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By: TugaChampion, Guilherme Carmona Alexandrino
Mar 11 2013 3:41am
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There are many appealing things about Momir Basic. The most important thing is that all you need is an Avatar - Momir Vig, Simic Visionary and 60 basic lands. So for about 10 or 11 tickets you have a deck that will never rotate or become bad. There's at least one Daily Event each day so you even get to play it in a EV+ event. This means that after several Dailies, you should have gotten your 10 or 11 tix back and probably more, assuming each match is a coin flip. And if you don't like it you can always sell it back losing or gaining one ticket depending on how much you're willing to wait while buying and selling it.

Now, I'll explain how it works. It's pretty simple, both players start with the Avatar in its own game zone, similar to how exiled cards are placed. Like any game of Magic, each player starts with 7 cards in hand, they have the option to mulligan (never correct) and you use Momir's ability to create a creature token at random. You pay X mana and discard a card to put a token onto the battlefield that is a copy of a creature with converted mana cost X at random. The creature has to exist in MTGO of course. You can only play that ability at sorcery speed and only once each turn. Oh, and you also start with 24 life instead of 20. It's easy but you should still play at least once in a practice match to actually have playing experience before joining a tournament.

But it also has strategy. The first part of the strategy is how many of each lands you play. Many people probably play 12 of each land and try to have at least one of each in the battlefield as soon as possible. That's not the correct approach. Those who follow a strategy always agree on one point: the land you want more is Mountain! Mountain is the best land because there are many Firebreathing effects and you want to be able to use them. After that there are 2 different ways to do it. Some people choose to have more Mountains than anything else and all the other lands on the same amount. Those people try to have 3 or 4 Mountains in play and at least one of everything else. However there is a different strategy which is the one I prefer: playing more Mountains, after that Swamps, Forests and finally Islands and Plains the least. With this I want to have 4 or 5 Mountains in play and the rest Swamps. I just play any of the other lands in case I get a creature that needs them. If I do have to play a land other than Mountain or Swamp because I don't have anything else I start with Forests and after that Plains leaving Islands for last.

With this I sometimes miss on a Islandhome creature, can't pay upkeep or something like that but in my opinion that is better than losing to certain landwalk abilities, mainly Islandwalk. Also by playing Mountains for the first 4 or 5 turns I dodge most Swampwalkers so if they do get one I just play other lands. Sometimes it's bad to miss paying for Nicol Bolas and similar dragons but more often than not paying for them puts you in a spot where you have to miss creature drops to start making 8s again or settle for making 6s and just miss once (I'll get into this later). I do play a Forest as my eighth land sometimes, it getting Vaevictis Asmadi is good. That is the best of these dragons because it can kill them very fast. Sundering Titan is another reason to avoid playing more than 2 land types.

The second part of the strategy is knowing which highest converted mana cost you want to reach. Some people start making 1 drops. That is wrong. You can get lucky and overrun your opponent but usually that doesn't happen and you have to stop on 6drops on the play or 7drops on the draw, unless you skip to reach 8. 8 is the magic number of Momir. It is better overall than 9 and 10. 11 is better but in normal games you aren't able to reach it without drawing extra cards or something similar. So to reach 8drops you need to skip 1 turn of making creatures on the draw and 2 turns on the play. On the draw it's simple: you just skip your first turn. On the play there are 2 options: skip turn 1 and 2 or turn 1 and 3. I'm still not sure about this one because 3 is better overall than 2 but 2 has more upside because of a higher chance of getting a mana produce (they are very good in Momir) or even some very good creatures, which I'll talk later.

With this you have enough to start playing Momir. However there are a few more strategy tips I can give you:

Choose to play first. Most people would choose this anyway but it's important to note: on the draw you get an extra creature. However reaching 8s first is better than that and I'm happy when once in a while my opponent puts me on the play.

Don't be afraid to slightly change your strategy. Most games you are going to be making drops until you reach 8s and one of the players comes out ahead. But just like getting Craterhoof Behemoth most likely wins you the game, getting a Phage the Untouchable loses you the game. Most games you shouldn't make a 6 instead of a 7 because of Phage but if you are so ahead, maybe you should. Same happens on 8s. Overall 8 is better than 9 but there are 8s that cost you the game like Denizen of the Deep and there are no 9s that do that. If you are way ahead maybe you should just skip once and start making 9s. I've even had games where we both had certain creatures that made attacking irrelevant or bad that instead of trying to get the right 8, mainly Hoverguard Sweepers, I started making land drops instead (and my opponent realized what I was doing and did the same) to get to 11 and try to get Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre. I did get it can end up winning the game because of it.

