Blog Post – Esper Mentor

Hello! StuP here.

A few listeners have been in contact regarding the Esper Mentor list I mentioned on Episode 75 (or was it 76?). Credit goes to Patrick Chapin, Tom Martell and Matt Sperling who derived the original list.

Their list originally played a Misty Rainforest over the second Marsh Flats and
I got the list below that Rich Shay played on an MTGO daily. Chapin himself mentioned the fetchland swap on his Top Level Podcast.

The other swap I made is cutting the Misdirection in the board for another Cabal Therapy. I love the synergy of Therapy, Probe and Mentor, and I couldn’t really visualise the matches where I’d board in the Misdirection (maybe I should go back and listen to Chapin’s reasoning for it’s inclusion).

The deck is a lot of fun to play! Much more fun in fact than I’ve found with other good stuff decks like Deathblade. The sheer quantity of card draw is completely bonkers, and against everything apart from Lands or chalice decks, I think you’ve got a good chance of being competitive in game 1. Even against storm, I was able to disrupt them enough to get a mentor on the table and apply pressure. Admittedly this is a very small sample size though (1 match!).

Here is the list as I played it:

Lands (20)
4 Polluted Delta
4 Flooded Strand
2 Marsh Flats
1 Underground Sea
2 Tundra
1 Scrubland
1 Tropical Island
1 Plains
1 Swamp
2 Island
1 Karakas

Creatures (11)
4 Deathrite Shaman
4 Monastery Mentor
2 Snapcaster Mage
1 Tasigur, The Golden Fang

Instants (14)
4 Brainstorm
4 Swords To Plowshares
4 Force of Will
2 Spell Pierce

Sorceries (12)
4 Ponder
3 Gitaxian Probe
2 Cabal Therapy
1 Council’s Judgement
2 Painful Truths

Planeswalkers (3)
3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

Sideboard (15)
3 Abrupt Decay
2 Cabal Therapy
1 Supreme Verdict
1 Notion Thief
1 Surgical Extraction
1 Containment Priest
1 Painful Truths
1 Vendilion Clique
1 Zealous Persecution
1 Flusterstorm
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Council’s Judgement


I hated the main deck Tasigur as I found it was weak to karakas and didn’t really give me any value. There were often times where my opponent would just let me have a useless spell pierce, or another card of very little consequence in the situation. We’ve been saying it on the podcast for a while that we don’t like Tasigur for Legacy, and I think this has finally cemented it for me. I would recommend swapping him out for a Gurmag Angler. Admittedly, I haven’t tested this, but I think it seems reasonable. I’ll see if the extra mana to delve is significant.

Main deck, the only other change I might consider is trimming one of the Painful Truths. I loved the card, and it was pretty good at drawing lots of gas, but I feel that three copies in the 75 may be one too many.

In the sideboard, the Notion Thief is probably a bit too cute. I’d probably recommend another Containment priest or Flusterstorm. You should be out-drawing most decks in the format, and passing the turn with four mana up, trying to “get” your opponent is probably quite optimistic. If you do manage it, let us know on the podcast 😉

Thanks for reading and let me know if you’d like to see more content like this!


T: @LegacyBreakfast


Check out RK Post’s monk tokens that I used too 🙂!professions/c1s6l

5 thoughts on “Blog Post – Esper Mentor

  1. Thank you for the analysis. I liked reading your thoughts, you could definitely do this again.

    How was the manabase? I notice that you only have two blue dials that can cast DRS. I might think that 4 basics and a Karakas is too greedy.

    • Hey there! Stu T. here (rather than Stu P. who put the list up – although I will try and get him to chime in, as I’m no Esper wizard :D). Im guessing the 4 basics are there so that you can make Jace through waste locks and blood moons, although you could argue that only 1 of each is necessary (so that you can fetch a duel with the 4th land to make Jace). In general I am a fan of basics in control, so to me the 4 seem fine… There are only 2 Duels that make DRS, but given the whopping great 10 fetches, I imagine it isn’t an issue. Just so long as you remember that there are only 2 duels that make him :). Tbh, I like the karakas, as it gives some good utility and outs even though it can’t interact with any of your own guys. In all fairness I think I would increase the greed, drop the Karakas and play 21 land including 2 wasteland. GREED FTW!

  2. I read that the Misdirection is for Shardless BUG. I trimmed a main board Painful truths for another Cabal Therapy.

    Thanks for sharing StuP! I agree, this is one of the most fun decks I’ve played in a while.

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