Murders at Karlov Manor has featured a lot of intriguing yet strange spoilers thus far. For instance, a Mole God with the ability to completely take over the game with the right synergies was recently previewed. We also saw a new board wipe revealed that potentially has the ability to remove all basic Lands from your opponent’s mono-colored deck! Despite being a murder-mystery set, there’s a lot of wacky stuff going on.
Well, a very newly spoiled card definitely fits the mold as a bizarre five-color card that can be put into play for free. That’s right, Leyline of the Guildpact is here, and there are a number of cool things you can do with the card once it’s in play. Undoubtedly, though, the first thing that pops out is the card’s mana cost. Rather than having one pip of each color, this card is four mana, but with every mana symbol being a different hybrid symbol featuring green and another color. Even ignoring the rest of the text on the card, this alone can create some pretty interesting scenarios when it comes to Devotion.
Quick Burst of Devotion
Much like the other various Leylines that have been printed throughout MTG’s history, Leyline of the Guildpact allows you to put it into play for free at the beginning of the game if it’s in your opening hand. From there, it provides a continuous effect which, in this case, makes all of your non-Land permanents all colors and makes your Lands every basic Land type. This is a nice bonus for sure, which we will get to later, but what sets this Leyline apart from others in the past is that this one adds four Devotion to green right away.
This immediately makes Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx jump out as a potential card to combo with Leyline of the Guildpact. Let’s say you start with Leyline in play. Turn one, you play Elvish Mystic. If you follow up next turn with Nykthos, you already have access to five mana as early as turn two! This means that you can cast powerful spells like Cavalier of Thorns or Nissa, Who Shakes the World way ahead of schedule.
Why stop there, though. Leyline isn’t legendary, so if you happen to start with multiple copies in your opening hand, you can end up with 8 or more Devotion right off the bat. Obviously, this might be a bit of a magical Christmas land scenario that is rather difficult to achieve. After all, you need Leyline, Nykthos, and a payoff all within the first couple turns. That being said, there’s no denying how powerful adding four Devotion with no mana input can be when you have access to Nykthos.
Additionally, Archdruid’s Charm could be a solid new addition to the deck that can either find Nykthos to pair with Leyline or find a big finisher to win the game with once you’ve assembled a big mana advantage. Outside of Nissa Who Shakes the World, the text box on Leyline of the Guildpact is mostly irrelevant for the Devotion deck and is therefore quite weak without Nykthos and a very poor draw later in the game. As such, it’s quite possible it doesn’t make the cut in the deck, but it’s something cool to try, nonetheless.
Maximizing Non-Land Permanents
Outside of the Devotion aspect, Leyline does provide two unique abilities while in play. The first ability makes all of your non-Land permanents all colors. Importantly, this does not affect cards you own that aren’t on the battlefield, so a card like All Sun’s Dawn won’t synergize with Leyline the way you want it to.
Where this does come into play, though, is alongside cards that get stronger or boost your other cards based on the number of colors your permanents are. Cards such as Sisay, Weatherlight’s Captain generally work best with legends of lots of different colors. With Leyline in play, though, even a legend like The Irencrag will immediately grow Sisay to 7 power, allowing you to maximize Sisay’s activated ability.
In a similar sense, cards like Bloom Tender and Faeburrow Elder can freely tap for five mana, which is very strong. Knight of New Alara and Jared Carthalion can provide massive boosts to your squad, and Soul of Ravnica can reliably draw five cards per activation. Even in a Singleton, 100-card format where you are less likely to have Leyline in your opening hand, it can still do a lot of cool things in an EDH setting.
Free Prismatic Omen
The final aspect of Leyline of the Guildpact is its ability to make your Lands every basic Land type in addition to their other types. Just like Prismatic Omen, this can be a big deal when built around. First of all, this ability helps make Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle a more reliable kill condition.
Prismatic Omen has seen play in Scapeshift decks before, allowing you to win the game with only 6 Lands in play as opposed to 7 (Valakut now counts as a Mountain too). Of course, with Dryad of the Ilysian Grove in the mix, these types of cards are less necessary, but it’s worth mentioning, nonetheless.
Leyline of the Guildpact also works perfectly with Domain cards that care about the number of basic Land types among Lands you control. With Leyline in play, cards like Tribal Flames and Scion of Draco become extremely reliable. Leyline Binding can even be cast on turn 1 if Leyline of the Guildpact is in your opening hand. Once again, though, this aspect of the card may not be necessary in a competitive setting, given the presence of fetchable Triomes.
All in all, this card appears to be generating wildly mixed opinions. Some players are going as far as to call it banworthy for its potential in Pioneer Devotion decks (we doubt this to be the case), while others question if the card will see play in Devotion decks in any capacity. It’ll be interesting to see how things shake out, but the potential for busted starts with Leyline of the Guildpact is certainly there.