04/20/2012 LD: "Gonna Hate"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Latest Developments, which goes live Friday morning on magicthegathering.com.
DUR *taps creatures*
OK, Zac, seriously, do you actually read what you write before you submit it to the editor?  Moreover, does R&D actually think through things before they print them?  Cavern of Souls is oozing with Mental Misstep-ism.  If you recall, MaRo said that Mental Misstep was printed to give every deck in Legacy access to Force of Will.  So, what happened?  Now the Force of Will decks got to play more Force of Wills, and the decks with 8 Forces beat the decks with only 4, just as the decks with 4 beat the decks with 0 before.

You print a card to hose Snapcaster Mage by having a really powerful effect that hoses countermagic.  You know what's really good against Snapcaster Mage?  Mana Leak, because it restricts your opponent's mana so they can't 2-for-1 you off of Snap's ability (as they can even if you Doom Blade the Snap in response to the trigger).  You know what Cavern is really good against?  Mana Leak.  So, here's the deck: Snapcaster + Cavern.  Now your Snaps can't be countered, and every Snap you cast is a GUARANTEED 2-for-1, rather than just a most-of-the-time 2-for-1.  Factor in the fact that Delver shares not 1 but 2 creature types with Snap, and the deck starts to build itself.

Seriously, that took me a whole 30 seconds to realize.  Are you guys even trying anymore?
Ertai87 does make a good point.  But I support the idea of making things "uncounterable" as opposed to simply adding another mana to Cancel because counters are still playable.

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...Ertai, that 'guaranteed' Snapcaster+Mana Leak is a blank if the leak can't counter something cast with Cavern of Souls. It doesn't matter that the Snapcaster Mage itself might be uncounterable.
OK, Zac, seriously, do you actually read what you write before you submit it to the editor?  Moreover, does R&D actually think through things before they print them?  Cavern of Souls is oozing with Mental Misstep-ism.  If you recall, MaRo said that Mental Misstep was printed to give every deck in Legacy access to Force of Will.  So, what happened?  Now the Force of Will decks got to play more Force of Wills, and the decks with 8 Forces beat the decks with only 4, just as the decks with 4 beat the decks with 0 before.

You print a card to hose Snapcaster Mage by having a really powerful effect that hoses countermagic.  You know what's really good against Snapcaster Mage?  Mana Leak, because it restricts your opponent's mana so they can't 2-for-1 you off of Snap's ability (as they can even if you Doom Blade the Snap in response to the trigger).  You know what Cavern is really good against?  Mana Leak.  So, here's the deck: Snapcaster + Cavern.  Now your Snaps can't be countered, and every Snap you cast is a GUARANTEED 2-for-1, rather than just a most-of-the-time 2-for-1.  Factor in the fact that Delver shares not 1 but 2 creature types with Snap, and the deck starts to build itself.

Seriously, that took me a whole 30 seconds to realize.  Are you guys even trying anymore?

So snap decks get better against other mana leak decks...which are probably packing snaps anyway. In turn, their mana base gets shakier and the card is irrelevant in other matchups. I don't see the problem?
...Ertai, that 'guaranteed' Snapcaster+Mana Leak is a blank if the leak can't counter something cast with Cavern of Souls. It doesn't matter that the Snapcaster Mage itself might be uncounterable.

QFT, are you even trying Ertai!?

And I love tribal decks, gotta get me some of these Caverns!

I disagree that Mana Leak is the problem. The problem is the threats that you can't interact with or threats as good as delver that only cost 1 mana. Mana Leak wouldn't be a problem if Geist could be targeted or if Deliver cost 2 mana. Please stop taking the interactivity and decisions out of Magic. Standard decks practically play themselves at this point. Tempo decks deserve to exist. And if you guys are really worried about Snapcaster, why not print a maindeckable graveyard hate card? Like the Obstinate Baloth analogy you made, print a maindeckable card that removes a card in the graveyard from the game. This would add more interactivity and decisions in the game as opposed to taking them away.
In Standard, Mana Leak is trash versus creature decks anyway.

But sure, just keep on blaming Mana Leak.

"Your first instinct may be to blame the flying blue Wild Nacatl that's a dominant card in every format, but you're wrong."

Geist of Saint Traf should totally be harder to answer, great job Wizards!

