@Juggernaut-GO

The deck is quite strong - I don't know what to tell you. If you aren't doing well with it, you are either playing it in a weird metagame or you just aren't that good. It's that simple. Since all you seem to do on here is troll, I'm guessing it's the latter...

I can also confirm that this deck is amazingly strong. I am far from a great player and got back into Vintage mainly due to Rich Shay's/LSV's twitch and the VSL. I have gone at least 2-2 in every MTGO event I have played (roughly 20) and 3-1/4-0 more than my fair share of the time with this deck.

It is worth mentioning that in the past I used 3 or 4 Preordain and changed to be closer to this build recently with no problems. I was surprised that the deck stayed somewhat consistent, but trading Preordain for more business/Jace seems to not be such a bad idea.

As I currently see it, this deck has problems with Thing in the Ice and Eldrazi. I imagine adding up to 4 Swords in the 75 should help with this issue. That is likely what I will try in my next event.

last edited by jcardshark

i just now noticed that your not playing preordain in the deck, can you explain why please? wouldn't it help with the consistency of the deck or is it more along the lines of trading air for more business spells?

@letseeker my thoughts on no preordain are, and Rich can correct me if I'm wrong, are b/c this deck is roughly doing the same thing every time already there really isn't value in more filtering as we aren't normally looking for any specific card rather we are trying to create a critical mass of card advantage in order to overwhelm our opponent w/ countermagic/monks/planeswalkers

@wfain thank you for clarifying, im working on my own mentor list and wasnt sure about preordain but im pretty sure ill keep them in

preordain helps you hit land drops, or find mentor or a removal spell when time is of the essence. it is a good card, but this deck is tight on card slots.

rich and other people who play this deck could chime in, but if you wanted to play preordain, the card that makes the most sense to me to cut would be git probe. the only benefits I see to git probe over preordain are the fact that it is better for generating a lot of monk tokens and it is better for flipping erayo. in other words, it is better when you are already in a winning position. preordain is solid in basically all cases unless you cannot afford to pay U.

@mediumsteve the version im making is playing black and has the tutors and gush bond yawgs will engine for tendrills and preordain would be better in my version i think, just wanted to know if there was something i missed

My general opinion is that the smaller percentage of your manabase that generates blue, the less excited you are about preordain. This is why delver will rarely run fewer than 4 preordain. If you have a more expansive manabase and can consistently play a sylvan library or JVP on the first turn, you would rather do that than play a turn 1 preordain and waste your mox mana for that turn.

last edited by diophan

the only nonblue mana sources are the off-color moxen, library, and sol ring. plenty of decks have successfully ran those cards and preordain. you can also cut library which I don't think is a great card anyways.

@mediumsteve I did not say you cannot run preordain in a deck with this manabase. By all means, tinker around however you want. You did ask people who play this and similar decks to chime in though. I personally would not run more than 1-2 preordains in this deck. I think git probe is an amazing card, but there are certainly two camps.

My point was that you are less likely to want a bunch of preordains if you have this manabase and in addition have 2 CMC cards you want to deploy on turn one which only require 1 colored mana. To be concrete, let's look at recent Jeskai/Sylvan mentor decks on mtggoldfish: http://www.mtggoldfish.com/archetype/vintage-uwr-mentor-25516#online

Going down the list here are the ones with more than 2 preordains:
http://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/416062#online
http://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/411883#online

Note that there are none of these 2 CMC cards conflicting with the preordains. The first list I can find with more than 2 preordains and some 2 CMC cards is this one:
http://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/409259#online
which is from the April P9. My personal opinion is that this is not an optimal list. Note that the other 4 mentor decks making the Top 16 eschew some number of preordains while running 2 CMC cards.

last edited by diophan

@mediumsteve
Preordain is an essential card for the Gush engine, but the more you diversify your draw engine, the less essential it becomes. In a traditional Gush deck where Gush and the restricted spells are your only sources of card advantage, Preordain helps you chain these together in the late game at the cost of a small amount of tempo. If you look at Sylvan Mentor, the deck augments Gush with Planeswalkers and Sylvan Library, which are permanent sources of card advantage/selection. Esper Mentor has Dark Confidants. Some Jeskai builds have JVP. These cards are also threats and/or answers in themselves so you have a card with multiple purposes which means the card selection aspect of Preordain is less needed...you don't need to be digging to find Mentor to end the game. The difference in these approaches is that the other cards are more expensive than Preordain so you need to fill out the manabase more with Moxen, which is @diophan's point. It also makes the tempo bump a bit more significant as you get competition between slamming a Bob/Library/JVP and firing off a Preordain.

Gitaxian Probe has been controversial - Kevin and Steve put forth an entire podcast on the card and in general felt it wasn't necessary. I have the opposite opinion and consider it to be one of the best Blue cards in Vintage. I know Brian feels similarly and I think Rich and Ryan also do, but the rationale is a bit more than can be conveyed in forum post.

@ChubbyRain I agree with your post. I just have a remark on the permanent draw engines (e.g. Bob and Sylvan). Does anyone else feel that Sylvan is much stronger than Bob due to how easily a creature dies compared to an enchantment? There are a lot of plows and sudden shocks flying around currently and Bob doesn't stick as easily as Sylvan does. Then again, one could argue that Bob is a great way to fish out the creature hate before mentor hits but, to me, the loss of (future-turns) card advantage is a very significant loss when Bob dies.

last edited by kistrand

@kistrand said:

@ChubbyRain I agree with your post. I just have a remark on the permanent draw engines (e.g. Bob and Sylvan). Does anyone else feel that Sylvan is much stronger than Bob due to how easily a creature dies compared to an enchantment? There are a lot of plows and sudden shocks flying around currently and Bob doesn't stick as easily as Sylvan does. Then again, one could argue that Bob is a great way to fish out the creature hate before mentor hits but, to me, the loss of (future-turns) card advantage is a very significant loss when Bob dies.

