Last updated on May 14, 2024

Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath - Illustration by Vincent Proce

Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath | Illustration by Vincent Proce

Theros Beyond Death brought players back to the enchantment plane of Theros to wrap up unfinished aspects of the story and build upon existing enchantment themes in the game. It included everything including a full plotline influenced by ancient mythology and a plethora of gods and enchantment creatures to both new and returning mechanics.

Ready for a journey through the Underworld?

I believe you are, and since in Theros belief is all that matters, let's enjoy an escapade through the underbelly of Theros Beyond Death, Magic: The Gathering's 83rd set!

Theros Beyond Death: Basic Information

Eat to Extinction - Illustration by Vincent Proce

Eat to Extinction | Illustration by Vincent Proce

Theros Beyond Death, released on January 24, 2020, is the 83rd MTG expansion. It takes us back to the Theros plane, which had been introduced seven years prior during the Theros block: Theros, Born of the Gods, and Journey into Nyx.

Theros Beyond Death: Set Details

Set SymbolTheros Beyond Death Set Symbol
Set CodeTHB
Hashtag#MTGTheros
Number of Cards358 cards total (including Theme Boosters and Planeswalker decks)
Rarities108 commons, 82 uncommons, 65 rares, 18 mythic rares, 5 basic lands
MechanicsEscape, Devotion, Constellation, Sagas

Theros Beyond Death: Important Dates

EventDate
Set ReleaseJanuary 2020
Available on Draftsim's Draft simulatorYes

About the Set: The Story

Discordant Piper - Illustration by John Stanko

Discordant Piper | Illustration by John Stanko

A Hellenic Setting

Theros is a plane inspired by ancient Greek mythology; the kind of setting Ulysses, Achilles, and King Leonidas would find familiar.

It’s a world of mythical creatures, where powerful gods often interact with the mortals that revere them. On Theros, faith and belief have quite a unique property: when enough people believe and dream something for long enough, it becomes true.

A Long, Long Time Ago…

Centuries ago, long before the ascent of Theros's gods to power, the mortal realm was plagued by terrifying titans, embodiments of primal urges that wreaked havoc and death wherever they roamed. Powerless and defenseless, the mortals turned to prayer in a desperate plea for help: it was this faith and belief that brought the gods into existence.

Empowered by the unwavering faith of mortals, the gods united their forces and imprisoned the titans within the Underworld. Klothys, the god of fate, volunteered to become the eternal jailer, ensuring the titans remained sealed away forever, while Erebos ruled the Underworld realm.

Previously, on Theros…

The original Theros block takes place countless centuries later, when a new peril emerges.

Xenagos, a satyr, awakens his spark and becomes a planeswalker. He travels far and wide across the planes, but when he returns to Theros, he finds his previous life unbearably dull and mundane. All that drinking and singing and partying that satyrs are known for isn’t enough, so he sets his sights higher. Much higher: he becomes obsessed with reaching godhood and ascending to Theros's pantheon. And through many trials and trickeries, he actually pulls it off, dumbfounding the gods as they learn that they’re replaceable.

Heliod, the sun god, is furious. He dispatches his champion, Elspeth, to eliminate Xenagos. Elspeth is herself a planeswalker, having arrived on Theros to escape her troubled past, and she has earned Heloid’s trust after many adventures.

Elspeth succeeds in her quest and slays Xenagos… but Xenagos's ascension has left Heliod deeply troubled: his trust towards Elspeth turns into distress, and he fears that she may one day follow Xenagos's steps and try to strongarm her way into godhood.

The last set of Theros block, Journey into Nyx, ends when Heliod, fearful that Elspeth's growing popularity might lead her to surpass him in the pantheon, strikes her down and casts her to the depths of the Underworld, destined to be forgotten.

Elspeth Beyond Death

In Theros Beyond Death, we learn that Elspeth is dead, but her story is far over.

Instead of finding eternal rest in Ilysia – the region reserved for fallen heroes in Theros's Underworld – Elspeth becomes the target of Ashiok, a nightmare mage and planeswalker that lurks among the dead souls. Dark visions assault Elspeth, extracted from her troubled past: visions of Daxos, her lover, whom she was tricked into killing; visions of Heliod, as the jealous god struck her down; visions of her childhood torments at the hands of the Phyrexians.

So vivid are these visions that during one of them, Elspeth seizes Heliod's spear, Khrusor. After the nightmare fades, a corrupted version of the spear remains in her hands, emanating darkness and power.

Ashiok, who lives for fear, discovers the existence of the Phyrexians through Elspeth's visions. Fascinated by these living nightmares, Ashiok planeswalks away, bent on finding them and leaving Elspeth alone.

