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Theros Beyond Death Battle Box Rebuild

Over the past months, I’ve been putting my #Battlebox, The Danger Room, to the test.

It all started with an idea to design a Battle Box stack with emphasis on smaller size and budget-friendly design, as a way to make getting started less daunting for new players looking to jump in and build their own version of the format.

If you’re looking to start up a Battle Box, check our my blueprint for a beginner and budget-friendly Battle Box.

I found certain directional changes I was forced to make as a result of those constraints compelling. It turns out that rebuilding from scratch, with a decade of Battle Box tuning experience under my belt, led to a very nice stack! Obviously, I was excited and eager to take what had worked in Budget Box and apply it to my signature stack, The Danger Room.

For me, The Danger Room represents everything I’ve loved about playing Magic with my friends for nearly 25 years now. It’s a mini-monument built to honor the cards and experiences that are Magical to me. It reframes the game in such a way that each player draws a hand of interesting cards and then must figure out how to make those cards work together toward a singular strategic goal of somehow winning the game. It’s a space where past, present, and future collide.

It’s also the primary way I collect Magic cards. While I think the Budget Box makes a strong case that 700+ stacks are not necessary to facilitate a terrific gameplay experience, I love the diversity and collectibility of a giant stack of cards. It’s also a bonus that investing in an expensive card for a Battle Box (or Cube) doesn’t tie the playability and utility of that card to the whims of Constructed metagame viability or the B&R. I’ve also found that as an investment, my Battle Box has always been a solid gainer over time. It turns out that cards that are selected by whether they are fun and flavorful to play with is a great predictor of long-term demand and value!

Today’s article will tackle three significant topics:

  1. I’ll share the insights I’ve made about tuning and balancing my Battle Boxes and how I’ve applied that information to improve the gameplay in my stack lists.
  2. I’ll review the most promising Battle Box cards from Theros Beyond Death.
  3. Last but certainly not least, I’ll share the list for my completely rebuilt and retooled Danger Room stack.

Applying New Ideas & Insights to Battle Box

Building a smaller, condensed version of Danger Room taught me a lot about how individual card choices impact game play. It also forced me to make serious concessions as there simply wasn’t adequate space to include everything and the kitchen (mana) sink. Not only does what you put in matter, but also what you leave out.

At less than half the size of my traditional Danger Room and with strict budget constraints, the Budget Box forced me out of my comfort zone and led to cutting cards I wouldn’t have unprompted. By definition, the inclusion of fewer rares tends to equate to less power overall.

When I looked at the subset of cards my budget forced me to outright cut (rares and mythics), I noticed these cards often shared a rare quality in common. Specifically, these cards tended to be among the best options to transition from defense to offense—they were “swingy.”

The methodology I used to recreate potentially swingy lines of play, with a less swingy collection of cards, was to substantially lower the mana curve of my stack. The distribution of converted mana costs in both the Budget Box and New Danger Room closely mirrors what you’d expect to find in a Draft or Constructed deck.

After I lowered the mana curve of the stack I discovered a change in the quality and quantity of play patterns in my games. Players had more options to choose between at almost every point in a game, and perhaps most importantly there was more diversity about how to develop your opening hand.

I also noticed lowering the mana curve impacted the relationship between how card draw functioned and impacted games. In short, I liked it less. With greater emphasis on curve, it was often difficult (especially on the draw) to allocate the mana to play a draw spell that did not impact the board. On the other hand, there were also many games where the board stabilized and having access to a big draw spell essentially broke it wide open with cascading, runaway advantage. It was also significant with a lower curve, resolving a Tidings or Allied Strategies on a stalled board often meant a player was able to untap and consistently fire off 3, 4, or even 5 spells and just go ham on an opponent.

TidingsAllied Strategies

We all love to draw cards and I’d never build a stack where card advantage didn’t play a key role, but I toned down the quality and quantity of the draw spells to reflect a format that is driven primarily by creating, sustaining, and interacting with board presence.

Don’t worry! There’s still plenty of ways to draw and see lots of cards, but significantly fewer cards that don’t impact the board in some way.

The last thing I adjusted was the ratio of gold cards to non-gold cards at a 1:2 ratio.

• 25 cards of each 2-color guild (250 total cards).
• 100 cards of each mono-color (500 total cards).
• 3 cards of each 3-color Shard and wedge (30 cards).
• 60 total artifacts (60 total cards)

The 2-color multicolored spells balance out the mono-colored spells and the 3-color multicolor spells balance out the artifacts.

On Mana Base Variations and Library Manipulation

I’ve always taken a dogmatic approach to how mana and library manipulation functions in my Danger Room Stack. If it ain’t broke… DON’T BREAK IT!

