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Browse > Home / Strategy / Articles / Much Abrew: The Biggest-Brain Leyline of the Guildpact Infect Deck (Modern)

Much Abrew: The Biggest-Brain Leyline of the Guildpact Infect Deck (Modern)

Hello, everyone, and welcome to another edition of Much Abrew About Nothing! The other day, I was looking through Modern results and came across the biggest-brain brew I've seen in a long time: an Infect deck but built in a way where you can't cast any spells if you don't have Leyline of the Guildpact in your opening hand because all of your lands are colorless! The idea is that we'll mulligan aggressively (with the help of Serum Powder for even more mulligans) to find Leyline—we literally can't keep a hand without one—and then take advantage of the fact that our lands are all basic land types to turn on pump spells like Blessing of the Nephilim, Gaea's Might, and Might of Alara and hopefully Turn 2 kill our opponent with with Glistener Elf, Cacophony Scamp, or Blighted Agent. The problem is we literally can't cast a spell if we don't find Leyline or our opponent can destroy it, which means we basically scoop on the spot. The plan is absurd—incredibly risky but incredibly explosive. Can it actually work? Can we win a game with this wild pile? Let's find out on today's Much Abrew About Nothing!

Much Abrew: Biggest-Brain Infect

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Wrap Up

Heading into our matches, I wasn't expecting to win a single match. The deck just looked far too risky to work, and the fact that Medvedev (the player who first ran the list on MTGO) came in 22nd place in a 24-player MTGO primary going 0-2 drop wasn't reassuring. All this is to say, I was hoping that we might steal a game or two but expected the deck to be a disaster.

Well, it turns out that we actually went 3-2 in our league with the deck and maybe could have won an additional match by playing differently! While there were definitely games where we did nothing or scooped on Turn 2 when our opponent blew up our Leyline, leaving us unable to cast any spells, we also won a bunch of games on Turn 2 or 3 with some absurdly explosive draws! While I'm still not sure the deck is good, it did work way better than I expected.

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There are also a couple of potential improvements to the deck. First, there really isn't a reason we have to play the super-meme-ish all-colorless mana base. Sure, we get some utility lands like Zhalfirin Void and Escape Tunnel, but we almost never used these cards in practice. While it would make the deck less funny, playing the same exact list but with fetch lands, shock lands, and a couple of Triomes so we have some chance of casting spells in games where our opponent answers Leyline of the Guildpact would greatly improve the deck.

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The other card I had an issue with is Faith's Reward. The idea of Faith's Reward makes sense: for one mana, it can protect one of our infect creatures or Leyline. The problem is it does this by giving protection from a color, which causes two problems. First, it doesn't protect against colorless channel lands, which was one of the most common ways our opponent dealt with Leyline of the Guildpact. Second, giving one of our creatures protection from a color is awkward since, with Leyline of the Guildpact on the battlefield, all of our permanents are all colors, which means Faith's Reward will knock Civic Saber, Cliffhaven Kitesail, and Blessing of the Nephilim off our creature and make it so we can't target that creature with future pump spells. While Faith's Reward does have some upside by letting us attack through some blockers, overall, I think Tamiyo's Safekeeping is probably just better for the deck. It does everything Faith's Reward does except for letting us attack through a mono-colored blocker while also fizzling channel lands and other colorless interaction, and it won't knock our auras and equipment off our creatures.


So, should you play Biggest-Brain Infect? Honestly, I don't know. I still can't shake the feeling that the deck is a disaster waiting to happen, but we also went 3-2 with the deck in a league and came close to going 4-1. While I wouldn't run out and spend $565 on the deck, if you have a rental program on MTGO, take it out for a spin. You might go 5-0, you might go 0-5, but you'll certainly play some wild and risky games of Magic!

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