Monday, April 8, 2013

Momir Basic Primer

Hello, Jason here, it seems I have been doing a lot of writing today.

Hit the jump for the article

Momir Basic, oh what a great (and cheap!) format.  What is Momir Basic you ask?  Momir Basic is a format where you can tap mana and discard a card to make a creature with converted mana cost equal to the mana used.  This can be any creature in Magic’s history (excluding Un-sets(yes, I am sad about that too)).  To begin Momir Basic, you will need a Momir Vig, Simic Visionary avatar and 60 basic lands.  Your deck will consist of 60 lands, and your Momir Vig avatar.  The obvious choice is 12 lands of each basic land type, but that does not always work.  36 creature cards refer to Islandwalk (2 requiring and activation), 49 to swampwalk, 22 to mountainwalk, 41 to forestwalk, and 4 to plainswalk.  The next number is a little more challenging to understand (and find).  The number of symbols in activated abilities of cards for each color.  There are 339 symbols for white, 392 for blue, 464 for black, 452 for red, and 426 for green.  Making the assumption that abilities like morph, unearth, and other non-functional abilities in Momir are the same in all colors we can take the same variable off, lets say for the purposes of this article we can say 150.  So white has 189, blue has 242, black has 314, red has 302, and green has 276.  Since there are very few (comparably) white mana symbols in activation costs that means that you do not need all that many plains.  Blue creatures with activated abilities are generally not as good as some of the other colors, so although there are more mana symbols total, I do not believe that there is a need to play all that many islands.  For black, there are 314 mana symbols, the most of all, and black has some of the best activated abilities in the format (including destroying creatures), but unfortunately swampwalk is the most common of the “walk” abilities, meaning that you may not want to run a significant amount of swamps.  I think that it is worth the risk to run lots of swamps though, because the abilities are usually very good, and you are quite unhappy if you cannot use them.  Red has 302 mana symbols, and also is the color of fire breathing, meaning that you may want to run a lot of mountains.  Green has 276, meaning that it is right in the middle, and forest walk is fairly common, but many green cards have several green symbols in a cost.  I think that forests are not very important, but you still need to have forests in your deck, and I think that it is best to play around the average number for forests.  My Momir decklist takes all of these concerns into account, and some of my opinions expressed above.
1 Momir Vig, Simic Visionary Alt.
10 Plains
8 Island
13 Swamp
18 Mountain
11 Forest
60 Cards 1 Vanguard
When to start making creatures is a tougher question than the deck construction though.  This table shows you your options.

So, for the 0-drops you have a 1 in 10 chance of getting Dryad Arbor, which happens to be the only useful one, meaning that it is never worth making a 0-drop.  On one you have 13 mana producers, meaning you have a 2% chance that you will get one of them.  Other than that there are no good 1-drops.  On 2 you have a 4.6% chance of getting a mana producer, but I think that it is worth the risk.  You have cards like Lotus Cobra, Rofellos, or Soulbright Flamekin.  There are also a significant amount of good 2-drops in general, like a creature with shadow, or horsemanship.  Even a 1/1 unblockable is very, very good in this format.  On 3 you are looking for an efficient creature of which you have a 14.8% chance of getting a 3+ power creature.  Aven Mimeomancer is the best 3-drop.  In my opinion if you were on the play you do not want to make a 4-drop unless you have no abilities to activate or if you are behind on board.  4-drops are generally not that great, the only really great one being Alms Beast.  The chances of getting a 4+ power creature is 17%, but some of them are horrible.  For example Abyssal Persecutor is almost an auto lose in Momir.  On 5 you have a 12.8% chance of getting a creature with power 5+, and most creatures with power 5+ win you the game, especially if they fly, and 5 has two of the best cards in the format.... Baneslayer Angel and Xathrid Gorgon.  On 6 you have the titan cycle, which is very good in Momir, and you have a 10% chance of getting a creature with 6+ power, including Admonition Angel, which wins you the game.  7-drops is usually where you curve out to on the play, and you have a 36% chance of getting a 6+ power creature, which is pretty amazing, and Elesh Norn costs 7, but Phage the Untouchable is a 7-drop and that loses you the game when you play it.  8-drops are your other option to curve out to, and at 8 you have a 72.8% chance of getting a creature with power 6+.  Very few 8-drops are bad, and most win you the game, but Denizen of the Deep is very bad most of the time and has lost me countless games.  If you can make a 9-drop you should, but you should not aim to curve out at 9 because you miss 2 drops in the early game (which can matter) and 20% of those drops do not effect you in an overwhelmingly positive way.  Making a 10-drop is a waste, as 50% of them are not good at all.  11-drops are very poor as 42.8% is the number of bad creatures you can get.  On 12 you have a 33.3% chance of getting something useless (Iname as One).  There are not 13 and 14 drops (yet!).  on 15 both options are good, but Emrakul is better, and most of the time your opponents are going to make one more drop, hope it can deal with Emrakul, and if not concede.  Draco is the only 16-drop, and I would recommend sticking to 15 drops if you get this high.  I hope this helped you learn the basics of the Momir format, and if you have any questions feel free to email me at

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