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Hail to the Vig

Hackball - /hækbɔl/, derived from the terms "Hack" from Magical Hack (Which, ironically, isn't included in the deck), and "Elfball" from an old, highly elf-dense deck which won through Fireball, is a Simic adaptive combo deck which runs large amounts of cheap green creatures and efficient interaction, and wins through hacking Momir Vig, Simic Visionary and assembling an infinite mana combo.

The deck is efficient and consistent, winning as early as turn 3, but normally turn 4. It boasts a large interaction package, a few good stax pieces, and a lot of ramp, which serves as its main wincon. Hackball is an interesting deck which is relatively easy to pick up and learn, but still leaves a lot of room for player skills such as mana math, deck knowledge, meta adaptation, tutor chains, and situational toolboxing.

  • Very resilient to stax and many hate effects present in cEDH. Even most creature hate can only slow us down a bit.
  • Large quantity of ramp allows the deck to cast and recast Momir throughout the game, even after he's removed a few times.
  • Tutor in the command zone, along with lots of redundancy in combo, ramp, and counterspell slots provide consistency.
  • Post-hack tutor chains allow for adaptive and interesting combo lines, which can morph to the situation and play around counterspells easily.
  • Easy to tune to specific metas in order to improve effectiveness, Momir's tutoring allows easy and consistent access to meta tech.
  • Easily one of the cheapest cEDH decks of all time. The $200 budget version has almost all of the power, and if you add fetchlands and some mana rocks, you have almost a full comp deck for very cheap.

  • Commander reliant to the extreme. Without Momir, the backup plan is to ramp or interact and get Momir back, assembling a manual combo is near-impossible.
  • Struggles in fast combo pods, you're a turn too slow to race, and your interaction can only stop so many win attempts before something slips through.
  • Casting Momir and holding up mana for countermagic can be difficult at the best of times, and impossible in the worst of times.
  • Too many clasms can put a huge damper on our gameplan, and Hackball doesn't have a real efficient way of refueling outside of Mystic Remora and Sylvan Library.
  • Apart from hacks, Momir tutors to the top of your library, unlike Yisan or Sisay, which means that we rely on cantrips or passing turn to use toolbox creatures effectively. This gets easier the slower a meta is.

In order to learn how hackball wins, and by extension, how it plays in general, knowledge of how "Hacks" interact with Momir Vig is needed. By using one of the Hacks (such as Mind Bend or Sleight of Mind) to change Momir Vig's second ability from:

"Whenever you cast a blue creature spell, reveal the top card of your library. If it's a creature card, put that card into your hand." to "Whenever you cast a Green creature spell, reveal the top card of your library. If it's a creature card, put that card into your hand."

By changing Blue to Green, whenever we cast a Green Creature; we search our library for another Creature, check the top card of our library to see if it is a creature card (it is), and then put it into our hand. This turns every green creature in our deck into a tutor for any other creature in our deck, which lets us do interesting things.

Now that we know how Hacks interact with our commander, the Hackball gameplan is pretty simple; assemble Momir Vig + Hack + Green Creature.

In order to win from that position, at least + is needed if you're starting from scratch. These costs are typically split up by casting Momir on one turn, then continuing the combo on a later turn. The actual game-winning combo will be explained in the next section, but these are the mana and card requirements that Hackball's gameplan is built from.

As stated earlier, this usually takes until turn 4 to setup, with Momir Vig usually being cast on turn 3. This means that Hackball is about a turn slower than the fastest decks in the format, which means that, while not a bad place to be, Hackball needs to run a high density of countermagic and a few stax pieces to both protect its own combo and to stop fast combo decks from winning before it can assemble a win.

The most generic gameplan for Hackball, and the one that it will use most often looks like this:

  1. Land + Mana Dork
  2. Land + Additional Ramp + Hold up Countermagic / Stax Pieces
  3. Land + Momir Vig
  4. Hack + Green Creature + Win

For the most part, the name of the game with this deck is ramp. Ramp is good for helping us cast our fat commander, ramp gives us access to countermagic and stax pieces, and ramp is also our wincon. Therefore, a massive portion of this deck is dedicated running good ramping creatures. The rest of the deck focuses around quality countermagic and stax pieces, in order to interact with our opponents and keep a decent hold on the game. Finally, we either use a hack to start comboing with Momir, or we cast a green creature to fetch Vizier of the Menagerie and combo off the next turn.

