[M13] Mana Leak is out

  • #484
    Quote from John Doe
    The problem is not having to answer every single threat, but rather, not having a single decent answer to those threats. After a Titan hits play, Liliana can kill it (if it survives, let's say, an Inferno Titan), but still won't really answer it. Most of the times, the damage is already done. Primeval Titan would already dropped Inkmoth + Kessig, and would keep us on a very short clock.


    That is always going to be a weakness with every color. No color has an answer for every situation on its own. And that's a reasonable weakness to have in order to keep the game dynamic and interesting.

    Quote from John Doe
    Also, i don't see any complaints from control / combo players about the wonderful variety discard spells available. Duress, Inquisition, Thoughtseize, Raven's Crime, Liliana. And those hit a players hand, witch is also before they are played. The argument can work both ways, as you can easily see, bot only one side get's the short end of the straw.


    I don't see how blue has gotten the short end of any stick. If anything, it's been handed a few different sticks in terms of what is good in blue, rather than getting shafted. Now, that could be a problem in terms of something blue shouldn't get, and I would acknowledge that. But blue is hardly at the bottom of the pile in Standard or Modern these days.

    But that shouldn't be the point of the discussion. Whether blue is "the color" is a disingenuous argument. What should be the point is (1) reasonable solutions to the removal of Mana Leak and (2) ways to identify other areas to develop answers that aren't necessarily counters.

    If blue must rely on counters, then it's a one-trick pony. And I think that's a bad path to follow for the future. It takes depth out of the color, and reduces its overall influence in the game. Now, it may not have the best answers in other situations, but I think that's fine.

    Quote from John Doe
    So, Mana Leak doesn't improve blue?


    Of course it does. I don't maintain otherwise.

    However, the suggestion that blue must have it or it just fails, is a faulty argument in my opinion. Should there always be good, playable counters in the Core set? Absolutely. But requiring that to be Mana Leak all the time just leads to stagnation in the development of counters.

    That's no better than a red player saying he must have Lightning Bolt or red is just unplayable, or a white player needing Squadron Hawk, etc. By tweaking and adjusting the various tools, you get plenty of solid, playable cards for those colors even if you don't have the one you'd prefer.

    Quote from John Doe
    Worst thing is, some will actually believe that. Some players will believe that Mana Leak, and counters are the real problem, even though they don't exist (or barely) in an actual Modern / Standard Metagame.


    I don't believe that Mana Leak or other counters are a real problem in either Standard or Modern. There's a big difference in suggesting that Mana Leak take time off from the Core set to allow for the development of more counters or other answers in blue, versus saying it's "too good" and shouldn't be printed at all ever again.

    I recognize that in Zac Hill's statement, and the overall context of the discussion. Especially as part of the wax and wane of counters versus other cards.

    Quote from Omnei
    I would be very interested to see a way to deal with permanents that feels "blue". Transformation ala pongify would be an interesting way to go about it.


    Well, you have Tamiyo, the Moon Sage, which is a step in the proper direction. A +1 ability that isn't just "drawing cards", and is a pretty good representation of a blue effect that has been on Frost Titan and other cards in the last couple of years.
    DCI Regional Judge (L3)
  • #485
    I've been playing Delver for a while and lost today to Cavern of Souls. I don't care if Mana Leak rotates, in fact I'm happy about it, I'll just adapt and actually play something else, the new Standard seems like it'll crush Delver decks anyway, though it's still a great deck.
  • #486
    This is a bad idea. They should only ban cards in Standard that completely dominate the metagame. Snapcaster, while being very good, is not broken.


    Mana Leak is not broken. Wink
    I believe Snappy is unbalanced (even through all the patriotism i could have seeing how the card was made from a Portuguese player), and the simplest reason to prove that would be the strategies / cards that Snappy is preventing players and Wizards from using / creating.

    Quote from epeeguy
    That is always going to be a weakness with every color. No color has an answer for every situation on its own. And that's a reasonable weakness to have in order to keep the game dynamic and interesting.


    I didn't said "an answer for everything" i said "no answer for anything". Blue kind of doesn't have real solid answers, and we can compare it's case to other colors.


    Quote from epeeguy
    I don't see how blue has gotten the short end of any stick. If anything, it's been handed a few different sticks in terms of what is good in blue, rather than getting shafted. Now, that could be a problem in terms of something blue shouldn't get, and I would acknowledge that. But blue is hardly at the bottom of the pile in Standard or Modern these days.


    You don't? Tell me how is blue card drawing nowadays. Instant speed, we only have (as playable) Think Twice. There was a time when a Thirst for Knowledge wasn't that much of an efficient carddrawer, comparing to others. others. Blue decks nowadays would kill for TFK, since the cardrawing has become so much worse. Counters like Memory Lapse and Remand wouldn't see that much play in older formats, because of more efficient counters (Spike, logic, Counterspell). Nowadays, a reprinted Remand or Memory Lapse would be a 4-of in any counter / tempo deck. And in those days, combo, control and aggro decks were all viable acrhetypes, and not "one of each". I remember serveral aggro strategies, as well as control and combo ones.

    The correct term wouldn't me shafted, but more than that, neutered. Having cards like Tidings available to us shows exactly how blue has been doing. Visions of Beyond is the only instant speed carddrawer the Core Set gives us, and is one that's very hard to work around. Ponder is nice, but will surely be replaced since it's banned in Modern, and i don't remember when was the last time they reprinted banned cards, if ever. Blue doesn't even have Inspiration anymore, and that's hardly a "broken cardrawer".




    Quote from epeeguy
    But that shouldn't be the point of the discussion. Whether blue is "the color" is a disingenuous argument. What should be the point is (1) reasonable solutions to the removal of Mana Leak and (2) ways to identify other areas to develop answers that aren't necessarily counters.