Meanwhile, Heliod is determined to rule Theros's pantheon. He pulls Daxos's soul, makes him his demigod champion, and orders him to eradicate all traces of the other gods from the city of Meletis.

Not too eager to be overrun by Heliod's errand demigod, the other gods summon their own champions from the Underworld, and godly war ensues. The land is torn, with huge rifts and maws allowing countless monsters to escape from the Underworld. The ruler of the Underworld, Erebos, hates Heliod the most.

Elspeth learns about these rifts that lead to the mortal realm, and she prepares to escape through a hidden exit in Erebos's palace.

As she journeys toward freedom, she gathers allies and faces numerous battles, emerging victorious each time. With each victory, she boldly proclaims her spear to be the true Khrusor, and that Heliod's spear is a fake.

By the time Elspeth reaches the Underworld exit, so many souls have heard her story and believed in it that it becomes true: when she finally faces Heliod, who is hellbent on not letting Elspeth leave the Underworld, Heliod's lance shatters in his hands as Elspeth strikes with the true Khrusor.

Erebos takes a defeated Heliod and imprisons the defeated sun god beneath a massive boulder to suffer for all eternity or be forgotten. Grateful to Elspeth, he allows her to leave the Underworld and grants her passage to the mortal realm.

The cards that represent the Story Spotlights in Theros Beyond Death are:

Theros Beyond Death: Mechanics

New Keyword Ability: Escape

From Elspeth to hellish horrors, there are a lot of things on Theros that want to escape from the Underworld. Theros Beyond Death introduced a new keyword ability around this concept: escape.

Escape allows players to cast cards from their graveyard by paying a cost and exiling other cards from their graveyard. By paying the escape cost, players can effectively “resurrect” the card from the graveyard, giving them access to powerful creatures multiple times during a game.

Escape is available on permanents, including creatures like Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger or planeswalkers like Elspeth, Sun's Nemesis. If killed after escaping, they return to the graveyard, ready to escape again if you can pay the cost.

Devotion

Devotion is a mechanic introduced in the original Theros set. ‘”Devotion” is a rules term that counts colored mana symbols in the mana values of permanents you control to determine the magnitude of their effects.

The instant Drag to the Underworld, for example, costs X less to cast, with X being your devotion to black. Each black mana symbol in the mana costs of your permanents counts toward your devotion to black. Devotion only looks at the mana costs; mana symbols in the oracle text don't count toward devotion.

Constellation

Constellation, introduced in Journey into Nyx, is fairly straightforward: a card with a constellation ability triggers said ability each time an enchantment is played.

For example, Favored of Iroas gains double strike until end of turn whenever an enchantment enters the battlefield under your control.

In Journey into Nyx, constellation abilities are often (but not always) found on enchantment creatures. In Theros Beyond Death, on the other hand, constellation is found on non-enchantment cards, making it a payoff for enchantments.

Sagas

Quite fittingly for a setting in which myth and legends take center stage, Theros Beyond Death features ten saga cards.

As a saga enters the battlefield, its controller puts a lore counter on it, and then another counter at the beginning of each of their turns. Each counter advances the saga one chapter, triggering said chapter's ability and putting it on the stack.

For example, Kiora Bests the Sea God summons a Kraken when played (first lore counter), tap target nonland permanents at the start of the next turn (second lore counter), and gain control of target permanent at the start of the following turn (third lore counter).

Once the number of lore counters on a saga is greater than or equal to the greatest number among its chapter abilities, the saga's controller sacrifices it as soon as its chapter ability has left the stack.

Casting Spells During an Opponent's Turn

Several cards in the Theros Beyond Death set encourage you to cast spells during your opponent's turn:

Heroism

Heroic is an ability introduced in the original Theros set. Creatures with heroic give you bonuses every time you target them with a spell.

Technically speaking, there's no heroic card in Theros Beyond Death… but there's one card per color that has the exact mechanic in its text box.

For example, Hero of the Pride‘s text works exactly like heroic, providing a bonus every time you target him with a spell.

Theros Beyond Death Card Gallery

White

Blue

Black

Red

Green

Multicolored

Colorless

Lands

Notable Cards

Banned and Restricted

Underworld Breach

Underworld Breach was banned in Legacy in March 2020 and in Pioneer later that year. It's playable in Commander, comboing well with Lion's Eye Diamond, and it sees a lot of play in Modern. It remains one of the most expensive THB cards.

Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath was one of two flagship mythic cards showcasing the escape mechanic (the other being Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger). Uro was banned from Standard in September 2020 (on grounds of beating to a pulp pretty much every other deck), and a few months later it was banned from Historic, Explorer, Pioneer, and Modern.

It's legal in Commander, though, so if you're looking for a spicy legendary, Uro may be worth looking into!

Thassa's Oracle is a devotion card providing an alternative win condition. It is banned in Historic and saw a lot of play in Pioneer along with Inverter of Truth until Inverter was banned. It also sees play in Commander alongside Demonic Consultation.

Rakdos Staple

Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger is the other flagship mythic for escape. It was unplayable at first, due to Uro's dominance, but it currently sees play in various Rakdos decks. In particular, it's a staple of Pioneer's Rakdos Sacrifice, arguably one of the best decks in the format.

Other expensive cards in Theros Beyond Death include:

Shadowspear, which provides the extremely rare ability to remove both Indestructible and Hexproof;

Nyxbloom Ancient, who has heard that you like ramping, so it put some extra ramp on your ramp.

Heliod, Sun-Crowned, who may be the bad guy in Theros's story, but in your deck it can gain you tons of life!

Available Products

Deck Builder’s Toolkit

THB Deck Builder’s Toolkit

The Theros Beyond Death Deck Builder's Toolkit is great for new players wishing to dip their toes into deckbuilding.

Contents:

  • 1 pack of 125 cards (included cards are the same in every Deck Builder's Toolkit)
  • 4 fifteen-card booster packs from recent Magic sets
  • 100 basic land cards (traditional frame)
  • 1 deck builder's guide
  • 1 Magic quick reference booklet
  • 1 reusable card storage box
Sale
Magic: The Gathering Theros Beyond Death Deckbuilder’s Toolkit | 4 Assorted Booster Packs | Plus 125 Cards | Deck Builder’s Guide
  • The Theros Beyond Death (THB) Magic: The Gathering (MTG) Deckbuilder’s Toolkit is perfect for building several decks—plus there’s deckbuilding guide full of expert advice.
  • With boosters, land cards, and a selection of individual cards, you can build a deck that’s truly your own.
  • Battle your way back from the underworld with legendary gods and destined heroes! Theros Beyond Death (THB) spins Greek mythology through the lens of Magic: The Gathering (MTG).
  • The original strategy card game, Magic: The Gathering (MTG) has inspired more than 38 million fans over 25 years.
  • Contents: four (4) booster packs from recent sets; one hundred (100) basic land cards; one hundred and twenty-five (125) individual Magic cards; one (1) deck builder’s guide; one (1) reusable storage box.

Draft Boosters and Booster Display

Theros Beyond Death Draft Booster Box

Theros Beyond Death Draft Booster Box is what you need to play Draft or Sealed (collectively known as Limited). Draft boosters contain 15 cards each.

You can usually buy Draft boosters per unit or in a Draft Booster Box that comes with 36 boosters.

If you're thinking about drafting Theros Beyond Death, you may want to check our extremely comprehensive Ultimate Guide to Theros Beyond Death Draft. And remember you can practice your drafts on our Draft Simulator!

Magic: The Gathering Theros Beyond Death Booster Box (36 Packs)
  • EXPAND YOUR COLLECTION: The Theros Beyond Death booster box includes 36 booster packs containing 15 cards each (540 cards in total).
  • NEW MECHANIC ESCAPE: In Theros, the underworld can't be contained and creatures that have left the battlefield can be brought back using the escape keyword.
  • RETURNING MECHANIC DEVOTION: The Gods of Theros love to be worshipped by their followers and the devotion mechanic means the number of mana symbols of that colour among permanents you control increases your power or toughness
  • REDISCOVER SAGAS: Sagas tell epic stories, one chapter at a time. Each chapter has an associated effect that triggers an ability over the course of several turns
  • FULL ART NYX BASIC LANDS: Each pack includes a full art basic land with a stunning illustration of Nyx, the celestial land of night in Theros..HOST A BOOSTER DRAFT EVENT: This box contains enough boosters to host your own booster draft event with friends. Add basic lands and then you're ready to start building decks and playing..BATTLE YOUR WAY THROUGH THE UNDERWORLD: With legendary Gods and destined heroes, Theros Beyond Death spins Greek Mythology in the world of Magic: The Gathering.

Theme Boosters

Theros Beyond Death Black Theme Booster

Theme Boosters are larger boosters with 35 cards, all themed around a single color. Theros Beyond Death theme boosters are intended for players who want to expand their collection while focusing on a particular strategy or theme.