At this point, you have hacked Momir Vig and cast your green creature, or cast Vizier of the Menagerie, and it's time to start comboing off. The basic plan post-hack is to tutor up Heritage Druid and Nettle Sentinel, which means that for every two 1cmc Green Creature Elves we cast, we net a . As this gets more mana than you spend, it means we can chain tutors to generate more and more mana, and eventually assemble a combo. This is called a "tutor chain" or a "dork chain". Notably, it's hard to disrupt, because we get the tutors whether or not our creature resolves. Assuming you have a creature that taps for mana or a land drop, as well as a Forest, the combo needs only to combo off post-hack and post-tutor:

  1. Tutor and play Quirion Ranger for , and tutor up Heritage Druid, and either untap your dork or return a Forest and replay it, so that you go net-even on mana.
  2. Play Heritage Druid for , and tutor Nettle Sentinel, then tap Quirion Ranger, Heritage Druid, and Momir Vig for .
  3. Play Nettle Sentinel for , and tutor any 1cmc Green elf, and begin dork chains to assemble the Mana Loop.

If you have two elves that you haven't tapped yet, you can also go directly into Heritage Druid for only , in a line such as:

  1. Tutor and play Heritage Druid for , and tutor up Nettle Sentinel, then tap Heritage Druid and your two elves for .
  2. Play Nettle Sentinel for , and tutor any 1cmc Green elf, and begin dork chains to assemble the Mana Loop.

Finally, if you don't have a creature which taps for mana, or a land drop, or two elves, you can go into the generic line:

  1. Tutor and play Heritage Druid for , and tutor up Nettle Sentinel.
  2. Play Nettle Sentinel for , and tutor any 1cmc Green elf, tap Nettle Sentinel, Heritage Druid, and Momir Vig for , then begin dork chains to generate mana and assemble the Mana Loop.

Tutor chaining is a powerful tool that allows us to generate mana and gives us the ability to adapt extremely well to hostile board states. In general, after starting the tutor chain, you should fetch Birchlore Rangers to get access to blue mana (you may also use Quirion Ranger to bounce and replay a blue dual to achieve the same), then use it to cast Phantasmal Image as a copy of Nettle Sentinel. With two "copies" of Nettle Sentinel, every green creature will make , which makes it much easier to assemble the Infinite Mana Loop.

The infinite mana combo for Hackball is rather convoluted, and involves multiple moving parts, so make sure you know how it works inside and out. Your tutor chain should finish with you having these permanents on the board:

If Wirewood has already been used, then you need to begin the loop. Otherwise, you only need . This guide will assume you have already used Wirewood Symbiote.

  1. Activate Temur Sabertooth for - and return Wirewood Symbiote to hand.
  2. Replay Wirewood Symbiote for - and untap Nettle Sentinel and Phantasmal Image.
  3. Bounce your 1 mana dork to untap an elf, then tap Phantasmal Image, Nettle Sentinel, and the untapped elf to Heritage Druid for + .
  4. Replay the dork for - and untap Nettle Sentinel and Phantasmal Image.
  5. Tap the 1 mana dork, Nettle Sentinel, and Phantasmal Image to Heritage Druid for + .

This loop generates for every you spend, which allows you to go infinite. Afterwards, you can generate infinite by using Quirion Ranger or Birchlore Rangers, and Temur Sabertooth. This means that you have infinite mana of any color, as well as infinite tutors thanks to Temur Sabertooth.

After generating infinite mana, by using Temur Sabertooth to bounce and replay green creatures, we can tutor every creature in our deck. From there, we will play and replay Elvish Visionary to draw the rest of our deck. Now that we've done that, it's fairly easy to win; All we need to do is follow this loop to win the game:

  1. Cast Winds of Rebuke, targeting Nantuko Tracer.
  2. Exile the cards from the graveyard using Scavenging Ooze.
  3. Recast Nantuko Tracer, putting Winds of Rebuke back into your library.
  4. Bounce and recast Elvish Visionary, using Temur Sabertooth, drawing Winds of Rebuke.
  5. Repeat from step 1. until each opponent has milled their library.
  6. Pass turn, and let your opponents attempt to draw from an empty library.

