Magic Puzzles in Play Vol. 5

It has been a while, but today Jeff Till is back to give you problem solving types another run for your money in the latest installment of this outstanding series that combines fun and crazy mind-bending Magic brain teasers.

When watching a movie one day, you saw a young chess master take on several opponents at the same time, and he beat them all. You thought to yourself, "If this can work for chess, it can work for Magic!" So you got your decks together and headed to the local card shop. Half an hour later your were neck deep in three different games of magic with three different opponents. And your dreams were about to come true: this very turn you were going to be able to win each of those games.

And then it happened. An emergency phone call from home said that you had to leave immediately. So you scooped up your cards and headed out the door. And then your phone rang again. It was a false alarm; you could finish your tournament after all. The problem is, all the cards you had got all jumbled together in the mess. Your libraries were in one large heap and the rest of your cards in another. You stare at your collection of cards and try to piece together which cards were in games against which opponent. Which cards were in your hand, and which were in play? All you know is that in each game you were in the first main phase. Your goal is to recreate each game where it left off (as closely as possible), and then win each game. You may choose which zone each card is in (choices are in your hand or in play).


1 Plains

1 Forest

6 Island

3 Swamp

2 Mountain

Ayumi, the Last Visitor

Barrel-Down Sokenzan

Celestial Kirin

Cut the Earthly Bond

Death Denied

Feral Lightning

Genju of the Realm

Ghost-lit Nourisher

Horobi’s Whisper

Inner-Chamber Guard

Kagemaro, First to Suffer

Kashi-Tribe Elite

Kitsune Bonesetter

Kitsune Dawnblade

Pure Intentions

Sakura-Tribe Scout

Sasaya, Orochi Attendant (not flipped)

Shifting Borders

Tomorrow, Azami’s Familiar

Volcanic Hammer

Game 1:

Tony has been using a slew of land control like Plow Under and Root Runner to keep your lands in play to a minimum. Meanwhile, he has stayed alive behind his Ensnaring Bridge, just waiting to draw a kill spell. Finish him off before he has a chance to draw it.

Tony (11 life):

4 Forests

4 Swamp

Heartbeat of Spring

Forge[/author]“]Darksteel [author name="Forge"]Forge[/author]

Tony has no cards in hand, and no relevant cards in his graveyard.

Game 2:

Rob is attempting to lock down your entire game plan with cards like Pithing Needle and Worship. His amassing army of creatures is starting to look threatening against your collection of troops. Take Rob out of commission before he runs you over.

Rob (1 life):

3 Plains

9 Forest


Hand of Honor (enchanted with Blanchwood Armor)


6 1/1 colorless Spirit tokens

Pithing Needle (naming Kagemaro, First to Suffer)

Stampeding Serow

Rob has no cards in hand, and no relevant cards in his graveyard.

Game 3:

Let’s face it: Frank doesn’t know what he’s doing. With all the creatures he has in play, Frank probably could have killed you turns ago. But he hasn’t. It’s time to teach Frank a lesson. Show him how’s it done by killing him this turn.

Frank (13 life):

9 Swamp

1 Mountain

Darksteel Colossus

Deathmask Nezumi

Crawling Filth

He Who Hungers

Yukora, the Prisoner

Gnat Miser

Raving Oni-Slave

Rustmouth Ogre

Frank has no cards in hand, and no relevant cards in his graveyard.

Note: there may be multiple solutions for this puzzle. If there are, the "best" solution is the one that uses the fewest cards. I’ll post my answers Monday in the forums. Thanks again to Justin Sarnak for helping to test the puzzles.

~jeff till

[Dear Jeff Till,

If you are reading this, please e-mail your editor.

The Management]