|Mark Rosewater (lead),|
|Erik Lauer (lead), |
|September 27, 2013|
Themes and mechanics
|"Enchantment matters", Heroes, Monsters, Gods, Minotaur tribal, Monocolored|
Keywords and/or ability words
|Monstrosity, Heroic, Bestow, Devotion, Scry|
(121 commons (20 basic land), 60 uncommons, 53 rares, 15 mythic rares)
Development code name
|Theros block sets|
|Theros||Born of the Gods||Journey into Nyx|
|Magic: The Gathering chronology|
|Duel Decks: Heroes vs. Monsters||Theros||Commander 2013|
Theros is the first set in the Theros block. It is the 62nd Magic expansion and was released on September 27, 2013. Theros is a large expansion and will be followed by Born of the Gods and Journey into Nyx.
|“||Stand Among Heroes||”|
Theros has a ancient Greek themed top-down design, making use of many mythological tropes.  It is the first set to thematically take place on the plane of Theros. It is mostly monocolored with a handful of gold cards. Theros will be an enchantment block that plays off building blocks in M14 and Return to Ravnica block. The mood and tone are those of Greek myth: adventure, achievement, accomplishment, a hero's journey. Many existing creature types will be getting reworked to match the Greek flavor. Apart from Minotaurs, it's not a tribal set. There are three Planeswalkers in the set, namely Elspeth and two new ones: Ashiok and Xenagos. There will be an above average amount of legendary permanents.
Theros is watched over by a pantheon of 15 powerful gods. The gods, though residing in Nyx, are able to take on many forms and often walk among mortals. Each also has a unique color identity. The five core gods are mono-coloured and make up the central pillars of the Theran belief system. The colour identities of these five are: Heliod (white), Thassa (blue), Erebos (black), Purphoros (red), and Nylea (green). The ten minor gods represent the two colour pairings and will be introduced in Born of the Gods and Journey into Nyx.
After planeswalking away from New Phyrexia Elspeth finds herself on a vaguely familiar plane, Theros. While she had visited once years ago when she acquired her sword, she remains relatively unaware of the nature of the plane, namely the theology. The snake priests in a temple devoted to Pharika help her back to full strength while she reflects on her experiences with Koth, Venser, Tezzeret, Karn, and Melira back on New Phyrexia. More than anything Elspeth just wants a peaceful life like the one she had on Bant before the Conflux. However on Theros the gods have different plans. 
Walking around the forests of Theros, Elspeth comes face to face with a deadly hydra having already killed many Theran heroes. After a bitter battle she emerges the victor. Heliod, taking notice of her feat, now strives to make Elspeth his champion.
A satyr born to the plane of Theros, Xenagos spent much of his life romping around with his clan of fellow satyrs. His favourite activities included partying and drinking until his planeswalker spark ignited and he was able to travel away from Theros. After visiting many planes and seeing the expanse of the Multiverse his return to his native plane did not come with a feeling of home. He could now see how insignificant his life was before his awakening and even still after. Driven by a desire for power, his mission now is to enter the Theran pantheon as a god.
Theros featured an unprecedented first for organized play: a block-long Magic entertainment experience that would see players complete nine quests on the Hero's Path (three during Theros and six which take place during Born of the Gods and Journey into Nyx). Hero Cards debuted as part of the Hero's Path. These cards are not for use in tournament decks but instead are awarded to players for completing quests along the Hero's Path. They can use them to defeat later quests. Each card is double-faced, one side featuring a code redeemable for a Planeswalker points achievement while the other side features game mechanics players can use to help defeat a Game Day Challenge Deck.
The first quest in the Hero's Path was during the Theros Prerelease on September 21st and 22nd, 2013. There players could choose their heroic path based on a favorite mana color (white, blue, black, red, or green), receive a Seeded Prerelease pack, and join fellow heroes on a social scavenger hunt. The Seeded Prerelease Pack contained a spindown life counter, a Hero Card unique to a players' chosen path (respectively The Protector, The Philosopher, The Avenger, The Warrior and The Hunter), one of five quiz activity cards, five Theros boosters, and a seeded booster featuring cards appropriate for that player's chosen path (including one of the playable five Prerelease promo cards).
While building decks and playing matches players could work together to find the answers to the questions about Theros on their activity cards. This social scavenger hunt offered players an opportunity to engross themselves in the lore of the new block and interact with their fellow heroes. Once a player had filled out the card, he or she could check the answer key to see if they completed it correctly.
Theros launched to the public on September 27th, 2013 and kicked off with Friday Night Magic. Hero's Path Quest #2 brought players to their store to receive a "Gift from the Gods" by solving a puzzle hidden within a Poster Puzzle. Once they had discovered the solution they could report it to receive a second Hero Card (The Harvester).
