Theros Beyond Death - All The Magic: The Gathering Mechanics & Themes We Know So Far

Author Thumbnail
By Jake Vyper . | More Articles MTG Content Creator MTG Content Creator
November 07, 2019  12:27 PM


Several Magic: the Gathering cards from the upcoming set Theros Beyond Death were leaked when some players allegedly found five booster packs from Walgreens, revealing the expansion's new mechanics and themes three months ahead of its official release. 

Check out what we learned so far: 


The only new mechanic confirmed so far is Escape, which lets a player cast the spell with Escape from the graveyard for their escape cost. The cost includes exiling a number of other cards from your graveyard, and some Escape cards get an additional bonus if you cast them for their escape cost. 

The Escape mechanic is also featured in the new Elspeth card, but so far, players are not impressed with the new Planeswalker card because of its weak abilities despite having an Escape ability. 


Devotion is a returning mechanic first introduced in the original Theros set released in 2013. Devotion to a color means the number of times that color's symbol appears on permanents you control. It's not surprising to see that this mechanic is returning since the original Theros block featured many cards that use it. 


Constellation is another returning mechanic from the third set of the Theros block, Journey into Nyx. A constellation ability triggers when an enchantment enters the battlefield under your control for any reason. Enchantments with other card types such as enchantment creatures will also cause constellation abilities to trigger. 

It's also not surprising to see the return of Constellation since Theros Beyond Death is also expected to feature many enchantments just like the original Theros block, but Journey into Nyx only featured 16 cards with Constellation, so it's good to know that more Constellation cards from Theros Beyond Death are coming. 



First introduced in the Dominaria set just last year, Sagas are enchantment cards that have "chapters" that trigger effects. When a Saga enters the battlefield, its controller puts a lore counter on it, and at the beginning of each precombat main phase, you put a lore counter on each Saga you control. Each chapter triggers when a lore counter put on the Saga causes the number of lore counters on the Saga to become equal to the ability's chapter number. Chapter abilities are put on the stack, and each chapter usually represents a key event from the plane's story. When all chapters have been triggered, the Saga goes to the graveyard. 


Here are themes of Theros Beyond Death the leaks revealed so far: 


Theros Beyond Death will clearly feature a bunch of enchantments just like the original Theros block, and it looks like Wizards of the Coast will print more colored enchantments, and enchantments with enter the battlefield effects like "Ashiok's Erasure", which exiles a spell and prevents your opponents from casting the card with the same name as the spell you exiled with it. 


Four or Greater

There are some leaked cards with reference to whether the controlling player has a creature with power four or greater. For example, "Warden of the Chained" is a 4/4 creature that costs only three mana to play but it can't attack unless you control another creature with power four or greater. 

This is similar to the Ferocious mechanic from Khans of Tarkir, but it seemingly allows for more simplified language and flexibility. 

Artifacts & Equpments

It seems that Theros Beyond Death will have an artifact/equipment theme. "Dalakos, Crafter of Wonders" strongly hints that the set will focus heavily on equipment, and it looks like the Blue/Red color combination will focus on a strategy that uses many artifacts and equipment cards. 

Cast A Spell on Your Opponent's Turn/Flash

There are some cards that give bonus effects for playing spells in your opponent's turns like "Naiad of Hidden Covers" and "Arena Trickster". It looks like the Flash archetype will get some viable cards that will make it stronger. 

Cast A Spell That Targets A Creature You Control

Creature  cards like "Hero of the Nyxborn" hint that Theros Beyond Death will heavily feature a  "target your own creature with a spell" theme. This is similar to the Heroic mechanic introduced in original Theros set. 

This kind of strategy fits well with the Red/White Feather archetype in Standard that uses a lot of instants and cantrip cards to trigger various effects and make your creatures more powerful in combat. 

So those are the mechanics and themes the leaks revealed so far. What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below. 

Theros Beyond Death, the 83rd Magic: The Gathering expansion, is set to release on January 24, 2020. Prerelease events will take place on January 17-19. 

Related: Oko, Thief of Crowns Finally Banned But Not in The Format Players Want


What Others Are Reading

Author Name
Jake Vyper . MTG Content Creator