The Road to Vintage Super League: Sylvan Mentor Gameplay Footage and Sideboarding Rachel Unruh

rachel

Hello again everyone! Guess who’s back? Back again? Mentor’s back and he has brought friends. Hope you had a chance to check out my last article discussing the ins and outs of Sylvan Mentor. If not, make sure to check out that one first! Today, I have some gameplay footage for you along with commentary to show you first-hand how the deck operates. I will go over the side boarding guide at the end since it seemed to be a popular request last time. Thanks again and I hope you enjoy!

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Whew, well there were some pretty tense games in there that’s for sure. I tried to post games that showed how the deck operates in the context of Vintage along with its strong and weak points. Without further ado, on to the side board guide.

VS other Mentor decks:

In:

SWORDS TO PLOWSHARESDRAGONLORD DROMOKAPYROBLAST

Out:

FLUSTERSTORMGITAXIAN PROBEDACK FAYDEN

For the Mentor mirror, you want to maximize your removal for Mentor and hard counters for Jace and Force of Will. So we bring in Swords and Pyroblast to deal with those. Dragonlord Dromoka is also the perfect way to go over the top and is super hard to remove once it hits the table. Shaving a Probe and a Dack are fine since they don’t really play an important role here and Flusterstorm doesn’t often counter the true haymakers.

VS Delver decks:

In:

SWORDS TO PLOWSHARESDRAGONLORD DROMOKAPYROBLASTSUPREME VERDICT

Out:

FLUSTERSTORMGITAXIAN PROBEGITAXIAN PROBEDACK FAYDEN

Against Delver decks it’s pretty much the same as against the other Mentor decks. Supreme Verdict can punish any overextending opponent and usually is a great panic button that you know will resolve. Who doesn’t love an un-counterable wrath?

VS Aggro Shops/TKS Shops/Colorless Eldrazi:

In:

Swords to PlowsharesNature’s ClaimNature’s ClaimSupreme VerdictDragonlord Dromoka
Ancient GrudgeAncient Grudge

Out:

Mental MisstepMental MisstepMental MisstepMental MisstepFlusterstorm
PyroblastGitaxian Probe

Pretty straightforward here. The cards that are cut do virtually nothing in this match-up and we want to bring in some artifact removal and Dromoka just in case. If there is a large amount of Workshop decks in your meta game, Pyroblast or Flusterstorm can even be moved from the main to the board and replaced with the most Ancient of Grudges.

VS Oath:

In:

PyroblastNature’s ClaimNature’s ClaimContainment Priest

Out:

Swords to PlowsharesSwords to PlowsharesSwords to PlowsharesIsland

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This match-up is usually pretty favorable since you have a fast clock despite the fact that you are relying on a creature to do the deed. Just a single piece of disruption could be enough to push through lethal. Nature’s Claim is excellent against the namesake card, Oath of Druids, and Containment Priest is also a way to turn off the enchantment as well as Show and Tell shenanigans. If their deck focuses more on a combination of Show and Tell/Omniscience and Oath then I would put in Containment Priest over Nature’s Claim. If this match-up is popular in your meta game, Grafdigger’s Cage would be a better sideboard option over the Tormod’s Crypts. Be careful of Abrupt Decay though! It’s always cast when you expect it least!

VS Storm:

In:

Ethersworn CanonistEthersworn CanonistFlusterstormFlusterstormAncient Grudge

Out:

Swords to PlowsharesSwords to PlowsharesSwords to PlowsharesIslandPyroblast

Storm can be a real coin flip. They are fast, resilient, and the combination of Gitaxian Probe and Cabal Therapy can be such a blowout. We have a fast clock and permission but it is going to be draw dependent. Sometimes they will have a Defense Grid when you have Forces and Flusterstorms. Sometimes you will just have a draw that’s weak to Duress and Therapy. We bring in Canonist to Stifle the crucial go-off turn. Grudge is for Defense Grid and it isn’t unheard of to bring in both. The cards we cut are just not ideal. Pyroblast can be good versus a few cards in the deck but it’s the black cards that give us a headache.