One of Hackball's greatest strengths is its resilience to hate; the deck can recover from nearly all stax or countermagic, sometimes even both. After Momir Vig, Simic Visionary and your hack have resolved, you only need a single extra to ignore a piece of interaction.

There are a few hate pieces that shut off our combo, the notable effects among these are tax effects, like Trinisphere and Sphere of Resistance, Spell-limits, like Rule of Law and Ethersworn Canonist, and creature-hate, like Cursed Totem and Linvala, Keeper of Silence. To get through stax like these, we have an extensive interaction package available, including Sidisi's Faithful, Gilded Drake, Reclamation Sage / Manglehorn, Caustic Caterpillar, as well as Winds of Rebuke and our countermagic package. These are the bread and butter of our interaction package, and allow us to fight through multiple interactions from opponents in a single turn.

When we have counterspells pointed at us, specifically our hack, the main backup plan is to instead use our green creature to tutor Vizier of the Menagerie. Vizier can also be tutored when we don't have a hack in hand, which is extremely useful as it increases our consistency dramatically, and gives the deck the inevitability that makes it such a threat. Note that since it is tutored to the top of our library without a hack, Vizier of the Menagerie lines require you to pass turn or cast a cantrip to have access to it.

If the counterspell or removal is pointed at our Heritage Druid, then we can tutor up Birchlore Rangers and Nettle Sentinel, which can help make emergency mana using Quirion Ranger and Wirewood Symbiote, then grab Nantuko Tracer or Riftsweeper and recover our Heritage Druid. If the removal is pointed at Nettle Sentinel instead, it's even easier to recover from, just using Heritage Druid and a dork to net mana, then tutor up Nantuko Tracer or Riftsweeper to recur the Nettle Sentinel.

And finally, to address a question that I'm sure many of you have; what do you do if you encounter Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite?
Well, you'd better topdeck well.

Your gameplan against super fast pods is going to be to top at least one of the other deck's wins, if not multiple of them, and then try to land Momir on a turn cycle when the other decks are tryng to get their backup plans online and there is very little chance of another deck winning. You can be fairly liberal with mana development in faster pods, as you really just need to have the interaction to stop them from winning, and getting Momir a turn later shouldn't be too too bad against all-in decks. Alternatively, if there is an even slower blue deck than you in the pod, you can bully them and make them answer the combo players' threats while you set up for a win.

The cards you are going to be looking for against All-in combo decks are really just countermagic and distruption cards to slow them down. Once you've stuffed a win attempt or two, you should have ample time to find a win as long as you don't brick hard on draws.

Good Hand

This is an example of a good hand into combo, good turn 1 acceleration, ample countermagic to help you survive intil you can land Momir, and a combo piece in hand. Wall of roots lets you hold up Negate, which is super powerful, and you have another hard counter in hand as backup.

Bad Hand

This is not great into a fast combo pod, you have all of the tools needed for a win here, but it is a turn 4 win at soonest, without any distruption. If you keep this into a pod of Flash Hulk, Grenzo, and Sidisi ANT, you're probably gonna turn 3.

Dependant Hand

This is ok if there's another counterspell deck at the table, you're not threatening an immediate win, but you have mana ramp and countermagic to slow down the other combo players, also doable with a stax deck to help you slow down dedicated combo decks.

This matchup is a bit more skill-intensive than the dedicated combo matchup, and is a lot less linear than "Do the fast decks just have it?". Generally, you're either going to need to slip in behind someone else's win attempt(This is where being after another fast deck is good) or fight through a counterspell war to stick the win. Sometimes in these matchups, the game will deadlock under multiple people threatening countermagic; in these situations, you're going to want to try to find cards to force through Momir like Xantid Swarm and Cavern of Souls.

