On the table right now is a black devotion template. Using only cards from Theros, I'm hoping this list can serve as the template for a block-constructed deck once the full block has been released.
As usual, I'm building this deck only from cards I actually own. I'd like, for example, to run several copies of Hero's Downfall in place of Lash of the Whip for much cheaper, much more effective removal, but I only have one of the former. I'd also like to run a couple copies of Insatiable Harpy to help deal with evasion and Whip of Erebos to recur my enters-the-battlefield devotion effects. I'd also love to have a couple copies of Rescue from the Underworld for further ETB shenanigans; alas, I have none.
Here's the current list. It's a little heavy on the upper end of the mana curve, but hopefully I can fill some of the gaps mentioned above and the next couple sets will provide a bit more for surviving the early game.
2 Abhorrent Overlord
3 Baleful Eidolon
4 Disciple of Phenax
4 Gray Merchant of Asphodel
1 Insatiable Harpy
2 Keepsake Gorgon
4 Mogis's Marauder
1 Hero's Downfall
3 Lash of the Whip
4 Pharika's Cure
4 Read the Bones
3 Sip of Hemlock
1 Whip of Erebos
At this point, the basic strategy is pretty straightforward: Build up my devotion by dropping permanents until I can hit Gray Merchant or Mogis's Marauder to deal tons of damage. The Overlord is an alternate win condition, plus a sac outlet so I can recur the ETB effects if I can't win with some burst damage a bit earlier in the game. Read the Bones helps control my draws and look for what I need, with Pharika's Cure offsetting the life cost.
To form a more effective baseline for future modifications, the changes I'm hoping to make within Theros are:
- Add more Hero's Downfall, removing Lash of the Whip
- Add another Whip of Erebos, probably removing a copy of Read the Bones
- Add another early-game creature or two, removing either Pharika's Cure or Nighthowler