[Free Article] 1984 Jitte



  • I wrote about Monastery Mentor (as always), Orwell, bad cards, mana curves, and Brian Kelly.

    Full article (via PureMTGO)

    You don’t have to work too hard to hate that monk. Monastery Mentor is such a fantastic expression of what the color white looks like when it’s overpowered. Mentor is white weenie in the nuclear age. He’s the perfect white version of Ancestral Recall. For many Vintage players, a format with so much creature combat is unnerving. Something just seems off. When everything is too perfect, you get this nausea. Complaints pruned the format of all the unpleasant cards, Golem and Chalice. Everything is great now! You can play Sylvan Mentor or you can play Jeskai Mentor. Freedom is Slavery. What's more white than dystopia?



  • I applaud you.


  • TMD Supporter

    sweet patronizing article, it seems you think whoever wins a mirror is the superior player, not who resolved more draw spells.

    1 card shutting down your entire deck strategy and only win condition isn't a bad idea, I don't hear the same thing being said about leyline of the void, which still shows up in plenty of sideboards. playing it and spending resources defending it is just as viable of a strategy to winning a game.



  • @Juggernaut-GO ...That's a lot of salt for a Monday man. If you think there are problems with the article, people will believe you much more if the flavor of your ideas is a little less salinated.



  • @Juggernaut-GO said:

    sweet patronizing article, it seems you think whoever wins a mirror is the superior player, not who resolved more draw spells.

    alt text



  • im not trying to sound like a jerk when i say this but what exactly was the point in your article? all i got out of it was mentor is good, which is nothing new, and containment priest is good, also nothing new, and that brian kelly oath is a good deck. not trying to sound like a jerk but either i didnt read carefully enough or something because i missed the point of the article.



  • @Juggernaut-GO said:

    1 card shutting down your entire deck strategy and only win condition isn't a bad idea, I don't hear the same thing being said about leyline of the void, which still shows up in plenty of sideboards. playing it and spending resources defending it is just as viable of a strategy to winning a game.

    That's the thing though...Dread of Night, Illness of the Ranks, etc. don't actually shut down the entire deck - they make 1 card in the deck worse and at the cost of a card that doesn't really do anything else. I've beaten the vast majority of my opponents who have tried this by ignoring the hate, pitching dead Monks to Dack, and ultimating a Jace or even beating down with a Snapcaster Mage.



  • @letseeker said:

    im not trying to sound like a jerk when i say this but what exactly was the point in your article? all i got out of it was mentor is good, which is nothing new, and containment priest is good, also nothing new, and that brian kelly oath is a good deck. not trying to sound like a jerk but either i didnt read carefully enough or something because i missed the point of the article.

    Sort of need to second this...I enjoy the majority of what you write but in all honesty it reads like an angry Facebook rant someone posts late at night. I get that there are at least two threads in this forum talking specifically about how great mentor is and approaches to beating it, so maybe you were trying to avoid being redundant of what has already been said, but trashing the -/- enchantments and offering no alternative solution (unless you are hinting that Kelly Oath is the way to go?) left me at the same place I was before reading. I would even go as far as to say I agree on the hate of the various -/- enchantments, but something about this article on a whole felt disjointed to me.

    Can't win em all...just my thought.


  • TMD Supporter

    @wappla Thanks for the article. I always enjoy your analysis.

    I'm not sure what people are complaining about unless everyone just wants articles with specific step by step instructions on what and how to play. This article analyzes Mentor and talks about why a category of frequently-played hate doesn't do the job. Then we get an overview of why two modern Mentor decks are good and the two cards that tie everything together and Wappla ties the deck back to two different decks that were successful from last years Vintage Champs.

    Also @wappla suggests that we should play broken decks instead of Mentor hate in order to beat Mentor and opines that, as a format boogie man, maybe Mentor isn't so bad. Seems reasonable to me.

    I appreciate the theory and the analysis.



  • I really enjoyed this article. If you only expect srticles to give you concrete steps to solve a problem, you are missing out. Articles like this help you reframe problems so you caninvent novel solutions. That is the difference between an article sharing old tech an an article spurring new tech.


  • TMD Supporter

    @ChubbyRain you can also get a surprisingly high amount of mileage from a 1/1 monk. I've won games with a 1/1 prowess creature several times.

    People do sometimes play sweepers, but ones that get misstepped can be hard to rely on. Supreme Verdict is probably the gold standard.



  • @The-Atog-Lord @wappla perhaps my perspective is just off here and I missed the point . Hardly expecting a blow by blow on what to do vs Mentor. I'll give it another read.


  • TMD Supporter

    @p3temangus it's not off, people just don't like to be called out or take any criticism whatsoever without getting hyper defensive.

    Maybe the player base has just changed in 10 years, I really have a hard time understanding where some of the attitudes of people I have never met are coming from. Or most of the cool people quit and only the jerkoffs are left, who knows.



