January 7, 2020

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Daily Dose of Theros Beyond Death #14 – It’s time to get Kraken

Welcome all to the Daily Dose of Theros Beyond Death. Today I’ll be talking about a couple of sweet new card designs from Theros Beyond Death. I’m a fan of a well-designed Magic card and I think that these three fit that bill. Sometimes you will get the cookie-cutter rare with great stats and an enters the battlefield ability. I get it, they’re fine. I would rather play with ones that think outside the box and force you to do the same. They can add extra value to themselves through great gameplay, or with a little bit of luck. Either way, it’s something different to play with in both Limited and Constructed play.

I want to start off talking about a haste creature an interesting recursion ability. Here is Storm Herald.

Storm Herald

The power of this card will lie in what Auras are available to you to bring back from your graveyard. If you look at what’s currently in Standard, there are currently 32 Auras with only 1 being in red (Maniacal Rage). Of those 32, 17 of them are either negative Auras, that you wouldn’t want to put on your own creatures (i.e. Pacifism) or can only enchant lands. That leaves you with 15 to choose from. From those the best option for one Aura will give you +3/+3 unless you can stack a bunch of All that Glitters to make a super creature. As of writing this article, there are only 3 positive Auras spoiled for Theros Beyond Death, with the best one giving you +2/+2 and first strike. So chances are, you won’t be able to get a ton of Auras onto one creature, but even with one of two of them added on, Storm Herald or whatever creature of yours you want to put them on, will be a strong threat.

Next up is a 2/3 creature for three mana, but can do so much more. Here is Nadir Kraken.

Nadir Kraken

At first glance, you see a 2/3 for three mana, but its power lies in the future. For me, it’s ability should instead have an Upkeep of one mana. There are few scenarios where you wouldn’t want to spend the one mana. You won’t just be able to add that power during your draw phase, as blue has no shortage of ways to draw cards. I could picture this being played in an Izzet Phoenix deck. It has a strong two devotion for three mana and will be a great way to protect your life total with 1/1 blockers or have a go-wide strategy and attack with a battlefield full of creatures.

Finally, I want to talk about one of the most interesting designs for a Magic card I’ve seen in a while. Here is Haktos the Unscarred.

Haktos the Unscarred

This card is one of those creatures that can simply win a game in 3 to 4 short turns. If you’re lucky, it’ll take over the game. One of the key things to note is that it also gains protection from all cards that aren’t of the randomly chosen converted mana cost. This means your opponent won’t be able to block with a token or 1-drop creature. I think the number that you want to avoid from rolling the most is 3 as it has the most creatures and most removal spells currently in Standard. For example, if you are playing against a Jund Sacrifice deck, if you roll a 2 or 4 at random, your opponent will not have any way to interact or block Haktos the Unscarred in their entire deck other than 2 copies of Massacre Girl. If you roll a four against a Jeskai Fires deck. The only card in their deck that can stop you is Sphinx of Foresight. As you can see, it’s an amazing card, but like Achilles, it will usually always have 1 weakness.

As you can see, Theros Beyond Death is bringing us some well-designed cards and I look forward to being able to play them and build decks with them. Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of Theros Beyond Death. Join me again tomorrow as the journey continues towards the release of this new set.