies, this card can perform really well in the right deck.
  • It works well with sagas and cheap enchantments.

22. Eutropia the Twice-Favored

  • Eutropia is an absolute bomb in limited play.
  • She grows your creatures and gives them flying when enchantments enter the battlefield.
  • The abundance of powerful enchantments in Theros: Beyond Death makes this a very powerful card.

21. Kunoros, Hound of Athreos

  • Kunoros is not a broken card by any means, but its plentiful abilities and good stats for a low mana cost make it a powerful early play.
  • It also prevents any cards with the escape mechanic to “escape” the graveyard.
  • Its flavour is on point, acting as a kind of Cerberus of Theros.

20. The Akroan War

  • The Akroan War is the red saga in the saga cycle and it brings quite the advantage to your board, but it is a win more card.
  • It helps resolve board-stalls.
  • Works great in black-red decks with plenty of sacrifice outlets.

19. The First Iroan Games

  • It’s the green saga in the cycle and it boosts your board presence early in the game.
  • Great in any green deck, it will also draw you cards as there is a good chance you will have a 4-power creature during its third chapter.
  • The gold token is not very relevant, but it can help you ramp if you’re stuck on only a few lands or it will help you find the right mana for a splash.

18. Taranika, Akroan Veteran

  • Taranika is a great creature, that will probably even see constructed play in some more aggressive decks.
  • It makes any creature into a 4/4 indestructible creature when it attacks.
  • She works well with enchantments, and there’s plenty of those to choose from in this set.
  • On the play in an aggressive deck, she will wreck your opponent’s life points very early.

17. Haktos, the Unscarred

  • Theros’s own Achilles.
  • He’s a bit expensive to cast, but boasts great aggressive stats.
  • He has an interesting ability, never before seen in Arena.
  • There is quite a bit of luck involved with his ability, but he’s hard to deal with regardless.

16. Atris, Oracle of Half-Truths

  • I had the chance to play with Atris in the sealed event during the Pre-release week in Arena. I was pleasantly surprised.
  • There are some great ways to trigger his ability multiple times in this set, which comes in handy both by drawing you new cards or putting them in the graveyard to fuel your escape spells.
  • At the end of the day, Atris is also a good attacker because of its menace ability. Combined with some enchantments it can deal a good bit of damage.

15. Arasta of the Endless Web

  • Arasta is a powerful creature for the mana-cost.
  • It protects you from most pesky flyers.
  • She will fill your side of the battlefield with her babies very quickly.

14. Nightmare Shepherd

  • Nightmare Shepherd has great stats on its own, it’s a 4/4 flying creature which comes with a very powerful ability.
  • The Shepherd works particularly well with creatures that have some powerful abilities of their own, and those are plenty in this set.
  • It’s an enchantment as well, so it will help you trigger constellation abilities on top of it all.

13. Nessian Boar

  • The Nessian Boar is a very big creature for only five mana.
  • It comes with a downside, your opponent gets to draw cards when the Boar attacks, but don’t let that discourage you from attacking with it as it will most likely clear your opponent’s side of the battlefield when it attacks.
  • Once your opponent is down to a creature or two on their side, it’s basically game for you.

12. Setessan Champion

  • Setessan Champion is a very powerful card, even though its stats might deceive you.
  • In a dedicated enchantment deck, the Champion truly shines as it draws you cards and grows in power each time you play an enchantment. Protect it at all costs and it will win you the game.
  • It’s already seeing some constructed play.

11. Thryx, the Sudden Storm

  • Thryx is a big flying creature with flash that only costs five mana to cast.
  • Popping this on the battlefield at the end of your opponent’s turn will surely strike some fear into them.
  • It makes your more expensive spell resistant to counterspells, and cheaper.
  • Thryx has many different ways of playing it in limited, which makes it so good.

10. Archon of Sun’s Grace

  • Archon of Sun’s Grace is almost a guaranteed win, if your opponent lets it sit on the battlefield for a few turns.
  • It’s impossible to race due to the lifelink ability and the fact that it has evasion coupled with solid stats.
  • It creates additional Pegasus tokens, and in Theros: Beyond Death limited those tokens are not hard to create because of all the enchantments available.

9. Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger

  • Kroxa is essentially a two-stage card. First, it is only used as a spell that discards a card from your opponent’s hand and deals three damage, unless they discard some action. Second, it does that again but also leaves behind a very powerful giant on the battlefield.
  • The most dangerous part of this card is that it can keep coming back from the graveyard if you have the ability to put enough cards into the graveyard to fuel its never-ending escapes.

8. Polukranos, Unchained

  • Polukranos is a formidable creature, that’s very cheap to cast and very hard to kill.
  • It can act as recurring removal or a powerful creature.
  • It does get smaller over time, as it fights more creatures.
  • Polukranos can escape the graveyard and comes back with 12 +1 +1 counters on it, imagine that! This enables him to fight as many creatures it wants and then some.

7. Nylea, Keen-Eyed

  • Nylea is the green god of Theros. She enters the battlefield as an enchantment, but will turn into a powerful indestructible creature as you gather more devotion to green.
  • She makes all your creature spells cheaper which is great.
  • Her activated ability lets you fill your hand with creatures or fill your graveyard with cards to help other spells escape.

6. Thassa, Deep-Dwelling

  • Thassa is the blue god of Theros. Her ability helps you use enter the battlefield effects much more frequently on your creatures.
  • She’s great at controlling the battlefield by tapping other creatures.
  • She is a big indestructible creature, what more do you want.

5. Elspeth, Sun’s Nemesis

  • At first glance Elspeth doesn’t look like such a big deal. She makes creature tokens and makes them a bit bigger for a turn, while also having the ability to gain you some life.
  • The most important part of this planeswalker is the fact it can return from the graveyard for a relatively cheap escape cost.
  • As Theros has a lack of reliable planeswalker removal, Elspeth is a very dangerous foe.

4. Kiora Bests the Sea God

  • This is the most powerful saga in Theros: Beyond Death.
  • It might cost 7 mana, but when you get to resolve it, it basically wins you the game on the spot.
  • It nets you a gigantic hexproof Kraken, it taps all you opponent’s permanents for 2 turns and then steals the most powerful permanent. Beat that.

3. Heliod, Sun-Crowned

  • Heliod is in my humble opinion the best God to play in limited Theros: Beyond Death.
  • It’s easy to make him into a creature quickly, since white has a lot of early plays.
  • He gives any creature lifelink, which then in turn puts a +1 +1 counter on any creature (or enchantment) you control. That makes it very hard to race any player with Heliod in play.

2. Dream Trawler

  • I’ve been lucky so far, and haven’t faced a Dream Trawler in draft or sealed, but any player that encounters one of these creatures can only sigh and concede on the spot, unless they enjoy being humiliated by a big ol’ sphynx.
  • Dream Trawler has it all: flying to evade blockers, lifelink to heal its controller, card draw to restock your hand every turn, an ability that gives him +1 power every time you draw a card and above else it can get hexproof at any time, just by discarding a card from your hand. Wrath type effects might just be the only thing that get rid of it.

1. Ashiok, Nightmare Muse

  • Ashiok, Nightmare Muse deserves the number one spot on this list.
  • Ashiok can create a milling 2/3 creature each turn, which protects him and thins your opponent’s library. The milling ads up quite quickly.
  • It’s hard to remove without burn spells or trample creatures as there is a lack of planeswalker removal in this set.
  • Ashiok’s ultimate ability will absolutely win you the game if your opponent hasn’t given up by the time you get there.
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He was abandoned as a small child, but the scribe elves of Deciderville took him in and gave him purpose.
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