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Introduction to Momir Basic

Today we have something a bit different on the MTGGoldfish Youtube Channel, an introduction to one of the most unique formats on Magic Online — Momir Basic! If you're not familiar with the format don't worry, because I'm going to walk you through everything you need to know about playing one of the most fun, most random, and least expensive fromats on Magic Online. We'll touch on how to get the Momir Vig, Simic Visionary Avatar you need to play the format, how to constructed a Momir Basic deck, and finally we'll walk through an actual match of Momir so you can see the format in action!

Introduction to Momir Basic

What is Momir?

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Momir Basic (usually just called Momir) is a Magic Online only format that makes use of the Momir Vig, Simic Visionary Avatar, which allows you to pay X and discard a card to make a random creature with the converted mana cost of X, but only as a sorcery and only once each turn. This randomness makes Momir extremely fun, but sometimes infuriating, since you don't have any control over what creatures you get. While there is plenty of skill involved (mostly in how you manage your resources and play the board), there are definitely times when you win (or lose) based mostly on the luck of the draw. 

There are three things I really love about Momir. First, and most importantly, it's the cheapest competitive format on Magic Online. You can buy a Momir Vig, Simic Visionary Avatar for $10 by going to the Magic Online store and purchasing a "Momir Basic Event Deck" under "Special Setes." You can also purchase the Avatar from bots for about 12 tix if you want to spend your tickets. Since the rest of your deck is filled with basic lands, that's all the money you need to spend on the format forever. Secondly, because of the random aspect of Momir, every game feels different. Unlike building a regular deck, which may get old or boring after awhile, your Momir deck feels fresh every time you play it. You have the chance to hit any creature ever printed in the long history of Magic. Finally, the last thing I enjoy about Momir is that it helps you discover cards. I know a lot of Magic cards, and even I randomly get creatures in Momir that I've never seen before. If you are a newer player, it's a great way to find new cards that could end up in one of your "real" decks!

Deck Construction

Here is where the "basic" part of Momir Basic comes into play. In Momir, your deck contains 61 cards. One is the Momir Vig, Simic Visionary Avatar and the other 60 cards are basic lands. Now, you might think that what basic lands you play doesn't really matter, but it's actually very important. The normal instinct for new Momir players is to play an equal amount of each basic land, but usually that assumption is a bad plan for a few reasons. Take, for example, landwalk abilities. The more different basic land types you have on the battlefield, the more likely you are to die when your opponent randomly gets a landwalk creatures!

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Most experienced Momir players play far more Mountains and Swamps than any other basic land type, not only to minimize the chances of dying to a landwalker, but because many of the most powerful activated abilities require Black and/or Red mana. Personally, I use a breakdown of 20 Swamps, 20 Mountains, 7 Forests, 7 Plains, and 6 Islands. Islands are the worst basic land type in Momir. Not only are there a lot of expensive creatures with islandwalk, but there are creatures that say things like "X can't attack unless an opponent controls an Island."

Tips and Tricks for Playing Momir

  • The basic strategy of Momir is to get to the point where you are making a random 8-drop creature every turn. Since you have to discard a card every time you make a creature, at some point over the course of the game, you have to skip a drop if you are on the draw and two times if you are on the play. The easiest way to make this decision is to simply wait until turn two to make your first creature (on the draw) or turn three (one the play). 
  • Why 8-drops? Well, 8-drops have the best "hit rate" in all of Magic. There are a total of 150 eight drops in the game, and most of them range from very strong (Bogardan Hellkite, Godsire and Liege of the Tangle) to game-winning (Craterhoof Behemoth, Avacyn, Angel of Hope, Hoverguard Sweepers and Lorthos, the Tidemaker). Making a 9-drop might be tempting as there are only 58 in total so there is less variance involved, but there are fewer game-winning 9-drops and a lot of stinkers (Grozoth, the entire "Bringer" cycle, Chromescale Drake, Nullstone Gargoyle, Colossus of Sardia). 
  • There is one time where it is better to make 9-drop, and that's when you are so far ahead you feel like you're almost guaranteed to win unless something crazy happens. The reason is because there are a couple of 8-drops that wrath away your board (Denizen of the Deep, Kederekt Leviathan). Meanwhile, while many of the 9-drops aren't that powerful, none of them have the potential to lose you the game on the spot like a Denizen of the Deep
  • A lot of the strategy in Momir is based around which basic lands you play. My strategy is to only play Mountains and Swamps unless I randomly hit a creature that has a good activated ability which requires another color of mana. The danger of dying to landwalk abilities is minimized, and I have access to Black and Red mana should I hit a card like Vampiric Dragon
  • It's typically best to ignore activated abilities that require mana in favor of curving out. Paying two mana to tap a creature and making a 4-drop is almost always worse than not tapping a creature and making a 6-drop. There are exceptions based on the board state, like if you hit a creature whose activated ability kills an opposing creature, Northern Paladin, for example. 
  • As far as the format in general, discarding a card is bad, because it means you need to skip another drop to make it up to eight mana. The same is true of getting one of your lands destroyed. Generally speaking, drawing a card is good. It lets you get up to higher drops. Something like a Grislebrand can allow you to get up to 12 mana for Blightsteel Colossus, which you have a 1 in 3 chance of getting, since there are only three 12-drops. At 15 mana you have a 50% shot of Emrakul, the Aeons Torn or Autochthon Wurm
  • Finally, everything in Momir is a token, which has an interesting impact on the game. For one thing, it means anything with populate is insanely strong, since you can copy your best creature. More importantly anything that bounces (Hoverguard Sweepers) or flickers (Flickerwisp) a creature is hard removal, since the token disappears forever when it leaves the battlefield. 


Anyway, that's all for today. Give Momir a shot. It's not only super cheap, but it's fun to play, and you might learn about some new cards along the way! If you have any other questions about the format, make sure you leave them in the comments and I'll try my best to answer them. Otherwise you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive, or at


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