Over the last week we got a few previews of cards from Theros: Beyond Death ahead of the formal start of preview season on December 30th. Some of the cards look like they will have more than limited playability depending on what else is in the set. Today I will look at the most interesting red and green cards.

RED

Sagas are back in Theros Beyond Death! The first previewed saga is The Akroan War. Chapter one allows you to gain control of target creature for as long as The Akroan War remains on the battlefield. Chapter II requires your opponent to attack with all its creatures on his/her next turn if able. Chapter III has each tapped creature deal damage to itself equal to its power. Akroan looks like a good mid to late game card in red decks. The act of treason ability of chapter I gives you access to the best creature your opponent has while chapter II gives you the ability to destroy most of your opponent’s creatures. How you block when your opponent is forced to attack will determine how effective chapter III is when it activates. I like the potential of The Akroan War. It can be very effective against any deck playing large numbers of small creatures as long as you have good creatures to defend with.

GREEN

The second saga previewed is The Binding of the Titans. This saga cost a colorless mana and a green mana. Chapter I places the top three cards of both players libraries in the graveyard. Chapter II allows you to exile two cards from graveyards and gains you one life for each creature exiled this way. Chapter III allows you to return from your graveyard a creature or a land. This card combines mill and dredge effects with a little life game added. Unless there are more related cards, I am not sure that it has a place in standard beyond maybe a sideboard card.

Setessan Champion is a 1/3 human warrior for three mana. What is interesting about the card is it constellation effect. Whenever an enchantment enters the battlefield under your control, put a +1/+1 counter on Setessan Champion and draw a card. We know that enchantments will play a big role in the set, so Setassan Champion has the possibility to be an all-star in an enchantment deck. I expect players to try and build around it and I would not be surprised if it finds its way into the Top 8 in several events.

I think that Setessan Champion might work well with Starfield Mystic from Core Set 2020 because it reduces the casting costs of enchantment spells you cast by one mana. These cards in tandem make an interest combination that could be the start of a powerful enchantment-based deck.

The final green card of interest is Ironscale Hydra. For three colorless and two green mana you get a 5/5 hydra. What makes it a powerful option in standard is its ability. “If a creature would deal combat damage to Ironscale Hydra, prevent that damage and put a +1/+1 counter on Ironscale Hydra.” This ability means that it can not die in combat, so it would have to be removed by other means to get it off the battlefield. I think that it will make a good sideboard card in green decks.

GRUUL

The final preview in red and green is Klothys, God of Destiny. This legendary enchantment creature is the newest god on Theros. What makes him very intriguing is his low cost. Klothys cost a colorless, red, and a green mana for a 4/5 indestructible enchantment creature.

Like the gods from the original Theros block, Klothys is not a creature unless your devotion to red and green is seven or more, so while Klothys cost only three mana he will not be a creature if it enters the battlefield early in the game. What makes Klothys a very attractive option in Gruul decks is its ability. “At the beginning of your precombat main phase, exile target card from a graveyard. If it was a land card, add one red or green mana. Otherwise, you gain 2 life and Klothys deals 2 damage to each opponent.” This effect makes Klothys useful in the early game and continuing to deal damage turn after turn to help take down your opponent. It is also valuable because it will activate spectacle for cards like Light Up the Stage and Skewer the Critics. I do not see Klothys taking up four spots in Gruul, but as a two or three of in the deck it makes sense.

Until next time, good luck finding your win condition!