Generally, this is the matchup that is the most forgiving mulligans-wise, as you're usually going to have some time to set up a win attempt because of the abundance of blue players to help stop each other from going off. You still want a plan in your opening hand though, and should be looking for supplemental countermagic to both stop other win attempts and protect your own. 1cmc hacks are really good here just because of mana efficiency, as sometimes you'll need to cast Momir and win in the same turn, so every point of mana will matter. A trick that also works against competent blue players, is if the next player from you is threatening a win the next turn, you can tap out to cast Momir against opponents holding up implied countermagic, as Momir will take another turn cycle to win the game, and they need to have the countermagic to stop the next player in turn order (Do make sure that the player holding up interaction knows what they're doing though).

Good Hand

This is a good hand into interactive combo pods, as, unlike in dedicated combo pods, the other players actually have interaction! This means that even though you don't have a strong plan, having a good mana+countermagic setup can get you to a point where you can either go for a Vizier of the Menagerie line, or find a hack naturally.

Bad Hand

This hand looks fantastic at first glance, with good mana acceleration and a hack, but without the extra protection for the turn 3 Momir, it's going to take luck or a long time to get to a point where you can cast Momir without it getting answered. Worldly tutor can get Xantid Swarm to give extra protection, but it's just too slow to apply enough pressure in one of these faster pods.

Dependant Hand

This is a bit of a wonky hand, and it's definitely not a good keep most of the time, but it has a lot of tools to deal with commander-centric strategies (Gitrog Monster, Captain Sisay, Teferi, etc.), and a well-timed mana drain can set you up for an easy Momir off of the extra mana. Additionally, Thorn is a good disruptive option against storm strategies that can buffer the rest of the table that aren't on commander based decks.

Midrange decks typically don't actually apply any real early pressure to you, and have very little meaningful interaction, so you can be very loose on your keeps, just look to combo out as soon as possible, and read the table for if you actually need protection.

Another pretty forgiving matchup for mulligans, you don't really need to have any specific interaction pieces or hate, but you should be looking at having a fairly quick game plan, as durdling for a couple of turns trying to get Vizier online can be a bit slow if the midrange decks have a quick draw.

Good Hand

Really good hand here, this is on pace for a turn 4 kill without being telegraphed, and you have a lot of mana for backup lines if necessary. Midrange likely won't be able to find an answer in time, or be able to apply enough pressure to stop you from being able to just take the game.

Bad Hand

Waaaay too slow; this hand has no turn 1 mana acceleration, and although you can put together vizier pretty quickly here, it's very likely that even a midrange deck will find time to get an answer lined up due to the telegraphing that you're gonna have to do to actually combo off.

Dependant Hand

This hand should get you there most of the time, but beware of a fast threat and the beats that come with it, this will be a bit slow and the countermagic won't help you much against a value/aggression strategy. This is only really keepable with someone at the table that requires countermagic to deal with.

Playing against a stax deck is pretty much the same as playing against a midrange deck for Hackball, except sometimes they have annoying cards like Cursed Totem or Linvala, Keeper of Silence. The strategy here is pretty much just to kill them as fast as possible and try to deny them time to find their relevant pieces to slow you down, while using your countermagic and removal to buy time until you can shove the win. Stax generally doesn't have a lot of interaction unless they're a blue control/stax hybrid, so you can be pretty safe just running out your gameplan and hoping for the best.

The same as Midrange, you're looking for hands with a good clock, with removal and unconditional countermagic being good bonuses. Force of Will and Pact of Negation get a lot worse here, because you typically don't need to be holding up countermagic for potential combos, but Nature's Claim and Caustic Caterpillar will put in work here.

Good Hand

Great hand into stax, with a turn 4 win in hand, as well as interaction in Caterpillar to kill off a pesky stax piece if needed, this will get you through most stax decks.

Bad Hand

Bad stuff here, there's no hack, carpet's not great due to most stax decks not being in blue, and winds is not going to be good enough to interact meaningfully with stax pieces that are going to be locking you out of winning.

Dependant Hand

This hand can be ok, with a turn one birds into a worldly tutor for anything that you might need, but if you're going after the stax player, it's probably going to be too slow, without a hack in hand or a second ramp spell, if you're going before the stax player though, this could be juuuust fast enough with a piece of interaction with the caterpillar to squeak by. This is going to require a judgement call about if you think the stax player can lay down enough crippling stax pieces to stop you before you can take the game.

