Zendikar Rising brings a new take on double-faced cards and dual lands with the rare cycle of Pathway lands.
Six new lands show off the new modal double-faced card mechanic, bringing flexibility to mana fixing at no cost of life and enter the battlefield untapped. While the lands aren’t technically dual lands because once the card is on the battlefield it can only tap for one color of mana, the controller gets to choose which color of the two options when it’s played.
Take a look at the Pathways:
What quickly stands out is that there are six lands, not the usual five or ten, and that a clear pattern isn’t followed (not allied or enemy color pairs). Mike Turian explained why the set went with six lands and the colors used on the Weekly MTG stream that followed the Zendikar Rising preview stream: “The lands are meant to accompany the classes used in the party mechanic: Wizards, Clerics, Warriors, and Rogues.”
From there, the design team didn’t want green left out without any lands or primary class of creatures (the color has all classes, but as tertiary options instead of primary). So green shows up on two lands, while all other colors get three lands. The color and class pairings look like this:
Turian also confirmed that the cycle of Pathways will be completed in a future set not too far away. The Pathways are also available with full art showcase frames.
With the shocklands rotating out of Standard when Zendikar Rising releases, the Pathways are going to be the go-to untapped lands for multicolor decks.