What IS Mentor?!

Mentor – MTG Mechanics Explained

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Mentor is a combat-focused creature-based triggered ability. When a creature with it attacks, you put a +1/+1 counter on another attacking creature that has less power. That’s pretty much the basics – if a Mentor creature attacks with a smaller creature, the smaller creature gets bigger. Multiple instances of the mechanic on a single creature would trigger separately, but that’s really only possible with Un-cards right now.

So pretty straightforward overall, but there are a few notes:

  • Mentor will only trigger if the creature with it is attacking alongside a creature with less power.
  • Once it has triggered, it checks upon resolution of the trigger that the non-Mentor creature’s power is still less than the original creature’s. If it’s somehow gotten bigger than the creature with the ability, it will not get a +1/+1 counter.
  • Also, once the ability is on the stack, even if the creature with the mechanic is removed from the battlefield or combat one way or another, the smaller creature will still get the +1/+1 counter as long as its power is still less than the Mentor creature’s was as it last existed in combat.

While mentor was a nicely functional mechanic with a couple breakout constructed cards, it didn’t really make for interesting play patterns. Once the board state gummed up enough, the mentor creature usually just couldn’t attack, let alone a smaller creature as well. It could still return, but Training from Innistrad: Crimson Vow is already essentially an update of the mechanic, so odds seem slim.

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