Coastal TowerSalt MarshUrborg VolcanoElfhame PalaceShivan OasisForest (347)Mountain (343)Plains (331)Island (335)Swamp (339)

I have traditionally used the same 10 lands, tried and true, with no flashy gimmicks:

Temple of EnlightenmentBoreal ShelfTranquil CoveSeaside Citadel

With a more aggressive curve, and taking into consideration the significant power creep of Magic cards in general, a case can be made for the inclusion of any of these tapped land variants as ways to manipulate or impact gameplay.

I also believe the play to be a significant advantage in Battle Box since the gravity of the play easily outweighs getting an extra card first.

This is not a unique problem to a Battle Box. Being on the play is simply better than being on the draw! One way I’ve tested to bridge the gap between play and draw is to allow player 2 to upgrade some of their lands, for instance replace one dual land with a tri-land or three duals with gain-1-life duals.

I also think a case can be made that with the way a lower curve impacts the relationship between colored mana symbols and colorless mana symbols (there are more colored symbols relative to colorless) that tri-lands may be a suitable replacement going forward. I will also say that for newer players, tri-lands are significantly less punitive than deploying the wrong dual land!

I’ve been having some interesting conversations on Twitter with Battle Box fans about scry Temples. I have not played with them yet, but some people swear by them as a way to smooth out draws. How they work will obviously change depending upon whether each player has their “own” stack of cards to draw from or if both players are sharing the same stack.

Snow-Covered Island

I’ve also toyed with the idea of allowing players access to a total of five snow-covered basics, or a set of snow duals. I don’t think snow type adds much to gameplay overall with the primary exception that Simic’s color identity makes it difficult to get to 25 playable cards. The issue is that Simic’s identity is so closely tied to mana advantage that it’s hard to find “good ones” that don’t break the mana parity. The U/G snow cards from Modern Horizons feel very Danger Room-y, with the exception that snow matters. I would be likely to replace these cards, and “snow matters,” once suitable replacements are printed.

Basically, I have all the land variations and each time I play, I’ve been trying out new configurations and each option offers a unique variation. The takeaway, for me, has been that I enjoy the variation of playing different ways and I highly recommend mixing it up and giving the various configurations a try!

O.K., that wraps up the hypothetical and theory side of the update. Let’s talk cards!

Theros Beyond Death Battle Box Review

Theros Beyond Death appears to be a solid set for Battle Box stacks. I have a power level min/max cap that I try to adhere to when it comes to card choices and there are a lot of cards that fall into the sweet spot I look for when selecting cards for my Battle Box.

It’s no Ravnica… But, let’s be honest, nothing is!

Artifacts (1) 

Hexproof isn’t hugely supported in my stack but I’m still impressed by Shadowspear.

Shadowspear

Cheap, movable equipment is always fun and impressive in Danger Room, and access to lifelink at a relatively low cost is always an exciting twist!

White (2) 

Theros Beyond Death has a pair of creatures I’m going to try out.

Alseid of Life's Bounty

Alseid provides a cheap body that will be useful for protecting key attackers and blockers from various swaths of removal spells. It provides more coverage than most of the cheap “protection” instants at a slightly increased cost, but I also like the fact it helps me up the number of enchantments in my stack.

Taranika, Akroan Veteran

A nice bruiser at the 3-drop spot and quite powerful when a player untaps with it in play. There is a lot of token generation in my stack, and I like the way this card will give players greater options with those small bodies against larger blockers as the game goes on.

I also considered:

Daxos, Blessed by the Sun

I was close to including Daxos but ultimately decided that the double-white cost was awkward compared to the cards I already had. Daxos is certainly worth considering for a Battle Box.

Blue (5)

Theros Beyond Death has more “good fit” blue cards for my Battle Box than an average expansion and I intend to take full advantage!

Two efficient interaction spells:

Starlit MantleSleep of the Dead

Spirit Mantle provides nice counterplay to targeted removal and leaves behind a nice bonus. It also adds an enchantment (and Aura!) to my stack, which is a card type I have difficulty striking the right balance with.

Sleep of the Dead is a tempo card with a reasonable escape cost. It’s nice to have blue interaction outside of traditional “bounce,” and Sleep of the Dead feels like a great rate.

Alirios, EnrapturedStinging LionfishNadir Kraken - Extended Art

Alirios, Enraptured is a neat take on two bodies with a twist. I think this will be a solid performer at the 3-drop slot.

Stinging Lionfish seems like a cheap creature that can add a lot of cool options for its relatively low cost and modest stats. Tapping something down before an opponent’s combat step (and thus removing its ability to attack, but also the ability to block on your next turn) is pretty spicy, as is untapping one of our own creatures making it eligible to participate in blocking.

Nadir Kraken is difficult to evaluate without playing it first, but on flavor, I’m a fan. Who doesn’t want to release the Kraken! I could see this card staying or being removed from my stack for any of the three Goldilocks reasons: too hot, too cold, just right.

