Originally Posted by Lord Seth
There's a fairly easy Ponder replacement in Magic 2013 (maybe not as good overall, but does still help Delver in terms of the "reorder your library" department). As for another cheap cantrip, there is always Think Twice...or maybe even Fleeting Distraction.
I think you may be overestimating the importance of Mana Leak. A lot of Delver decks have dropped to three (presumably because of Cavern of Souls). It's not like there aren't new or already-existing counterspells that can take its place.
The thing that changes about Delver is the value of Snapcaster Mage and the number of lands you can play. Lists that play 19 lands are going to be very difficult if you replace Probe and Ponder with Index and Fleeting Distraction because not only won't you be able to as reliably find the lands you need, but your overall mana requirements will increase. Replacing Probe with another cantrip also hurts because seeing your opponent's hand in a deck with so many decisions as Delver is actually a significant benefit.
The replacement is far from easy: Index is just terrible. While I have no illusions that if Delver is the best thing you can do people won't play it, it's a very bad card in most situations. It is, however, better than Ponder if all you want to do is stack your deck. But stacking the top 5 cards of your deck isn't an effect that's usually worth a card.
Delver also loses access to the variety of spell effects they get out of Phyrexian Mana spells. Specifically losing Dismember and Gut Shot is no small loss. Gut Shot was important for Delver to fight decks reliant on mana creatures and gave Delver something useful to do against Thalia. Dismember gave Delver a way to actually kill larger creatures like Restoration Angel that are now much more of a problem. And these effects went extremely far with access to Snapcaster Mage.
The deck might still exist, but it will be much
weaker than it was before unless Return to Ravnica gives it a gift.
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