MTG: The Mana Leak Discussion

It is interesting looking at Magic: The Gathering through the lenses of someone who has not played for more than decade. I was reading this article over at Wizards website about how they are fixing an overpowered card called Snapcaster Mage. One of the problem cards that is commonly abused by the Snapcaster Mage is Mana Leak. Apparently, Mana Leak is a powerful card, to quote the article;

“One of the problems is that Mana Leak is simply a much more powerful card than we would be comfortable printing under modern development rules. Similar to why the Swords are so powerful—their costs were locked in before people really understood how to price Equipment—Mana Leak is a relic of a bygone era.”

Having played MTG in said bygone era, I have to tell you Mana Leak was considered the worst counter spell in the game. Yes, early in the game it could be useful, but was generally a wasted draw by turn 5. Virtually everyone would rather have drawn a real Counter Spell or a Power Sink. I can tell you, I was a consummate Blue player and I never used Mana Leak in a constructed deck. Today, I certainly will, but only because Power Sink is gone and other counter spells are either more expensive or hampered in some way. From my point of view MTG does not have a power creep problem, it has a power drain problem. Cards are getting weaker and less flexible, decks are getting predictable and games are getting longer. I have not decided if this is a good thing or not.

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