VS White Based Prison decks (Thalia, Displacer, etc):

In:

Swords to PlowsharesSupreme VerdictDragonlord DromokaNature’s ClaimNature’s Claim

Out:

FlusterstormPyroblastMental MisstepMental MisstepMental Misstep

This match-up is full of cards we don’t really want, and we have more to board out than in. Ideally, we would have no Dacks or Missteps left. However, we have lots of pinpoint removal and ways to draw it and luckily Mentor is better than any creatures these decks tend to deploy. Misstep still can tag Swords to Plowshares but it is horrendous as well. Nature’s Claim can at least hit Moxen, Spirit of the Labyrinth, Phyrexian Revoker, Canonist, and equipment. It claims enough targets to make the cut.

VS Dredge:

In:

Swords to PlowsharesContainment PriestTormod’s CryptTormod’s CryptFlusterstorm
Flusterstorm

Out:

PyroblastIslandDack FaydenDack FaydenJace, the Mind Sculptor
Jace, the Mind Sculptor

Well let’s be real here, game 1 isn’t great versus Dredge. But who’s is? After sideboard we have skimped a little for Dredge compared to many traditional Vintage sideboards but I have not encountered enough of it on Magic Online to justify much more. Flusterstorm isn’t great here but at least it can hit whatever piece of interaction they may have. The planeswalkers are too slow usually, especially on the draw. If I had included more for this matchup (especially more Crypts as they are a crucial ZERO mana) I would consider keeping in Dack on the play to increase the odds of hitting it. This can be a major difference of Magic Online and paper Vintage.

VS Control (Standstill, Mana Drain, and friends):

In:

PyroblastDragonlord DromokaFlusterstormFlusterstorm

Out:

Swords to PlowsharesSwords to PlowsharesSwords to PlowsharesMox Jet

Keeping the threat density high is key for these match-ups. Since we have Sylvan Library, Jace, Dack, Mentors, and the big girl Dromoka herself, we are favored against other fair blue decks. If the opposing control deck has a large number of creatures you may find Swords useful. In that case you can shave a Gitaxian Probe or two.

VS Artifact based decks (Tezz/Steel City Vault):

In:

PyroblastAncient GrudgeAncient GrudgeNature’s ClaimNature’s Claim
Containment Priest

Out:

FlusterstormIslandMox JetGitaxian ProbeMental Misstep
Swords to Plowshares

There are enough powerful blue spells that make Pyroblast worth it here. Claim and Grudge are no-brainers. Containment Priest is here for Goblin Welder and Tinker. Flusterstorm isn’t great against the large amounts of mana these decks usually produce. Mental Misstep and Swords to Plowshares are good against Goblin Welder and various one-drops but feel free to shave on the numbers a little for more back-breaking spells. You don’t want to catch yourself misstepping around their Time Twister, Tezzerets, and Thirsts.

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Generally, there are certain cards that you will be cutting more often than not in side boarding. If you are questioning a final cut for games 2 and 3, one of these cards is likely best: Mox Jet, Basic Island, Mental Misstep, Dack Fayden, Flusterstorm, Pyroblast, Swords to Plowshares, Jace, and Gitaxian Probe.

Additionally, there are also cards that are relatively untouchable and I would look elsewhere before cutting one of these: Ancestral Recall, on-color fast mana, Gush, Force of Will, Time Walk, Brainstorm, Ponder, Mentor, Fetches and Duals.

As with most formats, testing and practice are key. Being an experienced pilot of a particular deck has its advantages and while I will almost always suggest you stick to a deck that fits your play-style, knowledge of the format in general will be your ultimate weapon. And I’m here to keep you armed and dangerous.

Please leave a like if you enjoyed this article and would like to see more decks covered. I plan to do a BUG fish style deck next time! Feel free to message any questions to me or leave a comment below and I will get back to you! Feedback is always of utmost importance to me. Thanks!!

<3 Baetog

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