After reading plenty of mentor comments/complaints here on TMD, I feel you have given the best explanation by far. Thank you for this.
You mentioned: ‘shops has the highest winrate but a huge percentage of players refuse to play the archetype.’
This is interesting to me. I’ve only been playing Vintage since September 2015, I started with MTGO (of course). While I play Mentor & many other decks in the tournament practice room, when it comes to entering dailies or the P9 I usually go with Shops. I have access to pretty much any Vintage deck, but each time I review the numbers and play test the various matchups, I always settle on playing Shops because the numbers are there.
I’d rather play mentor gush (probably in the esper colors but I’d settle for jeskai) over feeling forced into playing shops yet again. I play shops because it’s consistantly good and when you play against it even when using jeskai mentor gush you still lose the game one mana short of being able to do something to maybe win or sometimes just anything at all.
You mentioned: Mentor is the best deck against most hypothetical decks. This pushes out a lot of those decks and makes mentor a large percentage of the metagame. Shops then plays a maindeck that crushes mentor and profits.
Would I be wrong to say that since Vintage is so polarized between blue decks and non blue decks it’s inevabitle that one blue deck will always rise to the top as the best deck to defeat the other blue as well as have a chance against the rest of the field?
I’m interested in hearing about what those hypothetical blue deckswould look like. To me the blue decks of Vintage aren’t very diverse, they all have a similar shell. In a format that hardly sees any new playable cards, I’m really suprised to hear players say mentor is a problem. To me mentor is just the new driver of the same old blue Vintage deck. It appears to me that banning or restricting mentor would only cause the format to take a stale and boring step backwards.
Thanks again for the insightful reply.