Control decks are really good at stopping you from winning the game in the early turns, and even better at stopping you in the later turns if you don't have protection. Generally, in the control matchup, you're going to be looking for cards that produce card advantage and mana as soon as possible, because in the early turns control won't be able to afford to counter your carpet of flowers or sylvan library for the most part, so sticking them early to gain an advantage later in the game is going to be crucial.

Mulligan for either hands with a decent clock and protection, or for power cards that can take over the game early and outvalue the control player on their own.

Good Hand

This is a pretty great hand against control, with a sylvan library to provide continuous advantage, and more than enough mana acceleration, with a creature tutor and interaction. Even without a set gameplan, just having this much pure card advantage is going to be great at overwhelming a control deck, or even two.

Bad Hand

This is very much a glass cannon hand that is going to be shut down very effectively by a single counterspell, which, surprise, control plays a heck of a lot of. Keeping this hand into control is basically a bet that they're not going to have countermagic available for either when you cast Momir or when you cast your hack, which is a terrible bet and one that would be a real bad time to take.

Dependant Hand

Basically, if you're confident in the control player being able to slow down the game enough, carpet can just carry you. Carpet by itself will just provide you so much mana against primarily blue-based decks like hard control that you'll generally have a very easy time digging yourself out of any hole that may become a problem.

Birchlore Rangers
It might seem redundant with Heritage Druid, but this elf does one thing better; it can make blue mana, which lets us cast Phantasmal Image on the combo turn, and can be great for turning elves into blue to fuel countermagic and utility cards. It also provides us with a backup Heritage Druid if Heritage Druid is countered during our combo turn, which allows us to tutor up recursion and keep generating mana.

Devoted Druid
Generally just a pretty great dork, Devoted Druid makes a turn 3 Momir on its own with land drops every turn, and is just great in general. It can also count as a "1 mana" dork for the combo, due to being able to untap itself to get an extra Heritage Druid activation and make up for costing 1 more.

Joraga Treespeaker
Most green decks don't want Joraga Treespeaker, as it's either too mana intensive or it doesn't fit into the turn sequencing that most decks want (Eg. Selvala, Heart of the Wilds wants to be able to cast her on turn 2), but in this deck, where we're casting our commander on turn 3, it gives us the extra turn and mana to be able to turn Joraga Treespeaker into an all-star. Like Devoted Druid, Joraga Treespeaker allows us to turn 3 Momir on its own, which is fantastic.

Kiora's Follower / Voyaging Satyr
A lot of people look at these cards like they are worse Llanowar Elves, which can be true sometimes, but there is hidden value here. Both of these cards end up making 2 or more mana per tap a lot of the time due to the presence of cards like Utopia Sprawl, Wild Growth, and Somberwald Sage, which make them into fantastic dorks that can be worth way more than their mana cost. Kiora's Follower also has the benefit of being both Green and Blue, which means he will tutor a creature straight to hand without a hack if you have Momir Vig in play.

Nantuko Tracer
Let's get this out of the way, yes, Nantuko Tracer's effect is strictly worse than Eternal Witness's; but, Tracer does a couple of things better. The first is that it costs G less, which is very important on combo turns when you just need a green creature to trigger the first search post-hack, saving 1 mana can be the difference between winning and having to wait a turn (losing). It's also more effective than Eternal Witness at recovering from counterspells or removal during the combo turn, as it costs 1 less, but still allows you to tutor up Birchlore Rangers and go into our backup lines.

The obvious use for Riftsweeper is to recover exiled combo pieces, which is pretty important due to our reliance on Heritage Druid, but may not deserve a deck slot on its own over a counterspell. Fortunately, Riftsweeper serves a secondary purpose; paired with Scavenging Ooze, it acts as a second copy of Nantuko Tracer, which can be extremely useful if Nantuko Tracer ends up in the graveyard or exile, because we have no other ways to recur cards from the grave.

Scavenging Ooze
A great grave hate piece, a cheap green creature for Momir, and our backup recursion when combined with Riftsweeper, in the event that Nantuko Tracer is in the graveyard.

Sidisi's Faithful
Sidisi's Faithful is just an all-star utility creature, both because it's searchable through Momir Vig, and because it's an out to Linvala, Keeper of Silence. Sidisi's Faithful can also be used in conjunction with Gilded Drake to steal two separate creatures, and can even be used to bounce Wirewood Symbiote or Quirion Ranger to reset their effects after being used once in the turn.

