Leyline of Abundance
– Core Set 2020
July 19, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 3.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
This is actually quite an attention-grabbing card. Multiplying mana is a very powerful ability – the tournament success of cards like Vernal Bloom and Heartbeat of Spring will testify to that – and the ability to start with it on turn zero could result in a landslide for certain decks and certain hands. A green deck that starts with this and Llanowar Elves could have four mana on turn two. That’s pretty good even by the standards of some older formats, and although the pieces of that combo are not going to be together in Standard for long, there will undoubtedly be something new coming in (perhaps not as powerful) and an abundance of options in casual play. The Leyline is actually not bad when you cast it in the “normal” way, either; the problem there is more in the line of keeping enough mana creatures alive long enough to get a significant payoff. I do like how its activated ability turns those same mana creatures into bigger threats, just in case your draws didn’t line up with some kind of hydra or dragon.
One of the two new Leylines, Leyline of Abundance is a pretty interesting one in that it’s a relatively narrow effect; you make your mana dorks even more productive, and it offers you a late-game win condition when you have enough mana. The problem with it is that it’s an effect you need to have on turn 1, as four mana is not an ideal amount to spend on an enchantment that doesn’t advance the board state any…and it does stack with itself, but having four of these to open up the game seems like a disastrous opening hand.
Any free effect is worth looking at, and this one is intriguing enough. But I question how much it will actually do; it asks for particular deckbuilding limitations and needs them to be effective, and it needs all of the pieces to work. I can see it getting some fringe play in Modern, maybe, but this is more a novelty than a card I’m excited for.
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