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By: Doctor Anime, Tomer Abramovici
Sep 06 2012 1:43pm
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Commander is a format of variety. With such a staggeringly large card pool to choose from, there are dozens of viable deck playstyles that spring up in games. There are so many fun and cool generals to build around and I always find myself ooo'ing and ahh'ing over someone's neato cards that I've never even heard of. What other format will you find Grip of Chaos as a potential bomb?

With so much variety, however, comes the need to have answers to a variety of threats. Sliver Overlord is setting up the ultimate unstoppable army. Oona, Queen of the Fae is milling you while defending herself with an army of fliers. Geth, Lord of the Vault is mana ramping to the extreme and threatening to blow everyone away with a lethal Exsanguinate. Phelddagrif is doing god knows what, but he's annoying and he's practically untouchable due to half a dozen enchantments prohibiting you from interacting with him. You need answers to so many different types of playstyles all while still having room for a way to win yourself.

Therein lies the problem: too many things to worry about, not enough room to fit them all into your deck. The answer? Tutors. Have the answers as silver bullets in your deck, one or two cards for a specific situation, and then use tutor spells to get them when you need them. That's a big reason why cards like Demonic Tutor are hugely popular in Commander. You can stock up on them in your deck to increase the likelihood that you'll have a particular answer when you need it while not being stuck with that answer when you don't.

So if tutors are good in Commander, would a general that acts as a repeating tutor be good? Absolutely!


Momir Vig is a toolboxy champ. Your toolbox in this scenario is all creatures. And in Commander, you can find a creature in blue/green that does just about anything you want, from handling any threat to winning the game with a bajillion damage or a one-sided board wipe.

This is my particular list:


"Pretty neat," you say, "but how budget is this budget list?" Well, at the time of this article's creation (9/4/12), buying this entire deck from mtgotraders excluding basic lands comes up to this:


Not bad, considering even the "cheap" pre-made Commander decks Wizards has released go for $30 at the online store!

Alright, enough about the budget for now. Let's break this deck down. What have we got?


Arbor ElfFyndhorn ElvesLlanowar ElvesFarseekSimic Signet
Rampant GrowthCoiling OracleSakura-Tribe ElderUtopia TreeCultivate
Kodama's ReachFarhaven ElfWood ElvesYavimaya ElderOracle of Mul Daya
Garruk Wildspeaker

All commander decks want ramp to various degrees. I personally like 8-10 ramp cards per deck. This deck runs a whopping 16! It may be a little extreme, but hear me out. Momir Vig is exceptionally good with lots of ramp, as the general has a tendency of keeping your hand full of things to play and you're usually only limited by your mana pool. Once he's on the board and you cast a green creature, you're guaranteed to draw into another creature, and into another, and... well, you get the idea. So you really want to spend your first turns ramping up and then you're free to go wild with Momir.

Mana ramp creatures are generally riskier than sorcery ramp. They're prone to dying to random board wipes and pings. But the nice thing about stuff like Llanowar Elves are that 1) they're a 1drop, something this deck lacks 2) with Momir in play, green ramp creatures tutor for other creatures. That's the beauty of good ol' Momo.

Card Draw:

Coiling OracleElvish VisionaryWall of BlossomsCarven CaryatidRhystic Study
Wistful SelkieConundrum SphinxMulldrifterSages of the Anima

We've got 4 (potentially 5) cantrip creatures here in the deck. They're good on their own, but they become nuts with Momir out. A lowly Elvish Visionary turns into a 1/1 Demonic Tutor! Wistful Selkie turns into a Grim Tutor + 2/2 body + 1 extra card draw. Good stuff. These critters also pair up wonderfully with the bounce spells that I'll get to in a bit, so they keep on tutoring over and over.

Some other interesting inclusions are Conundrum Sphinx and Sages of the Anima. With Momir giving you knowledge of what's on top of your deck at all times, the Sphinx will be consistently drawing you a card each time she attacks. And with 40 creatures in the deck, Sages will be digging a ton of gas for you too!

Finally, I threw in Mulldrifter in there for good measure, because the mighty Meldrifter is awesome.



AEther AdeptCloudstone CurioCrystal ShardEquilibriumMan-o'-War
Tidespout Tyrant

Tons of the creatures in this deck have valuable ETB effects. Might as well bounce those creatures to re-use those tasty effects! Keep re-casting Elvish Visionary with Momir in play and you'll have infinite Demonic Tutors. Replaying Acidic Slime will deal with any noncreature on the board. Bouncing Mystic Snakes make sure no nasty spells hit the board. Bounce is really, really good here.

Extreme bouncing is also a way to seal a victory. While this deck can't go infinite, you can still wipe out an opponent when you've amassed a large pool of mana. With a bunch of land in play and a cheap creature to keep recasting, Tidespout Tyrant can easily bounce a huge chunk of an opponent's board and lock them out of the game. Just another way to win when smashing with creatures won't cut it!

