April 30, 2015

Luis Scott-Vargas's Vintage Mentor


Vintage decks can be hard to process, especially if you are not a player of the format. To most people, all Vintage decks look practically the same. They play one copy of each of the powerful restricted cards and then a handful of other cards of a particular strategy. Luis Scott-Vargas's deck is no different. We see all of the major contenders: the Moxes, Black Lotus, Ancestral Recall, Time Walk, and Treasure Cruise. He also plays the most powerful free counterspells ever printed: Force of Will and Mental Misstep.

What sticks out to me in Luis's deck is his choice of win conditions. I never would have expected to see Monastery Mentor in Vintage decks, yet here we are. I first saw the Mentor when I was hanging out at my local game store during one of their Vintage FNMs. I thought it was really cool that someone was playing a Standard-level card in an Eternal format. Then when I looked around the room I noticed that a lot of players had Vintage decks built around Monastery Mentor.

It makes sense. Young Pyromancer is one of the top creatures in both Vintage and Legacy. It's one of the most efficient red creatures we've seen in a while. And with Pyromancer on the battlefield, each spell you cast produces a threat. It may seem silly that I'm calling a 1/1 creature a threat. But in the Vintage format—defined by powerful draw spells, efficient mana, and counterspells—there really isn't a good way to deal with tokens. Monastery Mentor is a nice upgrade to Pyromancer. You don't need to cast as many spells, and with the fact that each spell you cast pumps up your tokens, Mentor is capable of ending the game much more quickly.

I also love Notion Thief in this deck. Most of the time, games of Vintage come down to whether or not your draw spells resolve, and this creature can totally swing that in your favor. I think it's great that creatures are seeing more and more play in Vintage.

Luis Scott-Vargas's Mentor

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