Somberwald Sage
Because Hackball is pretty much entirely creature-based, Somberwald Sage is basically a Gilded Lotus for us, and really, who doesn't want Gilded Lotus for 3 mana?

Vizier of the Menagerie
It may not look it, but Vizier of the Menagerie is actually a hack in disguise, as it lets you cast the tutored creature off of the top of your library, as well as letting you cast Phantasmal Image without needing blue mana. Vizier is also the most important hack in the deck, because it's tutorable through Momir, as well as being a green creature, so it's actually a hack that doesn't require another creature to combo.

Mystical Tutor
In addition to just being an additional effective copy of a Hack, Mystical Tutor also tutors for utility, removal, and protection for combo turns, and also works well with cantrips.

Worldly Tutor
A strange addition in some people's eyes, as we have a Worldly Tutor on a stick in the command zone, but sometimes you need to go for a specific creature while either not already having one in hand, or just not having access to Momir. Worldly Tutor is also great for setting up your hand in control matchups, where you want to be casting Momir and winning in the same turn to avoid interaction as much as possible.

Ancient Tomb
Yes, we do have a lot of color requirements, and yes, it's not as good here as in artifact decks, but Ancient Tomb still gets us to a turn 3 Momir more consistency, and is great to have as an option to turn Crop Rotation into a ritual.

Cavern of Souls
Pretty self-explanatory, but in a deck where you're 100% reliant on your commander resolving, making it uncounterable is super valuable.

Gemstone Caverns
A lot of people don't like this card, but honestly, it's good more often than not, being an every-color Chrome Mox 3/4 games, and being just a colorless land in every other case, which is bad yes, but not game-losing vast majority of the times that it happens.

Glimpse of Nature
A hack disguised as a value card, by stacking Momir's trigger on top of Glimpse of Nature's draw trigger, you can have the same effect as having hacked Momir, as you just draw the card that you tutored.

Green Sun's Zenith
Even though we're not running Dryad Arbor, GSZ is still amazing for tutoring big dorks like Priest of Titania and Somberwald Sage as well as utility creatures, for only a one mana premium. Can additionally be used to stop us from decking ourselves with the self-shuffle effect.

Wall of Roots
A recent addition, Wall of Roots is very good for both chaining multiple dorks in a turn, as well as holding up an extra mana for countermagic, while still being able to use it to develop on your own turn.
Dryad Arbor
Usually, Green Sun's Zenith and Dryad Arbor are a package deal, and you'd think it would be the same for Hackball; unfortunately, Dryad Arbor has a downside: it doesn't trigger Momir. It does turn Green Sun's Zenith into a turn 1 dork, but in a deck with the dork density of Hackball, and the multitude of other targets that it can fetch, the cost of compromising our mana base isn't worth it.

Grim Monolith
At one point, this card was in the deck, but it's proven to just be not worth it. Grim Monolith, unlike Mana Vault, does not enable a turn 2 Momir, and the fact that it leaves you with only 3-4 mana on your combo turn due to not untapping just puts too much of a limit on your resources, when the deck could be running dorks that make almost the same mana, but over multiple turns, and with the option to trigger Momir.

Mox Diamond
The exclusion of this card is contentious issue among people that have worked to help optimize Hackball, and it's not immediately clear why a deck that wants mana acceleration so much would be playing Chrome Mox and not Mox Diamond, but we will attempt to explain the reasons behind its exclusion as clearly as possible. First of all; Our commander isn't 3 mana, which is a large reason why Mox Diamond is so good, because you can curve into your commander turn 2, whereas we need to have a lot of mana (2 more in fact) to get to our commander, so we don't actually need it that much, because the land that it is discarding is one that we are probably going to naturally be playing anyway, without any speed difference. The second reason why we would be playing Mox Diamond is to have an extra mana on turn 1 to drop more mana dorks; the problem with this is that we need a green creature to play after Momir is already on board in order to start our combo, so dumping every dork in our hand a lot of the time just isn't worth it, because we need to sandbag one anyway to actually win the game.

