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Theros Beyond Death Draft Guide

Want to learn how to win Theros Beyond Death Draft? Trying to get some gems while drafting on Arena? Our Theros Beyond Death Draft Guide will help you win you draft!

First we’ll check the best commons for every color. Then we’ll take a look at what the two-colored decks are trying to do. We have updated our rankings after one month of drafting Theros on MTG Arena – this way you have the freshest information possible.

Mechanics

There are four mechanics in Theros Beyond Death:

  • Constellation (something good happens whenever an enchantment enters the battlefield)
  • Devotion (effect depends on how many colored symbols your permanents have in their mana cost)
  • Saga (enchantments that do something by installments)
  • Escape (casting cards from your graveyard by paying mana and exiling cards from the grave)

You can read more about mechanics here.

Best Commons for Theros Beyond Death Draft

Rares and mythic are the best cards in the set. But you’ll only see very few in a draft.That’s why this Theros Beyond Death Draft Guide focuses on the commons. You’ll see them throughout the whole draft and they should show you which color is open.

If you get a good black common sixth or seventh pick, it probably means that you should be drafting black.

White

1. Dreadful Apathy

Theros Beyond Death Draft Guide Dreadful Apathy

Pacifism effects are usually very good in Draft and Sealed. Even though you can expect more enchantment removal in this set, Apathy takes care of this – just exile the creature. Additionally it will trigger your constellation effects.

That makes Dreadful Apathy the best white common in Theros Beyond Death Draft.

There’s also one trick you can do with Apathy and Flicker of Fate. You can hold priority (full control – press Ctrl in Arena), pay to exile enchanted creature, then target Apathy with Flicker of Fate and put Apathy on a second creature. This way the first creature gets exiled and Apathy is now on a second creature. You basically turned your Flicker of Fate into removal spell.

2. Daybreak Chimera

Theros Beyond Death Draft Guide Daybreak Chimera

3/3 flyers are usually a good deal at four mana. Chimera will easily cost 4 mana, you just need one white symbol in play. Sometimes it will cost two or three mana which will allow you to play two spells in a turn.

3. Heliod’s Pilgrim

Theros Beyond Death Draft Guide Heliod's Pilgrim

Heliod’s Pilgrim is almost a Demonic Tutor with a 1/2 body in the right deck. You already want to play it with two auras in your deck. But once you have more it naturally gets better. Just in white you already have:

When you add a premium aura from another color to your deck – such as Mire’s Grasp or Mantle of the Wolf – you really want to have Pilgrim alongside them.

Honorable Mention: Pious Wayfarer

We totally missed this one-drop in our first version of Theros Beyond Death Draft Guide. It is more than just a playable card, it’s a key card in aggressive white strategies. You can fairly easily get multiples of them.

You need lots of enchantments – at least six, but would prefer more to make them work, but they are worth the investment. Don’t forget that they can buff any creature, not just themselves.

Blue

1. Stern Dismissal

MTG Theros Draft Guide Stern Dismissal

What? How can a bad Unsummon be the best blue common in the set? Well, you have to look at the Theros draft format as a whole.

There will be a lot of auras that give an effect when they enter the battlefield. However, they might never enter the battlefield at all if you cast Dismissal on their creature in response. At just one mana you’ll easily have one Island untapped to totally wreck your opponent’s plans.

2. Witness of Tomorrows

Theros Beyond Death Draft Guide Witness of Tomorrows

Big flyer for five mana that triggers your Constellation. This is already pretty good. The ability is quite expensive, but hey, we’ll take it.

If your opponent is playing lots of enchantment removal, consider sideboarding it out.

3. Thirst for Meaning

Win Theros Draft MTG Arena Ichthyomorphosis

If you have an enchantment to discard, this is better than an instant speed Divination. That’s pretty good.

However, if you don’t have an enchantment, or you just don’t want to discard it – this is still a perfectly reasonable card. It digs you to the cards you need and fill your graveyard for stuff like Escape.

If you’re playing a longer game, try to hold a land in case you draw Thirst for Meaning.

Black

1. Mire’s Grasp

Win Theros Draft MTG Arena Mire's Grasp

Very cheap and effective removal spell that triggers your Constellation effects. At just two mana, this is easily the best black common. If you somehow get five copies, you should play all of them, it’s just that good.

2. Final Death

MTG Theros Draft Final Death

Sometimes you need to kill a creature and it to remain dead. Final Death is aptly named, there’s no coming back from exile.

3. Blight-Breath Catoblepas

Blight-Breath Catoblepas

Catoblepas is at its worst a 3/2 creature that gives something -2/-2. At six mana that’s not very exciting. However if you built your deck correctly, it can easily kill a real creature. In a heavily black deck, this is a card you want at the top of your curve.