    Most "reasonable" solutions presented would still have high synergy with Snapcaster Mage. That's why most ideas have been debated and pointed as "not viable".


    Quote from epeeguy
    If blue must rely on counters, then it's a one-trick pony. And I think that's a bad path to follow for the future. It takes depth out of the color, and reduces its overall influence in the game. Now, it may not have the best answers in other situations, but I think that's fine.


    Blue has:

    - Card drawing / Library manipulation
    - Counters
    - Bounce
    - Stack tricks

    Almost all of them have been getting huge cuts. Card draw, i showed before. Library manipulation... Well, let's just say that the only engine available to us is Ponder, and it's banned in at least one format Smile

    Bounce and stack tricks have been getting close to the same tricks (power-wise) they've been getting, if we don't count Stifle as one such trick.

    As for counters, i explained that a few times, i don't think i need to here again.

    Quote from epeeguy
    Of course it does. I don't maintain otherwise.

    However, the suggestion that blue must have it or it just fails, is a faulty argument in my opinion. Should there always be good, playable counters in the Core set? Absolutely. But requiring that to be Mana Leak all the time just leads to stagnation in the development of counters.


    No one is stating it Smile
    That's the biggest misinterpretation most have been doing so far.

    The problem is not Mana Leak not being reprinted. The problem is the... "illogical?" logic behind it:

    Mana Leak leaving because "we want to try other counters" -> fine and acceptable

    Mana Leak leaving because "it's too powerful nowadays and should never see print" -> is not even something that should be taken serious, giving the power level of the other "mistakes", and even admiting

    Quote from epeeguy
    That's no better than a red player saying he must have Lightning Bolt or red is just unplayable, or a white player needing Squadron Hawk, etc. By tweaking and adjusting the various tools, you get plenty of solid, playable cards for those colors even if you don't have the one you'd prefer.


    We have no solid control deck with counters i Stanrdard (not even Modern, since Faeries is Tempo based). We have no solid "Sligh" based deck available. GR Aggro isn't "Sligh", and WRR sure isn't as well.


    Quote from epeeguy
    I don't believe that Mana Leak or other counters are a real problem in either Standard or Modern. There's a big difference in suggesting that Mana Leak take time off from the Core set to allow for the development of more counters or other answers in blue, versus saying it's "too good" and shouldn't be printed at all ever again.

    I recognize that in Zac Hill's statement, and the overall context of the discussion. Especially as part of the wax and wane of counters versus other cards.


    That's the real issue here, not that Leak is leaving the Core Set or Standard.
    Back from hiatus... I mean it this time! :p

    Former TCG Writer
    Former Magicportugal.net Writer
  • #487
    Quote from John Doe
    Blue kind of doesn't have real solid answers, and we can compare it's case to other colors.


    Why not? So far, there have been some who've been really quick to compare blue to black when it comes to removal. So, why do you want to limit the argument when we start looking across the spectrum at how other colors do/don't handle other problems?

    You can't have the argument go only the one way. If you want to make comparisons of counters to removal, then you can't disallow other comparisons as well.

    Quote from John Doe
    You don't? Tell me how is blue card drawing nowadays. Instant speed, we only have (as playable) Think Twice. There was a time when a Thirst for Knowledge wasn't that much of an efficient carddrawer, comparing to others. others. Blue decks nowadays would kill for TFK, since the cardrawing has become so much worse.


    Of course drawing cards have been "made worse". Lots of things have been made worse compared to older cards; some have been made better. That's part of the wax and wane in Magic, and modern development.

    When it comes to drawing more than one card at a time, most of that is now relegated to sorceries rather than instants. That's been a distinct slowdown in modern development, because drawing cards via instants can be a very powerful effect. Or, you have to pay an increased cost to get that kind of effect if it is an instant. For example, Azure Mage has "instant card drawing", except you have to get Azure Mage on the battlefield first.

    Then again, there's Forbidden Alchemy these days, which is a really good way for blue/black to dig for answers. But, you are never going to get exactly the same effect these days as you used to get in the past. At least not for the costs that you used to pay.

    Quote from John Doe
    The correct term wouldn't me shafted, but more than that, neutered.


    Blue has hardly been "neutered" any more than it has been "shafted" or anything else. Is it as powerful as it used to be? No. But blue still has a huge presence in many Standard decks. Its role is much different, but I think that's a problem for other reasons.

    But this is also happening, more or less, with the other colors. Standard has been slowed down to make the games last longer. Every color has been experiencing that to an extent, which is part of the wax/wane that should occur as a natural part of development these days.

    Quote from John Doe
    Most "reasonable" solutions presented would still have high synergy with Snapcaster Mage. That's why most ideas have been debated and pointed as "not viable".


    You can't ignore the current format when developing anything. To look at any single card in a vacuum just doesn't work. To do that leads to mistakes that have been made in the past. And short of banning Snapcaster Mage, the FFL can't ignore its potential presence in any deck that has blue. No differently than it can ignore any other card.

    Consider Intangible Virtue and token generation...

    Quote from John Doe
    Mana Leak leaving because "it's too powerful nowadays and should never see print" -> is not even something that should be taken serious, giving the power level of the other "mistakes", and even admiting


    Except that's not the statement that was made. The "never see print" isn't in that statement at all. And I think it is disingenuous to keep characterizing the statement that way. Even then, that statement can hardly be taken to mean that Mana Leak will "never" come back in the Core set.

    The statement is simply a recognition of the relative power of Mana Leak's effect versus it's cost these days. No more, no less.

