Deck of the Day: Paradoxical Mentor (Vintage)

When a Vintage deck list springs forth out of the brain of Brian Kelly, I’m going to take notice. When he immediately kicks off one of the new Vintage Leagues on MTGO with a 5-0 list, you’ve got my full attention.

This deck is based around Paradoxical Outcome, one of the best cards for Vintage play in years. Outcome allows you to deploy a bunch of permanents, return them all to your hand, and draw an obscene number of cards. In Vintage, those permanents tend to be mana artifacts, and this deck is playing just about all of them. A full playset of Moxes, Black Lotus, and Mana Crypt all cost 0 and add mana to your mana pool, while Chalice of the Void and Engineered Explosives can also be played for 0 to bounce with Outcome. Mana Vault and Sol Ring both net mana, so all of these combined will create a ridiculous amount of both mana and cards with a single Outcome. If that Outcome finds another Outcome, it’s lights out.

The way to win these decks win will vary, but you’re looking at a huge number of spells cast on a critical turn, so the storm kill with Tendrils of Agony is effective. Despite its restriction, Brian opts for Monastery Mentor over any storm card. The great thing about Mentor, other than just being an absurdly good Magic card, is that you don’t need to do anything too crazy to win the game. A few spells after a Mentor is enough to make an army, and it doesn’t take too many prowess triggers to win the game from there. You can only play a single copy, but that’s enough to get the job done.

This is a Brian Kelly list, so it’s going to have some spice. Multiple copies of Trinket Mage allow you plenty of ways to find your mana artifacts. It also can tutor up Explosives or Chalice in a pinch when those are your best options. Don’t need mana or these utility cards? Sensei’s Divining Top offers card advantage and selection.

Brian also opts to play Magus of the Future. Now, after looking through this list, I’m not entirely sure why this is better than Future Sight (other than being able to attack). It’s possible that creatures are somehow less vulnerable to removal than enchantments, but that would be a little surprising. Either way, this thing offers up a bunch of card advantage. One of the problems with Future Sight is that you can run into multiple lands and stop your chain. In Vintage, you get so much of your mana from spells you can keep casting, and you have so much card draw to filter through the lands.

Is that Tsabo’s Web? It’s another artifact that draws a card for you to bounce, and it can shut down a Bazaar of Baghdad.


You want to see the card draw? You’ve got Ancestral Recall, Treasure Cruise, Gitaxian Probe, Ponder, Brainstorm, and Gush. You’ve also got Jace, the Mind Sculptor to get some more Brainstorms and take over the game as another win condition. Repeal can bounce opposing permanents, but more often it’s just bouncing your artifact for free mana, another spell, and a card.

It’s Vintage, so you need interaction. The playset of Force of Wills is important, and you have tons of blue cards for fodder. Storm should be a popular player going forward, but Flusterstorm is pretty useful in all non-Workshop matchups. Mental Misstep and Daze add some additional counters.

If creatures get too out of hand, or you have an explosive mana artifact hand, Balance can do serious work. It can be a wrath effect or Mind Twist the opponent.

Time Walk is as busted in this deck as any. Running out a Mentor to make some Monks is great, but you also want to win on the “same” turn. Time Walk can accomplish that, and Snapcaster Mage can give you another copy.

Paradoxical Mentor is a blast to play, but Mentor’s restriction has changed up how the deck is built. If you’re looking for a sweet new way to play one of Vintage’s hottest decks, Brian Kelly has you covered!

Paradoxical Mentor

BRIANPK80, 5-0 in an MTGO Vintage League



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