It works great with Omen of the Dead. Omen can get you back Catoblepas, while also providing you one devotion to black. In might not seem like much, but it adds up.

Red

1. Iroas’s Blessing

Iroas's Blessing

This is not your usual aura. It’s actually a removal spell, that also leaves you with a small bonus of +1/+1. At four mana 4 damage to a creature is an amazing deal. Blessing also triggers all of your constellation stuff.

Be careful when you decide to cast this card. If your opponent is playing black and has five open mana – better wait a turn if you can. Imagine you casting Iroas’s Blessing and your opponent destroys your creature in response. Not only is your creature dead, you also won’t get to deal 4 damage.

If you time it correctly however, it can be a very powerful card.

2. Incendiary Oracle

Theros Draft Guide MTGA best cards Incendiary Oracle

Oracle doesn’t look special, but it’s actually a premium two-drop. In your aggressive decks you always need cheap efficient creatures and this one doesn’t become bad in the late game.

Don’t believe us? Once you trade it for Voracious Typhon and banish it to the Shadow Realm exile, you’ll be convinced!

3. Aspect of Manticore

Theros Beyond Death Draft Guide Aspect of Manticore

An aura takes a second place too. It doesn’t slot in every deck though, it’s best in an aggressive one. This shouldn’t be a problem, since red deck just want to attack the vast majority of the time.

It’s also great with creatures that give your whole squad +1/+0 like Hero of the Games. Not only will Aspect trigger his ability, he’ll also survive the combat, thanks to the first strike.

Honorable Mention: Final Flare

Win Theros Draft MTG Arena Final Flare

At first this card seems pretty weak. Once that you count in auras like Iroas’s Blessing and Aspect of Manticore, your evaluation should change. Those enchantments already gave you the most of their effect, so you won’t be losing much value anyways.

Consider how many expendable enchantments and creatures you have before you put this in your deck. You should probably aim at at least five. Once you do have them, Final Flare becomes a very real removal spell.

Green

1. Ilysian Caryatid

Win Theros Draft MTG Arena Ilysian Caryatid

Cards that cost two or less and give you mana are just amazing most of the time. With Caryatid you get to do everything one turn early, and in a right deck it will easily give you two mana very quickly.

Just imagine playing it on turn two, and turn three casting a card like Voracious Typhon. And they are both commons, so it should be easy to get both!

2. Voracious Typhon

MTG Theros Beyond Death Draft Guide Voracious Typhon

Speaking of Typhon – four mana 4/4 is already a pretty good card. This one comes with a serious upside! You can cast it from your graveyard as a 7/7. Even if it somehow dies again, you can recast it – if you have enough cards in your graveyard.

Relentless Pursuit is awesome at helping you with that. It both finds you the Typhoon and fills your graveyard so you’ll be able to cast it.

3. Return to Nature

Return to Nature MTG

There are 254 cards in Theros beyond Death. Let’s see which one Return to Nature hoses:

  • 86 enchantments (not counting indestructible gods)
  • 11 artifacts
  • 19 other Escape cards

That means there are 45,7% cards that you might want to target with Return to Nature. All of this points to the fact that a green got its version of Doom Blade in this set.

Archetypes

Our Theros Beyond Death Draft Guide continues with archetype breakdown. We’ll take a quick look at what each two-color pair does. After that you can also find them ranked in our Power Rankings.

Blue – White: Flyers

Blue-white has it signature strategy – flyers. Block on the ground, attack with your flyers.

You obviously want all the flyers, alongside enchantments that disable your opponents’ creatures, like Dreadful Apathy and Ichthyomorphosis. Use those on the biggest creatures and block the small ones with Riptide Turtle, which is a surprisingly good card in this archetype.

Staggering Insight is truly a perfect card for the deck. Put in on a flyer, start drawing cards and gaining life, so your opponent can’t race you.

Black – White: Graveyard Midrange

MTGA Draft Theros Rise to Glory

Black-white is your classic midrange deck. You’ll play good creatures and good removal. This time around it also cares about the graveyard and getting stuff back from it. Rise to the Glory is a perfect example of that.

Also, there are two white creatures that get enchantments back (Archon of Falling Stars and Lagonna-Band Storyteller). In black you’ll get a couple of Escape cards and a Omen of the Dead to get back creatures.

Red – White: “Heroic” Aggro

Theros Draft RW Aggro Hero of the Nyxborn

Heroic is a mechanic from original Theros set. Basically, whenever you targeted a heroic creature with a spell it gave you a benefit.

There are five creatures in Theros Beyond Death with similiar ability all in red and white. They all give your team +1/+0 whenever you cast a spell that targets a hero:

This is an aggressive deck. You want cheap creatures, cards that make multiple creatures, heroes and spell that target them. Auras also target your creatures and therefore trigger your heroes.

