Archive for February, 2011
I was browsing some old decklists, when i realised the importance of Mana Leak in the Magic the Gathering universe. This single card, in my humble opinion, seems to be cream of the crop for any standard deck in that season. As it seems that each time Mana Leak was legal fro standard play (without a better counterspell) it has proven successful winning World titles or featuring multiple appearances in that year’s top 8.
here is a quick brief about appearances :
2003 – Mana Leak Featured in 4 of the top 8 decks (with a total count of 15 cards). It took the 3 of the top 4 positions (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th).
2004 – affinity year. Even if the Affinity was faster than Mana leak tempo, it still featured in Nassif’s UW control as a 4-of. It was also in another slot of the T8 in an Affinity deck. IT was featured in the top8, 7th and 8th positions.
2005 – Again Mana Leak featured top 8 with 3 slots, the 5th, 6th and 8th.
2006 – Zoo Age. Even if the deck were faster, or they featured combos where mana leak proved little, the japanese Magic school brought the U Tron control with 2 mana leaks that took 2nd and 8th that year.
2010 – Titans. This is the year the Wizards decided to reprint it into Standard format. This is the year that the spell broke out and is the best for mana leak as it proved to be the best counter spell in the format. It featured in 6 decks out of the top8, The only decks that are not playing it, are the decks that do not play blue. It took 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 7th, 8th.
It looks like that the Mana leak spell is becoming the staple counter spell of the last Standard format. It is hard to imagine a blue deck without it.
As long as it remains in standard it will surely find its place among any T8. Will remain in doubt if it will be reprinted. It proved the best among many other counter spells that are in the format : Dispel, Spell Pierce, Mindbreak trap, Cancel, Stoic Rebuttal, Negate, Flashfreeze, Steel Sabotage, Fuel for the cause, Halt Order.
So at the 2 CC slot mana leak remain the best counterspell for the 2011, at least until the rotation of M2011 core set (1st October).
The ascended Elspeth is a versatile planeswalker, even thought it is not as powerfull as her previous version. However she changed a little it’s own purpose become from a striker to a controller. Her first ability is good whenever you have several creatures on the board, to gain life and increase her loyalty by 2. Her second ability provides with a trio of soldiers, mostly used as blockers thus protecting her. This is also a 2 point ability, but a decremental one. She is starting at 4 loyalty, and thus using first ability puts her in range of her ultimate (-5), which can be devastating. Clearing board is very useful. Even with this power ultimate she is not a game finisher and it is found only in Wx decks that need help against aggro.
Koth is a powerful planeswalker, native to Mirrodin. He arises as a striker, and a good finisher. His untap ability makes him cost in fact just 3 mana (you must have 4 to play it), and provides an attacker (4/4). He is starting with 3 loyalty, and first ability increases it by 1.
i have never used the second ability, but it might become useful, now that a red sun’s zenith is at hand.
His ultimate is a good ultimate, that provides you with a steady flux of damage, and making the game end quickly. it is known that if a koth ultimate is out (emblem), games are over in about 2-3 turns.
His price recently got down because red decks opted him out, for a faster mini-creature kill. he is still a contender to several decks : UR JaceKoth, Big Red and other.
Venser returns to us as planeswalker, after he was portrayed in MTG as a legendary creature.
He is a UW planeswalker, with the ability to blink out a permanent that his controller controls, and bring that back. This makes him a very good at dealing with EBT abilities, or with auras that need to enchant something different.
His second ability, is making him sometimes a silver bullet, because it makes your creatures unblockable for that turn, and thus providing the last points of damage to be inflicted.
His ultimate is really one of the best a control player can get. While a bit costly, it provides an exile effect for each of your spells when they are cast. Even so it has drawback, at you need a steady flow of spells, at least at the beginning, to exile most of the threats on table. He needs 2 full turn to reach his ultimate, and he needs protection.
I like him, and i used him in a variety of decks, from UW ascension, UWB midrange, allies.