Black (7)

Black cards in Theros sets tend to be a great combination for Battle Box, and Beyond Death is no different!

Four good 2-drops:

Lampad of Death's VigilAphemia, the Cacophony - Extended ArtMire TritonTymaret, Chosen from Death

The big difference between the double cost on Tymaret and Daxos is that a) I think Daxos is much better, and b) Tymaret is a cheap creature that gets better as the game goes on, whereas Daxos shines when deployed early (when double color is more costly to deploy).

Elspeth's Nightmare

A lot of value on an enchantment.

Agonizing Remorse

I’m always a fan of “better” discard in the stack and this one is extremely good.

Red (2)

I’ve already mentioned that we’ve seen a lot of quality 2-drops in Theros Beyond Death and I’m taking full advantage in my quest to lower the overall curve of my stack!

Irreverent RevelersCareless Celebrant

These are both, more or less, the kinds of “2/1s-with-tangible-upside’ that help round out the early game on offense or defense.

Tectonic GiantAnax, Hardened in the Forge

I’m going to give these two rares a try as well, but acknowledge both could be pretty busted in my stack. In particular, I could see Anax dominating games if an opponent is unable to remove it directly, but it’s such a great source of puns that I have to try it out. This card is “hard” to beat! That was one of the cleanest ones I could come up with and it’s still sounds dirty.

Green (3) 

I love Insects and Spiders! They are like aliens that live among us and luckily there are some truly exciting bugs crawling around Theros.

Arasta of the Endless WebChainweb Aracnir

Chainweb is a great card for a Battle Box. Easy include.

I’m well aware that Arasta of the Endless Web is likely one of the most powerful threats in the stack, but I can’t help myself. The card is too cool not to play with. I tend to make special exceptions for powerful Spiders since they tend to be great defensive cards to stabilize with and leveraging tempo on the play is already quite strong.

Something is always going to be “the best,” so why not Spiders?

Multicolor (9)

There was something good for every two-color combination in Theros Beyond Death. The 2-drops, again, FANTASTIC:

Devourer of MemorySlaughter-Priest of MogisMischievous ChimeraGallia of the Endless DanceBronzehide Lion

I did a lot of Gatherer searches for cheap multicolor spells and things drop off considerably after the first handful of “good options,” so it was lucky to get a bunch of great ones as I was looking to expand not only 2-drops, but also the number of multicolor spells.

Staggering Insight

I’ve mentioned many times that Auras are difficult to work into the stack because they get so handily punished by instant-speed removal, but this one is a great rate for a desirable effect and I’m going to give it a try.

I also added a handful of 3s:

Dalakos, Crafter of WondersHero of the NyxbornKunoros, Hound of Athreos - Extended Art

Dalakos “breaks” the rules of mana production, but with artifacts being such a low percentage of the stack, I’m interested in testing out how a conditional mana card like this plays out. Izzet cards tend to be awkward in Danger Room because it’s so closely entangled with cost-reduction, storm, and combo. It’s not like I had to cut some card I loved in the stack to make room, so I’ll gather some info and adjust accordingly.

Acolyte of AfflictionAtris, Oracle of Half-Truths

These are both fantastic card advantage 4-drop creatures that I’m pleased to see.

Overall, Theros Beyond Death provides a ton of excellent cards for any Battle Box and I’m looking forward to tracking these foils down for my stack at the upcoming prerelease!

The Battle Box

A quick note: the rebuild is simply too large to use the formula of “I cut card X for card Y” that I’ve recently been using, but I’ll return to the formula for subsequent updates.

Artifacts & Colorless (60 Cards)

1 AEther Spellbomb
1 Awakened Amalgam
1 Basilisk Collar
1 Bloodforged Battle-Axe
1 Bonesplitter
1 Chamber Sentry
1 Clockwork Servant
1 Conqueror's Flail
1 Contagion Clasp
1 Crystal Shard
1 Culling Dais
1 Duplicant
1 Endless One
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Epochrasite
1 Etched Oracle
1 Filigree Familiar
1 Flayer Husk
1 Fleetwheel Cruiser
1 Fountain of Renewal
1 Gingerbrute
1 Hangarback Walker
1 It of the Horrid Swarm
1 Kitesail
1 Leonin Bola
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Living Wall
1 Loxodon Warhammer
1 Mask of Memory
1 Meteor Golem
1 Nevinyrral's Disk
1 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Sai of the Shinobi
1 Phyrexian Furnace
1 Peace Strider
1 Pentavus
1 Perilous Myr
1 Perilous Vault
1 Pierce Strider
1 Power Matrix
1 Pyrite Spellbomb
1 Runechanter's Pike
1 Scrapheap Scrounger
1 Serrated Arrows
1 Shadowspear
1 Signal Pest
1 Skyscanner
1 Smuggler's Copter
1 Soul-Guide Lantern
1 Spellskite
1 Stitcher's Graft
1 Stonecoil Serpent
1 Sylvok Lifestaff
1 Treasure Keeper
1 Trip Noose
1 Triskelavus
1 Triskelion
1 Voyager Staff
1 Walking Ballista
1 Wretched Gryff