    Quote from John Doe
    We have no solid control deck with counters i Stanrdard (not even Modern, since Faeries is Tempo based). We have no solid "Sligh" based deck available. GR Aggro isn't "Sligh", and WRR sure isn't as well.


    The decks that are or aren't viable in the format depends on a lot of factors, and there are certainly decks that weren't viable that are now viable. And that keeps shifting. Eventually someone will discover a "best" control deck that works in the format, though I think there are already various control decks that work well these days. Or, the next set will come in and give more tools that allow for such a deck to develop. But it's rare that you will get exactly what you want in Standard these days. You may get something close, but more than that is overly wishful thinking.

    That's simply part of the normal cycle in development these days; it prevents stagnation in the format, which is healthy for the game in the short and long runs.
    Last edited by epeeguy: 5/5/2012 8:31:12 AM
    DCI Regional Judge (L3)
  • #488
    Quote from Iampro
    U are missing the point, u are now forced to run bad cards to stop only 1 part of the meta


    Gutshot is a bad card? Ok. You are SO right. Last I checked, direct damage that one can run for free in any color deck one wants is SO bad. No one should ever use this card. Absolutely.
  • #489
    Quote from epeeguy
    I was looking through the various blue stuff in Standard at the moment, and wondered if they could do a variant of Steel Sabotage, except strictly for creatures. That might have to be UU or 2U, since the current "Counter target creature spell" is 1U, and Unsummon is U.

    Yeah, Force Spike may or may not be good in the format. I think the concept is sound, in that it is a 1 mana cost-for-1 mana tax. But that might be too efficient. Miscalculation without cycling is probably the next best thing if Mana Leak isn't reprinted. And honestly, that feels like shifting from Terror to Doom Blade to me.

    Edit: But, honestly, the more I look at creatures like Fettergeist and Lone Revenant (especially when the latter has a sword or Spectral Flight), the more interesting MUC becomes. And there's Alchemist's Apprentice as an early blocker. I don't know if it's tier 1, but it might be an interesting thing to try at FNM.


    That could be pretty cool. UU :Counter target creature spell, or return target creature to its owner's hand. Not too paowerful, multi-purpose, and interesting. It would be really sad if WotC took something like this good idea, and ruined it somehow. Like by printing a land that makes creatures uncounterable. Oh wait, they did just that! I guess there is always Ghost Quarter. I had completely forgotten about Cavern of Souls in this whole discussion of counter spells. ARGH!

    I recently had another such moment. I was looking through my Innistrad last night and found Frightful Delusions, which I had initially passed over because it was a three mana soft counter (Force Spike soft no less...). Now, I read it, and though to myself, man, that would be interesting to try, had they NOT put it into a set with a bunch of flashback cards.... Frightful Delusions is exactly the kind of thing that worries me about WotC and their recent hatred of counter spells working at all. With this in mind, I kinda have to wonder if they will replace Leak with anything at all. Why would one print a counter spell that has a discard bonus in a set full of flashback? Why would one print a land that makes creatures uncounterable right before
    a new core set in which it looks like one of the fairest options would be to print a creature targeting counter spell? It seems like only someone that wants to cripple counter cards would do things like this. I understand limiting, but crippling is ridiculous. Hell, to make up for all of the control leg breaking they have been doing, they may just need to reprint Cryptic to balance out the balancing they have done. I still think Mana Leak needs to go. I was excited to see it when I found out they were going to reprint it, just like I was excited to see the titans for the first time. Now, I think all these things should go in favor of something new. Why? Because new shakes up the game. Thoughtfully fun, and good to play new stuff changes the entire meta. I think some new stuff would be awesome.
  • #490
    Quote from epeeguy
    Why not? So far, there have been some who've been really quick to compare blue to black when it comes to removal. So, why do you want to limit the argument when we start looking across the spectrum at how other colors do/don't handle other problems?

    You can't have the argument go only the one way. If you want to make comparisons of counters to removal, then you can't disallow other comparisons as well.


    I clearly said "can"... Confused


    Quote from epeeguy
    Of course drawing cards have been "made worse". Lots of things have been made worse compared to older cards; some have been made better. That's part of the wax and wane in Magic, and modern development.


    Please do tell me something that became better in blue compared to other cards. One can debate about creatures, but they are either multicolored ( Psychatog, Geist of Saint Traft), or very unbalanced (like Delver of Secrets).


    Quote from epeeguy
    When it comes to drawing more than one card at a time, most of that is now relegated to sorceries rather than instants. That's been a distinct slowdown in modern development, because drawing cards via instants can be a very powerful effect. Or, you have to pay an increased cost to get that kind of effect if it is an instant. For example, Azure Mage has "instant card drawing", except you have to get Azure Mage on the battlefield first.


    The problem is that there is no decent Instant speed draw engine. Not even a super weak Inspiration. I would never argue that instant speed card draw should cost more, or at least with added disadvantages, since it clearly should. But for god's sake, at least make them available.

    Quote from epeeguy
    Then again, there's Forbidden Alchemy these days, which is a really good way for blue/black to dig for answers. But, you are never going to get exactly the same effect these days as you used to get in the past. At least not for the costs that you used to pay.


    True. Even though Forbidden Alchemy is a more expensive Impulse, is a fair, balanced card. The main problem is that no deck other than one running UB can truly make use of the full potential of the card, and there aren't many of those around.

    Quote from epeeguy
    Blue has hardly been "neutered" any more than it has been "shafted" or anything else. Is it as powerful as it used to be? No. But blue still has a huge presence in many Standard decks. Its role is much different, but I think that's a problem for other reasons.


