Mind Twists #9
Welcome to this week's edition of StarCityGames.com's very own puzzle column Mind Twists! This week we have another two puzzles to test your mettle along with solutions to last week's puzzles. Our winners this week are Oliver Beaumont ("Wheeeeee!") and Myles Schaller ("Guild Wars") who will receive a signed Conflux and Liege of the Pit respectively. Congratulations and check your inboxes!
Here are this week's puzzles:
Puzzle #1: Through the Fog
You're playing a drawn out game of M13 Limited. You have a pretty good board position with Liliana of the Dark Realms sitting behind a Duty-Bound Dead. You've been using the Swamps obtained by Liliana's +1 to fuel your Rummaging Goblin but your opponent found an Unsummon to halt that for now. You just resolved a Staff of Nin. Your opponent only controls an awkward Fog Bank unable to put any pressure on Liliana. On your opponent's turn he untaps draws his card and hesitates a moment. His face turns from shock to disbelief to sheer joy as he pumps his fist exclaims loudly and slams Jace Memory Adept on the table. He mills out ten cards from your library leaving you with just three cards remaining. You are at 20 life but unless you can finish off your opponent soon you will deck yourself.
- In play: 5 Mountains 2 Swamps 1 Forest Staff of Nin Liliana of the Dark Realms on 6 loyalty counters Duty-Bound Dead.
- In hand: Fervor Spiked Baloth Prey Upon Bloodhunter Bat Titanic Growth Mogg Flunkies Rummaging Goblin Public Execution.
- In graveyard: Firewing Phoenix Veilborn Ghoul. All other cards are irrelevant.
- In library: Swamp.
- You are at 20 life.
Your opponent has:
- In play: 3 Islands (tapped) 2 Forests (tapped) Jace Memory Adept at 4 loyalty counters Fog Bank.
- In hand: Nothing!
- In graveyard: Nothing relevant.
- On his next turn your opponent will draw Mind Sculpt.
- Your opponent is at 11 life.
Win before you are forced to draw from an empty library!
Winner of this puzzle's raffle will receive a signed Fervor!
Puzzle #2: Oh the Bitter Shame and Sorrow
This week's second puzzle was generously contributed by reader (and previous raffle winner) Greg Dreher. It's a pretty intense one!
Your opponent has been stalling your attacks with various tap and Fog effects while his Invisible Stalker has been stealing your life and mocking the removal spells in your hand. Your army of Cat tokens was supposed to overwhelm your opponent easily this turn but you weren't expecting your opponent to send you on this Path to Sorrow.
It's the last thing you ever expected to happen. One of the worst cards in the history of Magic and you have to deal with its effects.
During the beginning of combat step your opponent did the following:
Opponent (27 life):
- In hand: Nothing.
- In play: 4 Island 2 Forest Alchemist's Refuge (all tapped) Invisible Stalker enchanted with Spectral Flight Icy Manipulator (all tapped).
- Graveyard: Donate nothing else relevant.
You (4 life):
- Lands: Sorrow's Path (tapped); Bayou Scrubland Savannah Temple Garden 2 Forest 2 Plains (untapped).
- Creatures: 8 2/2 Cat tokens Fungusaur (2 +1/+1 counters) Leonin Shikari Puresteel Paladin Plague Spitter Trophy Hunter and Kemba Kha Regent equipped with Lightning Greaves Livewire Lash Kitesail and Bonesplitter.
- Other permanents: Doubling Season Concordant Crossroads.
- In hand: Path to Exile Hideous End Hunger of the Howlpack.
- Your library includes sufficient Plains Swamps and Forests.
- All creatures save for the Cat tokens have 1 damage marked on them (from Plague Spitter).
Win before losing to Sorrow's Path!
Winner of this puzzles raffle will receive (wait for it…) a signed Sorrow's Path!
Solutions to Last Week's Puzzles
First an apology for the setup of this puzzle. Tendrils of Agony should have been exiled with the resolution of Doomsday instead of being in the graveyard. Fortunately Tendrils wasn't necessary to solve this puzzle though it appeared to be the win condition of many readers. Here's Oliver Beaumont's solution which doesn't require Tendrils:
- Cast Conflux discarding Omniscience. Find Wheel of Sun and Moon (white) Mulldrifter (blue) Electrolyze (red) Restock (green) Doran the Siege Tower (black).
- Cast Restock targeting Conflux and Omniscience discarding Doran. Restock is exiled.
- Cast Wheel of Sun and Moon targeting yourself discarding Conflux.
- Cast Omniscience discarding Mulldrifter which goes to the bottom of your library because of Wheel of Sun and Moon.
- Cast Electrolyze for free targeting your opponent. You draw Mulldrifter your opponent drops to 38 life and Electrolyze goes on the bottom of your library.
- Cast Mulldrifter. With the draw 2 cards trigger on the stack Mulldrifter dies and goes to the bottom of the library. Draw trigger resolves draw Mulldrifter and Electrolyze.
- Cast Electrolyze targeting your opponent discarding Mulldrifter (using Dream Halls). You draw Mulldrifter and your opponent drops to 36.
- Repeat the last two steps until your opponent is dead!
Congratulations Oliver you will receive a signed Conflux!
Here is Myles Schaller's solution:
- During your upkeep sacrifice Cadaver Imp to Liege of the Pit (Blood Artist puts you at 3 and Niv-Mizzet at 12).
- Draw Bone Splinters.
- Tap a Forest and pay 2 life to cast Postmortem Lunge targeting Blood Pet.
- Sacrifice Blood Pet for B to cast Bone Splinters sacrificing Yavimaya Elder to kill Sturmgeist (opponent goes to 9 you go to 2).
- Search for a Forest from Yavimaya Elder's death trigger and play it.
- Tap 3 forests to cast Recollect targeting Reverent Silence.
- Cast Reverent Silence with its alternate cost (opponent goes to 15).
- Use Pendelhaven's +1/+2 ability on Hungry Spriggan.
- Attack with everything (Hungry Spriggan gets +3/+3).
- Liege can't be blocked and deals 7. No matter which of the other creatures Mnemonic Wall blocks at least 8 damage will get through. If it blocks one of the 3/3s Niv-Mizzet takes 3 + 5 from the unblocked creatures. If it blocks the Hungry Spriggan Niv-Mizzet takes 3 + 3 from the unblocked creatures 1 trample from the Spriggan and 1 from the Blood Artist since the Mnemonic Wall dies. If it blocks the Blood Artist the Artist paints a mural on it making this the optimal aesthetic play but still resulting in Niv-Mizzet's death.
Congratulations Myles you will receive a signed Liege of the Pit!
One final thing before we conclude—I'd like to start collecting feedback to help me create future puzzles. This week's feedback question is: which puzzle has been your favorite Mind Twist so far and why? Let me know in the comments!
That's all of this week. I hope you enjoyed this edition of Mind Twists! If that wasn't enough for you you can bet that I'll be back next Wednesday with another pair of puzzles. As always send any questions comments puzzle submissions etc. to SCGthePuzzling@gmail.com. Have a great week and I'll see you all on Wednesday!
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