EDIT: I should mention that I have enormous respect for Zack as a writer and thinker from his pre-Wizards days.  I just think that this particular argument is ridiculous.
About time a card like this got printed.  Blue has been spoiled for too long.  Mad props wizards.
OK, Zac, seriously, do you actually read what you write before you submit it to the editor?  Moreover, does R&D actually think through things before they print them?  Cavern of Souls is oozing with Mental Misstep-ism.  If you recall, MaRo said that Mental Misstep was printed to give every deck in Legacy access to Force of Will.  So, what happened?  Now the Force of Will decks got to play more Force of Wills, and the decks with 8 Forces beat the decks with only 4, just as the decks with 4 beat the decks with 0 before.



A little off-topic, but Mental Misstep should have cost 1+1 Phyrexian Blue.  That way Blue would stick to Leak/Counterspell, but all the other colors would have access to the 1 CMC counterspell, for a cool diversifying of multiple formats.
The anti-snapcaster bit isn't what worries me: what bothers me about the card is the massive collateral damage it could cause. Think about this in Mono-U fae in Modern. Also, he brings up Titans, but Zac is in the minority in saying Despise is effective against Titans. Same with Memoricide. This is going to change the way control functions (if it functions at all). Probably forever. This card will be played in Modern. Once people start using it alongside Elves in Legacy, it will change the metagame. Watch. 
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I'm right here.
The accidental spanish spoiler took off the momentum of this article, which is a little unfortunate. If previews are this detailed and honest the slow spoilers wouldn't be so much of a problem.

Since the article is very well explained and thought, I would add the following points:

1) Snapcaster is quite obnoxious but Delver is even worse. I hope this is and advancement in terms of development of new blue cards.
2) At last, we get the confirmation that reprinting Mana Leak is a mistake. Hope M13 returns to the standard of having only narrow permission at tow mana like Essence Scatter and Negate.
3) In the same tune, the article seems to admit that they have been giving blue overpowered stuff since the pros wannabes are going to rationalize that it was their skill that won games. Change is coming, although it will probably be reflected on the block after Ravnica.

Overall, congratulations ofr this article and this card. This gaves hope for the Standard format again. Now, prepare to ignore the 20 % of the community that posts the 80 % of the hate.
If Limited gets in the way of printing good Constructed cards... Screw limited

You print a card to hose Snapcaster Mage by having a really powerful effect that hoses countermagic.  You know what's really good against Snapcaster Mage?  Mana Leak, because it restricts your opponent's mana so they can't 2-for-1 you off of Snap's ability (as they can even if you Doom Blade the Snap in response to the trigger).  You know what Cavern is really good against?  Mana Leak.  So, here's the deck: Snapcaster + Cavern.  Now your Snaps can't be countered, and every Snap you cast is a GUARANTEED 2-for-1, rather than just a most-of-the-time 2-for-1.  Factor in the fact that Delver shares not 1 but 2 creature types with Snap, and the deck starts to build itself.

Seriously, that took me a whole 30 seconds to realize.  Are you guys even trying anymore?





Seriously, so this hoses Snapcaster? Then I'll just play it with Snapcaster? I give this five months before it's banned in most formats. Geist of Saint Traft using Cavern of Souls? Wish I could counter that. This doesn't even come into play tapped. 

 I'll admit this will be fun to play with but man it's going to be expensive. A two mana hate enchantment that says no flashback would have been a "hate" card for Snapcaster. This just gives it another weapon. I want four of these for every deck I have that has creatures in it. 


The anti-snapcaster bit isn't what worries me: what bothers me about the card is the massive collateral damage it could cause. Think about this in Mono-U fae in Modern. Also, he brings up Titans, but Zac is in the minority in saying Despise is effective against Titans. Same with Memoricide. This is going to change the way control functions (if it functions at all). Probably forever. This card will be played in Modern. Once people start using it alongside Elves in Legacy, it will change the metagame. Watch. 

They could just ban it in the eternal formats if it gets out of control. I could see the elves concern being legit.
The anti-snapcaster bit isn't what worries me: what bothers me about the card is the massive collateral damage it could cause. Think about this in Mono-U fae in Modern. Also, he brings up Titans, but Zac is in the minority in saying Despise is effective against Titans. Same with Memoricide. This is going to change the way control functions (if it functions at all). Probably forever. This card will be played in Modern. Once people start using it alongside Elves in Legacy, it will change the metagame. Watch. 



