How to test a theme change in development config?

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Ok, so I want to work on my shopify site but I don't want to make changes to the live theme. However I want to ensure that my dev theme is in sync with the live theme. Currently, my hope was that if my environment was that of development then it should allow me to deploy and preview with the same theme number. However, it seems that if they are the same theme ID then it will overwrite the actual prod theme.

Currently the only way that I've figured out how to do this is to clone the currently utilized theme in the admin panel, theme get this theme and deploy/preview that theme number in my development environment. Which then requires me to theme get the live theme and move the changes over to that one.

I guess I can try to utilize git to merge between the two themes as seperate git branches but I figured I'd check to see if anyone else has solved this issue in the past?