@mediumsteve I can see the remora player tapped out to pay his remora. you play mentor (which does not trigger remora). The Remora player has to stop playing with remora and get ride of the mentor. If not, mentor player can "go off" end of turn and end things on his turn...

I will address your point because it's right there - first of all your opponent has to have the mentor, and they have equal numbers of mentors as you (or fewer if they're playing a suboptimal 3 mentor build).

second of all they have to play noncreature spells to power up their mentor, which you get to draw cards off of to find your own mentor and answers.

that's all I will say about other decks for now in this topic. this is the sylvan mentor topic and so I will respect that from now on. if I want to talk about other decks I will make topics for them.

I guess the cat is out of the bag at this point =).

Definitely credit to BK for coming up with adding sylvan library to mentor. Just to add to Rich's experience with the deck, I'm also at something like 23-5 in real life tournaments with this deck, and have top 4'd 4 out of the last 5 tournaments I played in.

One question I have for Rich is have you tested 3x sylvan library?

I've won almost every game where I have a turn 1 sylvan - redundant copies are near useless, but we do have dack and jace to get rid of them as needed. Now that people know how good it is, they are also more likely to FOW the first copy. Lastly, you can always not draw additional sylvans with proper use of fetchlands to shuffle them away.


One question I have for Rich is have you tested 3x sylvan library?

Yes. I tried it. Sadly, it wasn't good. Redundant Libraries are really bad, and drawing a second Library can quickly erode the card advantage granted by the first. I think two is the right number.

Thanks for this interesting list Rich . Just tried it for the first time, got paired against shops. I took the first game thanks to timely ancient grudge (plus flashback). Second game was back to pre-restriction days with turn one lodestone followed by phyrexian metamorph followed by tangle wire=game. Third game was simply epic, I had an opener with lots of artifact hate but got locked down quickly and pressured by Karn. I managed to get Dack in and steal Karn which eventually had to be sacked to smokestack (not before opponent metamorphed into Karn). But step by step I crawled into the game, minus 2:ed my Dack again to get the Karn copy (Dack died), and then started chewing at the spheres with 2x gurdge and nature's claim. Eventually I won with the copy and a Containment priest (just thrown in instead of dead spells) with less than a minute on the clock.

Coolest thing just happened, got paired against Brian Kelly himself (playing his creation). It was actually closer than I predicted but I lost 1-2 after Brian almost running out of time (2 mins on the clock). Enjoyable stuff and such a nice guy.

last edited by kistrand

I personally believe gush is going to be restricted again thanks to this deck. In the last 2 months according to mtgtop8, mentor is 28% of the metagame which is nearing oppressive levels imo. Like the author said, there is little reason to play anything except gush blue if you have a blue plan. I actually believe there's little reason to be playing anything except gush mentor, besides personal preference. It has no particular weakness and like the author stated shops is what was keeping cantriping strats down and now shops is pretty anemic compared to what it was before. If shops need to take a hit so does gush. I am putting my money on gush being the next restriction. I am 80% confident and I was 90% confident about lodestone.

Another option is to restrict the mentor and push people back into the far less oppressive young pyromancer plan.

I think there's a 70% likelihood of gush being restricted, and a 20% likelihood of mentor being restricted instead, along with a 10% chance that nothing will change next B/R announcement.

I say this out of no particular saltiness or bias. Just cold hard intuition that has served me well in the past.

last edited by DragkionDragemna

@DragkionDragemna I hope you're wrong but fear that you are right. In a way I have a feeling the meta has shifted slightly in the recent week so that mentor/gush is not as dominant. There's also a lot of variation in which decks take home tournaments and dailies, mentor/gush might be played the most but in terms of win percentage I am unsure of whether it is dominant during the last week or two.

last edited by kistrand

@DragkionDragemna honestly don't feel gush is the real culprit. I think, if anything, mentor gets hit.

