Ashiok, Athreos, Elspeth power into MTG Theros: Beyond Death

Here's a first look at powerful planeswalkers and legendary creatures.

Theros Art Magic
Image via Wizards of the Coast Magic: The Gathering

Two Magic: The Gathering planeswalkers and the buy-a-box promo card for Theros: Beyond Death were revealed today. 

The next Magic set, Theros: Beyond Death (THB), is just over a month away from release. Several cards from the set were revealed today and it seems that the power level of planeswalkers and legendary creatures within it won’t be overpowered like Oko, Thief of Crowns was in Throne of Eldraine

Ashiok, Nightmare Muse

Ashiok, Nightmare Muse MTG Theros Beyond Death
Image via WotC Magic: The Gathering

Ashiok, Nightmare Muse in THB is like a twisted mashup of Ashiok, Dream Render, Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, and Thief of Sanity. Thankfully, the planeswalker of unknown gender costs five mana to cast. 

  • Bounce cards from the battlefield like Teferi with its minus three, and then force a player to exile a card from hand. This is especially useful when an opponent has no cards in hand. 
  • Create a 2/3 token with their plus one agility. An opponent exiles the top-two cards from their library every time that token attacks or blocks, similar to the mill effect assigned to Dream Render. 
  • Ashiok ultimate is like Thief of Sanity on steroids, giving access to an opponent’s exiled cards and being able to cast three of them at no mana cost. 

Ashiok, Nightmare Muse is featured in the THB set as an alternative-art borderless planeswalker and in normal bordered art. 

Athreos, Shroud-Veiled

Athreos, Shroud Veiled MTG Theros Beyond Death
Image via WotC Magic: The Gathering

Devotion and coin counters return in THB with the buy-a-box promo God Athreos, Shroud-Veiled. The legendary card is similar to Athreos, God of Passage in that it’s indestructible and uses the devotion mechanic. But Athreos Shroud-Veiled is balanced better as a 4/7 that costs six mana to cast. 

Athreos, Shroud-Veiled doesn’t just protect its owner’s creatures via coin counters, it can also steal an opponent’s. If the controller of Athreos has no other creatures on the battlefield, a coin counter goes on an opponent’s creature. When that creature dies, it returns to the battlefield under the control of the player who owns Athreos. 

Athrios will fit nicely into a BW Control Standard deck and it’s also an ideal commander in EDH and Brawl. 

Elspeth, Sun’s Nemesis

Elspeth, Sun's Nemesis MTG Theros Beyond Death
Image via WotC Magic: The Gathering

Slightly weaker than the other THB revealed cards, Elspeth, Sun’s Nemesis is a planeswalker who could see play depending on the meta in Standard. The minus-one ability to beef up two other creatures with a +2/1 has its benefits. Being able to recast Elspeth, Sun’s Nemesis from the graveyard using the Escape mechanic is also an added benefit. 

The Theros: Beyond Death set releases in MTG Arena on Jan. 16 and has a pre-release weekend beginning Jan. 17 via tabletop.