I fail to see the argument about blue creatures deck being broken with this land. The decks Blue creature based decks struggle against are either aggro which doesn't play counters or Control with lots of removal. Elves also struggle with removal (Lightning bolt, Forked Bolt, Fire // Ice or the worst of them all, Pyrokinesis), since permission is usually reserved to counter Glimpse of nature or another noncreature bomb; besides, every blue deck can deal with this land via Wasteland.
If Limited gets in the way of printing good Constructed cards... Screw limited
I don't think Mana Leak is too powerful.  Snapcaster, yes, a little bit, but this card just seems like it makes, e.g., Geist of Saint Traft way too annoying.  I mean, Leak is one of the few ways to actually stop a Geist (short of playing your own Geist or Phantasmal Image, another overpowered card)

And yeah, this card probably screws up Legacy pretty badly.  We'll see, I guess, but this seems to be a cure that's marginally worse than the disease (which isn't even all that bad to begin with).

Edit: Actually, I'll take back what I said about Legacy.  The card will likely mark a shift in certain archetypes, but to say that it screws up the format is probably a bit alarmist.  It's something to watch for, and the blue mage in me hates cards like this, but I shouldn't say it'll wreck the format.
Well...this is gonna be interesting. I can't take a position on this card until we have seen what it actually does to all the formats. I can get behind trying to nerf blue for real, after all the failed attempts at keeping blue in check that never work out because stuff like Snapcaster keeps getting printed. My issue is more that juicing tribal may be the wrong way to accomplish that goal. Tribal decks are already powerful and popular. I enjoy the existence of tribal decks in both casual and competitive, but I hope this doesn't push magic toward being entirely Elves vs. Spirits vs. Goblins vs. Vampires vs. Fairies.

"Two wrongs don't make a right" seems like a sound principle for development, so its kind of scary to see r&d trying to problem solve over-powered cards by printing cards that are overpowered in the opposite direction. Countermagic is one of the fundamental balancing forces of the game, making it so easy to nullify that axis could have a lot of unforeseen consequences for deck diversity and metagame health.

But we will have to see how it goes. Maybe it will do the right thing and keep Blue in check without forcing everyone to play tribal.
Great article!  And I have faith that you guys know better than the doomsayers posting around here.   Keep up the great work!
The anti-snapcaster bit isn't what worries me: what bothers me about the card is the massive collateral damage it could cause. Think about this in Mono-U fae in Modern. Also, he brings up Titans, but Zac is in the minority in saying Despise is effective against Titans. Same with Memoricide. This is going to change the way control functions (if it functions at all). Probably forever. This card will be played in Modern. Once people start using it alongside Elves in Legacy, it will change the metagame. Watch. 




Changing up the Metagame now and then is a bad thing?  What?  I thought formats becoming stagnant was a bad thing?
April 2012

Stop blaming the Snapcaster...it's all blah blah blah.

WotC is desperatly seeking for new players and most of them start as Timmies - clearly because a creature-based deck is far easier to handle if compared to a control deck or a combo deck.

They need to guarantee that newbies keep playing and this is harder when you have counter cards around (because, according to MaRo's "experience", players often get frustraded when their creature spells are countered) - more blah blah blah.

And now they have come with this ultimate solution in order to force four copies of it in every tribal deck to encourage and keep newbies playing long enough. That's why we have now "Cavern of Souls"! This is pathetic. =/

JV
I appreciate the reality of the problem this card is trying to solve, and I especially appreciate how forthright and thorough Zac is being in explaining R&D's thinking on it.

That said, this feels like a big mistake to me.  At least in Standard, we've been seeing more and more creatures that are difficult or impossible to interact with profitably once they resolve (invisible stalker, Geist of St. Traft + equipment, undying creatures, most Titans).  Counterspells have been key in preventing these kinds of creatures from becoming oppressive, and providing such a simple and effective means of turning off that interaction, as this land does, seems poor.

Blue decks having the ability to counter Titans and Hexproof creatures is important, because it helps hold down potentially oppressive decks for everyone, not just the blue decks' players.  I'd like to be wrong, of course, but current Standard without that ability just sounds miserable to me.
Honestly, I think there are plenty of two drops that have been made that were worse mistakes - my main problem with Snapcaster is that I'd like to be able to play a color WITHOUT having to play a certain card all the time, and it's just not possible to justify playing blue, at least not in Standard, without Snapcaster.