I can recall watching at least one game in the last VSL episode where a single mentor stole victory from a creature based deck without resolving a gush. Mentor will still be invalidating creature based strategies long after Gush is restricted. If anything "needs" to be restricted it's the Mentor; however, what I've been seeing is that with 3 less spheres in the format a lot more cards are a lot more viable. It's no longer unreasonable to expect that you'll be able to resolve a spell costing even more than three mana in a game of Vintage. With all of these options now opening up I'd expect to see a greater diversity of answers to The Monk.

Hey guys, I get that this is an important issue for a lot of people right now (it is for me, too), but if we're going to have the same conversation in dozens of threads, it's going to make the site hard to read.

If we want to talk about cards getting restricted, please stick to one of the threads in community that are already about that subject.

In this thread, try and stick to talk about Sylvan Mentor, how to build it, how to play with or against it, etc.

@DragkionDragemna Brassman is the site owner, but he does raise a good point about keeping topics separated and thread discussion more focused. That's why I liked his post. But this a brand new forum (even though most of the community is from the previous TMD) and so it will take time for rules to get set and the categories/tags to be effective (like past B&R discussions being limited to the "Vintage Issues" forum or whatever it was). I don't think Brassman meant anything personal by it and I hope you don't take it as us ganging up on you. I can't speak for the others but I certainly didn't mean it that way.

If you want to talk more about Gush/Mentor, I've linked to one of the more active threads below (although at the moment it's me getting frustrated at "wall of text" responses and resorting to trolling...).

Discussing Gush Mentor (beating it, restriction discussion, anything)

Back to the deck then (no problems Andy in keeping order in the thread) .... have to say that Dromoka is sure one nice way of winning. Had one match yesterday (truly enjoyable match which we both agreed on afterwards) against an opponent who was very heavy on counterspells and also on bolts. I decided to go for Dromoka post-boarding (mentor usually would not stick and I lost most counter wars) and it won me the third and deciding game from a position of five life. One attack with the dragon and all those bolts suddenly did not seem that problematic.

@DragkionDragemna @ChubbyRain - To be clear, I don't mind people talking about restrictions, and I don't expect people to look at literally every thread before posting - you're totally right that would be unreasonable.

I just think it's good to keep all discussion about potential restrictions in the Community part of the site, rather than Strategy. Restriction conversation has a tendancy to leak into every thread (and that's been true for over a decade), so I try to be a little more vigilant about that stuff than other off-topic conversations.

Basically, if a player is preparing for a tournament this weekend, or any time before the next announcement, they want to learn about the decks that are currently legal, and how to play with and against with cards that are currently legal. If every thread is about "what the format might look like in 2 months", then the site is useless for that player - and it's important to me that the site is useful for people who want to play vintage.

Of course, the future of our format is also important, and restriction-chat is all about the future of the format. I just want to keep all of that stuff in Community so that the Strategy section of the site is functional and useful for the current Vintage format, whatever that is, for better or worse.

If people want to start threads about restricting cards, I don't expect them to read every post on the site, but I would hope that they hop to http://www.themanadrain.com/category/2/vintage-community and at least skim the first few threads. If you post something and there's already a topic about that? It's not really a big deal. We're not talking "Bannable Offense", I just expect that maybe someone else in the thread points out there's somewhere else people are talking about this. The goal is to make it easy for users to find the information they're looking for, that's all. As long as we keep that target generally in mind, it's really not that big a deal if a few threads wander off topic or a few duplicate posts pop up.

If you think it might be helpful if some of this info was in a "site rules/guidelines page" (or if there's some better way to communicate this), just let me know


Well said Andy!

You are already the best MOD I've ever encountered on TMD. Keep up the good work!


all I can say is that I think everyone should play this deck and get super lucky dodging any deck with strip effects.

great for Rich because he usually is able to "get there."
a lot has to break in your favor to get a winning record with this list


You use fetchlands and Gush to dodge strip effects...

The deck does require quite a bit of skill to pilot correctly, like most Brian Kelly creations, but Brian, Rich, and I have all had success with it, not to mention several other players online and in paper.

@ChubbyRain I didn't realize it was that simple, mind =blown.

Adding sylvan library to mentor is as game breaking as adding brainstorm to oath!

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