There was a lot of talk — by myself included — about Monastery Mentor when it was released a couple months ago in Fate Reforged. The card has indeed made a big splash in Vintage, where the presence of free artifact mana can really create some explosive turns. But up to this point, the Legacy format has not been troubled by a horde of Miracle-Gro Monks.
I’ve been on the lookout for Mentor in Legacy lists, and as luck would have it I came across one just last week. MTGO user Peso piloted this Esper Stoneblade list to a 3-1 finish in a recent daily event, with the help of three Mentors in the maindeck. I haven’t had much success with Esper Stoneblade in previous videos, but this deck looked pretty fun to play so I wanted to try it out. Mentor has some natural synergies with equipment decks, but it didn’t feel like a clumsy add-on. There are definitely some spell choices that were designed to increase the value from Mentor.
Here’s the list I took into the queues for this week’s videos:
Esper Mentor by Peso
The videos above have a short deck tech segment where I give you my thoughts about the list in some more depth, then launch right into action with four matchplay videos. The deck seemed competitive against all my opponents in the queues, though I think my play style may be ill-suited to beating blue control with this deck unless I were to tweak the sideboard. If you’ve spent much time watching this series, you know that I favor non-blue strategies, and knowing the exact window to deploy a threat in a blue mirror can be a very difficult skill to learn. This doesn’t play quite as controlling a game as many traditional Stoneblade lists do, and certainly has to play the beatdown against Miracles, so you will need to find or engineer a window to deploy a threat early. It might play similarly in some respects to RUG Tempo or UWR Delver, but utilizing discard spells adds an entirely different flavor to the matchups against control.
I also think that I was too greedy trying to save spells for Mentor triggers when I should have worried about just resolving the Mentor — or another threat. I did want to try for boards full of Monk tokens just to see how it played out, since that was a big point of the videos this week. In practice, the card initiated a countermagic war every time I tried to cast it, and I would often blow my entire hand before the guy even got into play.
Check out the matchplay videos, and let me know what you think of the deck in the comments! I’m definitely interested in your thoughts about the sideboard. The recent metagame in MTGO daily events is absolutely flooded with Miracles, so that matchup in particular seems like an important one to consider.