Actually, I would find the life-loss from Sylvan Library to be scarier than the fact that I might lose my bob. paying 4-8 life is just not what I want to be doing in a format where decks can put damage on the board so very fast. I am biased, of course, as I am currently playing a deck with 4 Scab-Clan Berserkers in it, but I think decks with 4 Thought-Knot Seer and 4 Reality Smasher can also put a lot of damage on the board rather fast. I'm not saying Library is flat-out bad, but I think it matches up poorly against decks that seek to create damage tempo and put you on a clock fast.

-Storm

@Stormanimagus True, I can agree with that point of view too. The thing is, though, that if your draw-engine never materializes your deck usually fails miserably. Of course, you can protect Bob with missteps and stuff and not save everything for protecting Mentor. Often you also use Sylvan like you use Sensei's divining top and just re-arrange the order of the top cards of you library (and not taking damage) and make use of fetches+Dack to get rid of stuff you don't want. When I read about Sylvan, people usually refer to how many cards you "see" and not necessarily "draw". Hmm, I guess there are positives and negatives with both Bob and Sylvan.

@kistrand would it be possible to play both bob and library in the same deck? use sylvan to rearange the top cards so when bob triggers next turn you wont take much damage.

last edited by letseeker

@letseeker Maybe, but at that point you probably have too many "draw" spells and not enough gas. You already have Gush on top of this, and you're choosing Bob or Sylvan Library. Taking both seems like overkill to me.

@kistrand Not saying it is better or worse , but if you are on Esper, and concerned that Bob wont hang around long enough to have an impact, have you considered Nights Whisper? For the same cost you 2 cards for 2 life right now, as opposed to maybe 2 cards over 2 turns for an unknown amount of life. Nights Whisper also chains together nicely with Gush. I would not run Bob and Nights Whisper in the same Mentor List, but if you are concerned about lots of removal Nights Whisper could be a viable option.

I'm a bit new to Vintage and very new to TMD so I hope I'm 'doing this right'.

It seems like library and bob are better than each other in certain situations. For example, when you're running 4x force 4x gush 2x JMS 1x Dig you break even and even save life using library to find them, and even with Dack and Mentor you only effectively lose 1 life vs drawing them with Bob. Complete opposite with 1CC draws, counters, or other interaction, you much rather draw it with Bob than choose to keep it with library. So it seems like library vs Bob is more about playstyle and deck build than one being strictly better than the other.

Since this is the Sylvan Mentor thread I'd assume that Sylvan may be strictly better here because, so far in my experience with Rich Shay decks, I have seen them to be much more methodical game plan+card advantage oriented than aggressive+card advantage which is where I think Bob fits better.

Anyways, TMD has been a godsend for me over the last few months and this community seems amazing! Thanks to all involved moving it forward!

@kistrand said:

@ChubbyRain I agree with your post. I just have a remark on the permanent draw engines (e.g. Bob and Sylvan). Does anyone else feel that Sylvan is much stronger than Bob due to how easily a creature dies compared to an enchantment? There are a lot of plows and sudden shocks flying around currently and Bob doesn't stick as easily as Sylvan does. Then again, one could argue that Bob is a great way to fish out the creature hate before mentor hits but, to me, the loss of (future-turns) card advantage is a very significant loss when Bob dies.

It's complicated. You have to keep in mind that the VSL playin started 3+ weeks ago and when Brian decided to play the deck, Sylvan Mentor was the most popular Mentor variant at the time. Sylvan Mentor was light on creature removal, making Bob much more likely to survive, and Bob being able to attack pressured Sylvan's Planeswalkers and facilitated the mini-Tendrils line (and Sylvan Library helped with that too).

Now, there is more targeted removal, making Bob worse. Like Noah (@Stormanimagus ) said, there is also more pressure on players' life totals from lightning bolts and Scab-Clan Beserkers, making Sylvan Library (and Bob) worse. These cards are really there to get an edge in the control or midrange Gush mirror - the more aggressive the format becomes, the more the life and tempo loss becomes relevant. So, I actually think both Bob and Sylvan Library are not great now.

@letseeker You could certainly try to play them both, but they compete with each other for the two-drop slot and are different enough that they tend to take the decks you put them in in different directions.

@p3temangus Night's Whisper is interesting. I don't have much experience with it but it seems like it would be powerful in the right Mentor deck. I've used Painful Truths as a 3 drop card draw in decks that primarily play 2 drop threats (Thing in the Ice, Young Pyromancer, etc.) but the reverse could be true in a Mentor deck.

@thoppterman Welcome to the Mana Drain! It's a good point that neither is strictly better than the other and I wholeheartedly agree - metagame, playstyle, and deck construction are hugely important in determining the value of cards and that really does make it subjective.

last edited by Guest

@ChubbyRain It would seem that you are spot on concerning how neither Sylvan nor Bob are particularly great right now. I keep mainly racking up losses now after running so well with Sylvan just last week. Bolts are just everywhere and make you not want to risk it with Sylvan. Shame, it was fun while it lasted 🙂

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