Also, if the problem with Snapcaster is all the one mana cantrips...then what is the stop-the-mana-leak card supposed to do to deal with that? :P
Best card in years.  Every type of removal has plentiful checks in the form of hexproof/shroud, protection, indestructibility, etc....but not counters!  Countermagic has had such a cushy life, never having to worry about anything worse than a Thrun.  It's high time countermages were on the wrong end of the "no!"s for once.
This card is stupid.  I hate it.
This card is genius.  I love it.
I think it's safe to say that the Titans and Mana Leak are getting bounced out of M13.
Best card in years.  Every type of removal has plentiful checks in the form of hexproof/shroud, protection, indestructibility, etc....but not counters!  Countermagic has had such a cushy life, never having to worry about anything worse than a Thrun.  It's high time countermages were on the wrong end of the "no!"s for once.



While I agree with you to some degree, not having to worry about anything worse than a Thrun is like not having to worry about anything worse than a nuclear bomb. Speaking as a Standard control player. I really don't like this card, but maybe it won't be as lame as it looks.
Funny. About the only format they *won't* change with this card is standard.
The thing is, this card is really good for old formats where counters run rampant.
But in standard, you still have to answer the Delver threat somehow, even if you have a deck with creatures, and there are not a lot of creatures that can deal with Delver that well.

So the removal spells you aim at Delver will still be countered. And if you play big threats, there's always Vapor Snag to help your opponent out.

So yes, while this card will help a bit, because we lack sufficient good creatures to deal with Delver, we probably won't see that much change (unless AVR buffs all the other colors significantly).
What this will do is make a huge impact on the older formats...


I also find it amusing you say you are not powercreeping and then quote a bunch of cards that were not even format defining (but definately good cards), while I just have to say 'Delver' and completely negate any argument you could make. I mean, best blue creature printed in what, 5 years, and you are *not* powercreeping?
That isn't even a bad thing, but please, don't argue without touching the most important part of the whole debate. That's like saying Napoleon was the greatest general and then ignore Waterloo.
I'm kind of in love with this card. It seems to be a battle between the people who want to hose countermagic because they want to be able to play with their cards for once, and the players who want to play with their cards that prevent other people from playing their cards for once.

Now it might be my anti-blue biases coming out but I think you tricky blue mages will have other fun stuff to do... like maybe trying to cast miraculous psuedo Time Walks? and I'm sure you'll have a generous chunk of the flickering theme in this set.
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I think it's safe to say that the Titans and Mana Leak are getting bounced out of M13.


Yeah this is the point. Standard will be a rather stupid environment while this and titans are both legal, M13 is hopefully gonna rectify that.

Also Zac, dont tell me this card was printed to hose snapcaster, please. Right now, the only thing this card accomplishes is make 80% of the viable decks 90$ more expensive. Congratulations.

IMAGE(http://i1.minus.com/jbcBXM4z66fMtK.jpg)

192884403 wrote:
surely one can't say complex conditional passive language is bad grammar ?
OK, so now I cast the Hexproof can't be sacrificed angel and you can't counter it, go?
This card is lame.
The end is always nigh.
I find it funny that people tend to think that delver itself is the biggest issue.

Delver may be the deck's name, but it isn't Delver that generates the win for the deck, and Good Ol' Snappy just helps make the rest of the deck so much better. Without Snapcaster, Delver becomes a medicore tempo deck that runs out of stream in the current enviroment.

The analysis that this card won't stop Delver directly is correct. Delver decks will play this card. The tempo will go on. It'll make things much harder for the mirror. However, if you don't think creatures don't get countered with Mana Leak... I'd suggest you watch more games. It may not be your choice of play, but it happens enough.

What this does is it moves the emphasis from counter to removal, which is a shift people should have been noticing with the current GB trends. While it still doesn't answer the Hexproof problem directly, hopefully we'll be seeing less of it in the future.

