Theros Beyond Death Limited synergies: Golgari, Dimir, Orzhov and Rakdos

andreliverod January 16, 2020 5 min

Part one of three of the Theros Beyond Death limited synergies series where we take a look at the different color combination strategies available. Take note that we are only looking at the synergies here and do not discuss the draft ratings of the cards and we are also only looking at common and uncommon cards. There are a lot of Rare and mythic cards that push these strategies further, but understanding them on a common and uncommon level is important. We want to figure out the different archetypes in the format and what makes up the synergies of each of them. In this article, we talk about Golgari(Black-Green), Dimir (Blue-Black), Orzhov (White-Black) and Rakdos(Black-Red).

Theros Beyond Death Limited synergies: Selesnya, Izzet and Azorius (coming soon)

Theros Beyond Death Limited synergies: Simic, Gruul and Boros (coming soon)

ChannelFireball has released their Limited writeup, check that out for additional resources on limited. We use the ratings and comments in our Limited rating summary table and MTGA Assistant extension.

Golgari Escape


Escape is a very strong synergy in Limited and we start off with looking at Golgari and Acolyte of Afflictionimage, a very powerful card that tells us that the graveyard is what they are all about. Let us look at Skola Grovedancerimage which looks like an innocent 2/2 that gains life every now and then, but in reality, it is a very powerful Escape enabler. Not only does it have the ability to put your escape creatures into the graveyard but it also gives them fuel to escape. It does cost mana to do this so and at the beginning of the game you want to use your resources on building your board but when it comes to the late game it is a very good mana sink since the ability does not require you to tap.

Loathsome Chimeraimage dies very easily but comes back a tad bit stronger but he is still a two for one card while the Chainweb Aracnirimage looks to be absolutely devastating against decks with flyers when it comes back from the graveyard. Voracious Typhonimage looks a pretty nice well-balanced vanilla create that is a threat both on turn 4 and turn 7, same with Underworld Chargerimage which is almost the same but cheaper and can't block. Pharika's Spawnimage is a great card when using the Escape ability and The Binding of the Titansimage is a great investment on turn 2 fueling your Escape game plan and then on the third count gives you a card back (most likely). The Venomous Hierophantimage is both a great body, fuels the synergy and can also deal with big creatures by having death touch, same with its weaker sibling Mire Tritonimage. The Funeral Ritesimage is a great card as it has two benefits, get an extra card and at the same time help fuel Escape.

Common/Uncommon pickups:

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Sneaky Dimir


The Devourer is a great card, being able to not only sneak past the enemy for damage but also enabling escape and pumping itself for blocking if necessary. Having 1 toughness means that as he can die pretty easily to stuff like Underworld Fire or Wrap in Flamesimage, basically any removal, so keep that in mind when tapping out as you might want to use his ability defensively.

Mindwrack Harpyimage enables both your Escape cards and your opponents which can cause more harm than good. It is good with a Devourer out especially if you are in a position where you can beat the opponent down and maybe have a Starlit Mantleimage to protect it. Blue seems to lean more into the Constellation synergies rather than Escape and fueling the graveyard. Other than that the rest of the black cards we have already scoured over with Golgari. Blue has two escape pickups one is Sleep of the Deadimage which is a bit questionable, and the other is Glimpse of Freedomimage which is instant speed card value. Sage of Mysteriesimage plays into the Escape synergy but it a pure combo card and does not do anything on its own, count your enchantment cards before putting her in the deck.

Common/Uncommon pickups:

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Orzhov Enchantments


The Orzhov gang isn't that busy with filling up their graveyards and using the Escape mechanism, which is evident with the Orzhov Rare card Kunoros, Hound of Athreosimage, that disables escape altogether. They are more about enchantments, while white is one of the main Constellation colors, black is not. They still have a lot of good enchantments and enchantment creatures to play. With Rise to Gloryimage you really want to trigger both modes and not only one. 

You can bring back creatures with Lagonna-Band Storytellerimage as long as they are an enchantment creature like Dawn Evangelimage which is a really good card to pick up in the archetype. Mire's Graspimage is a really good removal card that is one of the things you want to pull back from the graveyard with Rise to Gloryimage.

Enchantment based decks are very vulnerable to getting two-for-oned so picking up a Mirror Shieldimage might be a good thing, Dawn Evangelimage also helps mitigate getting two-for-oned. Karametra's Blessingimage is a good protection spell, the same is Indomitable Willimage, which seems like the reason it gives more toughness than power. I do not expect Heliod's Pilgrimimage to be a high pick but it works with Mire's Graspimage and tutoring for removal when it is needed, feelsgoodman. Transcendent Envoyimage does not seem very special but making enchantment spells cheaper and having evasion should not be underestimated in an enchantment/aura deck, it has the ability to quickly become a threat with enchantments and some protection. 

Common/Uncommon pickups:

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Rakdos Sacrifice


Sacrifice decks in limited are tricky to pull off but there are several enablers for the archetype and we have some really good candidates for sacrificing. Anax, Hardened in the Forgeimage is a sweet card that can output creatures for sacrificing and swing quite hard. It feels right to pick up a couple of Satyr's Cunningimage that can keep on coming back with its Escape ability seeing that we are a sacrifice deck. The problem is that the things you want to sacrifice are usually tokens and not cards, and tokens do not fill up your graveyard.

Blood Aspirantimage is a perfect payoff that keeps on getting bigger as you sacrifice permanents and it is always easy to pick up a couple of Portent of Betrayalimage late game which can be very annoying for the opponent. This archetype shines the most if you manage to snag some of the rares early, like Woe Striderimage that can sacrifice without paying a cost or Nightmare Shepherdimage that just generates a lot of value. It really seems like a hard to pull this off without at least one key rare or mythic card to help you out.

Common/Uncommon pickups:

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"Nuts & Bolts Spike spends his energy looking within. He tries to understand his own internal flaws and works to improve them"


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How many drafts yesterday did you play to get this together? Looks good!
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