Multicolor (280 Cards) 

3-Color Shards & Wedges (30 Cards)

1 Abzan Charm
1 Anafenza, the Foremost
1 Arcades, the Strategist
1 Bant Charm
1 Crackling Doom
1 Darigaaz's Charm
1 Doran, the Siege Tower
1 Dromar's Charm
1 Fiery Justice
1 Gwendlyn Di Corci
1 Jund Charm
1 Lightning Angel
1 Mantis Rider
1 Marath, Will of the Wild
1 Mardu Charm
1 Mathas, Fiend Seeker - Foil
1 Punish Ignorance
1 Rhox War Monk
1 Rise/Fall
1 Sage of the Inward Eye
1 Savage Knuckleblade
1 Sidisi, Brood Tyrant
1 Slave of Bolas
1 Sprouting Thrinax
1 Sultai Charm
1 Temur Ascendancy
1 Temur Charm
1 The Mimeoplasm
1 Trial/Error
1 Woolly Thoctar

Guild (2-Color) Multicolor Spells (250, 25 of Each Combination)

Azorius (25 Cards) 

1 Absorb
1 Azorius Guildmage
1 Cloudblazer
1 Depose/Deploy
1 Dovin's Acuity
1 Dovin's Veto
1 Dramatic Rescue
1 Elite Guardmage
1 Hindering Light
1 Judge's Familiar
1 Ojutai's Command
1 Ordered Migration
1 Reflector Mage
1 Render Silent
1 Senate Guildmage
1 Spell Queller
1 Sphinx's Insight
1 Staggering Insight
1 Supreme Verdict
1 Sygg, River Guide
1 Time Wipe
1 Unsettled Mariner
1 Wall of Denial

Boros (25 Cards) 

1 Boros Challenger
1 Basandra, Battle Seraph
1 Boros Charm
1 Boros Guildmage
1 Boros Reckoner
1 Bruse Tarl, Boorish Herder - Foil
1 Cerodon Yearling
1 Deafening Clarion
1 Foundry Champion
1 Goblin Legionnaire
1 Hero of the Nyxborn
1 Heroic Reinforcements
1 Honored Crop-Captain
1 Integrity/Intervention
1 Intimidation Bolt
1 Justice Strike
1 Lavabelly Sliver
1 Lightning Helix
1 Relentless Raptor
1 Sky Terror
1 Skyknight Vanguard
1 Spitemare
1 Thundersong Trumpeter
1 Warleader's Helix
1 Weapons Trainer

Dimir (25 Cards) 

1 Agony Warp
1 Atris, Oracle of Half-Truths
1 Baleful Strix
1 Connive/Concoct
1 Consult the Necrosages
1 Countersquall
1 Devourer of Memory
1 Dimir Doppelganger
1 Dimir Guildmage
1 Dragonlord Silumgar
1 Drown in the Loch
1 Far/Away
1 Hibernation Sliver
1 Hostage Taker
1 Prized Amalgam
1 Psychatog
1 Shadowmage Infiltrator
1 Shipwreck Singer
1 Soul Diviner
1 Soul Manipulation
1 Spite/Malice
1 Thought Erasure
1 Tomebound Lich
1 Undermine
1 Woodlot Crawler

Golgari (25 Cards) 

1 Abrupt Decay
1 Acolyte of Affliction
1 Baloth Null
1 Consume Strength
1 Darkheart Sliver
1 Deathrite Shaman
1 Dreg Mangler
1 Find/Finality
1 Gleancrawler
1 Golgari Guildmage
1 Grismold, the Dreadsower
1 Korozda Guildmage
1 Lotleth Troll
1 Maelstrom Pulse
1 Obelisk Spider
1 Pernicious Deed
1 Poison-Tip Archer
1 Putrefy
1 Savvy Hunter
1 Slimefoot, the Stowaway
1 Slitherhead
1 Status/Statue
1 Storrev, Devkarin Lich
1 Swarm Guildmage
1 Winding Constrictor

Gruul (25 Cards) 

1 Assault/Battery
1 Bloodbraid Elf
1 Branching Bolt
1 Cindervines
1 Collision/Colossus
1 Dragonlair Spider
1 Fanatic of Mogis
1 Fires of Yavimaya
1 Gallia of the Endless Dance
1 Ghor-Clan Rampager
1 Ground Assault
1 Grumgully, the Generous
1 Gruul Spellbreaker
1 Guttural Response
1 Huntmaster of the Fells/Ravager of the Fells
1 Khenra Charioteer
1 Rhythm of the Wild
1 Rubblebelt Rioters
1 Rumbling Slum
1 Savage Twister
1 Tahngarth, First Mate
1 Thrash/Threat
1 Vexing Shusher
1 Vithian Renegades
1 Zhur-Taa Goblin