Besides, it's not like you're going to stop playing counters just because creatures can't be countered. There is plenty of things that still need to be countered.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/0a90721d221e50e5755af156c179fe51.jpg?v=90000)
I don't see how this addresses snap caster mage.  It hoses mana leak, and will be format warping in any format that has creatures, and countermagic.  I also don't see why mana leak is such a big deal.  Just play around it, leave 3 mana up, or cast progressively worse threats. 2uu Flash, counter target spell unless it's controller plays 3, 2/1 is good, but not dominating.  I don't know maybe's it me, but I can remember playing around countermagic in standard when both counterspell and mana leak were legal.  Aparently the creatures back then were worse then as well.  (They were serra angle versus baneslayer angle .)  And has been said there also plenty of things like , and mana leak aimed a non creature which make snap caster so good.  But if mana is the premo target of snap caster, how come Finkle removed his mana leaks but kept his snap casters in spirits deck for honulu? 

As for this, it will see play in every single deck that runs creatures, except maybe zoo.  Including delver of secrets; naming either humans, or spirits depending on build.  This card derives it's power not from fixing your manna in a deck with common creatures types.  (B/U/R zombies anyone?  How about B/R/W vampires?)  nor is it's power that it garrenties ETB abilities will resolve.  (name giant, play primeval titan  get your land, pull out a Kessig wolfrun, and an inkmoth nexus.  Or that it does both.  (Wanna play a 3~4 colour ramp titan deck. with the titan uncounterable?).  Those things make it good, really good.  No what makes this card coo-coo bannas broken is that it does all thoughs things, with no draw back FOR FREE!  You can litterally pull out 4 basic land from your deck, it's jus as consistant.  You drop this on turn 1, and still cast spells as if it was the land of your choice.
I wish Magic R&D would own up to more mistakes, such as giving everything hexproof when it deserves shroud. Shroud is important, because it prevents things like equipment from being tacked on to cards like Geist and Invisible Stalker. Couple that with Invisible Stalker being unblockable and you have a 1/1 that is anything but a 1/1. The real problem in standard then is that certain mechanics are being abused (not by players, necessarily, but by the game itself).

Things like hexproof and undying and undoubtedly miracle ability are all things that R&D seems to be "okay" with but otherwise make games utterly boring and short. Runechanter's Pike is an absolutely brutal piece of equipment, easily ending up as an 8/1 first strike equipment in short time with cards like forbidden alchemy, gitaxian probe, think twice, and ponder filling up the graveyard. These are all cards that aren't counters but help put counters into a player's hand.

I understand that this new land aims to fix that problem: great, now we can play creatures that can't be countered. It doesn't address the fact that runechanter's pike is being thrown onto a creature that is unblockable, or a creature like Geist that now has first strike and is putting down a 4/4 with evasion. Furthermore, it does nothing to address the aggro of Delver. Even if I play a Tragic Slip or Geistflame, I'm still making a 1 for 1 trade that sets me back one card but sets them back practically nothing. Why? Because Delver is like cream on top of a cupcake: it's really good, but it's not the whole thing. Kill a delver and now invisible stalker or geist comes out.

Blue/White and Black/Blue control and aggro (arguably) decks just aren't fun to play against. You know what's coming: a tiny little creature with runchanter's pike on it with a graveyard full of daggers. What are you going to do? Black Sun's Zenith it? Oh wait, this land doesn't protect sorceries/instants from being countered, just creatures...
Pretty excited. I dislike that players can counter everything and then claim they won with "skill". Thanks!!! Play real magic and not this "let me play and you just sit there while I make your cards look stupid with mana leak"
I also don't see why mana leak is such a big deal.  Just play around it, leave 3 mana up, or cast progressively worse threats.



Mana Leak is a huge card because it snags out early threats or hasty players. If you're trying to drop a 6 CMC and leave 3 mana open, you are setting yourself up far behind a blue player to the point where you won't be able to catch up. For all the 3 CMC drops, you can't just wait until you have 6 land out to drop them either. Naturally, Mana Leak is kind of like Frightful Delusion in a way: it becomes useless after a certain point, because your opponent will always have that extra mana. The catch here is that Frightful Delusion is appropriately costed and has an additional effect (the discard always triggers). Mana leak obviously couldn't have been 3 CMC, because than it would be strictly worse compared to Cancel or Dissipate (of course, Cancel is strictly worse than Dissipate, unless you want their cards to go to their graveyard for some reason). Should Mana Leak have been "unless that player pays 2?" Perhaps...

Counters are fundamentally a difficult concept to balance around. If you make cards uncounterable, they generally cost more and are less splashable (pyroclasm vs volcanic fallout). But there is another problem: counters rely on having mana open, and there are too many cards that are instant speed that are used instead of counters. Consider Forbidden Alchemy. This is a great card because it allows you to look 4 deep and grab the best card from that mix. Even better though, it's at instant speed and costs the same CMC as a counter. If you don't counter an opponent's card, you can play this instead at the end of their turn. That is a huge advantage, because it lets you keep your mana open just in case.

