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New alternate art Mana Drain from 'Vintage Masters'

Mana drain and friends
Mana drain and friends
Photo courtesy of Wizards of the Coast, used with permission.

Revealed May 15, 2014 in an article by David McDarby on, Mana Drain has received new alternate art for the upcoming Magic: The Gathering Online expansion set Vintage Masters.

Mana Drain from Vintage Masters
Photo courtesy of Wizards of the Coast, used with permission.

Mana Drain - UU
Instant (Mythic Rare)
Counter target spell. At the beginning of your next main phase, add X to your mana pool, where X is that spell's converted mana cost.

What's better than a good old fashioned Counterspell? How about a Counterspell that allows you to cast other amazing cards next turn and still have mana available to counter any threats your rival may throw at you. Mana Drain has been a staple in control decks for decades, from fueling an early Serra Angel or massive X spell to its more modern uses: Powering a game-ending Yawgmoth's Will turn.

Mana Drain's "drawback" was that you might not be able to use all the mana, resulting in "mana burn." What's mana burn? You used to take a point of damage for each unused mana remaining in your mana pool at the end of any phase. It made playing with cards that added more than one mana such as Sol Ring or Mana Crypt trickier, however it usually only came up when a player had a Mana Flare, Eladamri's Vineyard, or another card that gave their rival more mana than they needed to cast their spells or use abilities on. Mana burn was recently eliminated from the game, making Mana Drain even more powerful than ever.

Originally printed in Legends as an uncommon, it's interesting to note that Mana Drain isn't on the reserved list, it's often been joked that the R&D at Wizards of the Coast would have to be hit by a bus before the card would be reprinted. Of course we feel that's only a reference to Standard, and the right way to do it would be in a From the Vault product or better yet as a judge promo, ala Force of Will and Karakas.

How will you use Mana Drain?

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