    The presence of blue in decks base upon cheap / powerful creatures, and almost no control elements around. The debate is about the loss of blue tools that make an archetype live and prosper. Blue happens to be the color mentioned here. If Wizards get to print a 5, 6 mana Wrath of God, with no difference, just because "it's too powerful vs creatures" i will complain as well.
    Quote from epeeguy
    But this is also happening, more or less, with the other colors. Standard has been slowed down to make the games last longer. Every color has been experiencing that to an extent, which is part of the wax/wane that should occur as a natural part of development these days.


    Yes, we are experiencing hugecuts on all other colors. Rolleyes
    Creatures have been getting better each set. Aggro decks have powerful anti-control aspects in them (Uncounterable, Hexproof, etç), and getting cheaper. It's clear the road they are taking, and one must remember that losing one archetype (in standard's case, two) is not exactly healthy. And we all had our fair share of unhealthy environments.

    Wax/wane can't be freely used as an excuse or explanation for the changes made so far.

    Quote from epeeguy
    You can't ignore the current format when developing anything. To look at any single card in a vacuum just doesn't work. To do that leads to mistakes that have been made in the past. And short of banning Snapcaster Mage, the FFL can't ignore its potential presence in any deck that has blue. No differently than it can ignore any other card.

    Consider Intangible Virtue and token generation...


    What i'm saying is that it's the very same argument about banning a card. When they feel that in a given meta, banning or unbanning a card would help new decks rise and prosper, or when they see a card / deck as a nuisance to the health of an environment, bans occur. If they can't design cards or worse, have to design cards to stop some kind of strategy / deck something should be considered.

    Ravager Affinity was an example most of us remember well, storming Block, Standard and Extended. It became unfair in two environments, and a staple tier 1 decks in another. But unlike creatures like Stoneforge Mystic and Snapcaster Mage, Affinity didn't became a staple in Legacy. We are talking about highly synergistic cards, that fit in most strategies, with a power level bigger than most creatures around.

    Quote from epeeguy
    Except that's not the statement that was made. The "never see print" isn't in that statement at all. And I think it is disingenuous to keep characterizing the statement that way. Even then, that statement can hardly be taken to mean that Mana Leak will "never" come back in the Core set.

    The statement is simply a recognition of the relative power of Mana Leak's effect versus it's cost these days. No more, no less.


    So, by telling us that a two mana situational counter is nowadays too powerful, when we see the pattern of even more cuts in that color in terms of power... It means we're getting (more?) powerful tools?

    Should i, after reading Zac's article expect Fact or Fiction in a future Core Set (not exactly the next)? A Counterspell?

    Of course not. I will be expecting what Wizards have been giving me as a control player every new set: worse and worse cards, until either i am forced to play aggro to remain competitive in a meta, or quit playing. Nothing more, nothing less.

    You can't expect me to be happy while aggro strategies getso many tools and solutions, and some to problems that don't even exist, that the style of play i prefer is getting so torn apart that almost no deck is viable in the two main Constructed formats. Wink


    Quote from epeeguy
    The decks that are or aren't viable in the format depends on a lot of factors, and there are certainly decks that weren't viable that are now viable. And that keeps shifting. Eventually someone will discover a "best" control deck that works in the format, though I think there are already various control decks that work well these days. Or, the next set will come in and give more tools that allow for such a deck to develop. But it's rare that you will get exactly what you want in Standard these days. You may get something close, but more than that is overly wishful thinking.


    Name me, please, viable control (not tempo) decks in Standard. Or even in Modern. Faeries and Tron? Combo and / or Tempo oriented decks aren't exactly control strategies.

    The problem is that as a control player, i get something that's close... to playable. If i would choose aggro, i would have far more than i would expect to get, by taking into consideration past sets.

    Quote from epeeguy
    That's simply part of the normal cycle in development these days; it prevents stagnation in the format, which is healthy for the game in the short and long runs.


    Standard is a stagnant environment. "Healthy" means we have viable decks in all play styles. I only see aggro.

    If you call that "healthy", i can show you how wrong you are. As for "Diverse", well, that i believe we both agree, but not in the same style.
    Back from hiatus... I mean it this time! :p

    Former TCG Writer
    Former Magicportugal.net Writer
  • #491
    Quote from epeeguy
    However, the suggestion that blue must have it or it just fails, is a faulty argument in my opinion. Should there always be good, playable counters in the Core set? Absolutely. But requiring that to be Mana Leak all the time just leads to stagnation in the development of counters.
    It seems to me that you are misunderstanding the intent of the objection to the removal of Mana Leak. I don't think anyone is saying that it should be a permanent fixture in Standard, they are saying that blue should always have a good poly-targeting counter spell in Standard. There are a few different cards that can take it's place (like Rune Snag) in the back catalog, and there is design room for more, but it really must be 2 cmc, poly-targeting, and not result in additional tempo or CA loss on the part of the counter player. If all you are arguing is that we need some variety in the good counter spells in Standard then I fully agree, but if you are arguing that we need to remove Mana Leak and not replace it with a counter spell that is the same (or similar) power level, then we are in contention.

    Mana Leak is not a Sacred Cow, but the need it fills is critical to a healthy metagame.
    GaJo
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    ؟ is the "Irony Mark", but since no one seems to be able to use the term "irony" correctly, I hereby dub it the "Sarcasm Mark."
  • #492
    Mana Leak should be replaced by Rites of Refusal. We have a two sets heavily based in graveyard mechanics, namely flashback, so this card is the best and most fair replacement for mana leak that already exists. If played correctly, this functions the same as Mana Leak. Yes, you have to lose a little card advantage. So then whichever card you chose to discard (and hopefully you are making a good choice) will only get to be played once instead of twice. Darn. However, this guy has the added bonus of being MORE relevant late game. This gives you the ability to say "Screw it, I really don't want that going off" and allows you to ditch however many cards you need to make the payoff out of your opponents reach. But then you lose those cards in hand, and can only play them out of your graveyard. So, it weakens Delver slightly (maybe even considerably) by taking some of its early game card advantage, while at the same time actually getting a little better in the mid-game than Mana Leak. This only makes sense because we are working with a Standard full of flashback stuff. This won't strengthen Modern any because the counters in that format are all better than this one, so there is nothing to worry about there. And hell, if they are going to print some crap like Frightful Delusion in a flashback set, and they are planning on taking away Mana Leak, then they might as well be considerate and give us this instead. This is better than Remove Soul, but not quite as good as Leak.