Other colors can't afford to do that though. They can't afford to keep 3 mana open, because everything they play is at sorcery speed. If it wasn't, for instance, they may wait till the end of the opponent's turn to cast something after the opponent casts forbidden alchemy, let's say. But that leads to things like circumventing summoning sickness, or triggering end of opponent turn effects. This is good for cards like Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur, which is both why it has flash and costs a lot. It wouldn't be good if every card had it. This is one of the drawbacks of having so many things be instant speed. It makes leaving mana open for counters that much easier, because blue has no trade off. What is the opportunity cost of a 3 mana spell when you only have 3 mana available and it's your turn? If you're blue, it's a counter on your opponent's next turn. If all your non-counter spells were sorceries, this would be a problem, you'd be either drawing cards, or you'd be saving mana for counters. You could theoretically then say, "Well, I'll just wait till I have 6 lands so I can play one spell for 3 and leave 3 open." This is why Mana Leak is powerful. It tells the opponent that they need to have 3 extra land open, but the person casting Mana Leak only needs 2.

Leaving aside that any creature with more than 1 power functions perfectly well in a goldfish match, how exactly does he contend that spells are better than creatures just because they aren't delayed by a single turn?  Spells only happen once.  Would you print a spell that says "Deal 20 damage to target player"?  Well, every creature is potentially such a spell.  I'd say that's a much bigger advantage than just happening a little faster.  Card advantage is a thing, remember?

My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi
Pretty excited. I dislike that players can counter everything and then claim they won with "skill". Thanks!!! Play real magic and not this "let me play and you just sit there while I make your cards look stupid with mana leak"

Countermagic was harder to play before it got backed up by effcient threats like Delver and Geist.  And this card is primarily going to go into blue/white decks trying to resovle their creatures that are already pretty strong.

Mana Leak is not the biggest problem here; that card has been around for over ten years and didn't completely break the game.  The problem is that you let blue put a serious clock on the opponent with undercosted threats, AND be able to back it up with countermagic, early-game.  If Delver, Snapcaster Mage, and Geist were never printed, I guarantee you Mana Leak would not see nearly as much play.  You are just ignoring the giant elephant in the room and blaming something that has always been there.
This + Sigarda is as close of playing solitaire as possible. Very nice wizards, another nail into the everdwindling interaction of playing a magic game with another player who is looking for a game TWO players can play together...

Next up: Crystal Cave of wonders.

tap to add (1)
tap to add one mana of any color to your mana pool. Spend this mana only to cast non-creature spells. If this mana is spent on a non-creature spell, that spell can't be countered by spells or abilities.

So we can just be done with it and kill interaction all together..















LandRare
As ~ enters the battlefield, choose a creature type.
{T}: Add 1 to your mana pool.
{T}: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. Spend this mana only to cast creature spells of the chosen creature type. If this mana is spent on a spell, that spell can't be countered by spells or abilities.
Awesome land is awesome.
Pretty excited. I dislike that players can counter everything and then claim they won with "skill". Thanks!!! Play real magic and not this "let me play and you just sit there while I make your cards look stupid with mana leak"

Countermagic was harder to play before it got backed up by effcient threats like Delver and Geist.  And this card is primarily going to go into blue/white decks trying to resovle their creatures that are already pretty strong.

Mana Leak is not the biggest problem here; that card has been around for over ten years and didn't completely break the game.  The problem is that you let blue put a serious clock on the opponent with undercosted threats, AND be able to back it up with countermagic, early-game.  If Delver, Snapcaster Mage, and Geist were never printed, I guarantee you Mana Leak would not see nearly as much play.  You are just ignoring the giant elephant in the room and blaming something that has always been there.

It has been legal for around 10 years but durning most of that time land destruction and grindy stuff like capsize and winters orb kept combo in check,  it was too slow during affinity and astral slide. Mana leak gets worse with lots of small must answer spells and snapcaster gives you 2. Mana leak may not be the biggest problem but it certainly makes the game much less enjoyable when I get to sit and watch my opponent durdule for 15 turns or just tell me no I can't play cards while he beats me a single creature.