  • @wappla I don't know which is better: your quality as a writer or your knowledge and analysis of Vintage. I have to agree with you or simply shut up and learn from someone who has given me more than one awesome advice. However I still have to disagree on one thing. Maybe even two. And I assume that surely I'm wrong.

    Black is not on top, but demonic and vampiric (and DP) have something that blue currently does not have. They can find ANYTHING. It means that providing your opponent does not have countermagic, or that you can dodge it, you can win with your empty hand against a controlling position on the spot. Tutor for ancestral and recover. Tutor for vault and play infinite turns. Play it for removal and recover that position. Damn, fetch y.will and go crazy. I know far less than you to give some kind of lesson about card advantage vs card quality. However, if you can avoid the "fair" card advantage combat where mentor shines, black quality can take a win using less resources, but critical ones.

    What brings me to "bad removal". Engieered plague, virulent plague, illness in the ranks, sulfur elemental... they are not bad answers to mentor. They can be bad answers in certain decks. Are you going to win mentor by playing one of them and without doing anything else? Of course not! What if I also add a canonist to battlefield? Then mentor is not such a terrible monster. What if I put a spirit of the labyrinth or chains? Or maybe my plan if to play vault+key using 2 full turns. Perhaps I have a jace happy to bounce mentor as much as 3 turns, dying in the process but causing you to waste 6WWW in the meaning. If I play baleful strix and draw illness in the ranks, I have answered your mentor for 3 mana, and I have time to prepare my combo. I have to confess that I found those answers plain bad for decks equal or less broken than mentor, but often you only need time to win, and those cards give time.

    Just as a bonus track: is mentor less oppresive than other decks? Clearly it has not an explossive start as other decks. It, in fact, allows the opponent to survive at least few turns, and to play spells. But mentor is implacable when paired with gush. There are several different configurations that take profit from these 2 monsters, capable to create such a big advantage that gives mentor the edge in most long games, providing its counterwall/silver bullets allow staying in the game. There are times when you have lost by turn 3, even if the game is closed several turns later. Often that sensation of fairness is just an illusion. Mentor+gush is not fair. We can join them or play against them, but they cannot be ignored. Mentor is now the tier 1, and not by chance.



  • appreciate the feedback and criticism, everyone. Apologies about some weird formatting stuff in the article. Let's just say I'm not enamored of the publishing platform.

    The article was written and submitted a week ago. Though maybe that doesn't seem a significant length of time, I do wonder if it would have come off differently last Monday or Tuesday. Maybe I can blame some of the staleness that some readers felt on the article being, literally, stale.

    anyway, thanks for reading.



  • I enjoyed this article greatly.



  • @xouman The following are just my personal opinions (based on just three months of on-line vintage experience) but I disagree about mentor+gush being unfair. It's not like creatures are impossible to kill or counter-wars impossible to win against mentor/gush. I play mentor with gush (done so since prior to LSG restriction) and still definitely have more losses than wins. Partly due to my lacking skill and also partly due to unfavourable match-ups (lands has been especially grim on me). There is, in my opinion, just no such thing as unfair in vintage (or maybe Vintage itself is unfair because we get to play super powerful cards that are not legal in other formats?). Lodestone wasn't unfair in my opinion, you just had to seriously commit to beating it. If you did not, it felt unfair but wasn't in reality. Dredge is not unfair but you can't beat it unless you are prepared. Same for most archetypes, Oath or Storm for instance. Point being is that every deck has a plan to win which it starts executing from turn 1 and whether that plan is instantly obvious or becomes increasingly obvious the longer the game goes is just different shades of grey. I understand that people are on the fences with Gush-Mentor since, sure, it is a powerful combination, but if that goes away something else will take its place at the top so it's just a vicious circle and either we accept the format that is vintage, adjust to expected meta-games, or restrict and restrict until we are not playing vintage any more.



  • Hey @wappla awesome writing as always - that said, there's a lot that remains kind of implicit in the article and as I can't claim to be the best strategist, I wish I could have taken a little more away from it.

    As an attempt to get my head round what you were saying - how much would you say Brian Kelly's VSL Esper deck is an example of what you were talking about? Black very much as a support colour but packing threats that help win a grindy mirror - rather than tackle Mentor per se?



  • From the article:

    "Gitaxian Probe is vital to this endeavor and no Mentor deck should be with fewer than two."

    http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/mtgo-standings/vintage-daily-2016-05-25

    wappla (4-0)
    Vintage Daily #9719332 on 05/24/2016
    2 Monastery Mentor
    1 Gitaxian Probe



  • @Smmenen said:

    From the article:

    "Gitaxian Probe is vital to this endeavor and no Mentor deck should be with fewer than two."

    http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/mtgo-standings/vintage-daily-2016-05-25

    wappla (4-0)
    Vintage Daily #9719332 on 05/24/2016
    2 Monastery Mentor
    1 Gitaxian Probe

    He said Mentor, not Delver.



  • I see Mentors. Multiple, in fact.


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