I think my original question was answered for the most part so I don't mind derailing the discussion a little on the mana crystal thing.

It's clearly a common fallacy on these forums that the returns for a mana crystal is only directly related to the mana it gives you back. That is true only in the sense of counting mana. To properly evaluate the "value" of mana crystal you must look at it's "real" returns. I define "real" as the return a spell gives you after it pays itself off plus it's immediate effects. This manifests itself in many ways but mana crystal is pretty simple in that it just gives you mana back.

So to boil it down, the total converted value of mana crystal is (Length of Game - 5 [Mana Cost] + [Increased amount of Channeling * Length of Game]. If you're a math nut you will like this expression; (X-5)+(1*X) So if you put that expression into a graphing calc (

https://www.desmos.com/calculator) you can see the "x intercept" which shows approximately how many turns it would take for it to pay itself off. (2.5) Which is less than 3 turns if you calculate it this way.

Now I'm going to try to answer a question which I think several of you will have. "Why/Where are you getting the second half of the equation which adds an originally un-thought of positive?" Well, it represents the value of increased channeling that you gain because it's not just a card to give you more mana. It's a card to allow you to summon 1 mana worth of a larger spell during that turn. Plus it's effects stack when you play a small turn to save because you gain more with the larger channeling.

Side-note: If you put the equation into the graphing calc I linked you to, you will see the "y-intercept" which represents the amount you spend on the spell. Yay Mathmatics and Game Theory!

Now I understand this is a really big rant that several of you maybe didn't read, but people keep telling me the effectiveness of cards based off of it's effect on the surface without taking into account a card's value over time.

I might post more about this in a separate thread but I feel like I would be put on a spit over a fire for pretty much telling an entire community that they are wrong about anything no matter how small. Haha