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Against the Odds: Momir Hearth-storic Control (Historic)


Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 304 of Against the Odds. If you've ever watched the stream, you'll know that I'm a big fan of the Momir format. There's nothing quite like activating a Momir Vig, Simic Visionary Avatar, crossing your fingers, praying to the Magic gods, and hoping for something good. Well now, thanks to Jumpstart: Historic Horizons, we can play Momir in Historic with Pool of Vigorous Growth. But today's deck doesn't stop there—we're fully embracing the randomness with not just Pool of Vigorous Growth but also Tome of the Infinite as well! Our primary goal is to make as much mana as possible as quickly as possible; starting spinning Pool of Vigorous Growth for seven-, eight-, or nine-drops; and hope that the Magic gods smile upon us and give us something good. Tome of the Infinite gives us a backup, and while some of the cards it can conjure up are whiffs, depending on the situation, if we conjure up a useless Assault Strobe or Force Spike, we can always use it as fuel to discard to Pool of Vigorous Growth. How good is Momir in Historic? Are the incredibly random digital-only cards from Jumpstart: Historic Horizons actually good? Let's get to the video and find out in today's Against the Odds; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Against the Odds: Momir Hearth-storic Control

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The Deck

The goal of our deck today is simple: spin the wheel with Pool of Vigorous Growth and Tome of the Infinite and hope for the best. Because the cards are inherently random, there is some luck involved, although we can help to make our own luck by trying to get as much mana on the battlefield as possible for Pool of Vigorous Growth

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Pool of Vigorous Growth is literally Momir Vig, Simic Visionary Avatar but black-border and legal in Historic. The two-mana artifact allows us to pay X, discard a card, and get a random creature token with mana value of X. This means that once we get up to six, seven, eight, or more mana, we know that we'll be able to make a massive creature every turn, no matter what we draw. Of course, that creature will be random—it could be the worst eight-drop in the game or the best—although as long as we can get enough mana on the battlefield, we should always get at least some amount of value. There aren't really any truly bad seven- or eight-drops on Arena, so even if we're not hitting game-ending Griselbrands or other game-ending finishers, whatever random creature we get should be way better than the random card that we draw for our turn. 

Tome of the Infinite is slightly less random than Pool of Vigorous Growth. Rather than giving us a random copy out of all of the creatures on Arena, when we activate Tome of the Infinite, we'll get one of 10 one-mana spells, ranging from Lightning Bolt and Swords to Plowshares to Light of Hope and Fog. While none of the cards in Tome of the Infinite's spellbook is truly bad, some are situational. Assault Strobe is pretty bad if we don't have a creature, and Fog is bad against control, for example. These whiffs are where Pool of Vigorous Growth comes in. If we happen to spin Tome of the Infinite into something useless, we can always discard them to Pool of Vigorous Growth and turn them into a random creature. And this is our plan for winning the game: spinning Tome of the Infinite and Pool of Vigorous Growth and hoping for the best.

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While there isn't really fully a way around the randomness of our key cards, there are some ways we can improve our odds of making Pool of Vigorous Growth and Tome of the Infinite good. The easiest is ramp. Pool of Vigorous Growth is pretty bad until we get up to at least six mana. There are just too many underpowered creatures at lower mana values. Growth Spiral, Into the North, and Cultivate help us get a lot of mana on the battlefield quickly, which greatly improves our odds of randomly spinning into something good with Pool of Vigorous Growth.

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While speeding up our deck is great, the other way we can make Pool of Vigorous Growth good is by slowing down our opponent's deck. This is where the more controlling aspect of our deck comes in. We have Wrath of God and Day of Judgment as sweepers to deal with creature decks. Declaration in Stone and Baffling End offer targeted removal. Memory Lapse gives us a way to interact with spell-based combo and control decks while also helping us to resolve Pool of Vigorous Growth and Tome of the Infinite.

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Finally, Shark Typhoon and Hydroid Krasis offer some card draw to find Pool of Vigorous Growth and Tome of the Infinite while also adding some big blockers to the battlefield to help ensure that we stay alive long enough to spin into the random win with Momir and Tome. 

The Matchups

One of the weird aspects of building a deck around the two most random cards in Historic is that it's really hard to break down the matchups. We can beat anyone, and we can lose to anyone, depending on how well we spin with Pool of Vigorous Growth and Tome of the Infinite. The hardest matchups are decks that have main-deck artifact removal like Prismari Command or Kolaghan's Command that allows our opponent to kill our Pool of Vigorous Growth or Tome of the Infinite before they can generate much value. 

The Odds

I played a ton of games with the deck, in part for the video and in part because it was oddly fun to play, thanks to all of the super-random effects. But record-wise, the deck wasn't great, winning roughly 30% of the time across 20 matches. In some ways, this is a relief. Pool of Vigorous Growth isn't the kind of card we want to be top tier in Historic. The good news is that the deck is a blast to play, mostly because every game is different, and you never know what will happen. We had some hilarious wins by spinning into the perfect random card with Pool of Vigorous Growth or Tome of the Infinite. We also had some games where we kept hitting Assault Strobes with no creature on the battlefield or ending up with a handful of Fogs against a control deck winning with Teferi, Hero of Dominaria. Basically, Momir in Historic is just like real Momir: it's hilarious and random, and anything could happen in any given game or turn, but it's not especially competitive, which is probably a good thing.

Vote for Next Week's Deck

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As we wait for Innistrad: Midnight Hunt to release and shake up Standard let's head to Historic next week to check out another sweet new Jumpstart: Historic Horizons card, but which one? Click here to vote!

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.



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