    PS. I am also advocating for a Cryptic Command reprint. At 4 cmc, and in light of Cavern of Souls, I don't think it would break the game right now. Smile

    EDIT:
    Quote from DrWorm »

    There are a few different cards that can take it's place (like Rune Snag) in the back catalog, and there is design room for more, but it really must be 2 cmc, poly-targeting, and not result in additional tempo or CA loss on the part of the counter player.


    2 cmc, yes. Polytargeting, yes. Not result in additional tempo or CA loss, no. Blue needs to lose either CA or tempo, at least in the early game, so that blue gets out of aggro. Delver is NOT a control deck. Delver is blatantly an aggro deck. Ideally, in Delver, you do not interact at all with your opponents board. This is essentially a Fish deck. Since this (blue aggro) is clearly an affront to everyone's sensibilities, blue's early game needs to be slowed down. Since the tempo is in the realm of Delver, Stalker, Geist, etc. then clearly CA is what should be dented. Thus, Rites of Refusal is a perfect replacement. Smile
    Last edited by ashtonvanhelsing: 5/5/2012 6:40:25 PM
  • #493
    Quote from ashtonvanhelsing
    Delver is NOT a control deck. Delver is blatantly an aggro deck. Ideally, in Delver, you do not interact at all with your opponents board. This is essentially a Fish deck. Since this (blue aggro) is clearly an affront to everyone's sensibilities, blue's early game needs to be slowed down. Since the tempo is in the realm of Delver, Stalker, Geist, etc. then clearly CA is what should be dented. Thus, Rites of Refusal is a perfect replacement. Smile
    Mana Leak is not a tempo card, so why should the card that replaces it be any less of a tempo card. Delver is a Tempo deck, not an aggro deck, as aggro really only runs creatures and direct damage spells (maybe a couple of removal spells too). Delver uses cheap blue instants to put their opponent off their tempo, while maintaining pressure by way of cheap evasive creatures so it is clearly a tempo deck.

    CA is really poor at the moment in Standard (from what I can tell), so hurting it more would be very bad.
    GaJo
    tumblr: thewormturns
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    ؟ is the "Irony Mark", but since no one seems to be able to use the term "irony" correctly, I hereby dub it the "Sarcasm Mark."
  • #494
    Quote from DrWorm
    Mana Leak is not a tempo card, so why should the card that replaces it be any less of a tempo card. Delver is a Tempo deck, not an aggro deck, as aggro really only runs creatures and direct damage spells (maybe a couple of removal spells too). Delver uses cheap blue instants to put their opponent off their tempo, while maintaining pressure by way of cheap evasive creatures so it is clearly a tempo deck.

    CA is really poor at the moment in Standard (from what I can tell), so hurting it more would be very bad.


    CA isn't poor in Standard. It isn't amazing, like it was with cards like Remand, but it isn't poor. And if you look at Rites of Refusal, it only hurts CA by about 30% (flashback cards), less if you are using it with Snapcaster in the same deck. It actually brings balance to an otherwise unbalanced situation.

    I will give you that Delver is a tempo deck, by definition. However, from my experience, it is the bounce that keeps Delver ahead in tempo far more than the counters. For instance, I have seen several top 8 Delver decks that only ran one or two Mana Leaks, whereas if Leak were so important to it maintaining its tempo edge, you would expect to ALWAYS see 3 or 4.

    However, Delver is not solely tempo. One major argument about Delver not being aggro is Geist of Saint Traft, arguably one of the more important cards in the deck. That card is extremely aggro. Just because it does not have haste does not mean its sole purpose is not attacking. Geist is clearly in the deck for the very early brutal damage edge it gives. Further, a 3/2 flyer for 1 mana is aggro. Either that or Goblin Guide was totally tempo. So, a deck full of aggro creatures, that uses aggro strategy (early heavy pressure), is absolutely, in no way, aggro? Or is it specifically the evasion that makes it tempo?

    Further, I find it questionable that the bounce can even be considered tempo any more than Doom Blade can. Because Delver does so much damage so quickly, the bounce simply acts like virtual removal. Honestly, in the times that I have played Delver, I have only once had to go on to counter a creature that I bounced because the games are usually over by turn 4-5, or over enough that I don't bother. The Mana Leaks usually just end up stopping board wipe or spot removal, so they are really there just to protect the aggro beaters that are winning me the game. BTW, I have yet to actually lose a round at FNM with Delver, and I have been playing it aggro the whole time I have had it sleeved. So, I will concede to it having tempo advantage, if and only if you concede that it is indeed quite aggro.

    Further, I am not sure exactly how Rites of Refusal hurts tempo. It has exactly the same mana access as Mana Leak, so does not affect tempo any differently than Mana Leak. The extra cost of discarding cards affects CA, and I suppose through that it affects tempo, but again, we have en environment full of flashback cards, and Delver uses Snapcaster, which gives flashback to any instant or sorcery.

    Let's try a little experiment. Sleeve up a Delver deck, and instead of Mana Leaks, sub in Rites of Refusal. See just exactly how much it ruins the deck. I have actually tried it, since this is actually what I expect Wizards to do. It really doesn't slow down Delver much, if at all in most situations.

