I hadn’t anticipated that (Leyline popularity)

My favorite regular features on the mothership are Latest Developments, Savor the Flavor, and Top Decks, with a side helping of The Week That Was.
In this week’s Latest Developments, Tom LaPille does a final roundup of development stories from M11. What really caught my eye were the results from last week’s survey:
I didn’t have a specific expectation for which Leyline would win, but I don’t think I would have put my imaginary money on Anticipation. This is fascinating to me, in that it feels as if the results here speak to the broad base of Magic’s customer demographics. For folks like me who spend most of our time writing about and hanging around with “competitive” players, we would naturally expect to see the tournament-playable options at the top of the list. Like so, perhaps:
Leyline of Sanctity
Leyline of the Void
Leyline of Punishment
…other stuff
I think Void beats out Punishment, even though only Sanctity and Punishment see a lot of play of any kind in Standard at the moment, as Void is probably the best Leyline of all time (cue Kanye West here).
Leyline of Anticipation, however, may well be the coolest Leyline if we can divorce ourselves from the strictures of competitive play. Think about the plain language description of what each Leyline does:
Anticipation – No I don’t have to decide whether to main phase that Sorcery or hold back for countermagic!
Lifeforce – My creatures can’t be countered. Okay.
Lightning – I deal a bit of extra damage. Hm.
Punishment – Now I can win with burn!
Sanctity – Now burn won’t kill me!
Singularity – You can’t swarm me!
Meek – Tokens are bigger? Okay.
Void – Kill your graveyard! Hah!
Vitality – Creatures are a little bigger.
I think, in plain language, the idea that you are relieved of the burden of deciding whether to hold our mana open or not is a big deal. In addition, there are all the Johnny options, and the idea that every creature you have is now a potential combat trick. Although it tends to fall short of the mark in practice in competitive play, the idea of everything you can do with the card is super-exciting.
The percentage for Anticipation roughly matches the next two entries, combined. I think this is pretty telling, and a solid reminder that the folks going to tournaments are far from the only folks playing the game.
For the record, I voted for Void.