Magic: The Gathering Guide - Let's Take A Look At the New Mechanics In Theros: Beyond Death

Learn more about the new set.
Learn more about the new set. Wizards of the Coast

The fairy tale is about to end and next year the adventure moves on in Magic: The Gathering. However it's a rather familiar world as MTG is sending us back to Theros with an upcoming new set. Theros: Beyond Death is scheduled to be released on January 24. This new set is going to introduce a new mechanic and sees the return of two older mechanics. Today we're going to look into those mechanics.


Let's start with the new mechanic, shall we? Typically in MTG, when beings die, they stay dead. That changes with Theros: Beyond Death as it introduces the Escape keyword. What this does is that if a card has Escape, it allows you to cast it. However it won't be that easy as not only are you going to need to spend mana as usual, you'll also need to exile a certain number of cards from the graveyard.

Take note that Escape doesn't change when you cast the spell. Instants, for example, can be cast any time with other card types being allowed to cast only when you are in your main phase. In addition, casting a spell with Escape doesn't change any of the usual rules for casting a spell. The spell still goes on the stack, meaning it can be countered like anything else. The converted mana cost also doesn't change, and is always based on the mana cost and not on the escape cost.

Time to escape from death.
Time to escape from death. Wizards of the Coast

Overall, what this means is that as long as you have other cards to exile, you can cast cards with Escape over and over. There are also going to be other cards that escape with bonuses. Take the Underworld Rage-Hound for example. One of its abilities is that it escapes with a +1/+1 counter.


Making a return is the Devotion mechanic, a natural fit for Theros: Beyond Death. Your devotion to a color is equal to the number of mana symbols of that color among the permanents that you control. Abilities that refer to your devotion to a color use that particular number in different ways.

Show your devotion.
Show your devotion. Wizards of the Coast

Let's try to see how that works with Daxos, Blessed by the Sun. Classified as a Legendary Enchantment Creature - Demigod, Daxos comes with a mana cost of WW. Daxos' abilities include that his toughness is equal to your devotion in white. So how is that computed? Well, if you only control Daxos, then your devotion to white is two, making your power/toughness 2/2. This means that his toughness is updated as a player's devotion changes.


Constellation is also making a return. This was first introduced during Journey into Nyx. Enchantments that have constellation abilities represent the divine constellations that fill Theros' night sky. The constellation ability of an enchantment is activated each time it or another enchantment enters the battlefield. It's worth noting that as an ability word, Constellation doesn't have a specific rules meaning. Take the creature below.

Better enchantments.
Better enchantments. Wizards of the Coast

As seen from the card, the Setessan Champion gets a +1/+1 counter each time an enchantment enters the battlefield under your control. You also get to draw a card.


It's not just about game mechanics, as Theros: Beyond Death also marks the return of the Saga enchantment subtype. Fans of the game should remember that this was first seen in Dominaria. Just in case you're not familiar, Sagas are enchantments that tell epic stories one chapter at a time.

Sagas return.
Sagas return. Wizards of the Coast

So how do they work? Each Saga has a number of chapters, typically three, and each having an associated ability. The abilities are played out once per turn until the story is complete or you sacrifice the card.

With all of that, are you excited yet with the new set?

Join the Discussion
Top Stories