    Rites of Refusal is LESS powerful than Mana Leak, but still operates nearly the same, even more so in the current Standard, and by the time the flashback cards rotate, they will have a new core set to put a new core counter in. I am trying to look at this from their perspective, instead of what I want. Rune Snag would be awesome. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Rune Snag is strictly better than Mana Leak. Period. They don't like Mana Leak because they say it is too much for Standard, so why would they let a strictly better card in. That is living Magical Christmas Set Development land, and WotC is not Santa.
  • #495
    ^ Rites of Refusal is awful. A two mana counter spell should never require you to discard a card as a conditional cost. Rune Snag is not better than Mana Leak. They are about equal and a lot of the time it comes down to preference. Control uses Rune Snag, tempo uses mana leak as Control wants a late game counter. In the current standard Rune Snag would be more balanced than Mana Leak because of the interaction between it and Snapcaster Mage.

    Furthermore I don't know if you really have an idea what tempo is. It's a little iffy to explain but I'll do it the best I can;

    Delver's strategy is to advance it's position while setting you back. There is no good spot removal in white so it ops to use Vapor Snag's and Leak's to what is know as `Timewalking` you by basically getting an extra turn over you by canceling whatever you did on your prior turn. These types of decks are not like Aggro decks because they do not still have a late game, and they are no control decks because they typically run out of resources very quickly. Tempo's strategy described in one sentence ; `` I take one step forward and push you two steps backwards.``
    Last edited by Infallible: 5/6/2012 2:51:25 AM

    By: ol MISAKA lo

    Cockatrice: Infallible

    Quote from razefire
    If you think todays standard is anywhere nearly as cool and interesting as older magic, like from masques up, youre a bologna sandwich.
  • #496
    Quote from John Doe
    Please do tell me something that became better in blue compared to other cards. One can debate about creatures, but they are either multicolored ( Psychatog, Geist of Saint Traft), or very unbalanced (like Delver of Secrets).


    Planeswalkers for one. The additions of Fettergeist, Lone Revenant, and Temporal Mastery are also pretty strong. There's also Consecrated Sphinx, Frost Titan, Deceiver Exarch, Gitaxian Probe, Mental Misstep, Phantasmal Image, and Vapor Snag. I'd include Snapcaster Mage, but do you think that's "very unbalanced"? But those first three should be extremely playable in some kind of blue deck, and the other seven were present in several decks.

    That's just the stuff that rings a bell in Standard from the last year. I could discuss the Faeries from Lorwyn-block. Or would you consider those "very unbalanced"?

    Edit: I forgot Devastation Tide as well. Reprinting Upheaval at a cheaper cost with a reduced effect, and with an even cheaper conditional cost, seems like a very interesting inclusion going forward.

    Quote from John Doe
    The problem is that there is no decent Instant speed draw engine. Not even a super weak Inspiration. I would never argue that instant speed card draw should cost more, or at least with added disadvantages, since it clearly should. But for god's sake, at least make them available.


    This supposes there is a need for some kind of "instant speed draw engine". Is such a thing actually necessary in Standard these days?

    Quote from John Doe
    The presence of blue in decks base upon cheap / powerful creatures, and almost no control elements around. The debate is about the loss of blue tools that make an archetype live and prosper. Blue happens to be the color mentioned here. If Wizards get to print a 5, 6 mana Wrath of God, with no difference, just because "it's too powerful vs creatures" i will complain as well.


    I don't deny that is what the current environment looks like. But Esper Control has a presence in Standard, even if it isn't the dominant deck. Same with Solar Flare. Caw-Blade still does reasonably well in Modern.

    Either way, this wasn't the case with Standard a year ago, and it probably won't be the case with Standard a year from now. Looking at today as a snapshot of "loss of blue tools" is overlooking where blue has been, and where blue probably will be in the future.

    Quote from John Doe
    Creatures have been getting better each set. Aggro decks have powerful anti-control aspects in them (Uncounterable, Hexproof, etç), and getting cheaper. It's clear the road they are taking, and one must remember that losing one archetype (in standard's case, two) is not exactly healthy. And we all had our fair share of unhealthy environments.

    Wax/wane can't be freely used as an excuse or explanation for the changes made so far.


    While creatures have been getting better with each set, that's a good thing. Creatures were bad for a very long time, and in order to make Limited and Standard good, creatures had to get better. Are some creatures too good? Probably, but I can't see that trend continuing forever without end. There's already been some "mistakes" along these lines, and I would think that even WotC recognizes when to back-off somewhat.

    Have spells been decreased in power? Sure, but that moved the game to more creature combat, which needed to be just as viable in the game. Have spells decreased too far in power? Possibly, but I think there's plenty of good spells that have been added to the game, just in different ways and shapes.

    You can argue that wax and wane hasn't gone in your favor, and I would acknowledge that. Wax and wane doesn't necessarily benefit every party equally. But it is there nonetheless.

    Quote from John Doe
    So, by telling us that a two mana situational counter is nowadays too powerful, when we see the pattern of even more cuts in that color in terms of power... It means we're getting (more?) powerful tools?


    Saying "Mana Leak is simply a much more powerful card than we would be comfortable printing under modern development rules." is a few things...

    (1) A measurement of its effect versus its cost.
    (2) A recognition of the format and how Mana Leak would fit in that format.
    (3) An acknowledgment that it is a matter of "comfort" to print or not print the card.

    ...and it does signal a change in the development of counters. Yes, this also probably means that some of your favorite kinds of counters might not see print for a while. But it doesn't mean never see print again. No different than Lightning Bolt. And, like anything else, removal of one card from the rotation for a while easily opens up development of replacement cards. But, they've shown they can print cards they aren't comfortable with from time to time.

