Mind Twists #3
Welcome to the third edition of Mind Twists! Thank you to everyone who submitted solutions this week—our winners are Shawn Bartok ("Vapor Slip") and Oren Firestein ("Let Me Introduce You to My Little Friend…"). Check your inboxes!
Here are the solutions to last week's puzzles:
This one was fairly straightforward and there were a few ways to solve this. Here's Shawn's solution:
- Tap Darkslick Shores to cast Vapor Snag on the attacking Angel token dropping your opponent to 11 life. Take the rest of the damage dropping to 3 life.
- On your opponent's end step tap the other Darkslick Shores to cast Vapor Snag on your own Phantasmal Image (currently a Geralf's Messenger).
- Phantasmal Image's ability causes you to sacrifice it instead resulting in an undying trigger when it hits the graveyard.
- Have it come back as a Geralf's Messenger with a +1/+1 counter and your opponent drops to 9 life.
- Tap Swamp to cast Tragic Slip on your own Geralf's Messenger killing it and causing undying to trigger. Geralf's Messenger returns with a +1/+1 counter and your opponent drops to 7 life.
- Untap and attack with both 4/3s to drop your opponent to -1 life and win the game.
Congratulations Shawn Bartok; you will receive a signed Vapor Snag!
Let Me Introduce You to My Little Friend…
This one was pretty open-ended and I received a lot of great submissions from you guys! There were four main ways of doing this one: the Kiki-Jiki/Deceiver Exarch combo using Tidespout Tyrant to clear the way for a huge Animar using Craterhoof Behemoth to make a very large and trampling Animar and to flip the entire deck on the table with Primal Surge. I'll review the first third and fourth of these possibilities starting with Oren's Kiki-Jiki/Deceiver Exarch method:
- Tap UGR to cast Trinket Mage. Animar Soul of Elements goes to one +1/+1 counter.
- Trinket Mage's trigger Tutors for Memnite while Wild Pair's trigger gets Man-o'-War.
- Man-o'-War's ETB trigger targets itself returning Man-o'-War to your hand.
- Cast Memnite. Animar goes to two counters.
- Wild Pair's trigger fetches Wood Elves which in turn finds you an untapped Forest.
- Tap the Forest to cast Fierce Empath. Animar goes to three counters.
- Fierce Empath's trigger fetches anything (Oren chose Aethersnipe) while the Wild Pair Trigger fetches Immolating Souleater.
- Play the Island and tap it to cast Man-o'-War. Animar goes up to four counters.
- Man-o'-War's ETB trigger targets Immolating Souleater returning it to your hand. Wild Pair fetches up Kiki-Jiki Mirror Breaker.
- Cast Immolating Souleater and Animar goes to five counters.
- With the Wild Pair trigger on the stack pay 6 life to pump the Immolating Souleater to make it a 4/1. The Wild Pair trigger resolves and you can go find Deceiver Exarch tapping or untapping whatever.
- Use Kik-Jiki's ability on Deceiver Exarch creating a hasty token that untaps Kiki-Jiki when it enters the battlefield. Do this again and a million times until you have a gigantic army of 1/4s and attack with an arbitrarily large number of Deceiver Exarchs to win.
Instead of fetching Deceiver Exarch in the second to last step you could do this as well:
- With the Wild Pair trigger on the stack pay 6 life to pump the Immolating Souleater to make it a 4/1. The Wild Pair Trigger resolves and you can go find Peregrine Drake untapping your 5 lands.
- Float 5 mana by tapping all of your lands then use Kiki-Jiki's ability on the Peregrine Drake to make a copy of it untapping your lands again.
- Tap all your lands again giving the 10 mana you need to cast Primal Surge!
- Since everything in the deck is a permanent and nothing requires you to draw cards upon entering the battlefield you can flip your entire deck onto the field. Craterhoof Behemoth's ability triggers (among others) making everything enormous. Champion of Lambholt prevents Ulamog from blocking and there is no shortage of hasty power available to kill your opponent.
Finally one more solution caught my eye:
- Tap UGR to cast Trinket Mage. Animar goes to one counter.
- Trinket Mage's trigger brings Memnite to your hand while the Wild Pair trigger gets Man-o'-War returning Man-o'-War to your hand.
- Cast Memnite. Animar goes to two counters.
- The Wild Pair trigger gets Wood Elves putting a Forest into play.
- Cast Fierce Empath. Animar goes to three counters.
- Fierce Empath's ETB trigger fetches Steel Hellkite to your hand and Wild Pair puts Krosan Wayfarer into play.
- Play the Island then cast Man-o'-War. Animar goes to four counters.
- Man-o'-War's ETB trigger bounces Memnite and Wild Pair gets Kiki-Jiki Mirror Breaker.