Cloudstone Curio
Green combo decks, especially with Temur Sabertooth, usually end up playing Cloudstone Curio, as it can act as a second combo enabler, and adds a level of consistency to the deck. Fortunately, in Hackball, we have no need of it, as it doesn't enable our ramping to Momir any better, and we already win off of just a Hack + A Creature, so we don't actually need any help getting to the combo, or executing it.

Lotus Petal
Excluded for some of the same reasons that Grim Monolith is, temporary ramp is nowhere near as important as permanent ramp sources for us, so we'd rather have more dorks and cards that can continue to produce mana turn after turn.

Eternal Witness
Again, Eternal Witness seems like a weird exclusion in a green creature deck that's doing infinite things, but as was explained earlier, Nantuko Tracer does the same job in the deck, while costing less to start combos on.

Coiling Oracle
Oracle is actually a pretty beneficial card as a draw-deck outlet vs Spirit of the Labyrinth, but since our combo involves tutoring every creature in our deck before even drawing the rest, we can find an answer to it first, and then just use Elvish Visionary since it doesn't have the added blue casting requirement.

Elvish Archdruid
It seems like Archdruid would be an auto-include in this deck due to the massive amount of mana we need, as well as having a metric ton of elves, but from the testing that has been performed, we only have room for a single 3cmc mana dork in the current configuration of the deck, and that slot goes to Somberwald Sage, as it produces more mana more consistently on turn 3, without having to be set up.

Great Oak Guardian
A former combo piece that was used to make infinite mana, replaced by Phantasmal Image loops.

Intruder Alarm / Paradox Engine
Excluded for similar reasons to Cloudstone Curio, these cards don't actually help us ramp to Momir, and we can already win the game off of a hack + a creature, without any extra help, so there's no reason to put in cards that are dead outside of the combo, just to win harder.

Concordant Crossroads
Haste might seem good in dork.dek, but it's actually pretty dead for us, Momir can still do his thing while summoning sick, while Heritage Druid effectively gives all our dorks haste during the combo, so we really just don't need the added hastiness.

More of the same reasoning like Paradox Engine and Cloudstone Curio, Aluren doesn't help to ramp Momir out, and it just makes us win harder, so we can safely exclude it.

Food Chain
Exiling dorks isn't great when they're needed to fuel Heritage Druid shenanigans, and it tends to be dead if we don't already have the ramp to get to Momir.

Survival of the Fittest
Seems like another weird exclusion in a creature deck, but since we effectively have a copy of the same effect on a stick in the command zone, it's already not as good, and then since we don't actually want to discard ramp pieces ever, it gets the kick.

Beast Within
Again, weird exclusion at face value, but 3 mana is just too much, and the multitude of bounce effects that blue offers can replace very well. The other argument is that it can act as an infinite mana outlet to make infinite beasts and blow up everyone else's cards, but we already have an infinite mana outlet in Winds of Rebuke, so it's just not needed.

Chain of Vapor
One of the best blue removal spells, but once we have Momir out, chain just becomes uncastable, since we have to protect Momir at all costs.

Crystal Spray
The only <6cmc hack that is excluded from the deck right now, Crystal Spray is just too bad to be worth it, it's 3 mana which is already terrible, as it can screw hard with having to start a combo with any creature other than a 1cmc dork, and it's not even permanent, its effect goes away in EOT, so you can't even use it on an opponent's turn and combo on your own. Crystal Spray is just too bad to be worth playing.

Vitalize effects
More Paradox Engine reasoning, these don't help early ramp, and are purely win-more.

Muddle the Mixture
Muddle seems like a fine card to play, until you realize that none of the 2cmc cards in our deck win on their own like Isochron Scepter would in Thrasios/x, and even if they did, it would just take too much mana to tutor for. The counterspell aspect is outclassed by any other counterspell in the deck, so it's not worth the deck slot.

Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
Nykthos seems good in a green deck with a lot of dorks, but the fact that it only makes colorless until we can get 3 mana symbols out, paired with the fact that 3 mana symbols will only usually happen after we have already cast Momir, outweighs the potential benefits.

Eldritch Evolution / Chord of Calling effects
No single creature in our deck actually combos on it's own, and our only unique starter combo piece is in the command zone, so these to-battlefield creature tutors just aren't worth the mana or the card.

