How good is Monastery Mentor as of this afternoon?

  • @Smmenen why do you think that this strengthened Mentor? Were storm decks competing well and fueled by Gush, G Probe? Or is it more herding, in that without those cards, there are fewer ways to build the deck?

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    @boxian said in How good is Monastery Mentor as of this afternoon?:

    @Smmenen why do you think that this strengthened Mentor? Were storm decks competing well and fueled by Gush, G Probe? Or is it more herding, in that without those cards, there are fewer ways to build the deck?

    @Kai Budde did a good job explaining why today on twitter and FB comments.

    Here is what LSV said in response to Kai's FB post: "There's a reasonable chance Kai is right. Gush and Probe suck against shops and are why Mentor was the best in blue vs blue, so the next version of Mentor should be better against shops. This does open the door for non-Mentor blue decks though, or at least different draw engines in Mentor decks."

    There is a longer explanation, but that's basically it. The next wave of Mentor decks are going to be stronger against Shops because they will be freed from the constraints of Gush.

  • In addition, we have Eternal Weekend here in Australia (Melbourne) on the second weekend of June, so as the format starts to 'work itself out' over the coming months we might also contribute a little. It will be very interesting to see whether old blue archetypes resurface in the wake of Gush, and whether 4x Mentor will continue to be a thing (well, it is the 'better win con than a comparable restricted card' aka Tinker...)

  • Mentor is either going to be terribly unplayable or too good, which is exactly what it was before the restrictions.

    Such a binary outcome is not very interesting.

    The expression "anyone with half a brain can see..." and I am interested to know the number of brains involved.

  • @ribby I for one, clearly have Crap from brains, since I can't tell that Peek is a Banana. Or something like that.

  • I almost got back into vintage after selling out 3 years ago, but mentor is just so mind-numbingly boring that my interest faded.

    Restricting mentor and probe would have (without even touching on why I think it would have solved the problem better than restricting probe and gush) made the whole format a lot more fun.

  • @Sarven The Australian meta (if you can call it that), is unusual. Outside of Cancon, shops are always under-represented (which is quite different to Eastern USA). Any additional data is always good though. This will be my second year in a row where I miss Australian EW...

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    I won a match with an untuned tfk mentor list today against shops. I'm missing some key cards too. Turns out full moxen and academy powers through spheres pretty well. Full disclosure: my shops playing buddy drew poorly game 3.

  • @Islandswamp I'm working on something similar. The fact that Thirst is an instant has me wanting to move more into a more mana heavy big blue control direction with 2-3 mana drain and some number of Mentors fewer than 4. What are your thoughts?

  • @Topical_Island if you roll with Thirst and Academy, would you also play the artifact lands for extra value at the sake of more fragility?

  • 4 Tfk, 2 Mentor, Tinkerbot, tv/key, then the restricted draw suite, your basic counterspell suite, balance and swords has been doing just fine for me sans Gush/Probe. Mental Misstep is still retarded.

  • As far as mentor, I guess we can say goodbye to the turbo xerox fueled builds for good. The next step is probably going to be most big blue decks will be esper and have 2-3 mentors as a side wincon, thinking of decks like landstill, bomberman, Outcome, Key vault.

    Gush was the wrong card to hit, mentor + probe would have been much better since it nerfs current gush decks and nerfs their direct replacement grixis therapy. Right now we just lost the entire gushbond engine, decks such as doomsday becomes truly unplayable (at least in their current form).

    Gush was an entirely different archetype whereas mentor is just a better tinker and can be slotted in most decks without much deckbuilding accommodations.
    Gush would probably have been fair without mentor, probe and delve spells. We would essentially go back to UR/Rug delver which wasn't dominant or format warping until Tcruise was printed, and new printings/unrestrictions can probably keep up with that deck + 2 restricted delve spells.
    On the other hand Mentor will continue to be broken without gush and probably even more so, in a solomoxcrypt build you are much more likely to be able to cast it on turn one. The new mentor decks will be less consistent and less interactive but more explosive and "Oops I win". Mentor will likely continue to be the absolute trump against creature based strategies and push most of them out of the metagame.

    Probe going is glorious though, it reduced deck space and in game decisions too much. Bluffing is a huge and fun part of the game. Now only Misstep to go and we will be rid of the cancer that phyrexian mana is.

    @boxian said in How good is Monastery Mentor as of this afternoon?:

    @Topical_Island if you roll with Thirst and Academy, would you also play the artifact lands for extra value at the sake of more fragility?

    Only if null rod/stony silence is absent from your metagame. But to be honest paradoxical outcome is probably much better with mentor than thirst is. Thirst fueled decks are probably weak against outcome decks as well and still vulnerable to null rod.