    Edit: Specifically, if Mana Leak hadn't been an established card from Stronghold and reprinted in prior sets (so it was completely brand new), it would be unlikely they'd develop such a card these days. I imagine that's the case with several cards, had they never been printed at some point already.

    Quote from John Doe
    Of course not. I will be expecting what Wizards have been giving me as a control player every new set: worse and worse cards, until either i am forced to play aggro to remain competitive in a meta, or quit playing. Nothing more, nothing less.


    Then if you believe that is genuinely the case, I would suggest taking time off from the current Standard environment until you are happy with the cards in the format. If you are strictly concerned about remaining competitive or winning with a particular deck, then perhaps that is best.

    I think that would be the wrong attitude to take, because I think Avacyn Restored has brought a lot of tools with it to make blue-based control pretty good. I won't predict that blue-based control will be the dominant deck once everyone has had a chance to assess the new cards and build decks accordingly, but I think it will start doing a lot better over the next few months.

    Quote from John Doe
    You can't expect me to be happy while aggro strategies getso many tools and solutions, and some to problems that don't even exist, that the style of play i prefer is getting so torn apart that almost no deck is viable in the two main Constructed formats.


    I don't care about your happiness one bit. It's entirely irrelevant to any discussion of Mana Leak as a card, and where it sits on the general "curve" of cost versus effect and measuring its use and efficiency.

    Quote from John Doe
    Name me, please, viable control (not tempo) decks in Standard. Or even in Modern. Faeries and Tron? Combo and / or Tempo oriented decks aren't exactly control strategies.


    It is still a bit too early to tell, since Avacyn Restored was just introduced to the format. And I think that's the biggest reason why you can't show anything is "wrong" with the format. Because the introduction of that many cards will surely have an impact.

    Quote from John Doe
    Standard is a stagnant environment. "Healthy" means we have viable decks in all play styles. I only see aggro.


    If you believe that Standard is a stagnant environment, then you are willfully ignoring how much the environment has changed not only since last year, but also in the last six months. Let alone how it will change in the next six months, between what Avacyn Restored has probably brought to the format, or what M2013 could bring to the format.

    Quote from DrWorm
    Mana Leak is not a Sacred Cow, but the need it fills is critical to a healthy metagame.


    That's my point. A viable counterspell at CMC 2 is good for the format. Mana Leak doesn't have to be that card. Continued insistence that Mana Leak must be that card is what makes it a "sacred cow."
    Last edited by epeeguy: 5/6/2012 8:01:42 AM
    DCI Regional Judge (L3)
  • #497
    Quote from ashtonvanhelsing
    Gutshot is a bad card? Ok. You are SO right. Last I checked, direct damage that one can run for free in any color deck one wants is SO bad. No one should ever use this card. Absolutely.


    Gut shot itself is a bad card. One damage for 2 life isn't a good trade. However, based on a metagame, it can become a good card. On pure power level, it is not good though.
    http://www.twitter.com/jturphy - Follow me on Twitter!
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  • #498
    Quote from Infallible
    ^ Rites of Refusal is awful. A two mana counter spell should never require you to discard a card as a conditional cost.


    What are you basing this on?
    #hashtag
  • #499
    Quote from mrplaque
    What are you basing this on?


    Edit: Two mana soft counter. I'm basing this off of the fact that soft counters are situational as is and don't need to make you discard a card to counter a spell.

    By: ol MISAKA lo

    Cockatrice: Infallible

    Quote from razefire
    If you think todays standard is anywhere nearly as cool and interesting as older magic, like from masques up, youre a bologna sandwich.
  • #500
    Quote from Infallible
    Edit: Two mana soft counter. I'm basing this off of the fact that soft counters are situational as is and don't need to make you discard a card to counter a spell.


    Ah, I see. Thank you for teaching me something.
    #hashtag
  • #501
    Quote from mrplaque
    Ah, I see. Thank you for teaching me something.


    Not..sure if sarcastic.. but you're welcome if not.

    By: ol MISAKA lo

    Cockatrice: Infallible

    Quote from razefire
    If you think todays standard is anywhere nearly as cool and interesting as older magic, like from masques up, youre a bologna sandwich.
  • #502
    Quote from Infallible
    Not..sure if sarcastic.. but you're welcome if not.


    It wasn't. I didn't (and possibly still do not) know what a soft counter was.
    #hashtag
  • #503
    Quote from epeeguy
    The additions of Fettergeist, Lone Revenant, and Temporal Mastery are also pretty strong.


    I don't see Fettergeist or Lone Revenant doing anything. They're not Delver; they play a creature beatdown game that blue can't possibly win. I don't see those two as high-impact cards.

    Temporal Mastery has a ton of potential, and also the ability to completely fall flat (especially in Standard)... but obviously I can't make a decision on this until someone better than me at Magic has had enough time with it.

    For the record, I don't mean to argue with your overall point, I mostly agree. But I do still fear for the immediate future...

    Edit: I forgot Devastation Tide as well. Reprinting Upheaval at a cheaper cost with a reduced effect, and with an even cheaper conditional cost, seems like a very interesting inclusion going forward.


    Devastation Tide doesn't hit lands, and that's a major downside. You could Upheaval, play Zombie Infestation or Psychatog, and your opponent has no lands to answer with. Devastation Tide is more of a board-sweeper than a finisher, and on that end, it probably loses to the likes of Terminus. It doesn't really allow for new gameplans, or new strategies, and it mostly doesn't add anything to existing strategies (except as yet another board sweeper -- although admittedly, the only one in blue...).

