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. After the set becomes available on MTG Arena, we’ll add our best preforming archetypes, so make sure to come back in a week or so.
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.
1. 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. Additionaly it will trigger your constellation effects.
That makes Dreadful Apathy the best white common in Theros Beyond Death Draft.
2. 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 aloow you to play two spells in a turn.
3. Revoke Existence
Revoke Existence would usually start in your sideboard – however this is not the case in Theros Beyond Death Draft. There are 91 enchantments and 11 artifacts in this set. This represents 40,1% of all cards in Theros (254 in total).
This means you should always play at least one Revoke Existence and you’ll probably be happy with a second one. Third one might be a bit of an overkill though.
1. 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
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
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.
1. Mire’s Grasp
Very cheap and effective removal spell that trigers your Constellation effects. At just two mana, this is easily the best black common.
2. 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
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.
1. 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. 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.
3. 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.
1. 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
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.
Speaking of getting cards to your graveyard, Relentless Pursuit is an excellent way to do so.
3. Return to Nature
Same stuff we said about Revoke Existence applies here. 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.
Our Theros Beyond Death Draft Guide continues with archetype breakdown. We’ll take a quick look at what each two-color pair does. Once Theros comes drafts start on Arena, we’ll updated them with power rankings.
Blue – White: Constellation Tempo
Both white and blue have a small constellation theme. Besides it it has it signature deck blue-white flyers.
Staggering Insight is truly a perfect card for the deck. It both triggers your Constellation effects and gives an absurd set of abilities to your creature, preferably a flying one.
Black – White: Graveyard Midrange
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
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:
- two commons
- three uncommons
Each of which will give your team +1/+0 whenever you cast a spell that targets it.
This will be an aggressive deck. You’l want cheap creatures, cards that make multiple creatures heroes and spell that target them. Auras also target your creatures and therefore they trigger your heroes.
Green – White: Constellation “Heroic” Aggro
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.
Blue – Black: Control
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.
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.
Blue – Red: Your Turn is Our Turn
There are five cards that give you bonuses when you cast spells during your opponent’s turn:
- 1 rare
- 3 uncommons
- 1 common
They are all in red and 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, to support the theme.
Blue – Green: Constellation Midrange
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
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.
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.
Black – Green: Escape
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. This combination really seems to have it all and is a front runner for best color pair in Theros Beyond Death Draft.
Red – Green: 4+ Power
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 probably the best payoff you can get – it will draw you an additional card each turn.
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.
We’ll be updating the article throughout the next weeks. Make sure to check back to see which decks are the best preforming ones. Our prediction is the following:
- Black – Green
- Red – White
- Blue – Green
We’ll see how right or wrong we are in the upcoming weeks. Until next time, may you never be on the receiving end of Kiora Bests the Sea God. (Best card in the set?)