Theros: Beyond Death Previews – Shadowspear & Bronzehide Lion
Enjoy the following spoilers from the upcoming Theros: Beyond Death, to be released on January 16, 2020!
Shadowspear is a card that’s an interesting throwback to the very powerful card Basilisk Collar, but trades Deathtouch for Trample and gains the ability to take out the Gods themselves! Equipment naturally lends itself to smaller creatures, which means Trample is unlikely to be nearly as effective as Deathtouch – bigger creatures don’t need equipment since they hit hard by themselves.
Shadowspear could potentially see some play regardless since its rate is efficient – lifelink is a powerful ability to grant and costing 2 to make a creature immediately a major threat against aggressive decks is no joke. The “combo” with Fervent Champion is strong, making the Champion a huge threat immediately and very hard to block or attack into for other aggro decks. I see Shadowspear at its best in decks with Ajani’s Pridemate and Heliod, Sun-Crowned, or other decks that make great use of the lifegain it provides.
The hexproof and indestructible hosing clause allows your removal spells to hit the Gods which is very relevant and it’s also some nice upside against something like Kiora Bests the Sea God (although hopefully you’re killing them before they can cast that card) and the card below this one! It won’t be the end all be all – if you want the card, you want it more for its base rate than being a very situational hoser, but it is definitely solid upside.
Full illustration by Alayna Danner:
Fleecemane Lion was one of the marquee cards of the old Theros set, one of the best cards in several Standard formats, and certainly one of the most memorable. Here he returns in a new form with a wacky new ability; one that is a reference to the old Theros itself in being the reverse of the Bestow mechanic! Bronzehide is one of the coolest homage cards I’ve ever seen, and I’m very excited to see it roam the Plains of Theros all these years later.
Bronzehide Lion evokes my nostalgia for the old days in that he’s just as powerful as Fleecemane – he has the same great statline combined with an activated ability that makes trading with him early impossible and will add up to a lot of free damage. If he should die, you really want to have another creature lying around so you can pass on that powerful activated ability and get some free Constellation triggers to boot. Bronzehide’s very existence makes sweepers worse and less impactful against Selesnya decks – remember that it will often be better if your board is big enough to fear a Deafening Clarion to just hold up the mana and wait.
As long as green white aggro is good, Bronzehide Lion will be good, and he will be one of the main draws into that archetype. We’ll see decks like Selesnya Adventures trying to make room for him, and perhaps even the return of Selesnya Venerated Loxodon Aggro. Bronzehide will cause many an old path to be retread, including those in our memories!
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!