Magic: The Gathering Theros Beyond Death Theme Booster - Black
  • Theme Boosters are perfect for players looking to expand their collection with a specific strategy in mind.

Theros Beyond Death Bundle

Theros Beyond Death Bundle

Theros Beyond Death Bundles bring a good chunk of Draft Boosters, plus lands, a life counter, and a reference card.

Contents:

  • 10 Theros Beyond Death Draft Boosters
  • 20 foil land pack (traditional frame)
  • 20 regular land pack (traditional frame)
  • 1 foil promo card
  • 1 oversized spindown life counter (1.5″)
  • 2 reference cards
  • 1 reusable storage box
Magic The Gathering Theros Beyond Death Bundle | 10 Booster Packs (150 Cards) | Foil Lands | Accessories
  • Need a birthday present? A gift for the holidays? This is it. The Theros Beyond Death (THB) Bundle comes factory sealed with 10 booster packs and accessories—a great gift for any Magic player.
  • You’ll be ready to play with 20 basic lands, 20 foil basic lands, 1 alternate-art promo card, a reusable storage box, and one oversized life counter on top of your booster packs.
  • Play in style with full-art “Nyx” basic lands—there’s one in every pack of Theros Beyond Death (THB). Each one is a glimpse into the realm of the divine.
  • Prepare to challenge death itself with new mechanics, new saga cards, and new gods and planeswalkers.
  • Battle your way back from the underworld with legendary gods and destined heroes! Theros Beyond Death (THB) spins Greek mythology through the lens of Magic: The Gathering (MTG).

Collector Boosters

Theros Beyond Death Collector Boosters

For those looking for premium foils, Collector Boosters provide the most desirable cards from Theros Beyond Death.

Contents:

Theros Beyond Death Collector Boosters come in displays of 12.

  • Two (2) foil Nyx basic lands
  • Eight (8) foil common, uncommon, or basic land cards
  • One (1) ancillary card (a card that does not appear in Theros Beyond Death Draft Boosters)
  • One (1) rare or mythic rare extended frame card
  • One (1) foil rare or mythic rare card (one in four packs include an extended frame card instead)
  • One (1) saga or showcase frame card
  • One (1) foil saga or alternate frame god, demigod, or planeswalker card
  • One (1) foil double-sided token.
Magic The Gathering MTG-THB-CD-EN Theros Beyond Death Collector Boosters-Display of 12
  • PLAY IN STYLE: Each Collector Booster is packed with the most premium offerings from Theros Beyond Death – making the act of opening a booster as exciting as possible
  • 1 EXTENDED ART CARD: A Rare or Mythic extended art card can only be found in Collector Booster.
  • FOILS GALORE: In this pack you get 8 Foil common, uncommon or land cards, 1 foil rare or mythic card and 1 Foil double sided token.
  • 2 FOIL FULL ART NYX BASIC LANDS: Each pack includes 2 foil full art basic land with a stunning illustration of Nyx, the celestial land of night in Theros.
  • FULL CASE: This listing is for a full case of Theros Beyond Death Collector Boosters

Planeswalker Decks – Elspeth and Ashiok

Planeswalker Decks – Elspeth and Ashiok

Theros Beyond Death comes with two preconstructed decks, one themed around Elspeth, the other themed around Ashiok. Since they’re ready-made, they’re ideal for new players.

Each Planeswalker deck provides:

  • 1 ready-to-play 60-card deck featuring a foil planeswalker card
  • 2 Theros Beyond Death Draft Boosters
  • 1 strategy insert
Sale
MTG Magic the Gathering Theros Beyond Death - Both Planeswalker Decks! 180 Total Cards
  • Theros is a mythical world filled with Gods and warriors and honor to be had!
  • Inspired by the ancient-Greek legends on one hand and Magic the Gathering's own underworld twist that finds Elspeth!
  • This listing includes both planeswalker decks, each deck has 60 cards including a foil exclusive Planeswalker!
  • There is also a chance to get new limited collectible version cards (borderless planeswalkers, extended art frames, and showcase frames) randomly inserted in some boxes.
  • Release Date: Jan 24 2020

Wrap Up

Dream Trawler - Illustration by Jesper Ejsing

Dream Trawler | Illustration by Jesper Ejsing

And that will be all for Theros Beyond Death. It was a flavorful return to a fan-favorite jam-packed with all kinds of gods, new enchantments, and reprints.

I hope you have enjoyed this escapade around the Underworld! If you have any comments or feedback about this article, please let us know in the comments, stop by for a chat at the official Draftsim Discord.

Until next time, stay safe, and stay healthy!

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