Here’s every Human Mentor in Ikoria: Lair of Behemoth

Create unique combos with the Mentor cycle.

Human Mentors return to Magic: The Gathering’s Standard format in Ikoria Lair of Behemoths with a focus on keyword counters in addition to +1/+1 counters. 

Mentor was first introduced in Guilds of Ravnica, specifically for the Boros (RW) Legion. If a Mentor creator was attacking, it had an ability that allowed a player to place a +1/+1 counter on an attacking creature with less power than that of the Mentor creature.

Wizards of the Coast has expanded upon the original Mentor ability in the IKO set. There are five Mentor Humans in the set to form a cycle, one in each color. Each Human has a specific keyword counter that’s added to a non-Human creature upon entering the battlefield. They also have a mana ability that allows a player to place a +1/+1 counter on each creature that has that keyword, either as a counter or as a static ability. 

The cycle opens the door for some unique deckbuilding strategies within Standard and other Magic formats. Here are the five Human Mentors in IKO, ranked in descending order with a focus on the Standard format.

Keensight Mentor 

Vigilance has never been a dominant static ability in Standard. The keyword has its benefits, however, when attached to a large creature or a flyer. But at the cost of three mana to play Keensight Mentor, it’s unlikely to slot into any top meta archetypes. 

  • CMC: Three (2W)
  • Human Cleric
  • 1/4
  • When Keensight Mentor enters the battlefield, put a vigilance counter on target non-Human creature you control.
  • Pay 1W and Tap: Put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control with vigilance.

Duskfang Mentor 

Duskfang Mentor works with creatures like Ajani’s Pridemate and Bloodthirsty Aerialist. But there are better options that don’t fight for a three-drop spot. A BW Lifelink deck in IKO has yet to emerge in Standard, so there’s still a possibility that it could see gameplay. 

  • CMC: Three (2B)
  • Human Cleric
  • 1/3
  • When Duskfang Mentor enters the battlefield, put a Lifelink counter on target non-Human creature you control.
  • Pay 1B and Tap: Put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control with Lifelink.

Frillscare Mentor

Putting a Menace counter on a non-Human in IKO can produce powerful results. Frillscare Mentor has found an early home within Rakdos Menace, in conjunction with cards like Labyrinth Raptor and Sonorous Howlbonder. But in a build like the one created by Merchant, it’s been left out.

  • CMC: Three (2R)
  • Human Warrior
  • 3/2
  • When Frillscare Mentor enters the battlefield, put a menace counter on target non-Human creature you control.
  • Pay 2R and Tap: Put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control with menace.

Wingspan Mentor

Wingspan Mentor is similar to Frillscare in that it has potential but hasn’t found a true home yet. Adding a Flying counter to Questing Beast, or other large creatures with Trample, is tempting and possibly worth creating a jank build to pull it off. 

  • CMC: Three (2U)
  • Human Wizard
  • 1/3
  • When Wingspan Mentor enters the battlefield, put a flying counter on target non-Human creature you control.
  • Pay 2U and Tap: Put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control with flying.

Hornbash Mentor

Of all the Mentor cards in the IKO cycle, Hornbash Mentor has the most potential. It’s a three-drop 3/3 with the ability to put a Trample counter on a non-Human Creature. All creatures with Trample can get a +1/+1 counter upon paying Hornbash’s mana ability. 

  • CMC: Three (2G)
  • Human Warrior
  • 3/3
  • When Hornbash Mentor enters the battlefield, put a trample counter on target non-Human creature you control.
  • Pay 2G and Tap: Put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control with trample.

All images via WotC.