Lurking Predators

The Rest:

The rest of the deck is comprised of creature silver bullets to handle a variety of threats and general goodstuff cards in blue and green. We got multiple ways to deal with noncreature threats, from Uktabi Orangutan to Terastodon. Dosan the Falling Leaf and Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir say NO to our opponent's counters, while Mystic Snake says NO to the rest of their spells. We can kill legendaries with Clone or merely copy the best creature on the board with it, or the graveyard with Body Double. If we're up against a deck that abuses graveyards, Loaming Shaman stops those shenanigans dead in their tracks. Simic Sky Swallower is a flavorful and powerful bashy threat and Artisan of Kozilek fills a similar role but for different situations. We also have some ways of protecting our very powerful general and creatures: Lightning Greaves, Swiftfoot Boots, Plaxmanta and Asceticism.

There's also some particularly cool cards in this deck. Lurking Predators is bonkers with 41 creatures in the deck. There's a high chance that every spell your multiple opponents cast will put an extra creature in play for free. Opposition is yet another way to win, simply by locking down an opponent's board so thoroughly that he cannot do anything while you stomp him.

How Does It Win?

There's a few main angles of attack. The first is to break down your opponent's defenses with bounce / noncreature removal and swing in with fatties like Simic Sky Swallower. The second is to bounce away their stuff with Tidespout Tyrant and swing in with whatever. The third is to lock them down with Opposition and then swing in. Generally you're going to be using a combination of tactics to win, destroying their threats with your silver bullets, plopping down the Sky Swallower, and clearing a path for it with Tyrant. You feel in control and you get to smash with fat creatures. Truly a perfect merge of blue and green mentalities.

 Simic Sky Swallower   Tidespout Tyrant   Artisan of Kozilek

So that's the deck. I know there's a bunch of people who wanted to find a budgeted way into this casual format and I hope you enjoyed this idea. If people are interested, I can also include suggestions for increasing the budget of these decks, but I figured that might ruin the point of these types of articles.

That's all for now! Next time we'll check out my current favorite general, one who demands sacrifice from his followers... and his enemies!



Good Article by ChantryGilbert at Thu, 09/06/2012 - 17:30
ChantryGilbert's picture

Thanks for the interesting article. The Spike part of my brain wants to know: How does the $15 Momir deck do, overall, in terms of wins and losses? The rest of me wants to know if it's as much fun to play as it looks. :-)

Early on you focus on ramping by Doctor Anime at Fri, 09/07/2012 - 09:17
Doctor Anime's picture

Early on you focus on ramping and tutoring answers to the board and then when you can you power out your win conditions. I'm 2-1 online with this list, but your mileage may vary because 4player FFA has so many variables. I think it's fun, but there's only one way to find out!

I have one more article in mind and for that I'll add a recording of a game so you can see it in action.

I'm hesitant to play a Momir by oraymw at Fri, 09/07/2012 - 01:26
oraymw's picture

I'm hesitant to play a Momir Vig deck, since it is often associated with broken combos. You'll typically be the first person to be ganged up on, because people are afraid that you'll be doing broken combos. I think you get more value out of playing Edric.

Agreed, you gain a lot of by Doctor Anime at Fri, 09/07/2012 - 09:20
Doctor Anime's picture

Agreed, you gain a lot of political power if you switch to Edric, which I didn't include due to my budget restriction. However, you lose a ton of deck power in doing so. Momir's ability to tutor up everything you need is just so strong.

Has anyone logged onto the by smack8001 at Fri, 09/07/2012 - 10:42
smack8001's picture

Has anyone logged onto the new interface since the re-release? I'm wondering if they've fixed the command zone so that it isn't just sitting in the middle of the battlefield without a floating window.

Interesting deck. I like the by Leviathan at Fri, 09/07/2012 - 13:33
Leviathan's picture

Interesting deck. I like the inclusion of Conundrum Sphinx, even if it is a pretty sub-par card. The thing that disappoints me though is the inclusion of Seedborn Muse/Teferi. It seems like every single Momir deck runs these two. And most players rush them out first thing. Fortunately you aren't running a ton of recursion and you're running a budget deck, but still it's super annoying.

Good point. I try to blend a by Doctor Anime at Fri, 09/07/2012 - 16:29
Doctor Anime's picture

Good point. I try to blend a mix of fun cards with competitive ones, which is why both the sphinx and teferi both make the list. Everyone has their own tastes though.

The next article will have the same blend, but this time I will be adding alternative card suggestions on top of non-budget suggestions. I hope that'll appeal to more people and recommend more ways to sculpt the deck according to their needs.