On October 19th and 20th Theros Game Day players could use their Standard decks for the third quest on the Hero's Path: Face the Hydra. Using a special Challenge Deck provided to the retailer, players could battle the Hydra, one of the epic monsters of the plane of Theros. The Challenge Deck is a special self-running deck with its own set of rules. Players are encouraged to pilot it against one another one-on-one or in groups of up to four with guidance from the included instructional playmat. A player didn't need to participate in the Game Day tournament to attempt to defeat the Hydra. This was the first opportunity for players to utilize the Hero Cards they received at the Prerelease and Launch Weekend. Beating the Hydra also awarded players their third Hero Card (The Slayer), which they'll be able to use for quests at future Hero's Path events.
- Prerelease, one of five according to the chosen path: Celestial Archon, Shipbreaker Kraken, Abhorrent Overlord, Ember Swallower or Anthousa, Setessan Hero
- Launch promo: Bident of Thassa
- Game Day: full-art Phalanx Leader
- Game Day (Top 8): full-art Nighthowler
- Theros League: 2/2 white soldier token
- Buy-a-Box: Sylvan Caryatid
Tokens / Emblem
Arranged by #/11: 
- 2/1 Cleric enchantment creature for Heliod, God of the Sun
- 1/1 Soldier for Akroan Horse
- 1/1 Soldier for Elspeth, Sun's Champion
- 1/1 Bird for Swan Song
- 1/0 Elemental for Master of Waves
- 1/1 Harpy with Flying for Abhorrent Overlord
- 1/1 Soldier for Akroan Crusader
- 2/2 Boar for Curse of the Swine
- 2/2 Satyr with haste for Xenagos, the Reveler
- 3/3 Golem enchantment creature for Hammer of Purphoros
- emblem for Elspeth, Sun's Champion
Themes and mechanics
Theros has a strong enchantment theme with widespread use of the Enchantment type alongside other card types (enchantment creatures and enchantment artifacts). Enchantments are primarily used to represent the Gods - which themselves are enchantment creatures - and their influence. Some enchantment creatures feature the new keyword ability Bestow which lets the player cast the card as an aura with enchant creature for the Bestow cost. It then conveys a bonus to the enchanted creature. If the creature it enchants dies, the enchantment itself reverts to a creature, usually with the same features as the abilities it conveyed as an aura.
Humans also tie into the enchantment theme with the Heroic ability word. Cards with heroic trigger an ability when its controller casts a spell targeting it.
Scry appears in Theros as a returning mechanic.
Theros is also a plane filled with monsters such as Hydras, Kraken, Demons and others. These all feature the new keyword action Monstrosity. Upon activation, if the creature isn't "monstrous" already, a certain number of +1/+1 counters are put on the creature and it becomes "monstrous". Usually this is accompanied by a triggered ability when the creature becomes "monstrous".
Additionally, the Hero's Path features Hero's Reward.
Theros has thirteen cycles:
- Gods: five mythic rare legendary enchantment creatures that embody one of the gods of Theros. Each card has a low casting cost, but is not a creature until your Devotion to that color is 5 or more. They are all indestructible, have one static ability and one activated ability — Heliod, God of the Sun, Thassa, God of the Sea, Erebos, God of the Dead, Purphoros, God of the Forge, and Nylea, God of the Hunt
- God's Weapons: five rare legendary enchantment artifacts that give all creatures owned by the player a bonus and have an activated — Spear of Heliod, Bident of Thassa, Whip of Erebos, Hammer of Purphoros, and Bow of Nylea
- Cantrip Auras: Each of these five common auras allow the player to draw a card when they enter the battlefield — Chosen by Heliod, Fate Foretold, Scourgemark, Dragon Mantle and Nylea's Presence.
- Double Tactics: Five uncommon cards that can each target up to two target creatures. — Dauntless Onslaught, Triton Tactics, Cutthroat Maneuver, Coordinated Assault and Warriors' Lesson.
- Emissaries: a cycle of uncommon 3/3 enchantment creatures with Bestow. As auras they give +3/+3 and provide an ability they themselves also can use as creatures. — Heliod's Emissary, Thassa's Emissary, Erebos's Emissary, Purphoros's Emissary, and Nylea's Emissary.
- Gainsay cycle: five uncommon hoser cards in which one color does something against other cards of that color. This includes the reprint the cycle is named for — Glare of Heresy, Gainsay, Dark Betrayal, Peak Eruption and Hunt the Hunter.