The best combat trick is Phalanx Tactics. Best way for making multiple creatures is with a heavier white deck with Reverent Hoplite.

Wrap in Flames is an actual card in this archetype. Often you’ll target your hero, their best two creatures and attack for the win.

Green – White: Constellation “Heroic” Aggro

Siona Captain of the Pyleas MTG

Similarly to the red-white, green-white also has a heroic theme (albeit a very small one). It also plays well with white Constellation cards, which are pretty aggressive.

Siona perfectly encapsulates what this archetype is about. Play creatures, play auras, get some tokens, trigger “heroic” and Constellation – turn your creatures sideways and win. Reverent Hoplite and Phalanx Tactics work here as well.

Blue – Black: Control

Theros Beyond Death Draft Guide Devourer of Memory

As usual black has the best removal spells in the set. Blue has card draw. Pair these two together and you got yourself a real nice control deck. Don’t forget to pick up some good win condition, since these are harder to come by outside the rare slot.

If you don’t have enough Final Deaths, you’ll might have problems with Escape creatures. Try to include one copy of Cling to Dust if that’s the case.

There are also some self-mill synergies in this color pair. (Self milling is putting cards from your library into the graveyard.) However, they are not very prevalent – you should just build your deck with good interaction and great utility creatures, such as Devourer of Memory. Don’t bother with milling.

Blue – Red: Your Turn is Our Turn – Tempo

MTG Mischievous Chimera.png

There are five cards that give you bonuses when you cast spells during your opponent’s turn. All of them are red or blue:

Your average blue-red deck will be aggressive with some forms of tempo play. You’ll also want some instants or permanents with flash like Omen of the Forge, Stern Dismissal, Vexing Gull, Fateful End.

This is obviously the only deck where Stinging Lionfish and Arena Trickster become playable. If you don’t get enough removal spells, consider playing a copy of Sleep of the Dead.

Blue – Green: Constellation Midrange

Blue Green Eutropia Theros Draft Guide

Blue-green decks will do what they do best – generate value and play good cards on the curve. There is a small constellation theme, but don’t try to build around it too much if you don’t have one of the two amazing payoffs.

One is Eutropia the Twice-Favored and the second is Setessan Champion. Other constellation payoffs are pretty mediocre. So just try and play good cards and don’t force anything when in blue-green.

Black – Red: Sacrifice

Theros Draft Guide Slaughter-Priest of Mogis

Black-Red is an aggressive deck that features a sacrifice theme – killing your own stuff for a benefit. You’ll want some expandable creatures or enchantments to sacrifice. Mostly cards that already gave you most of it effect when they entered the battlefield such as Iroas’s Blessing or expendable bodies like Discordant Piper.

If you end up in this deck, you’ll want a Portent of Betrayal. Nothing better than stealing your opponent’s best creature, hitting them with it and sacrificing it for value.

Cards that will draw you toward this archetype include:

Black – Green: Escape

Black Green Acolyte of Affliction Theros Beyond Death Draft Guide

Black-green is probably the most insane color-pair, just looking at the spoilers. Black has the best removal spells and green has the best creatures. That’s the perfect combination for winning drafts.

Since the card quality is so high, there’s no need to play synergy based cards. There are lots of cards like Acolyte of Affliction that gave you some incidental self-mill, but the main value of the card is tied up to returning a creature. It truly is a powerhouse.

The best Escape creatures are in this color combination:

Every one of them is totally worthy of main deck inclusion. The only exception might be Underworld Charger, if you aren’t aggressive.

Red – Green: 4+ Power

Green Red Archetype Warden of the Chained

Red-green does what red-green wants to do: play big creatures and attack with them.

There is a small 4-power theme. Don’t play bad cards just because they have 4 or more power. The benefits are pretty minor and there are plenty of 4+ powered creatures that will make your theme work.

Furious Rise is the best payoff you can get – it will draw you an additional card each turn.

Theros Beyond Death Draft Guide: Power Rankings

There is no unplayable color pair in Theros Beyond Death draft. However, some are better than others. Here are our rankings, but remember that they are all somewhat closely together. Draft the best cards you get, and your deck should be fine.

  1. Blue – Black
  2. Red – White
  3. Black – Red
  4. Blue – Green
  5. Black – Green
  6. Black – White
  7. Blue – White (#1 with Dream Trawler)
  8. Red – Green
  9. Blue – Red
  10. Green – White

Beyond the Draft Guide

You can take a look at all cards from Theros Beyond Death here.

Hopefully this Theros Beyond Death Draft Guide will help you win your next draft. If you have any more question, feel free to ask us in the comments bellow or on our Facebook group or Instagram. We’ll gladly help you.

That’s all about the newest draft format. Until next time, may you never be on the receiving end of Kiora Bests the Sea God.

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