Absorb and Undermine as M13 uncommons?

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Core sets usually contain 4 counterspells. We know Mana Leak probably won't be printed in M13 as Zac Hill says it is too powerful by modern Magic standards. I also don't expect a reprint of Flashfreeze as M13 is a multicolor-themed set and you want to encourage people to use your set mechanic, not hose it.

So why the pair of Absorb and Undermine in their place? Well, they are casual favorites. They are powerful but not oppressive because they can only be used in certain decks. They are a nice mirror to one another and well designed in the way they demonstrate what allied colors can do.

Why uncommon? Because they are simple effects that don't meet the criteria for being rare. Because it would be weird to have a set with two common counterspells (Cancel and Negate), none at uncommon, and two at rare. Because in recent years we have seen that a 3 mana card with all colored symbols in the mana cost can be uncommon (or in SoA, even common).
Is it actually confirmed M13 is going to be a multicoloured block? I know it has Nicol Bloas but I feel like that may be more the exception than the rule and core sets are typically not multicoloured, especially since it has been confirmed Return to Ravnica will be a gold block, it doesn't seem  likely. If it were though I'd love to see these reprinted, always wished I had more of them, not sure about uncommon though.
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Is it actually confirmed M13 is going to be a multicoloured block? I know it has Nicol Bloas but I feel like that may be more the exception than the rule and core sets are typically not multicoloured, especially since it has been confirmed Return to Ravnica will be a gold block, it doesn't seem  likely. If it were though I'd love to see these reprinted, always wished I had more of them, not sure about uncommon though.



I agree. I do not think the whole set will be multicolour themed.


I love how off the planet Zac Hill is. Two mana soft counter is too good, but we can have 6 mana creatures that complete invalidate 90% of the cards in the format from 5 casting cost and above and that automatically win the game if they resolve even if you have removal. This explains a lot about Development these days, especially given their utter failure in the Future Futre League.

Mana Leak is in no way too powerful for the modern game (most decks run less than 4 now, and generally sideboard them all out). The only reason counterspells see the sort of play they do is because they made mistakes like the Titans.

I expect we'll see Cancel reprinted again. I had my fingers crossed for Remand, but I think that's out if Mana Leak is too good. We'll probably get Remove Soul and Negate or overcosted versions of the same, because being too-narrow-to-play isn't unplayable enough.
Is it actually confirmed M13 is going to be a multicoloured block? I know it has Nicol Bloas but I feel like that may be more the exception than the rule and core sets are typically not multicoloured, especially since it has been confirmed Return to Ravnica will be a gold block, it doesn't seem  likely. If it were though I'd love to see these reprinted, always wished I had more of them, not sure about uncommon though.



I agree. I do not think the whole set will be multicolour themed.


I love how off the planet Zac Hill is. Two mana soft counter is too good, but we can have 6 mana creatures that complete invalidate 90% of the cards in the format from 5 casting cost and above and that automatically win the game if they resolve even if you have removal. This explains a lot about Development these days, especially given their utter failure in the Future Futre League.

Mana Leak is in no way too powerful for the modern game (most decks run less than 4 now, and generally sideboard them all out). The only reason counterspells see the sort of play they do is because they made mistakes like the Titans.

I expect we'll see Cancel reprinted again. I had my fingers crossed for Remand, but I think that's out if Mana Leak is too good. We'll probably get Remove Soul and Negate or overcosted versions of the same, because being too-narrow-to-play isn't unplayable enough.




It's not like they're taking Mana Leak out and leaving the titans in.  They will all rotate out together.  Titans are fine right now, with leak in the meta.  But yeah, in a leak-less environment, the titans would probably be way too good.

The game is doing better now than it's ever done.  The limited format is amazing and constructed is getting better all the time.  I think development is doing their job just fine.  However, expecting perfection from them is foolish, and acting like they don't know what they are doing or are they out of touch is silly, given the state of MTG right now.
Is it actually confirmed M13 is going to be a multicoloured block? I know it has Nicol Bloas but I feel like that may be more the exception than the rule and core sets are typically not multicoloured, especially since it has been confirmed Return to Ravnica will be a gold block, it doesn't seem  likely. If it were though I'd love to see these reprinted, always wished I had more of them, not sure about uncommon though.



I agree. I do not think the whole set will be multicolour themed.


I love how off the planet Zac Hill is. Two mana soft counter is too good, but we can have 6 mana creatures that complete invalidate 90% of the cards in the format from 5 casting cost and above and that automatically win the game if they resolve even if you have removal. This explains a lot about Development these days, especially given their utter failure in the Future Futre League.

Mana Leak is in no way too powerful for the modern game (most decks run less than 4 now, and generally sideboard them all out). The only reason counterspells see the sort of play they do is because they made mistakes like the Titans.

I expect we'll see Cancel reprinted again. I had my fingers crossed for Remand, but I think that's out if Mana Leak is too good. We'll probably get Remove Soul and Negate or overcosted versions of the same, because being too-narrow-to-play isn't unplayable enough.




It's not like they're taking Mana Leak out and leaving the titans in.  They will all rotate out together.  Titans are fine right now, with leak in the meta.  But yeah, in a leak-less environment, the titans would probably be way too good.

The game is doing better now than it's ever done.  The limited format is amazing and constructed is getting better all the time.  I think development is doing their job just fine.  However, expecting perfection from them is foolish, and acting like they don't know what they are doing or are they out of touch is silly, given the state of MTG right now.



It's not just Titans - they deliberately push a bunch of cards that effectively read "If this resolves, you win." and then blame the only answers -counterspells - for causing the problem!


I do agree that Limited is great, and I think Design are doing a pretty amazing job (even if they do things I personally don't like, e.g. Double-Face Cards, unusual set/block distributions), but Development's FFL failures for Constructed have translated into a string of problem metagames because the players understand the formats they create better than the developers do.

EDIT: I think Chris Pikula captured it best on Twitter recently: These days, hate-printings and bannings are not used to solve a problem that arises in the metagame, they're used to push the game in a desired direction.

They're not trying to make things balanced and leave the players to their devices, they're trying to force everyone to play a particular type of game that R&D happen to like, which appears to be a slightly more complex version of Top Trumps at this point.
I want some time for the Titans to shine in a Mana Leakless envoronment.

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Long ago, in the Before-time, there was a card called Counterspell that, well, countered spells. It was simple and efficient, with the only drawback being that you needed UU to pull it off. But those were better times, when a Mana Leak wasn't as good because your opponent could probably pay the extra 3, and Titans weren't clogging the scene with awesome power that only a counter could handle....

I like Absorb and Undermine, and run them in appropriate colored EDH decks, and even occasionally in normal(ish) casual decks. I can see why some might think Mana Leak is overpowered, since they may have lost a game when their titan didn't resolve because of one, but really, blue control just makes the game slightly more thought-focused than: 1. Produce Mana 2. Titan / weenie-with-a-sword / etc. 3. win.

I do look forward to either new, usable counterspells, or the return of the original.
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Honestly, if Mana Leak is replaced, then it's almost certain that the color hate cycle will remain. Especially because Protection and color hate are necessary in multicolor blocks (INN/RTR looks to be a very colorful setup, even though I'll miss NPH and "artifact spells")

Also, Zac Hill is a very good developer, but not the only member of the team. I'd wager his outlook for future Magic contrasts quite extensively with that of say, Aaron Forscythe.
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