Izzet (25 Cards) 

1 Beacon Bolt
1 Brutal Expulsion
1 Counterflux
1 Dalakos, Crafter of Wonders
1 Dack's Duplicate
1 Electrolyze
1 Enigma Drake
1 Etherium-Horn Sorcerer
1 Fire/Ice
1 Hypothesizzle
1 Ionize
1 Izzet Charm
1 Jori En, Ruin Diver
1 Lightning Stormkin
1 Mischievous Chimera
1 Prophetic Bolt
1 Ral's Outburst
1 Razorfin Hunter
1 Spellheart Chimera
1 Storm Fleet Sprinter
1 Stormchaser Mage
1 Suffocating Blast
1 Swerve
1 Thoughtflare
1 Turn/Burn

Orzhov (25 Cards) 

1 Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim
1 Batwing Brume
1 Blind Hunter
1 Castigate
1 Consecrate/Consume
1 Corpse Knight
1 Death Grasp
1 Despark
1 Drana's Emissary
1 Ghost Council of Orzhova
1 Grasping Thrull
1 Grind/Dust
1 Imperious Oligarch
1 Kambal, Consul of Allocation
1 Karlov of the Ghost Council
1 Kaya's Guile
1 Kunoros, Hound of Athreos
1 Merciless Eviction
1 Mortify
1 Orzhov Pontiff
1 Restoration Gearsmith
1 Sin Collector
1 Tithe Drinker
1 Tymna the Weaver - Foil
1 Zealous Persecution

Rakdos (25 Cards) 

1 Anathemancer
1 Bituminous Blast
1 Blazing Specter
1 Blightning
1 Claim/Fame
1 Carnival/Carnage
1 Cut/Ribbons
1 Dreadbore
1 Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch
1 Fireblade Artist
1 Footlight Fiend
1 Hellhole Rats
1 Kolaghan's Command
1 Lightning Skelemental
1 Mayhem Devil
1 Munitions Expert
1 Murderous Redcap
1 Olivia, Mobilized for War
1 Rakdos Cackler
1 Slaughter-Priest of Mogis
1 Swift Warkite
1 Terminate
1 Tymaret, the Murder King
1 Unlicensed Disintegration
1 Void

Selesnya (25 Cards) 

1 Advent of the Wurm
1 Anurid Brushhopper
1 Armadillo Cloak
1 Bronzehide Lion
1 Call of the Conclave
1 Dauntless Escort
1 Dromoka's Command
1 Dryad Militant
1 Elderwood Scion
1 Enlisted Wurm
1 Good-Fortune Unicorn
1 Huatli's Raptor
1 Ironroot Warlord
1 Kitchen Finks
1 Knight of Autumn
1 Loxodon Hierarch
1 Loxodon Smiter
1 Mystic Enforcer
1 Qasali Pridemage
1 Renegade Rallier
1 Selesnya Charm
1 Selesnya Guildmage
1 Shanna, Sisay's Legacy
1 Voice of Resurgence
1 Watchwolf

Simic (25 Cards) 

1 AEther Mutation
1 Applied Biomancy
1 Bounding Krasis
1 Coiling Oracle
1 Ethereal Ambush
1 Gaea's Skyfolk
1 Horizon Chimera
1 Ice-Fang Coatl
1 Icefeather Aven
1 Jungle Barrier
1 Merfolk Skydiver
1 Mystic Genesis
1 Mystic Snake
1 Plaxcaster Frogling
1 River Hoopoe
1 Rogue Refiner
1 Shapers of Nature
1 Shardless Agent
1 Sharktocrab
1 Simic Charm
1 Skyrider Elf
1 Thrasios, Triton Hero - Foil
1 Trygon Predator
1 Void Grafter
1 Zameck Guildmage

Mono-Color Spells (500 Cards)

White (100 Cards) 