- Cast Memnite. Animar goes to five counters. Wild Pair gets Llanowar Elves (or any other legal target).
- Sacrifice Krosan Wayfarer putting the Forest from your hand into play. Tap it to cast Steel Hellkite putting Animar at six counters.
- Wild Pair's trigger gets Craterhoof Behemoth. Craterhoof Behemoth's ETB trigger goes on the stack.
- Use Kiki-Jiki's ability on Craterhoof Behemoth putting a copy of it on the battlefield and another copy of its ability on the stack.
- Creatures you control get +22/+22 and trample allowing Animar and the two Craterhoof Behemoths attack for lethal.
This solution impressed me because it didn't abuse the "Phyrexian Firebreathing" of Immolating Souleater or Moltensteel Dragon with the Wild Pair trigger on the stack. Good work everybody! Finally congratulations to Oren Firestein; you will receive a signed Wild Pair!
Here are this week's puzzles; the first one actually stems from a conversation I had with some players from my local game store!
Puzzle 1: Bludgeon Brawl
It's casual night at your friend's house and you've been given a deck to brawl with. Deep in a game against your host he casts a massive Warp World that throws off your Helix Pinnacle plan—you only needed 24 more counters! Your opponent ends up with Arcanis the Omnipotent Thought Reflection Mana Reflection Privileged Position and plenty of lands on his side of the table after the Warp World but currently has no cards in hand.
You can't complain about your board position—you have Gideon Jura; Tezzeret Agent of Bolas; Nicol Bolas Planeswalker; Symbiotic Wurm; Grafted Wargear; Liquimetal Coating; and Bludgeon Brawl on your side of the battlefield. The downside is that you only control two Mountains as mana sources! It's your turn and you have Blasphemous Act and Battle Hymn in your hand. You really don't want to see what your opponent will do with Thought Reflection and Mana Reflection out but fortunately you can kill him this turn.
- It is currently your precombat main phase.
- You have Gideon Jura; Tezzeret Agent of Bolas; Nicol Bolas Planeswalker; Symbiotic Wurm; Grafted Wargear; Liquimetal Coating; Bludgeon Brawl; and two Mountains in play. All planeswalkers are at their default loyalty.
- Your opponent has Arcanis the Omnipotent Thought Reflection Mana Reflection Privileged Position and plenty of basic lands on the battlefield.
- You don't know what's in your deck so assume Tezzeret's +1 ability won't help you.
- Your hand consists of Battle Hymn and Blasphemous Act. Your opponent has no cards in hand.
- No relevant cards are in your graveyard or your opponent's graveyard.
- You are at 10; your opponent is at 14.
- Swing for lethal this turn!
Winner will receive a signed Bludgeon Brawl!
Puzzle 2: Pay for the Pact
You are playing in an SCG Legacy Open and you've made it to round 4 without a hitch. Your deck of choice this week is Junk Depths a deck that abuses the interaction between Vampire Hexmage and Dark Depths to make a 20/20 flier as early as turn 2! Here's your decklist:
- 1 Anger
- 4 Birds of Paradise
- 2 Fauna Shaman
- 4 Knight of the Reliquary
- 1 Qasali Pridemage
- 2 Scavenging Ooze
- 1 Scryb Ranger
- 3 Vampire Hexmage
- 1 Gaddock Teeg
- 1 Dryad Arbor
You're playing against Hive Mind and you're off to a pretty slow start. You finally have your Knight of the Reliquary and your Fauna Shaman in play but Thoughtseizing your opponent shows that your opponent has his combo with Force of Will and a blue card to back it up! Sure enough on your opponent's turn he casts Show and Tell putting Hive Mind into play and then immediately casts Pact of the Titan.
- It is currently your opponent's end step.
- Your opponent is at 20 life and you are at 16.
- You have the following cards in play: Fauna Shaman Knight of the Reliquary Vampire Hexmage (summoning sick just came in off the Show and Tell) Giant token (from Pact of the Titan) Crucible of Worlds Dark Depths Bayou (tapped) and Savannah.
- You have the following cards in your graveyard: Bayou Verdant Catacombs Windswept Heath Thoughtseize.
- You have the following cards in your hand: Swords to Plowshares Scryb Ranger Maze of Ith.
- You must pay for the Pact of the Titan trigger on your upkeep (4R) or you will lose.
- Your opponent has an active Force of Will in case you try to cast something.
- Win on this upcoming turn!
Winner will receive a signed Vampire Hexmage!
If you have any ideas for future puzzles I'd love to hear from you! Just send me an email at SCGthePuzzling@gmail.com and I'll check it out. That's all for this week so have fun with these and I'll see you next Wednesday!
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