Force of Will
22, Feb, 24

Broken Karlov Manor and Eldraine Cards Unite in Eternal MTG Format

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Article at a Glance

At this point, Constructed aficionados are well aware of the strength of Leyline of the Guildpact. Originally, we saw Domain Zoo decklists in Modern start maximizing the card alongside Scion of Draco. However, this powerful two-card combination began appearing in other archetypes as well.

Most notably, Crashing Footfalls decks started adopting these cards. At the recent Regional Championship tournaments in the U.S. and Canada, “Domain Rhinos” had an overwhelming win percentage. It was clear that Leyline of the Guildpact was the real deal and not just a flash in the pan.

Interestingly, players have been trying to expand the presence of Leyline and Scion, even beyond Modern. This week, a player went 5-1 at a Win a Dual event using the power of Leyline and Scion in Legacy. These cards are rather underexplored in this format, so this alone was a bit intriguing. This player wasn’t playing a traditional Zoo or Rhinos shell, though. Instead, they took the core of a well-established Up the Beanstalk deck and completely revamped it!

Up the Beanstalk Core

Up the Beanstalk

Up the Beanstalk is another incredibly powerful card from a recent premier set. This card showed up in Wilds of Eldraine, and players were quick to recognize its potential. The immense card advantage that can be gained by the card is astonishing, and it even replaces itself right away by drawing a card when it enters the battlefield. Five mana may seem like a lot, but there are a ton of cards in the Modern and Legacy formats that have massive mana costs, but have free alternate casting costs. Couple this with the fact that it isn’t legendary and therefore works perfectly in multiples, and you have a card strong enough to be banned in Modern!

That doesn’t mean that the card doesn’t have a home, though. It is still quite good in Legacy. Unsurprisingly, the core of the deck we are featuring still relies on this card and its typical synergies with Leyline Binding and Force of Will. Being able to generate card advantage with your reactive spells is extremely important.

This deck also uses Murktide Regent as a massive beater than can close games in short order, triggering Up the Beanstalk when cast. This isn’t too out of the ordinary either, given the presence of cantrips like Ponder and Brainstorm.

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Leyline of the Guildpact Package

Leyline of the Guildpact

Where this deck starts to differ from the norm is with its inclusion of Leyline Binding and Scion of Draco. This version of the Legacy Beanstalk shell forgoes powerful late-game threats, such as Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath. You also won’t find any copies of Solitude or Terminus.

Leyline and Scion offer a pretty nasty combination. With both cards in play, all Creatures are able to fully benefit from all of Scion’s bonuses, including Scion itself. As a result, you end up with a 4/4 with Flying, Vigilance, Lifelink, First Strike, Trample, and most importantly, Hexproof. That’s a lot for two mana! Scion even triggers Up the Beanstalk, which makes it stronger.

Meanwhile, Leyline can serve other specific purposes, such as allowing you to use your Fetchlands to search for basic Lands. This makes it so that you don’t get wrecked by Wasteland or Blood Moon. What’s nice about Leyline in Legacy specifically is that, unlike in Modern, you have a bit more recourse if you draw the card mid-game. Obviously, Leyline is super powerful in your opening hand, but it’s a very weak top deck.

In Modern, you can discard it to Territorial Kavu when you attack. Otherwise, though, it may just rot in your hand serving little purpose. By contrast, in Legacy, you can use Brainstorm in conjunction with a Fetchland to shuffle excess copies away. Additionally, you can always pitch dead copies of Leyline to Force of Will.

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A Tempo-Oriented Gameplan

Territorial Kavu

By featuring Scion of Draco and Murktide Regent as threats choice, this deck is much more focused on tempo than inevitability. Up the Beanstalk certainly helps you fight through interaction, but the real power of this deck lies with its quick starts.

Scion and Murktide are efficient threats that can end the game relatively quickly on their own. To further enhance this deck’s closing speed, a full playset of Territorial Kavu make an appearance. Kavu works well with Leyline and attacks and blocks quite nicely, too. Kavu and Scion, unlike Uro, threaten to come down early in the game, which can help a lot against combo decks. Once you are on the front foot, Daze is the perfect spell to help keep you ahead.

While not as resilient as Uro, every threat in this deck also conveniently dodges Lightning Bolt. This is a huge boon against Delver of Secrets decks. Swords to Plowshares along with Leyline Binding can then help clear big blockers out of the way, including opposing copies of Murktide.

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Strengths and Weaknesses

Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath

As strong as this shell can be, there are certainly tradeoffs for featuring Leyline and Scion in an already well-established Beanstalk archetype. Against decks like Reanimator, being able to present a quick clock is important. At the same time, adding Daze gives you more interaction against quick starts from the Reanimator deck. Kavu can even remove haymakers from the opponent’s graveyard, which is a nice bonus to have.

Against tempo strategies like various Delver decks, Scion is a huge beating, especially with Leyline in play. On the flip side, though, if you don’t have Leyline, Wasteland can be an enormous problem. With Scion, Leyline Binding, and Kavu in the mix, you reliably need access to lots of colors of mana. As a result, even a single Wasteland being used to destroy Xander’s Lounge can be a problem.

Also, while Scion and Kavu do help give this deck a speed boost, adding these cards does come at a cost. Cards like Uro and Terminus provide a lot of inevitability. Without them, you are a bit more reliant on coming out of the gates fast. Still, the card advantage provided by Up the Beanstalk goes a long way in helping you fight through interaction.

It’s interesting to see players continue to experiment with the powerful Leyline and Scion package in various archetypes, even outside of Modern. The meshing of Up the Beanstalk and Leyline may seem a bit strange at first glance, but this deck has a lot going for it. Over time, it’s worth monitoring just how far players will go to add this combination of cards to their decks.

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