Magic the Gathering Arena

TURBO DRAFT | GUIDE & STRAT | THEROS BEYOND DEATH

Hello Planeswalkers!

Today I wanted to share with you a guide on the recent Turbo draft featuring the Theros Beyond  set on MTGA  in an effort to help you improve your win ratios & competitiveness on the format based on observations, research, and many many successful at bats in this draft format.  Of which, I absolutely love! 

Ultimately, my goal is to impart the knowledge I have found to be useful to help you farm some gems, fill up Theros Beyond Death missing cards, and acquire more packs to get those much needed crafts prior to the Strixhaven Release!  With that said, I will outline my approaches to success:

  1. Stack Ranking of Theros Beyond Death Set Colors
  2. Key Considerations
    1. Draw
    2. Colorless
    3. Creatures
    4. Land Base
  3. Overall Point of View
    1. Strategy
    2. Picking

Before I get started we need to consider this format for the specifics that it is worth.  It is similar to the original Omniscience draft format BUT not the same.  The things to keep in mind is we reduce casting cost by 5 colorless, and do not gain a benefit on creature abilities that cost mana unlike Omniscience.  This makes for a very unique, fast pace, fun draft format, and even better the drafting is bot based giving us a good opportunity for priority picking the way we need to in order to build efficient decks.  I say this because if you look at the cards that work best in the format you ABSOLUTELY do not need a single RARE or MYTHIC to be successful!  Which makes this amazing and a great level playing field.

Stack Ranking of Theros Beyond Death Set Colors

  • BLUE
    1. Counter Magic is Powerful, not at important for this block
    2. Good Draw Outs
      1. Most powerful draw card – Thirst for Meaning
    3. Enchant Draw
  • RED
    1. Second because best 5+ or most creature drops and at commons
    2. Discard Draw
  • BLACK
    1. Removal
    2. Draw
    3. Rage-Scarred Best cheap creature giving another indestructible
  • GREEN
    1. Monsters
    2. Lots of Double mana
  • WHITE
    1. Low Powered in this format
    2. Does have enchantment or some of the best alt removal

Key Considerations

In this section I will talk about draw, colorless, creatures, and land base.  These are all extremely important to keep in mind as you are drafting.  First, let us take a look at the draw.  You absolutely want the ability to gain 2:1 cards in this format, I always feel is super important in Turbo Draft.  If you draft a ton of the Altar of the Pantheons, you certainly are good to go!  I do rate however, the colorless Altar of the Pantheon over draw in pick for this set.  I wanted to bring your attention to this because generally draw could be prioritized, however after playing this set a bunch for some reason I’ve found the ability to run more big creatures with draw/cover to be more beneficial.

Next, I want to cover the colorless portion.  This includes both the creatures and artifacts.  With the way this format is set up these are free casts. Shadowspear is great if you can get it, and the rest really don’t do much…except the one card we have already mentioned a few times.  The best one in the format Altar of the Pantheon.

Another thing I want us to take a look at is the key creatures within the color bases.  Additionally, I put a high priority on enchantment creatures which should as well be stated.  A creature that does something is very important, and since it is Theros Beyond Death an enchantment creature is equally amazing.  The list I cover below is solely focused on Uncommon and Common.  Like I said above Rare and Mythic are unnecessary to win.  The lists below is also how I stack rank my picks where I can when assessing creatures.

  • BLUE
    1. Shoal Kraken
    2. Shimmerwing Chimera (Bouncing is amazing!)
    3. Brine Giant
  • RED
    1. Dreamshaper Shaman
    2. Skophos Warleader
    3. Skophos Maze-Warden
  • BLACK
    1. Rage-Scarred Berserker
    2. Enemy of Enlightenment
    3. Venemous Hierophant
  • GREEN
    1. Nylea’s Forerunner
    2. Ilysian Caryatid
    3. Nylea’s Huntmaster
  • WHITE – in case you happen to go this color 😉
    1. Captivating Unicorn
    2. Revernet Hoplite
    3. Archon of Falling Stars

The last thing for me to cover as addressed in considerations is the mana base.  First and foremost whenever you get an Altar of the Pantheon you can reduce land.  As a starting reference I think you can run just fine between 12-15 lands you will want to go towards 15 if you are running 3 colors and if you don’t get the Alters.  Yes, it can happen, and you need to be prepared to adjust (Just like my draft!).  Generally I find 14 is a good number because you ideally should have 1-2 in your starting and if you are lucky you will have an alterl as well.  The biggest call out that should seem obvious is the more colors you add the harder it is to hit the mark despite running the alters.  The benefit in this format is I would say it’s not as bad as a regular draft, but you can run into problems.  My advice here which is pretty standard is go 2 colors, if you want to go three I would only splash for real value, and that value to me doesn’t necessarily come from the creature list above.  My preference is actually spell based.

Point of View – Parting Words

I would like to leave you with a few final thoughts that I have used to my own success.  When I start my drafts I keep in mind a wide strategy with the focus of the priority in creatures and spells.  Even though I did not directly list out the spells above I think you understand where I am coming from.  If not I prefer, draw, denial, destroy in that order while simultaneously assessing the colors I am falling into.  I tend to focus strongly on blue then use red or black as support. This format I heavily favor two colors as mentioned because in Theros Devotion was a thing, and many creatures require two mana to cast,  Again, you can check out my guide above to see how I am able to make this workout!  

The next piece is with this strategy in mind.  I focus on the uncommon first depending on my priority preference which leans towards the alters, however if not a usable card in my book I go right to common.  Common has a ton of value in this format so you need to keep that in mind and not be scared.  Equally, people say you get penalized for mulligans here, but I would argue as long as you have a decent chunk of altars or draw you are better off mulliganing.  Due to the bots you will see a lot of value later in picking however don’t let that also fool you and risk picking the early value because there is no guarantee.

I wish you the best of luck in this lovely Turbo Draft format featuring the Theros Beyond Death Set!