Timetwister / Windfall
These are going to take a bit of explaining, because who doesn't play them in every blue deck in the format right? That's what we thought for a long time, but they've been dropped for good reason, which we will explain; first, we don't need Timetwister to do loops, we have other cards for that, and it doesn't actually save any space. Second, drawing cards randomly isn't actually that great for Hackball, the deck plays very few fast mana sources, and it's very hard to dump a hand fast enough to take advantage of the hand refill without benefiting opponents even more. Hackball also doesn't really need to dig for combo pieces, we have 11 hacks and 27 green creatures, so it's very very easy to find the required starter in an opening hand or with a couple of draws and cantrips. More often than not, the wheels would just rot in our hand while we won without them, or never cast them because they just didn't do enough for us relative to the rest of the table.
Null Rod
Pretty fantastic into almost any meta, we're affected minimally by turning off artifacts, which nearly any fast deck or non-green deck is going to be much more reliant on than we are. The only times Null Rod isn't a good choice are in creature-heavy and green-heavy metas with decks like Yisan, Selvala, Food Chain decks, and Hackball as examples.

Thorn of Amethyst
Good in the same metas as Null Rod, especially good into storm and generally non-green decks; Can also do well in control metas to loosen their grip on the game a bit.

Again, good into the same metas as Null Rod, stops Ad Nauseam and Storm decks from making mana off of positive rocks after drawing a lot, and acts as great removal for Cursed Totem.

Xantid Swarm
Really great into control metas, it's repeatable protection from the guy with blue mana up, and people will usually have to burn interaction on it to stop you from just straight up winning. Not great into metas without countermagic or blue.

Sylvan Safekeeper
Pretty great vs White (Swords to Plowshares), Black (Everything ever), and Blue (Bounce cards) decks, you can put it down before you cast Momir, and then have protection for multiple creatures on your combo turn. Safekeeper is also useful for situations where you're forced to pass turn due to a lack of mana, as it can protect your board for a turn cycle comfortably.

Rhystic Study
Ok into control metas and storm metas, the longer the game goes on, the more value this is going to get, and will usually help you dig for interaction when needed, or slow down the rest of the table enough for you to get up to speed. Not great into midrange or stax.

Root Maze
Great into any meta where someone's gonna be faster than you, or just any metas with people that are playing fetchlands. Root Maze just slows down the game a tonne, and will slow down everyone else by more than a turn, while you just get set behind one land drop, and let the mana dorks do your heavy lifting.

Natural State
Need more artifact/enchantment removal? This is your next best choice aside from Nature's Claim.

Savage Summoning
Fantastic into control metas, if you can get up to 6 mana, you can hold up countermagic and interaction, and if nothing worthwhile comes down, you just drop Savage Summoning + Momir end of turn right before you untap and then combo off the next turn.

Momir Hackball is one of the more unique cEDH lists to emerge. Since it runs such a high density of creature-based ramp, Hackball is able to bounce back easily from removal and tutor answers for almost all relevant hate effects. The hacks and the green creatures give natural redundancy, ensuring you're almost always able to combo off as long as you can get Momir onto the battlefield. The list is resilient, consistent, and interactive, with a lot of interesting lines of play. Feel free to ask us questions about the list which we didn't cover in the primer on the Hackball Tech Support Discord server.

Special thanks to:

  • OrderlyAnarchist, for producing the original Hackball concept and list, and releasing the brew into the wild.
  • frozeninfate, for his invaluable help tuning and testing Hackball, especially during the early stages of fat-trimming.
  • The /r/CompetitiveEDH Discord community, for playing against the list when it was at its roughest, and tuning it alongside us.

The Hackball Discord

The $200 budget list

The $60 budget list

Sickrobot's list

Average Dragon's list


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Date added 6 months
Last updated 1 hour
Exclude colors WBR

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 1.55
Tokens 3/3 Ape, 1/1 Spirit, 1/1 Bird
Folders cEDH, Decks I Might Build, Cool Lists, cEDH - Competitive Casual & cEDH, Saved, Simic, New folder, Uncategorized, Momir Update, cEDH Decks, See all 27
Top rank #14 on 2018-03-15
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