It’s still the early days of Theros Beyond Death, but, after playing for a few hours, I’ve gotten a few opinions. Eight to be exact. And, though I’m usually a little wrong when I do predictions like these, I’m still confident I’m mostly right.
So, with that potentially damning statement out and about, let’s go over a few observations.
Simic Ramp is Insane:
It was good before, but then they brought in that Titan. He doesn’t have trample, sure, but he just puts an already amazing deck over the top. They win if they ever get high enough to cast Finale of Devastation, and between Uro and Hydroid Krasis, they can gain enough life to overcome some slower starts from aggro and make it to that kind of mana. It’s going to remain a top-tier deck and will overtake Simic Flash in standings.
Green Is Still The Most Busted Color:
Dryad of Ilysian Grove makes perfect mana and ramps and is my new favorite green card, but Setessan Champion is so good it will spawn archetypes around it. It’s a value engine, an aggro powerhouse, and not too high costed. The old green cards didn’t get worse, and there are so many good new additions that the best decks will either be three-color, splashing green, something like Fires, which fights on a totally different axis, or green and another color like Gruul Aggro or Simic Ramp. There’s a reason most of the recent bans have been green cards, and they still left stuff like Questing Beast around to terrorize people.
Escape Has A Lot of Answers:
Escape looked extremely cool during Theros spoiler season, and it is cool as a mechanic, but it’s also heavily hampered. Besides the Titans, the cards with it that are good enough are all Rares and Mythics—the lower rarities are almost all useless. The cost of exiling is subtly really restrictive as well, as it’s only good if you dump a lot of cards into the graveyard—which you shouldn’t be if you’re doing well in a game. It’s a late-game swing mechanic in most cases, and between Little Ashiok, Grafdigger’s Cage, exile effects, and even Return To Nature, it’s easy to stop most of the busted tricks. Yes, Underworld Breach might see something truly stellar come of it—but likely not in Standard.
The Gods Are Kind of Bad:
Purphoros was really powerful, but Bronze-Blooded is so slow and doesn’t have big things to get out in Standard that matter enough. The old God cards had such strong abilities even when they weren’t active, but these are only good when they are also creatures. Heliod is likely the only one to see a lot of play, and that’s only because he vastly improves Mono-White Lifegain. They’ll be in Commander, and be excellent additions, but not much else.
(Come back for more Theros content in part 2!)
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