1 Adamant Will
1 Adanto Vanguard
1 Adorned Pouncer
1 Ajani's Pridemate
1 Akroma's Vengeance
1 Alseid of Life's Bounty
1 Ancestral Blade
1 Angel of Finality
1 Apostle of Purifying Light
1 Apostle's Blessing
1 Austere Command
1 Azorius Herald
1 Belfry Spirit
1 Blade Splicer
1 Brightling
1 Cavalry Drillmaster
1 Cleansing Nova
1 Cloudgoat Ranger
1 Condemn
1 Collective Effort
1 Council's Judgment
1 Dauntless Bodyguard
1 Dawn Charm
1 Day of Judgment
1 Dragon Hunter
1 End Hostilities
1 Ephemerate
1 Exalted Angel
1 Faerie Guidemother/Gift of the Fae
1 Felidar Guardian
1 Final Judgment
1 Flickerwisp
1 Fumigate
1 Giant Killer/Chop Down
1 Giver of Runes
1 Glorious Anthem
1 Glory-Bound Initiate
1 Goldmeadow Harrier
1 Hallowed Burial
1 Healer's Hawk
1 Healing Grace
1 Hidden Dragonslayer
1 History of Benalia
1 Imperial Aerosaur
1 Imposing Sovereign
1 Inspiring Cleric
1 Isamaru, Hound of Konda
1 Karmic Guide
1 Kirtar's Wrath
1 Kinjalli's Sunwing
1 Knight of Glory
1 Knight of Grace
1 Lingering Souls
1 Lone Missionary
1 Mardu Woe-Reaper
1 Martyr of Dusk
1 Ministrant of Obligation
1 Mother of Runes
1 Phyrexian Rebirth
1 Reciprocate
1 Remorseful Cleric
1 Restoration Angel
1 Righteous Cause
1 Righteous Confluence
1 Rout
1 Sacred Cat
1 Savannah Lions
1 Scout's Warning
1 Seeker of the Way
1 Selfless Squire
1 Selfless Spirit
1 Settle Beyond Reality
1 Shrieking Grotesque
1 Silverflame Squire/On Alert
1 Skymarcher Aspirant
1 Snubhorn Sentry
1 Soldier of the Pantheon
1 Soulfire Grand Master
1 Soul's Attendant
1 Spear of Heliod
1 Spectral Lynx
1 Stalking Leonin
1 Standard Bearer
1 Sunlance
1 Sunscape Battlemage
1 Sunscourge Champion
1 Suture Priest
1 Swords to Plowshares
1 Taranika, Akroan Veteran - Foil
1 Temple Acolyte
1 Terminus
1 The Wanderer
1 Thraben Inspector
1 Trueheart Duelist
1 Valorous Stance
1 Venerated Loxodon
1 Wall of Omens
1 War Priest of Thune
1 Wing Shards
1 Wrath of God

Blue (100 Cards) 

1 Ancestral Vision
1 Angler Drake
1 Archaeomancer
1 Alirios, Enraptured
1 Augur of Bolas
1 Azure Mage
1 Bazaar Trademage
1 Blue Elemental Blast
1 Bonded Fetch
1 Censor
1 Cephalid Sage
1 Cerulean Drake
1 Champion of Wits
1 Chart a Course
1 Circular Logic
1 Cloudkin Seer
1 Complicate
1 Concentrate
1 Control Magic
1 Counterspell
1 Delver of Secrets/Insectile Aberration
1 Disallow
1 Dismiss
1 Dispel
1 Dive Down
1 Envelop
1 Essence Scatter
1 Evasive Action
1 Exclude
1 Faerie Duelist
1 Fact or Fiction
1 Flashfreeze
1 Force Spike
1 Horribly Awry
1 Hydroblast
1 Hypnotic Siren
1 Hypnotic Sprite/Mesmeric Glare
1 Jace's Phantasm
1 Jolt
1 Jolting Merfolk
1 Looter il-Kor
1 Lu Xun, Scholar General
1 Mana Leak
1 Man-o'-War
1 Meddle
1 Merfolk Looter
1 Merfolk Trickster
1 Miscalculation
1 Mulldrifter
1 Mystic Archaeologist
1 Nadir Kraken
1 Negate
1 Neutralizing Blast
1 Phantasmal Image
1 Plaxmanta
1 Persuasion
1 Power Sink
1 Preemptive Strike
1 Probe
1 Pteramander
1 Queen of Ice/Rage of Winter - Showcase
1 Remand
1 Remove Soul
1 Repulse
1 Riddlemaster Sphinx - Planeswalker Deck Exclusive
1 Sakashima's Student
1 Sea Gate Oracle
1 Secrets of the Golden City
1 Serendib Efreet
1 Siren Stormtamer
1 Sleep of the Dead
1 Snapcaster Mage
1 Spectral Sailor
1 Spell Pierce
1 Spell Snare
1 Spellstutter Sprite
1 Starlit Mantle
1 Stinging Lionfish
1 Stormscape Apprentice
1 Stratus Dancer
1 Summoner's Bane
1 Sun Ce, Young Conquerer
1 Supreme Will
1 Syncopate
1 Talrand's Invocation
1 Tetsuko Umezawa, Fugitive
1 Threads of Disloyalty
1 Twisted Image
1 Twisted Reflection
1 Unsubstantiate
1 Unsummon
1 Vendilion Clique
1 Vesuvan Shapeshifter
1 Warkite Marauder
1 Watcher for Tomorrow
1 Whirler Rogue
1 Willbender
1 Wall of Wonder
1 Zephid's Embrace