- Nymphs: a cycle of common 2/2 Enchantment creatures with Bestow and the creature type "Nymph". As auras, each provides +2/+2 and a keyword ability which they themselves have. — Observant Alseid, Nimbus Naiad, Cavern Lampad, Spearpoint Oread, and Leafcrown Dryad.
- Ordeals: a cycle of uncommon Auras with the cost of 1C, It give a +1/+1 counter for the enchanted creature when it attacks and it sacrifices itself when the enchanted creature has 3 or more +1/+1 counters, granting a bonus. — Ordeal of Heliod, Ordeal of Thassa, Ordeal of Erebos, Ordeal of Purphoros, and Ordeal of Nylea
- Temples: A cycle of rare dual lands that come into play tapped, but allow the controller to scry 1. Two of the temples are allied colored and three are enemy colored, following the same distribution as Gatecrash. The remaining color pairs will be featured throughout the rest of the block. — Temple of Abandon, Temple of Deceit, Temple of Mystery, Temple of Silence, and Temple of Triumph
- Enemy-colored commons: A cycle of common cards that have an ability that requires an enemy color. — Scholar of Athreos, Crackling Triton, Loathsome Catoblepas, Priest of Iroas, Agent of Horizons.
- Allied-colored commons: A cycle of common cards that have an ability that requires an allied color. — Setessan Griffin, Coastline Chimera, Returned Phalanx, Deathbellow Raider, Satyr Hedonist.
- Uncommon gold cards: A cycle of 10 uncommon cards, one for each color pair — Battlewise Hoplite, Akroan Hoplite, Shipwreck Singer, Pharika's Mender, Destructive Revelry, Spellheart Chimera, Sentry of the Underworld, Kragma Warcaller, Chronicler of Heroes, Horizon Chimera.
- Rare gold cards: A cycle of 10 rare card (several of them legendary creatures), one for each color pair — Daxos of Meletis, Anax and Cymede, Psychic Intrusion, Reaper of the Wilds, Polis Crusher, Steam Augury, Triad of Fates, Tymaret, the Murder King, Fleecemane Lion, Prophet of Kruphix.
Theros has one mirrored pair.
- Eidolons: a pair of common 1/1 enchantment creatures with Bestow. One gives lifelink and the other gives deathtouch — Hopeful Eidolon, Baleful Eidolon.
The following cards have been reprinted from previous sets and included in Theros:
- Annul, first printed in Urza's Saga was last seen in Mirrodin.
- Demolish, first printed in Odyssey was last seen in Magic 2014.
- Divine Verdict, first printed in Magic 2010 was last seen in Magic 2013.
- Gainsay was last seen in Planeshift.
- Griptide was last seen in Dark Ascension.
- Last Breath, first printed in Mercadian Masques was last seen in Shadowmoor.
- Magma Jet, first printed in Fifth Dawn was last seeen in Duel Decks: Heroes vs. Monsters.
- Mnemonic Wall was last seen in Rise of the Eldrazi.
- Nessian Courser was last seen in Future Sight.
- Savage Surge was last seen in Return to Ravnica.
- Thoughtseize was last seen in Lorwyn.
- Traveler's Amulet was last seen in Innistrad.
- Lightning Strike is a functional reprint of Searing Spear from Magic 2013.
- Pharika's Cure is a functionnal reprint of Sorin's Thirst from Magic 2012.
- Unknown Shores is a functional reprint of Shimmering Grotto from Lorwyn, last seen in Magic 2014.
- Vaporkin is a functional reprint of Welkin Tern from Magic 2013 except for creature type.
Strictly better or worse
|Intro pack name||Foil rare|
|Favors from Nyx||□||■||Celestial Archon|
|Manipulative Monstrosities||■||■||Shipbreaker Kraken|
|Devotion to Darkness||■||■||Abhorrent Overlord|
|Blazing Beasts of Myth||■||■||Ember Swallower|
|Anthousa's Army||□||■||Anthousa, Setessan Hero|
|Event deck name|
- ↑ Trick Jarrett. (March 25, 2013.) "Announcing Theros Block", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ Mark Rosewater. (September 2, 2013.) "A Theros By Any Other Name, Part 1", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ Jenna Helland. (September 11, 2013.) "The Lost Confession", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ Trick Jarrett. (September 10, 2013.) "Tokens of Theros", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ Mark Rosewater. (September 9, 2013.) "A Theros By Any Other Name, Part 2", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ Trick Jarrett. (September 18, 2013.) "Theros Intro Pack Decklists", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- ↑ Trick Jarrett. (September 26, 2013.) "Theros Event Deck Decklist", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.