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Theros Beyond Death is right around the corner, and hundreds of MTG Arena streamers are currently participating in the Early Access Streamer Event, which runs from January 15, 8:00 AM PST to January 16, 6:00 AM PST (right before the server maintenance the new patch). Players are given a stacked account with unlimited access for a day, allowing them to showcase the new cards via limited play (sealed or draft) and trying out new Standard decks!
In this article, we will be aiming to prepare you for tomorrow’s set release by rounding up the most interesting and noteworthy decks throughout today’s event. We will be providing you with commentary on the key cards to watch out for so you can make a more informed decision. You can click on the headings to view the decklist, or go straight to the Theros Beyond Death Theorycraft deck section to browse all the pre-meta decks!
We will be continuously adding as much decks as possible here, so come back for more as the day goes!
It looks like Nightmare Shepherd is a card that is impressing so far. With free sacrifice outlets like Witch’s Oven and Ayara, First of Locthwain, you can get some great value from creatures that have effects when they come into play such as Yarok’s Fenlurker and Gray Merchant of Asphodel. Mythic Championship III champion Levunga took this deck to a 8-1 record in today’s event and it’s worth experimenting with other new cards such as Erebos, Bleak-Hearted and Woe Strider.
Thassa is looking like it will be one of the best Gods of the set. Similar to Nightmare Shepherd from above, she can give you a lot of value from enter the battlefield effects (for no cost), and some interesting interactions such as being able to permanently own creatures stolen with Claim the Firstborn (more on than later). The creature portion should mostly be treated as just a nice bonus!
Another card that is impressing and looking quite busted is Nyx Lotus. You can even untap it using cards like Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner. This particular deck uses excess mana to snowball into drawing lots of cards with Gadwick, the Wizened, cast expensive spells and even mill with Folio of Fancies.
Esper decks gets a lot of action with Theros, starting with the two on-color Temples which adds more consistency and card selection. Ashiok, Nightmare Muse is looking to be quite a powerhouse the deck needed. Atris, Oracle of Half-Truths is another card that has performed well since you can immediately gain some value out of it, unlike cards like Thief of Sanity that requires it to connect with an attack first.
The two Titans look to make or break Standard and they can be exploited in various ways. This particular deck by Andrea Mengucci is pure genius, pairing Lazav with the new Titans. While this might not be the best setup for this deck type, cheating titans into play quickly may be a winning strategy for months to come – either by shoving them into the graveyard or using cards like Hushbringer to avoid sacrificing them.
It looks like Setessan Champion will be one of the better cards in the set, similar to Edgewall Innkeeper and it can be a big threat on its own.
I really like what this deck is trying to do. It has cheap instant interaction that later becomes part of the combo kill. Wilderness Reclamation is one of the most powerful cards in Standard and it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a tier 1 deck once more. Don’t sleep on this card. Thassa’s Intevention is also another card that impressed, and it got some nice value during AliEldrazi’s stream.
A nice little trick can be achieved with Thassa, Deep-Dwelling and spells that steal your opponent’s creatures such as Claim the Firstborn, allowing you to permanently control them. This is just one part of the deck however, since it can also exploit enter the battlefield effects that come naturally with the previous popular Elemental tribe involving Risen Reef and Omnath, Locus of the Roil.
More to come!