Pay attention to everything and read the cards. Ever got blown out when you blocked Matca Rioters when your opponent had Unstable Frontier in Shards of Alara block limited? I did and many people have. Some people had never seen it, others like me knew about the trick but we distracted, tired and there was much more in the game to focus. When we play many matches with a certain deck, everything starts to be automatic. Limited formats take more time to reach that point but eventually it gets there. In Momir you can get creatures from the oldest to the latest set. There are some strange cards with abilities that no longer appear on today's cards and sometimes very weird interactions. If you don't pay attention you will lose some games you could have won. In this aspect Momir teaches you to always pay attention so you don't lose to those on board tricks in more important formats.

Sometimes the format is unfair when one player gets a creature that wins or loses the game on the spot (or puts him very close to one of those). I'll list some of those:

2drops:

Getting a Tempting Wurm on turn 2 most likely loses you the game. Your opponent simply puts all lands into play and starts making 8s on his turn.

Tempting Wurm

Azorius Guildmage is probably the best Momir creature. When you untap with it and have access to an Island, you start leaving 2U up every turn and he can never resolve Momir's ability. You just need something to stop the one or two creatures he has already and you can't lose.

Azorius Guildmage

3drops:

Countryside Crusher loses you the game unless you can manage to sacrifice it before your upkeep. I've lost to this a few times.

Countryside Crusher

Azusa, Lost but Seeking ramps you really fast and allows you to make an 8 on turn 4!

Azusa, Lost but Seeking

4drops:

There's Oracle of Mul Daya which not only ramps you very fast, it also let's you play lands from the top of the library so it makes you get past 8 until probably 15 for Emrakul, the Aeons Torn.

5 drops:

Desolation Angel very likely loses you the game.  You'd have to be very ahead to come back from this.

Desolation Angel

Leveler loses you the game on your next drawstep. Unless you happen to have a Laboratory Maniac. Yes, I've seen that in a replay.

Leveler

Dominus of Fealty is very good. There aren't many board states that can beat this on turn 5. I've even stolen a land for a turn to make a higher drop when there was nothing good enough to steal.

Dominus of Fealty

6drops:

Worldgorger Dragon also usually loses you the game. I've lost to it once but I was at 14 or less and couldn't get anything to stop it or win the game in 2 turns.

Worldgorger Dragon

Force of Nature usually kills you before it kills them so it's also a bad one.

Force of Nature

There are several very good 6 drops. I don't think there are any that really win the game on the spot but some put you in a huge advantage in the next few turns. On 6 and forward you're looking to get big fliers so I'll list some that trump those.

Roil Elemental takes away the game pretty fast. Stealing their best creature every turn is obviously very good. They basically need to get a way to kill it before you are able to kill him.

Roil Elemental

Admonition Angel is similar to Roil Elemental. It's a 6/6 flier instead of a more fragile 3/2 and if they are able to kill it, they don't get their creatures back. But of course killing their creatures is not as good as stealing them.

Hitting with Numot, the Devastator once is already very good. If you hit twice the game is pretty much over.

Numot, the Devastator

7drops:

Phage is the most classic auto-lose creature. This one not even a Laboratory Maniac can save you!

Phage the Untouchable

Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter can dominate most games. Of course you need at least a couple creatures but it's rare you won't have them. It kills problem creatures and it's very hard to race.

Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter

Platinum Angel is obviously very good. You still lose life so after they get you to 0 or less life, they'll be looking to get removal.

Platinum Angel

Sheoldred, Whispering One makes them sacrifice a creature every turn. That is very powerful. On top of that it's usually unblockable.

Sheoldred, Whispering One

Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite creates a huge different between your creatures and your opponent's, even if it doesn't kill anything by itself. Your 2/2 will trade with their 6/6 so you have to be way behind for this not to win you the game in a couple of turns.

Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite

8drops:

Denizen of the Deep is the worst here. I'd say at least 80% of the games you get this you lose on the spot.

Denizen of the Deep

Akron Legionnaire is also really bad. Most of the time you get it, it will be the only creature you can attack with. They will probably chump block it if they can and even take damage from it until they can.

Akron Legionnaire

Kederekt Leviathan can be good or bad depending if you are ahead of behind. You get a 5/5 and every other creature in the board is gone. Sometimes this is the only card that can save you.

There are several very good 8s so I'll list some of the best Avatar of Woe, Lorthos, the Tidemaker, Scourge of Kher Ridges, Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger, Stormtide Leviathan, Platinum Emperion, Craterhoof Behemoth and Hoverguard Sweepers are certainly in the top15 of 8s. Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger is interesting because after you untap you have access to 16 mana and that is the cost of the creature with the highest converted mana cost: Draco. Most of the time you just pay 15 mana for a 50% chance of getting an Emrakul, the Aeons Torn.

9 and above:

There are no creatures that hurt you but there are some that just die or do close to nothing. There are obviously many insane creatures like the Eldrazis, Blazing Archon, Kuro, Pitlord and a few more.

This is it. I hope you liked my article and that it convinced you to try Momir or even give it a second chance!