Momir in GRN Standard
Magic Arena has been Wizards' biggest win in recent years. But what a win it is. Massive playability, a programming and management team that pays attention to player feedback, and the sort of reach that Magic Online could only dream of. It also has a number of casual formats that you won't find in your local LGS… or even on the older Magic client.
Momir Basic is a format that Magic Online players will be familiar with. You play with a 60 card deck, made entirely from basic lands, and have the Momir Vig, Simic Visionary avatar, which has the following text: Discard a card: Create a token that's a copy of a creature card with converted mana cost X chosen at random. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery and only once each turn.
The sort of tactics involved vary, depending on what your opponent does; some 1 drops and some 2 drops require a response (Birds of Paradise, Llanowar Elves, etc.), while some are mere nuisances to weather while you develop your board (Squire, Rogue Elephant maybe, Crazed Goblin and so forth). As you become more used to the game, you'll be quicker to react or know whether you even need to make a drop, or whether you can go for a larger play the following turn. There are, of course, advantages to skipping a drop, specifically that you'll have more lands in hand to be able to make more larger drops later in the game. Just know that Phage the Untouchable awaits you at 7, in case your luck is running bad that week. Or maybe you hit Platinum Angel and you've effectively reduced your opponent to trying repeated 3 drops in order to find one of the Man-o'-War available.
Then there's the sort of thought that goes into whether you want to play something pre-combat, or post-, when you've a little bit more information.
Magic Arena has also implemented this wild format, but the client only deals in Standard cards, so it can't support the full version. But while this limits what you can get, it also makes it more "solvable."
Currently in Standard there are:
54 one drops, 163 two drops, 156 three drops, 151 four drops, 83 five drops, 49 six drops, 20 seven drops, 9 eight drops, 3 nine drops, and a solitary ten and twelve drop. There are also a number of Arena-only cards available, 12 in total, of which the best might be Soulhunter Rakshasa, a 5/5 Cat Demon that does five damage when it enters play.
Of those 54 turn 1 and 163 Turn 2 creatures, you have Llanowar Elves, Elfhame Druid, Drover of the Mighty, Druid of the Cowl, and, if we're talking non-traditional mana generators, there's Gleaming Barrier and Dire Fleet Hoarder (which have to die first), Wily Goblin (which creates a Treasure), Skirk Prospector (which can ramp you further again depending on other drops), and, if your opponent is unfortunate enough to hit him, Wanted Scoundrels, although this 2-drop also needs to die. If you can get ahead, chances are you'll stay ahead.
Momir Madness decks are also pre-constructed, so you're currently unable to edit them to suit them to the optimal strategy.
By optimal, I mean that you're almost always looking to reach T9 and get Zacama, Primal Calamity, which used to be the only 9-drop prior to the addition of Guilds of Ravnica. As such, you ought to be prioritising Forests, Mountains, and Plains as your land drops, binning Swamps and Islands wherever possible; Tempest Djinn is a 1-in-156 shot at 3, and you can always readjust your play accordingly if you need. Nightmare has rotated out (if you even realised the flying Nightmare was there to begin with) as have both The Locust God and The Scorpion God, all creatures which required non-Naya lands to function at their best. The best thing about Zacama, of course, is that he blanks the ludicrous Zetalpa, Primal Dawn at 8, and can attack through the White Dino on an otherwise empty board (unlikely, but you take what you can get). Of the other two 9-drops, one is basically a larger Craw Wurm, while the other has some utility in ramping further, but shouldn't last long on a developed board.
As in the original Magic Online version, there's at least one creature you don't want to see. That's Demonlord Belzenlok at six, because the Elder Demon will exile your library and you'll die on the following turn. But, Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar is also available at 6, and he'll be a mighty beatstick at that stage, since your graveyard will be nothing but lands. Of course, Riddlemaster Sphinx is in there, as are the Core Set 2019 Elder Dragons. You can roll the dice and take your chances… The preconstructed deck you start with consists of 12 of each basic land.
If you're a new player, then Momir is a great fun way to familiarize yourself with all the cards that are available within the Standard format and before long you'll find yourself hoping to dodge certain creatures or hoping to hit on specific turns. The client, as mentioned by Hans in an earlier article, is incredibly user-friendly and time-efficient when compared to its older brother. Shuffle up and have some good old-fashioned Timmy fun.
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