    That's my point. A viable counterspell at CMC 2 is good for the format. Mana Leak doesn't have to be that card. Continued insistence that Mana Leak must be that card is what makes it a "sacred cow."


    I think that what scares me most is that the arguments made against Mana Leak will apply to any CMC 2 counter, and that if Mana Leak is not brought back, the void simply won't be filled. Instead, we get to pray that we draw the right one out of Essence Scatter and Negate when the other guy plays an answer-me-now threat.

    Personally, I like the anti-synergy between Snapcaster and Rune Snag. But I don't see that being a selling point to Wizards.

    Quote from mrplaque
    It wasn't. I didn't (and possibly still do not) know what a soft counter was.


    A soft counter is any counter where the opponent can make a choice and possibly have his spell not countered (Mana Leak is the prototypical one: your opponent can pay 3 and have his spell resolve -- granted, he won't always have 3 available, but the choice exists). A hard counter is one where the effect itself does not allow your opponent a choice.
  • #504
    Quote from Invariance
    I don't see Fettergeist or Lone Revenant doing anything. They're not Delver; they play a creature beatdown game that blue can't possibly win. I don't see those two as high-impact cards.


    I don't see how either card is meant for beatdown. Certainly not Lone Revenant, which you absolutely want as a singleton in order to get the Impulse-ability every turn. And while Fettergeist is 3/4, it's better as a single creature that you throw a Sword on and then work to protect it and use as a potential win condition.

    That looks more like control to me than anything else.

    Quote from Invariance
    Devastation Tide doesn't hit lands, and that's a major downside. You could Upheaval, play Zombie Infestation or Psychatog, and your opponent has no lands to answer with. Devastation Tide is more of a board-sweeper than a finisher, and on that end, it probably loses to the likes of Terminus. It doesn't really allow for new gameplans, or new strategies, and it mostly doesn't add anything to existing strategies (except as yet another board sweeper -- although admittedly, the only one in blue...).


    Perhaps. But, I think that looks back more at older formats than Standard these days. I acknowledge it is not as good as Upheaval was, nor does it go in the same decks that Upheaval went in, but that doesn't make it any less a big reset button for blue.

    Quote from Invariance
    I think that what scares me most is that the arguments made against Mana Leak will apply to any CMC 2 counter, and that if Mana Leak is not brought back, the void simply won't be filled. Instead, we get to pray that we draw the right one out of Essence Scatter and Negate when the other guy plays an answer-me-now threat.


    I don't see that happening. As I discussed earlier, I think you can broadly categorize the cards blue needs to deal with as either...

    (1) Creature or noncreature.
    (2) Permanent or nonpermanent.

    ...and making sure that there are counters suited for dealing with both also feeds into the need to keep there from being a "universal" counter at too cheap a cost. That's also true with soft counters, where the cost might be too efficient for the effect.

    If Mana Leak is "above the curve" these days, then I think Miscalculation w/o cycling would fit right in this spot. There's something close to a dozen variations of Shock (1 mana for 2 damage) in Modern. Take Mana Leak out of the Core set for a couple of years, and I think you can find two to three viable substitutions at either 1 or 2 CMC.
    Last edited by epeeguy: 5/6/2012 9:50:22 AM
    DCI Regional Judge (L3)
  • #505
    Since Wildfire was largely ignored by most people in the thread, I'm going to bring up his suggesting of a 2 CMC counter again, because the design is so clean and effective:

    Deny 1U
    Instant (C)
    Counter target spell with converted mana cost 3 or less.

    Remember Thoughtbind? Well this is basically Thoughtbind that has had its numbers dropped down by one. I've always considered Thoughtbind to be great design, but it only saw very fringe Constructed play because being at three mana you could just play Hinder or Mana Leak for one less.

    By restricting the card to only counter cheap spells, you eliminate the ability to sit on two mana and cause a major tempo blowout by countering a big spell. In exchange, you get a counter that can stop what it's supposed to stop no matter how early or late in the game it is. As good as Mana Leak is, it still has the problem that all soft counters do: people have mana to spend in the late game to pay for the Leak. This card doesn't have that problem. It also is extremely simple and elegant, making it an ideal card to print in a Core set.
  • #506
    Quote from Surging Chaos
    Since Wildfire was largely ignored by most people in the thread, I'm going to bring up his suggesting of a 2 CMC counter again, because the design is so clean and effective:

    Deny 1U
    Instant (C)
    Counter target spell with converted mana cost 3 or less.

    Remember Thoughtbind? Well this is basically Thoughtbind that has had its numbers dropped down by one. I've always considered Thoughtbind to be great design, but it only saw very fringe Constructed play because being at three mana you could just play Hinder or Mana Leak for one less.

    By restricting the card to only counter cheap spells, you eliminate the ability to sit on two mana and cause a major tempo blowout by countering a big spell. In exchange, you get a counter that can stop what it's supposed to stop no matter how early or late in the game it is. As good as Mana Leak is, it still has the problem that all soft counters do: people have mana to spend in the late game to pay for the Leak. This card doesn't have that problem. It also is extremely simple and elegant, making it an ideal card to print in a Core set.


    The only problem i would see from such a card would be that it can't stop a titan, but if they don't return, it is kind of a nice one.
    Back from hiatus... I mean it this time! :p

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  • #507
    Quote from John Doe
    The only problem i would see from such a card would be that it can't stop a titan, but if they don't return, it is kind of a nice one.


    You should have three mana available by the time a titan hits the table if you are playing control.
  • #508
    Quote from John Doe
    The only problem i would see from such a card would be that it can't stop a titan, but if they don't return, it is kind of a nice one.


    That's sort of the point behind the card's design. If you want to counter absolutely everything, then be prepared to pay three mana for it and get a nice little bonus to boot.
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