[AKH] Harsh Mentor

  • @rikter

    A decent number of RG Lands decks switched over from Port to Ghost Quarter awhile ago, I don't know how many have switched back. That makes Port less of an issue.

    Punishing Fire reduces the likelihood that it will stick around. Also, if this card is in an aggro deck (the most likely home), only the loss of Maze really hurts.

    I think it hurts Death & Taxes and Miracles much more.

  • People listing all fancy lands. I think triggering for Fetching is already a big thing.

    For non-artifact critters it hits Deathrite & Displacer and more important Griselbrand!

    Non-critter non-mana artifact that are relevant, I can only think of Sensei, Vault/Key and Engineered Explosive. These might not be the most affected due to renaissance of Rod effects.

  • @tribet

    Crewing vehicles hurts. I played citanul flute to a good finish recently, it hurts that as well.

  • Vehicle as well great point.

    The cards says "on the battlefield". What are the other relevant activated abilities for cards in other zones? Might not be activated abilities but it for sure doesn't affect Fashback, Cycling, Drede (replacement, right),

  • This card is the best one spoiled yet, but unfortunately, I'm not convinced that it's actually playable.

    Comparisons to Pithing Needle, Revoker, or Null Rod are red herrings. The two occupy completely different tactical roles. Needle et al deny your opponent resources, shutting down their key combo cards, blanking their Planeswalker, and/or denying them access to critical mana sources. This guy, with a few exceptions (Time Vault), does not stop your opponent from doing anything; rather, it taxes them for pursuing their strategy (some strategies more heavily than others) and should thus be thought of more as a clock than an answer.

    What kind of deck would benefit from such a clock? TMWA is not the answer; first of all this guy is a nonbo with Moon effects, and second of all, TMWA is at heart a control deck, focused on buying enough time by denying opponent mana to sneak in a win. Mentor does very little to advance this plan, except against Shops, which is already an extremely favorable matchup for TMWA.

    Maybe there is some kind of all-in red burn deck waiting to be brewed, but if so I somehow doubt that Mentor will be the card that tips the scales of the concept towards playability. The main weakness of Vintage burn is that it has very few means of putting up much of a fight against pretty much any other deck in the field after it has exhausted its opening 7, and Mentor won't be changing that.

  • @evouga I think this card is a sure-fire fit into the all-but-dead archetype of 5-C Humans that I created. Maybe this card could be the out to Ballista that deck needed going forward. Not sure, but worth testing. This guy + Kambal/Berserker + Mantis Rider seems like enormities of damage vs. a lot of decks.


  • It hurts Baby Jace looting as well.

    I think the key to the format might be finding a reliable life gain engine or Lifelink critter with evasion. Saying that many infinite life engines requires infinite activations (Zuran Orb or Cleric comboes...). Felidar Sovereign, Dromoka, Wurmcoil, Sphinx it is then...

  • MonoR needs Eidolon more than any other card.

    This is mainly a hate card against Legacy Miracles, though. It could have cool uses in Vintage, but imo it's mainly aimed at Legacy.

    That said, I had a friend that played a few vintage queues with a RB Burn deck to good results. Eidolon is a beast against Mentor decks, and although this helps against fetches, it's not that great in that matchup for example.

  • This would be great in that W/r deck Josh Potucek made a few years ago "Simian's Mom". I could see a deck like that working now very well.

  • I really like this card (except for the name) - although it should say "planeswalkers" as well. As Stormanimagus says, It fits well into 5-color humans. There was a very aggressive list played a while ago that played 4 Kambal and 4 Scab-Clan. I think Harsh Mentor is at his best in a similar aggressive approach.

    RW Hate (as John Cox mentions) would be pretty cool as well. I've been playing it on-off for a while, but I'm not sure Harsh Mentor is what it takes to make it a good deck choice.

  • @Griselbrother While the card doesn't directly punish planeswalker activations (wish it did), it still cramps them somewhat in so much as you can redirect the damage from Harsh Mentor, if say the opponent fetches with a Walker in play. I suspect that will catch a few people out at first.

  • @titus I think this is the best point so far. I like very much the design in that regard: It doesn't trigger for PW's abilities but in exchange it kills them.

    Other than that, I hate that they imprinted such ability on another bear (how about Enchantments) and freaking human. How about Goblins or other tribes that make you dream as a kid. Humans are so lame & unmagical

  • I can't wait to ask players to be more specific when they are talking about Mentor.

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  • I want to combine this with one of my favorite old school cards: Ankh of Mishra. Nice fetch land you got there, take 6 damage to play a mana producing land!

  • TMD Supporter

    I think this might be the most hateful hatebear (flavor-wise, at the very least).

    "Fight through it." hotdamn.

  • Hate to be a Debbie Downer, but I'm not sure if another 2/2 with a Pillar effect was what Mono Red (RW or RG) is lacking. You can draw out some scenarios where this card is pretty powerful, like your opponent have a hand full of fetch lands, or they are trying to win with vault/key, ect. However, in games where it could be super impactful your opponent can in fact just use their removal on it. There will probably be just as many games where it does almost nothing. It notably doesn't work on planeswalkers, which is a pretty big hole. It also doesn't work on mana abilities. So if your Blue opponent doesn't have a fetch land that game, it might not do anything.

    The RX aggro decks still lack the overall brokenness, and explosiveness that every other Vintage deck has. Sure, you can go 1st turn Blood Moon followed by turn 2 Null rod (winning the die roll, dodging force and not being killed on turn 1), but even in that scenario you still have to close the game out and your opponent has the out of any Shatter, or Basic land. This card really does nothing to change that. Your opponent will just take their couple of Shocks while they do something way more degenerate than you are doing, and the game is over.

  • @evouga said in [AKH] Harsh Mentor:

    Comparisons to Pithing Needle, Revoker, or Null Rod are red herrings. The two occupy completely different tactical roles.

    Agree. You are probably playing him with Null Rod. His ability doesn't impact Moxen and his nemesis is certainly Walking Ballista. I get that if you have a Rod out he's not generating damage, but if you stick a Rod vs. Ravager based shops you are probably ahead anyway.

  • @nedleeds If it sees play at all, it's gonna be similar to how Scab-Clan Berserker did. It comes in against a deck that has to (correctly) answer it or play through it, and the damage that stacks up as a result ends up being outcome determinative.

    I think we're all saying the same thing, really, which is: against what decks does the extra damage actually make a big difference in the current metagame? Berserker hits Gush decks where it hurts (kick'em in the cantrips). Other than a handful of fetches, what activated abilities of non-walkers do most decks right now need to use in order to win? If hurting fetches was enough, then Arbiter would see more play. It DOES see play, just not a ton.

    Still, you could easily imagine metagames where the damage DID matter. Like, say, if Time Vault makes a comeback and now you're burning them 4 points a turn as they dig for an answer. This card is one you get copies of and then sit on until the time is right. At least this much is true: it's probably never going to be any more useless than Suppression Field!

  • It's a true fisting for Bomberman, until Pyrite takes it out.

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