going to read and hear comments running the entire length of the
spectrum from “best idea ever” to “kill me now” when it comes
to this card. I’ll go ahead and let you know now that I’m one of
the ones happy to see it.
I like counter-magic, but not in the
usual “to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to
hear the lamentations of their women” kind of way. I like it
because it’s a very versatile class of removal, balanced by the
need to apply careful thought in order to use it properly. When a
spell worth countering comes around, first of all you have to be
ready for it. You have to have the mana up. That means you need to
carefully consider how you spend the turn before it, thinking about
what benefit any threats you could play would add to your position
and how safe you already are against the opponent’s threats
currently on the table. Then you have to decide how dangerous the
spell is for you. Will it only be a temporary inconvenience or will
it set up a long-term problem? What could be following it based on
the mana the opponent still has open? I have more fun during a game
when I have more interesting choices to make that will really test my
skills as a player.
Anyway: about the card. Lots of decks
tap out nowadays. In my personal opinion, a play environment is at
its worst when there are too many decks that just go on autopilot.
Having Mana Leak around forces players to stop and think when there’s
1U up on the other side of the table. Is it there? Is it a bluff?
Is it a coincidence? How sad would I be in the long run if this play
or series of plays got nullified? Can I trick the opponent into
using it now so I can do what I really want later?
interesting strategic choices it brings to the metagame, Mana Leak is
also just a good card. 3 is a lot to leave open at any given time in
the early and mid game, so most of the time it’s just a classic
Counterspell. Even if the opponent has 3 or more extra mana open,
you can use the leverage to screw up a multi-spell play that the
current spell is trying to open. But, of course, one of the best and
most powerful features of Mana Leak is the minimal colored mana
requirement. You can get the ease of play of something like a Negate
or Essence Scatter without the targeting restriction that might
randomly leave a dead card in your hand. With that versatility, you
can also just staple it into an existing deck that wouldn’t mind
having it around (I’m envisioning a situation where a removal
attempt on your Kiln Fiend turns into something hilarious).
tons more that can be said, but I’ll let you all have a go at it.
Please do comment, because we really appreciate all the feedback we
get from our audience.