Congratulations again to those who posted the correct solutions in the forums. You can find the original puzzles here. It just goes to show how effective team work can be. Puzzle 4 was solved piece by piece, with several different people contributing. I imagine a similar synergy can be found when testing new decks or evaluating cards in draft.
PUZZLE 4 Solution
First strike and normal combat damage are dealt separately.
Use the Launcher in response to a Rat being created.
Assuming that Rick is playing to stay alive, he will create a Rat with his Soul Foundry sometime before blockers are declared (probably after provoke triggers). That is when you must shoot an existing Rat with your Rocket Launcher. If you try to shoot an existing Rat any other time, he can respond to the first shot by creating an extra Rat, this forcing you to spend two extra mana to shoot the Rat an extra time.
1) Tap two Great Furnace, a Vault of Whispers, and a Seat of the Synod for RRBU.
2) Whenever Rick creates a Rat token, respond by sacrificing your four tapped lands, Shield of Kaldra, and Slagwurm Armor to the Ironworks for twelve mana.
3) Use the twelve mana in your pool to shoot a Rat with the Launcher six times. It dies, and is replaced with a new Rat token, leaving five Rats in play.
4) Equip your Copper Myr with Cranial Plating.
5) Cast Hunter Sliver and cast and use Artificial Evolution on it, changing Sliver to Myr.
6) Equip your Sliver with the Lightning Greaves.
7) Declare your attack with your five Myr and your Sliver. Provoke each Rat with a different Myr.
8) Assign first strike damage from your 13/1 Myr. Assign six damage to the Rat, and seven damage to Rick.
9) First strike damage resolves, leaving four Rats in play.
10) Sacrifice Lightning Greaves to the Ironworks for two mana.
11) Tap your two Vault of Whispers for BB, and attach the Cranial Plating to your Sliver.
12) Assign twelve damage from the Sliver to Rick.
13) With damage still on the stack, sacrifice all of your artifacts except the Launcher to the Ironworks for twenty mana.
14) Use the twenty mana to shoot at one Rat four times, one three times, and one two times, and the final Rat once.
15) Damage resolves. All the Rats die, and Rick is at one life.
16) Use the remaining two mana in your pool to deal one more damage with the Launcher to Rick.
1) Tap your lands for mana, and tap your Birds for B (for 34 mana of various colors).
2) Cast Clock of Omens, Fist of Suns, and Aether Spellbomb with colorless mana (leaving 26).
3) Pay the WUGRB cost for Pentad Prism, putting it into play with five counters.
4) Remove two counters from the Prism for BBBBU. This will leave you with four mana of each color, two extra Blue, and four colorless (counting the extra Red as colorless).
5) Turn your Cloudpost into an artifact with Myr Landshaper.
6) Turn your Neurok Transmuter into an artifact using its ability.
7) Tap your Transmuter and Spellbomb to untap your Cloudpost.
8) Tap your Cloudpost for mana (leaving four mana of each color, an extra Blue, and thirteen colorless).
9) Sacrifice the Spellbomb to return the Landshaper to your hand.
10) Replay the Landshaper.
11) Tap the Landshaper and the Prism to untap a Door to Nothingness.
12) Use your Clock and Fist to untap the other Door.
13) Kill each opponent using your Doors.
I apologize, since this puzzle had two flaws in it! It was originally posted without a Chalice set at six, leaving the almost trivial solution (posted first by Rast):
1) Play Oxidda Golem for free.
2) Tap three Mountains.
3) Go to combat phase (mana burn for three).
4) Swing for three with Oxidda Golem.
5) Play Grab the Reins, second mode. Sac Golem to do three to opponent.
The updated version also had a Chalice set at six, but it lacked one additional mana. Here’s the solution, assuming you had nine mountains.
1) Tap your nine Mountains for nine Red mana.
2) Play Grab the Reins with Entwine targeting Cathodion to steal and sac, and yourself to take the damage.
3) You end up at five life, with three colorless and one Red mana in your mana pool. Now your opponent cannot return the Pulse to his hand if he casts it.
4) Play your Engineered Explosives with one colorless mana. It is not countered by either Chalice (its converted mana cost is one), and it gets no Sunburst counters.
5) Sacrifice the Explosives to destroy all the Chalices.
6) Play your Golem (for free) and your Goblin Striker.
7) Attack with your creatures for four damage.
Once again, thanks for playing, and I hope you enjoyed the puzzles! If there are any particular cards you think might be interesting in a puzzle, feel free to post ideas in the forums.
Until next time,