The preview season for Theros: Beyond Death, Magic: the Gathering’s next expansion, kicked off this morning with the reveal of three of the set’s major characters: Elspeth, Ashiok, and Athreos, as well as full art basic lands.

Both Elspeth and Ashiok were shown with their regular frames as well as the full art frames that will be available in Theros: Beyond Death Collector Boosters. These official previews come a month and a half after six packs of Theros: Beyond Death were found in a North Carolina Walgreens, which included Elspeth, Sun’s Nemesis and the full art lands, ahead of the set’s January 24, 2020 release.

Elspeth, Sun’s Nemesis

Elspeth Tirel was the protagonist in the previous Theros block in 2013-14. She was known as Elspeth, Sun’s Champion in that story, during which she killed Xenagos, God of Revels with Godsend, was struck down by Heliod, God of the Sun, and entered Theros’s Underworld.

It appears that in Theros: Beyond Death, Elspeth has emerged from the Underworld and is ready to take her revenge against Heliod, armed with one of the set’s newest mechanics: Escape. Escape allows you to cast Elspeth from the graveyard for the cost of six mana and by exiling four cards from your graveyard.

Ashiok, Nightmare Muse

Not much is known about Ashiok other than that Ashiok’s power set revolves around nightmares. (The card names Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver and Ashiok, Nightmare Muse make that pretty clear.) Ashiok’s species, gender, and origin are unknown.

Athreos, Shroud-Veiled

Athreos is the God of Passage, or the divine ferryman, of Theros who accompanies the dead across the Rivers That Ring the World to Theros’s Underworld. He appeared as Athreos, God of Passage in the original Theros Expansion.

Full Art Basic Lands

Nyx, the night sky of Theros and home of the gods, plays an integral role on the plane of Theros. Nyx will be front and center on Theros: Beyond Death’s full art basics, which depict the five colors of Magic as celestial formations in the night sky.

This art style is definitely a departure from basic lands in Magic, and many have pointed out that they bear some resemblance to another collectible card game’s resource: Pokemon’s Energy cards.

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