Black (100) Cards

1 Agonizing Remorse
1 Aphemia, the Cacophony
1 Bane of the Living
1 Big Game Hunter
1 Bloodsoaked Champion
1 Bone Shredder
1 Butcher Ghoul
1 Cast Down
1 Chainer's Edict
1 Changeling Outcast
1 Coffin Queen
1 Collective Brutality
1 Dakmor Lancer
1 Damnation
1 Dance of the Dead
1 Dark Banishing
1 Dark Hatchling
1 Despise
1 Diregraf Ghoul
1 Dismember
1 Distress
1 Divest
1 Doom Blade
1 Doomfall
1 Drana, Liberator of Malakir
1 Dread Wanderer
1 Duress
1 Dusk Legion Zealot
1 Elspeth's Nightmare
1 Endling
1 Entomber Exarch
1 Eternal Taskmaster
1 Fatal Push
1 Flesh Carver
1 Ghastly Demise
1 Gnarled Scarhide
1 Go for the Throat
1 Gonti, Lord of Luxury
1 Gravecrawler
1 Gutterbones
1 Hymn to Tourach
1 Inquisition of Kozilek
1 Keening Banshee
1 Knight of Infamy
1 Knight of Malice
1 Kokusho, the Evening Star
1 Lampad of Death's Vigil
1 Last Gasp
1 Lay Bare the Heart
1 Lifebane Zombie
1 Liliana's Specter
1 Mire Triton
1 Moment of Craving
1 Murderous Betrayal
1 Murderous Cut
1 Murderous Rider/Swift End
1 Nekrataal
1 Never/Return
1 Nezumi Graverobber
1 Night's Whisper
1 Noxious Gearhulk
1 Oathsworn Vampire
1 Ob Nixilis's Cruelty
1 Ophiomancer
1 Order of Midnight/Alter Fate
1 Orzhov Enforcer
1 Ostracize
1 Phyrexian Gargantua
1 Phyrexian Rager
1 Putrid Goblin
1 Ravenous Chupacabra
1 Rend Flesh
1 Ribbons of Night
1 Ritual of the Machine
1 Serpent Assassin
1 Shriekmaw
1 Silumgar Assassin
1 Skeletal Vampire
1 Skinrender
1 Sling-Gang Lieutenant
1 Smiting Helix
1 Smother
1 Sudden Death
1 Sultai Emissary
1 The Eldest Reborn
1 Thoughtseize
1 Tragic Slip
1 Transgress the Mind
1 Trespasser's Curse
1 Tymaret, Chosen from Death
1 Ultimate Price
1 Unburial Rites
1 Undying Evil
1 Unearth
1 Vampire Nighthawk
1 Vampire Sovereign
1 Vendetta
1 Vraska's Contempt
1 Walk the Plank
1 Withered Wretch

Red (100 Cards) 

1 Abbot of Keral Keep
1 Abrade
1 Anax, Hardened in the Forge
1 Anger
1 Arc Lightning
1 Arc Trail
1 Beetleback Chief
1 Bonecrusher Giant/Stomp
1 Brimstone Volley
1 Brute Force
1 Burst Lightning
1 Carbonize
1 Chain Lightning
1 Chandra's Outrage
1 Charging Monstrosaur
1 Collective Defiance
1 Corrupt Eunuchs
1 Crimson Muckwader
1 Crystal Slipper
1 Cunning Sparkmage
1 Deem Worthy
1 Demanding Dragon
1 Desolation Giant
1 Dismissive Pyromancer
1 Dire Fleet Daredevil
1 Disintegrate
1 Dualcaster Mage
1 Earthshaker Khenra
1 Electrickery
1 Electrostatic Field
1 Faithless Looting
1 Falkenrath Gorger
1 Feldon of the Third Path
1 Fight with Fire
1 Fire Ambush
1 Fire Imp
1 Firebolt
1 Flame Slash
1 Flametongue Kavu
1 Forked Bolt
1 Frenzied Fugue
1 Ghitu Chronicler
1 Ghitu Lavarunner
1 Glint-Horn Buccaneer
1 Goblin Chirurgeon (Foglio)
1 Goblin Cratermaker
1 Goblin Dark-Dwellers
1 Goblin Trailblazer
1 Grim Lavamancer
1 Hordeling Outburst
1 Hungry Flames
1 Incendiary Flow
1 Incinerate
1 Kari Zev, Skyship Raider
1 Kird Ape
1 Lava Coil
1 Lightning Bolt
1 Lightning Mauler
1 Lightning Strike
1 Merchant of the Vale/Haggle
1 Mindclaw Shaman
1 Mogg War Marshal
1 Monastery Swiftspear
1 Opportunistic Dragon
1 Pia and Kiran Nalaar
1 Pia Nalaar
1 Pillar of Flame
1 Punishing Fire
1 Pyroblast
1 Rampaging Ferocidon
1 Red Elemental Blast
1 Resounding Thunder
1 Roast
1 Robber of the Rich
1 Seal of Fire
1 Searing Spear
1 Seasoned Pyromancer
1 Shock
1 Shower of Coals
1 Siege-Gang Commander
1 Skewer the Critics
1 Slagstorm
1 Smoldering Werewolf/Erupting Dreadwolf
1 Soul-Scar Mage
1 Squealing Devil
1 Starstorm
1 Sudden Shock
1 Temur Battle Rage
1 Tectonic Giant
1 Thrill of Possibility
1 Thunderbreak Regent
1 Thunderscape Battlemage
1 Tribal Flames
1 Veteran Brawlers
1 Viashino Pyromancer
1 Volcanic Hammer
1 Vulshok Sorcerer
1 Wild Slash
1 Young Pyromancer
1 Zurgo Bellstriker

