Alright boys and girls, Momir?s Madness RNG fest has been going on for a week and this event?s ?meta? has pretty much settled. So strap in everyone, if you?re really curious, this will be an extensive and long read xD I did bold out certain portions for sticking out if you want to skip ahead.
I?ve run this event a couple dozen times and went 5-x about 30-35% of the time, of which 4 were perfect runs. Being a f2p player I only got a Mono U Tempo deck for CE which doesn?t fair well enough anymore? so how do I farm my daily wins? Why with this clown fiesta event of course 🙂 It?s really fun if you don?t get salty about opp lucking out over and over again, because the game can be mostly decided by RNG ? that?s true.
It?s also true that you have to play to your outs and work RNG in your favor ? so knowing what you need and what are the best chances of getting it are essential. Making a potentially game winning play which works only 22% of the time is still worth it rather than conceding because you don?t have an answer to your opponent?s flyers.
Disclaimer: before going ahead, I want to mention that this event relies on you knowing very well the intricacies of combat, knowing when to attack and when to stand down, figuring potential lethals when you have more creatures than your opponent and other basic magic rules. I?m not a veteran of this game by any means, but I did play on and off before HS was a thing, and I?m committed to MTG again.
I also know this guide might get a big amount of hate due to the event?s inherit amount of ?luck and no skill? ? thus this guide being pointless, but I really don?t mind, I won?t take to heart any sort of malicious commentary 🙂
GAME Strategy & Win condition.
Basically in most games, in order to seal the win, you have to get to 9 mana and land that sweet 33% [[Zacama, Primal calamity]] . This can be done either by lucking out on ramp/card draw or by just holding off on playing cards in the early game. Of course you can get some other win conditions, but usually landing your Zacama while you have at least 2 mountains before your opponent is usually enough for opponents to realize they?re beat.
Most players have figured this win con now and they usually plan out their mana to get to 9, but against those who didn?t, you will have an edge going forward. Of course you can get blown out until that point usually by flyers like the disgusting 6/6es on 4 or 5 mana, it happens, but you can also luck out in that manner, all we can do is work the odds in our favor and have a solid game plan if things hang in the balance.
So knowing our gameplan and what we aim for, we can start by figuring out our curve to actually get there. Taking into consideration no amount of draw or ramping, you would have to hold off on playing anything until?turn 3 when on the draw?or?turn 4 when on the play.?This lets you curve out to 9 without any interference. That being said, maybe 40-50% of the games there is interference, whether in the form of draw, ramp or discard which jumps you ahead on curve or sets you back. Obviously we cannot rely on this so it?s safer to just hold off on playing stuff and only let loose in certain scenarios. Common scenarios:
Opp starts playing out from turn 1**.** This is obviously a mistake and most people have caught on. This strategy will top you out (without help) on 6-7 mana and then you?ll just be out-valued. Against this I tend to stem the aggression with a turn 2 or 3 play and skip the 4drop, sometimes they will also skip a turn 3 play when this happens which works out fine. I tend to eat the damage if they have low power creatures (like 3 power total) and curve out as per usual. You will usually beat this strategy once you start outvalue-ing them.
Opp plays from turn 2.?This is even less usual than the former as you?ll end your curve on 7-8 mana. This was the ?meta? in the first few days before people figured out that 9 mana is where you want to be. Against this just follow the usual strategy.
Opp also wants to curve to 9 mana.?This is the most common case now. If I don?t play out, opp doesn?t either, which is indeed correct. When this happens I usually tend to play a 2 or 3 drop and force opp to start playing out. 2 and 3 drops have the best chance of yielding some sort of draw or ramp so it?s better than waiting until 4 mana if you?re on the play. If you get ramp/draw out of this, start playing out each turn, if you don?t, it?s usually best to hold off on a 4 or 5 mana drop so that you?ll still hit your 9 mana curve. Sometimes opp will still play out trying to out-tempo and win the game by that point, instead of skipping a 4-5 drop, though you?ll hardly ever lose that way unless you get overwhelmed by flyers.
