Modern Esper Mentor by TOMMYSILVERZZ
Monastery Mentor is a card powerful enough to be restricted in Vintage, yet fairly unassuming outside of that (with some Legacy exceptions). In perusing Modern lists, I was pleasantly surprised to see that a deck with four Mentors snagged a 5-0 (and not just because I have a bunch of foil Mentors and can only play on in Vintage).
This is a midrange deck at its core, with some interaction, some threats, and the ability to take the initiative or be reactive, depending on what it’s facing. I love those style of decks, and how this deck is built really appeals to me.
The two heavy hitters both come down cheaply and work with spells, with Mentor wanting to show up before most spells and Regent after. They also attack from different angles, either by going wide with Monk tokens or tall with a 7/7 (or bigger) flyer. What’s especially good about this combo is that there isn’t much removal that answers both of these, making it hard for your opponent to stop them.
Unearth is an incredible combo with Mentor. The reason it’s so powerful is that it lets you put a Mentor into play and still have a ton of mana up, leading to turns like Unearth + Counterspell + Consider, which gives you a ton of Mentor triggers. That’s a big part in making Mentor efficient enough to compete in Modern, and the goal with Unearth is to bring back Mentor when possible. Snapcaster is also key in making sure Unearth has enough targets, and the mondo combo of Unearth Snappy, recast Unearth is a nice one (as well as just Unearth Snapcaster into removal).
This eight-pack of counters is becoming almost standard for blue decks in Modern. Having eight ways to stop anything is critical in such a wide open format, and this kind of flexible interaction is what gives blue decks their power.
Likewise, eight cheap removal spells makes Mentor, Snapcaster and Regent all happy. These are how you avoid dying to early plays or big monsters alike.
Lastly, we have the cards that fill the graveyard. The card selection and self-mill from these helps ensure you have the right targets for Unearth and can play early Regents. Mending is especially good at setting up the Mentor + Unearth line.
This deck is an exciting take on Esper in Modern, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Thoughtseize was a decent fit as well. It’s great with both Mentor and Snapcaster, while being a cheap enough spell that it adds to the deck’s efficiency. Good luck, and may you always have a turn two Mentor plus cantrip.