Green (100 Cards) 

1 Ana Battlemage
1 Arasta of the Endless Web
1 Arborback Stomper
1 Autumn's Veil
1 Basking Rootwalla
1 Berserk
1 Blastoderm
1 Blossoming Defense
1 Briarhorn
1 Brindle Shoat
1 Call of the Herd
1 Caller of the Claw
1 Carven Caryatid
1 Chainweb Aracnir
1 Deathgorge Scavenger
1 Deathmist Raptor
1 Deep Forest Hermit
1 Den Protector
1 Dryad Sophisticate
1 Earl of Squirrel
1 Elvish Visionary
1 Eternal Witness
1 Experiment One
1 Flinthoof Boar
1 Gaea's Might
1 Giant Growth
1 Gnarlwood Dryad
1 Gnaw to the Bone
1 Granger Guildmage
1 Great Sable Stag
1 Harmonize
1 Hedge Troll
1 Heir of the Wilds
1 Hexdrinker
1 Hunger of the Howlpack
1 Indrik Stomphowler
1 Infuse with the Elements
1 Ishkanah, Grafwidow
1 Jungleborn Pioneer
1 Kavu Titan
1 Kessig Prowler/Sinuous Predator
1 Kraul Harpooner
1 Loaming Shaman
1 Lynx
1 Might of Alara
1 Mire Boa
1 Mistcutter Hydra
1 Mitotic Slime
1 Moment's Peace
1 Mother Bear
1 Mouth/Feed
1 Narnam Renegade
1 Noose Constrictor
1 Obstinate Baloth
1 Ohran Viper
1 Oviya Pashiri, Sage Lifecrafter
1 Patagia Viper
1 Pelakka Wurm
1 Phantom Centaur
1 Predator's Strike
1 Qasali Slingers
1 Quirion Sentinel
1 Rampaging Brontodon - Gift Pack 2018
1 Rancor
1 Ranger's Guile
1 Reclamation Sage
1 Regrowth
1 Resilient Khenra
1 Ridgescale Tusker
1 Ripjaw Raptor
1 River Boa
1 Runic Armasaur
1 Saproling Migration
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Shifting Ceratops
1 Skyshroud Elite
1 Skyshroud War Beast
1 Spider Spawning
1 Stingerfling Spider
1 Sunblade Elf
1 Thorn Lieutenant
1 Thornscape Battlemage
1 Thragtusk
1 Thrashing Brontodon
1 Thornscape Battlemage
1 Untamed Kavu
1 Veil of Summer
1 Vengevine
1 Vines of Vastwood
1 Wall of Blossoms
1 Wasteland Viper
1 Weather the Storm
1 Wolfir Avenger
1 Weatherseed Elf
1 Wild Mongrel
1 Wild Nacatl
1 Wildsize
1 Withstand Death
1 Young Wolf
1 Zodiac Rooster

Whew! My fingers are cramping up from typing out that list!

If I cut a card you liked… PUT IT BACK IN YOUR STACK! If you don’t like a card… TAKE IT OUT! The whole point of the format is to customize one’s Magic experience.

My top 8 cards that I believe are likely to be mainstays of Battle Boxes from the long haul:

8. Arasta of the Endless Web
7. Nadir Kraken
6. Bronzehide Lion
5. Chainweb Aracnir
4. Irreverent Revelers
3. Artris, Oracle of Half-Truths
2. Acolyte of Affliction
1. Agonizing Remorse

In my opinion, these cards are also my picks for the eight most interesting and fun to play with cards in the set (which is basically the metric I use for selecting Battle Box cards)!

Well, that wraps up my Battle Box Update! I’d love to hear about cards from the new set you are excited to try out in your Battle Box in the comments section. I’m open to feedback about the updated list and discussion of cards that you’d like to see back in the stack that I may have cut. I’m always open to feedback and suggestions and I absolutely use it to inform my card choices going forward.

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