This is usually decided by who gets the flyers on turns 4-6. You can get beat down hard, but you should still push every point of damage you can land safely. 6 mana is the flyers drop. I don?t know the actual chance, but someone mentioned 40%. I think it?s lower than that, but it?s still a decent %. 7 mana also has 4 flyers and 1 creature with reach out of ~20 possible cases and game changers like: [[Angler Turtle]], [[Thorn Elemental]] or [[Angrath?s Marauders]]. [Meteor Golem]] is also great as well.
At this point you should curve out normally, unless you got no answer to flyers, in which case it?s usually correct to get a 6drop instead of 7. There is even a 6mana 5/5 sphinx with bounce at 6 mana which will pretty much stabilize almost any board.
Basically the mid-game is very short in this mode, because it all leads to the late game, best things you can get out of this stage is some potential ramp to hurry along your late-game. If you get a treasure at this stage, and you aren?t threatened by any flyers, hold off on using it until turn 8 when you can go straight to a 9drop and then into another 9 drop if you didn?t hit Zacama the first time.
Most games are decided here and it?s why the whole strategy relies on us getting here ahead on curve.
8s are nice but the only real game changers are [[Verdant Force]] and [[Zetalpa, Primal Dawn]] . Verdant force is always nice. Zetalpa is as well, though it becomes useless against Zacama as it gets completely neutralized. Polyraptor is also nice especially when opp attacks indiscriminately and you can double block with polyraptor & something else to kill opp creature and make him deal less than lethal damage to your poly so you get 2 of them ? honestly this happens way more than it should? smh. Also you should always attack with [[polyraptor]] when you have [[Verdant Sun?s Avatar]] for free healing.
So with all that said, it comes down to RNG, how long it takes to get Zacama, and if your opponent curved out correctly, who gets Zacama first ? being able to ping opponent?s zacama down is pretty much GG so whoever gets there first usually wins the game unless the board was disproportionate to begin with. What you may have noticed is that [[molderhulk]] is also a 9 drop which gets you to 10 mana, ie [[Impervious Greatwurm]]. Greatwurm by itself isn?t great as it can just be chump blocked, but it?s great in certain scenarios.
Sometimes when opp is behind on 8 mana and sees me trying for Zacama and whiffing will just skip a turn and play the land. Don?t do this, you could have skipped a 1-3 drop but because you didn?t, you ended up skipping a 7 or 8th drop which is huuge. If I?m on 10 mana by this point due to molderhulk (never curve out to 10 unless Tattiana, benthic druid or something) I just go greatwurm into greatwurm into greatwurm so opp can?t really do much about this, even if he gets Zacama you?ll just blow him out.
Never go for 11 or 12 drops ? 11 is null and 12 is Ghalta who?s bad. If you find yourself somehow behind on 8 mana and opp is trying for Zacama, just play 6-8s and try to overwhelm with flyers. Also Verdant Force can be enough often-times once you have enough saprolings to guarantee lethal or 2-turn lethal.
Something I forgot to mention is to?always play your mountains?so you can have them for Zacama?s ping ability ? also don?t use auto-tap for that, you?ll end up regretting it.
In the rare cases in which you get only 1 mountain, follow this strategy and go for molderhulk into greatwurm for the alternate win condition unless you need flyers in which case depending what you?re facing you should go for 6-8 drops, 7s usually being best.
At the end of the day, this is an event which is meant to be for having fun so don?t take it too serious. I layed out here what worked for me and what I was successful with, because I don?t have enough cards for standard and I don?t like the current XLN draft, it?s pretty much the only thing I?ve been decent at ? sorting odds and probabilites in my favor. As long as this writing helps a few people out it?ll be worth the time, so have a good night everyone and may RNGbless ya!
TL;DR: Zacama MVP.