The capsids of spherical viruses may contain from tens to hundreds of copies of the capsid protein(s). Despite their complexity, these particles assemble rapidly and with high fidelity. Subunit and capsid represent unique end states. However, the number of intermediate states in these reactions can be enormous-a situation analogous to the protein folding problem. Approaches to accurately model capsid assembly are still in their infancy. In this paper, we describe a sail-shaped reaction landscape, defined by the number of subunits in each species, the predicted prevalence of each species, and species stability. Prevalence can be calculated from the probability of synthesis of a given intermediate and correlates well with the appearance of intermediates in kinetics simulations. In these landscapes, we find that only those intermediates along the leading edge make a significant contribution to assembly. Although the total number of intermediates grows exponentially with capsid size, the number of leading-edge intermediates grows at a much slower rate. This result suggests that only a minute fraction of intermediates needs to be considered when describing capsid assembly.