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Theros: Beyond Death Previews – Nightmare Shepherd, Destiny Spinner and More

Enjoy the following spoilers from the upcoming Theros: Beyond Death, to be released on January 16, 2020!

Nightmare Shepherd

thb-108-nightmare-shepherd

Nightmare Shepherd 2BB
Enchantment Creature – Demon (Rare)
4/4
Flying
Whenever another non-token creature you control dies, you may exile it. If you do, create a token copy of that creature, except its a 1/1 and is a Nightmare in addition to its other types.

Nightmare Shepherd has a really sweet and interesting effect, letting you get a lot of value from Sacrifice and ETB effects by recurring the creature again. That will be its natural home in Constructed – it needs strong ETBs/death triggers alongside cards like Woe Strider that function as easy sac outlets. If those circumstances combine, that adds up to a really powerful and synergistic card, and there are already various Sacrifice decks floating around that the Shepherd could be a nice addition to.

The question is whether those decks have too many better options in the 4 drop slot or not, as the Shepherd is sort of weak without a sacrifice effect or good ETB fodder and will be a bit situational. Getting it removed at 4 mana for no value is really not where you want to be; I suspect it will be more of a niche role player than a staple in the upcoming Standard format.

Destiny Spinner

thb-168-destiny-spinner

Destiny Spinner 1G
Enchantment Creature – Human
Creatures and enchantment spells you control can’t be countered.
3G: Target land you control becomes an X/X elemental until the end of turn with haste and trample, where X is the number of enchantments you control. It’s still a land.
2/3

Here’s the full art by Livia Prima:

destiny-spinner-art

Destiny Weaver has a truly exceptional amount going on for an uncommon, and is going to be more playable in Constructed than most rares even! She combines a great statline that will stop many aggressive creatures in their tracks, with some powerful hate for any decks relying on countermagic, and an often game-ending mana sink to boot! The card reminds me of Sylvan Advocate, which was in almost every green deck in the Battle for Zendikar days. Destiny Weaver is guaranteed to see plenty of sideboard play as she hates on common decks like Simic/Izzet Flash and Azorius Control, while still being a fine card to board in against aggro, and she’s powerful enough to see mainboard play if those decks are good (although her very existence hurts those decks and might contribute to them falling off more than they already have).

In Limited (yes, this is an uncommon in case you forgot!), Destiny Weaver is just as nuts – she outclasses most other 2 drops, has a powerful mana sink which are very important in both Draft and Sealed, and enables your Enchantment synergies like Constellation. It’s difficult to imagine decks having many better 2 drops at all. I would recommend taking her at about B/3.5 by LSV’s rating scale in Draft – look out for the draft reviews from Compulsion and I coming out soon!

This card will weave the destinies of myriad games in the coming months…

Loathsome Chimera

thb-177-loathsome-chimera-de
Source (Mein-MMO)

Loathsome Chimera 2G
Creature – Chimera
Escape – 4G, Exile three other cards from your graveyard. (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its escape cost.)
Loathsome Chimera escapes with a +1/ +1 counter on it.

The Chimera has some really cool art, a standout even among all the great art in the new set… this painting as it’s leaping in a mid air over a beautiful frozen Tundra is great, and the creature itself is a fantastic representation of the weird and abstract feel of traditional Chimeras – known for having the head of a goat, the body of a lion and a snake as a tail.

The Chimera is a fine workhorse in Limited, triggering the 4 power or greater effects that some of the cards in the set have, which are especially good in Gruul (in fact we’re about to see one of those cards right after this one!) and being just a fine rate. It does get worse if there are a lot of ping (1 damage) effects in the set, but there haven’t been many spoiled so far. The Escape is nice upside, only requiring you to exile three cards.

I would recommend taking the Chimera at about a C/2.0 rate in Draft, but higher if you are in Gruul or already have some of those effects. The Chimera isn’t good enough for Constructed, there are just better things you can do there.

Furious Rise

thb-136-furious-rise

Furious Rise is especially good in Gruul in Draft and could easily be fantastic there – this is really a lot of value if you can keep a creature with power 4 or greater around. I would happily play this card in any deck with at least 5 or 6 creatures with power 4 or greater, and would take it highly if I am already in green. Take it at about a C/2.0 level early on, but higher if either of those factors apply.

The Rise seems a bit too weak and situational for Constructed, but possibly in one of the Artisan formats if a red Enchantment deck with enough 4+ power creatures exists.

Omen of the Dead

thb-110-omen-of-the-dead-de

Omen of the Dead B
Enchantment (Common)
Flash
When Omen of the Dead enters the battlefield, return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.
2B, Sacrifice Omen of the Dead: Scry 2.

“My time will come, when life’s frantic striving will fade into the boundless quiet of death”.

110/254
Artist: Piotr Dura

The last Omen in the cycle has some epic art that almost looks like it was intended for a movie poster! It’s a very cheap way of triggering any Enchantment synergies you may have, both in Draft and potentially in Constructed, but has a fairly minimal effect in turn. Since you have to wait for a creature to die and then have a good creature to recur and you don’t get any value alongside it (as you would with Soul Salvage and Aid the Fallen), it’s just an okay Draft card. I would recommend taking it at about C/2.0 level, but higher if you have some Constellation cards or other Enchantment payoffs already.


Join us later today, as there are more spoilers to go! Find the full schedule here.

If you’ve not already, be sure to check out our Theros Beyond Death Spoilers page for the full visual card gallery of all the cards revealed so far, and participate in our Theros Beyond Death Preorder Giveaway that runs until January 8, 2020!

Drifter

Drifter

I am a staff writer and editor for Mtgazone! I am an infinite drafter, and offer draft coaching alongside my articles. Far too obsessed with magic generally, not sure if that's a credential or the opposite...

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