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By: GainsBanding, GainsBanding
Sep 09 2010 10:34am
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I watched a random casual game of Momir Basic the other day and it prompted me to write this article.  It's short, but sweet, and I think it explains a piece of Momir theory that not everyone knows about.  This player I was watching certainly didn't.

In the game I was watching, one player's 2-drop was Cabal Interrogator.  I think I started watching during turn 3 or something.  The Interrogator was out and the guy had a swamp out when I started watching.  I had never seen that card before but right away I could tell he was good in Momir.  I even made a comment about how good he was.  

Cabal Interrogator

What an amazing discard ability for Momir.  You know your opponent has a hand full of lands, so you just need to tap 2 mana to use it.  And unlike many discard effects in the game, this one does not discriminate against lands or make you damage the opponent to use it.  Yet the player didn't use his ability.  He brought out a 3-drop, then a 4-drop, then a 5-drop, while his opponent did the same thing and beat up on him, until he finally used the Interrogator to chump block.  I didn't finish watching the game, so I don't actually know how it ended, but that doesn't matter.  I can tell you that using that discard ability would have most likely solidified a win.

It's the year 2010 - everyone knows about the idea of card advantage.  There have been plenty of articles on the subject, but in a nutshell it says that drawing more cards than your opponent will usually lead to victory.  In Momir Basic, though, the card advantage theory is amplified like a million times.  It's quite possible that you'll have no card-drawing effects, no extra land drop effects, no counterspells, no removal, no discard.  One card per turn, one land per turn.  That's it.  Bringing out a creature makes you discard so after 7 turns or so you have to choose between a creature and a land. So when you get a creature in Momir Basic that lets you draw extra cards or makes your opponent discard, you have a very powerful effect in most situations.  Momir is totally random, so sometimes no matter what you do, you are going to lose.  But understanding how card advantage applies to the format can sway the odds in your favor.

So in the game with the Cabal Interrogator, using that discard ability would have hurt him in the early game.  He'd be using 2 mana and tapping each turn to make his opponent discard, which would make his creatures generally smaller than his opponent's and he's have one less blocker (however, 1- and 2-drops can still sometimes compete with 4- and 5-drops, so he'd probably be ok).

But here's the other thing with Momir.  After about turn 6 or 7, those early creatures (barring ones with useful abilities) are obsolete and only good for chump blocking.  A 3-drop french vanilla Kavu or Beast or Elephant can't compete with Akroma, Angel of Wrath or Inkwell Leviathan, or Lorthos, the Tidemaker

Alpha Kavu Cerodon Yearling Rampant Elephant
Worthless on turn 8

Akroma, Angel of Wrath Inkwell Leviathan Lorthos, the Tidemaker
Momir bombs

So if you can make your opponent discard while you are still drawing, pretty soon you've reached the late game while they are still stuck in the early or mid game - even if it cost you some life along the way. 

If he had used his Cabal Interrogator, check out what the game could have looked like (let's say he was on the draw for the sake of argument, because I don't remember):

Turn Opponent (play) Cards in hand at EOT   Guy with Interrogator (draw) Cards in hand at EOT
Turn 1 land, pass
  land, pass
Turn 2 land, 2-drop
  land, 2-drop: Cabal Interrogator
Turn 3 land, 3-drop
  land, 2 mana for C.I. ability, 1-drop
Turn 4 lost 1 card to Interrogator, land, 4 drop
  land, 2 mana for C.I. ability, 2-drop
Turn 5 lost 1 card to Interrogator, land, 5-drop
  land, 5-drop
Turn 6 5-drop
  land, 6-drop
Turn 7 5-drop
  land, 7-drop
Turn 8 5-drop
  land, 8-drop
Turn 9 5-drop


He'd only have to use the ability twice before the opponent was out of cards!

It would be a little different if the guy was on the play, but whatever.  Also, the opponent could have made different choices and not brought out creatures each turn.  But the opponent would still be down cards no matter what.  The point is that after turn 6, the guy with the Cabal Interrogator is getting out bigger creatures while his opponent is stuck at 5-drops.  There are some good 5-drops in the game, so I'm not saying it's an insta-win, but there are some really good bomby 8-drops in the game that can usually overpower the 5-drops.

Tahngarth, Talruum Hero Avatar of Woe
That 5-drop is good, but who's really going to win this?

That's my last tip about Momir: Eight lands is where you want to end up (unless you can somehow get to 15 - which almost never happens - so 8). 

So the next time you play a game of Momir, you'll know not to chump block with your discard guy until after your opponent is out of cards.

Good luck!


Making a 0 drop used to be a by JMason at Thu, 09/09/2010 - 16:41
JMason's picture

Making a 0 drop used to be a good ploy, you'd often make a Dryad Arbor. The odds have dropped since they published a bunch of worthless kobolds in med3.

Interesting. by Lythand at Thu, 09/09/2010 - 18:15
Lythand's picture

I like the Momir Vig format. there seems to be more strategy to it then one might think. Nice to see an article on it. One thing I want to point out, and I will quote first:

"It's the year 2010 - everyone knows about the idea of card says that drawing more cards than your opponent will usually lead to victory."

I want to point out that card advantage is not just about drawing cards and discarding cards. Some cards give you card advantage because of the options they provide you.

I've always wanted to give by Westane at Thu, 09/09/2010 - 19:04
Westane's picture

I've always wanted to give this format a try. It looks really fun, but I can't bring myself to buy an avatar for 8.50 >.<

Hmm by Lythand at Sat, 09/11/2010 - 11:21
Lythand's picture

I thought Momir came with the basic account.

Momir basic is certianly a by Xaoslegend at Thu, 09/09/2010 - 19:18
Xaoslegend's picture

Momir basic is certianly a favorite of mine, simple, even chance to succeed, it's almost like a boardgame version of magic.

Momir is a great version of by StealthBadger at Fri, 09/10/2010 - 04:44
StealthBadger's picture

Momir is a great version of magic on the rare occasion you can find an opponent to play. I do find that it seems to have a lot of quitters, as soon as you hit something nutty, but that's more a critique of the casual room than the format itself.