  • I've been running a U/W/r paradoxical gush mentor deck (3 of each). Its featured tinker/vault/key/DSC for months now. Results have been decent, if not limited (only a handful of tournaments and T8 the most recent DMIG with it).

    1 mox emerald
    1 mox jet
    1 mox opal
    1 mox pearl
    1 mox ruby
    1 mox sapphire
    1 black lotus
    1 sol ring
    1 mana crypt
    1 mana vault
    1 sensei's divining top
    1 time vault
    1 voltaic key
    3 monastery mentor
    1 blighsteel colossus
    3 gush
    3 paradoxical outcome
    1 brainstorm
    1 ancestral recall
    1 dig through time
    4 force of will
    2 mental misstep
    2 flusterstorm
    1 mindbreak trap
    1 ancient grudge
    1 swords to plowshares
    3 tundra
    2 volcanic island
    3 polluted delta
    2 flooded strand
    1 library of alexandria
    1 jace the mindsculptor
    1 dack fayden
    1 nahiri the harbinger
    1 treasure cruise
    2 gitaxian probe
    1 tinker
    1 time walk
    1 fragmentize
    sb: 3x pithing needle, 2x swords to plowshares, 1x engineered explosives, 3x fragmentize, 1x tormod's crypt, 2x ancient grudge, 1 grafdiggers cage, 1 containment priest

    First thing I didn't realize when I took the deck off of cockatrice and printed the sheet was this was 61 cards (running a 61st card as a test run and never took it out). So with -2gush and -1 probe I have 2 new slots to work with. A 4th PO and a singleton mana drain will probably be tested. Other cards to consider in those 2 slots are memory jar, timetwister, REB/pyroblast and now I'll try a thirst as well. I could also just do +1 PO and +1 mana source.

    As I've said before, I'm in a very shops heavy meta and I can't tell you how many games tinker for DSC or assembling vault/key has stolen for me. Between that and Dack I have a fighting chance against shops game 1.

    There's quite a few options to try but tinker/bot/vault/key is definitely viable.

  • @boxian Personally, no. Or at least I haven't tried it yet.

    Long story short, I am terrified of Null Rod.

    Long story long. In terms of theory I have never really been a huge "card advantage" guy. In other words, I don't really care as much about total cards in hand as I care about having the right cards in hand. I feel like most games are just decided in terms of a few critical cards interacting at critical times, so in terms of Thirst, I don't really care a ton about having an artifact to pitch all the time. Don't get me wrong. I like pitching artifacts to Thirst. But I also don't care about pitching a spare copy of a planeswalker or extra lands here and there. So given my terror of Null Rod effects, I don't run extra artifacts to try to fuel up Thirsts.

    Or think of it this way. Thirst pitching an artifact is awesome. Thirst pitching your worst two cards is a Dack activation where you get to draw an extra card... so still pretty good. I'm fine having to do that sometimes and be more durable to Null Rod. (I also feel like the first thing everyone will do now that Gush is gone, is to pack in artifact mana. Since Gush was probably the most broken mana acceleration in the game that isn't a mana rock... and that means the lock decks will be all over their Null Rods. I have no intention of getting caught in the middle of that metagame war.)

  • @Topical_Island I actually have been wondering about this. If mentor Does drop and we have more artifact accelerants and fewer permanents, will we see a big uptick in Null Rod, and consequently maybe more Smokestack? Stax has been poking its head out since late last year but just seems underwhelming against one million monk tokens.

  • TMD Supporter

    I just 4-0ed the daily going 8-1 in games playing Jeskai Mentor with roughly:

    -3 Gush

    • 1 Merchant Scroll
    • 1 Git Probe (I never played that card)
    • 1 Wasteland
      Note: I also played Mystical, but always have.

    EDIT: decklist here:

  • @Smmenen Nice. I've been working on various blue builds the last couple evenings, and the best I've seen by far are just exactly what you describe. Basically 1 Gush Mentor decks that are still tempo oriented, as opposed to switching to a more big blue shell which I'm becoming convinced is either wrong, or simply beyond my scope to imagine.

    When you played the Jeskai, did you feel the lack of Gush? I've has a couple underwhelming Mentors in testing for lack of cheep spells to cause the token vomit we are all so used to. What did the games feel like? And which planeswalkers did you play?

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    @Smmenen Nice work!

  • @Smmenen i would very much like to see a decklist. Would you show it?

  • @Smmenen The nice thing about the restriction is that you can do this: prove your case that our was incorrect using actual data.

    I am curious about how well mentor fares in the hands on less veteran pilots, buy well see.

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