Magic Puzzles – Planar Chaos

This week in Magic Puzzles, we examine the Timeshifted cards of Planar Chaos. Are they better than the originals, or just bad imitations? Find out below…

This week in Magic Puzzles, we examine the Timeshifted cards of Planar Chaos. Are they better than the originals, or just bad imitations? Find out below. But first…

Solution to last week’s puzzle.

Since several of the puzzles last week were so open-ended, I will not list every possible solution here, only the highlights. All the answers submitted by other readers can be found in the forums for the last article. Since people seemed to enjoy these open-ended types of questions, I’ll try to do similar puzzles in the future.

Part 1:
It turns out there are so many first-turn wins in Standard that it seems almost impossible not to win before your opponent gets a turn… provided you can always draw multiple Rite of Flame and Chromatic Spheres. Solutions ranged from the obvious (Mountain, Rite of Flame x4, Dragonstorm for 4 Bogardan Hellkite) to the slightly more obscure (Mountain, 3 Rite of Flames, Chromatic Star, Wee Dragonauts, Rite of Flame, Psychotic Fury, Chromatic Star, Festival of the Guildpact, Chromatic Star, Cremate, Surge of Zeal).

“Opponent strangles you for playing a 13 card combo on the first turn, thus getting himself disqualified. Alternatively, attack for 22 with the Dragonauts.”

Part 2:
The best valid solution given uses 11 cards (Gemstone Mine, 4x Rite of Flame, Chromatic Star x4, Darkwater Egg, Tendrils of Despair).
However, a 10-card solution also exists (Chrome Mox imprinting Rite of Flame, 3x Rite of Flame, Burning Wish for Rite of Flame, Rite of Flame, Chromatic Star x4, Tendrils of Despair).
There is another way to win with only 10 cards, if anyone is interested in taking up the challenge.

Part 3:
a) I was looking for Badlands, Black Lotus, Channel, Disintegrate. I’m also awarding credit to bleonhar for coming up with the best alphabetical solution, even though it’s not what I had in mind (Black Lotus, Argivian Find x4, Aboroth, Accelerate, Astral Steel).
b) Mountain, Mana Clash
c) While solutions with artifacts were not counted, RidiculousHat still powered out the most mono-color kills. Answers typically involve winning several rituals and then some finisher, such as Dragonstorm, Hatred, or Tendrils of Despair.
d) The best solution was from moxlotus:

Lotus Petal, Elvish Spirit guide, Chrome Mox imprinting a colored spell, Channel, Undiscovered Paradise, Fireball.

Simian Spirit Guide, Sol Ring, Mana Vault, Grim Monolith, Mox Pearl, Karakas, Goblin Charbelcher.

Black Lotus, Dark Ritual, Cabal Ritual, Grim Tutor for Yawgmoth’s Will…Tendrils.

Mox Sapphire, Mox Jet, Mox ruby, Tormod’s Crypt, Tolarian Academy, Rebuild, Mind’s Desire for 10.

Cards hit:
1. Squire
3. Pale Moon
4. Chromium
5. Benthic Behemoth
6. Denizen of the Deep
7. Infernal Spawn of Evil
8. Leviathan
9. Mons’s Goblin Raiders
10. Grapeshot for 20 damage

Forest, Fastbond, Glacial Chasm, Gemstone mine, Ancestral Recall (now have 5 cards in hand), Tolaria, Mountain, Plains, Barbarian Ring, Wheel of Fortune. 7 cards in hand. Island, City of Traitors, Crucible of Worlds, Zuran Orb. Sacrifice Forest, Tolaria, Mountain, Plains, Island, and City. Threshold achieved. Shoot with Barbarian Ring. Replay mountain, tap for mana, sack. Replay ring. Repeat a few times.

Urborg, Mana Crypt, Carnival of Souls, Kobold of the Kher Keep, Crimson Kobold, Crookshank Kobolds, Infernal Contract, Phyrexian Walker, Ornithopter, Gaea’s Cradle, Biorhythm.

Current Scores :
Middleman — 23
moxlotus — 12
RidiculousHat – 10
Mystic Mage — 9
ravenight – 9
Estherandherdoll – 6
Pathian – 6
amajlaton – 5
bleonhar – 5
DI419 — 3
navaja22 — 3

This Week’s Puzzle (20 points total)
Difficulty: 2/5

In each of the four scenarios below, you have two of each basic land in play, and 45 cards in your hand. The 45 cards are either the complete set of Planar Chaos Timeshifted cards, the 45 non-Timeshifted version of those cards, or some combination of the two. If it is a combination, both the original and Timeshifted version of a card cannot both be used in the same puzzle. Your job is to determine which set of cards will allow you to win the game this turn. Can you win with cards from just one set of 45 cards, or must the versions be mixed? Remember, assume that any cards not mentioned are not relevant, including the cards still in your library or in your graveyard (which is empty). You are in your first main phase (except scenario 3).

Scenario 1 [5 points]:

You and your opponent, Manny, are both at 1 life.

Manny has in play:
4 Forest (tapped)
3 Mountain (tapped)
4 Plains (tapped)
9 Darksteel Colossus! (Maybe he hasn’t attacked because he figures that with 45 cards in your hand, you have some trick. Maybe it’s just because Manny isn’t the brightest opponent ever.)

Scenario 2 [5 points]:

You are at 1 life and Manny is at 13.

Manny has in play:
4 Island (2 tapped)
3 Forest (tapped)
4 Plains (tapped)
9 Darksteel Colossus
Sell-Sword Brute

Manny has Muddle the Mixture in hand. (You know this because he tried to counter your land drops with it… twice.)

Scenario 3 [5 points]:

You are at 3 life and Manny is at 2 life.

Manny has no cards in hand, and has not played a spell this turn. It is his declare attackers step. He has in play:
5 Forest
3 Mountain
4 Plains
Raging Goblin (attacking)
Darksteel Colossus (attacking)
Shivan Dragon (attacking)

Scenario 4 [5 points]:

You are at 24 life and Manny is at 9.

Manny has in play:
5 Forest
3 Mountain
4 Plains
6 1/1 Red Goblin tokens
Blood Knight
Darksteel Colossus enchanted with 2 Pentarch Ward (naming Blue and White)
2 Shivan Wumpus
Shivan Dragon
Spectral Force
Story Circle (naming Red)

Enjoy the puzzles, and good luck!

For reference, he is the list of the Planar Chaos Timeshifted cards and their original counterparts.

Calciderm = Blastoderm
Malach of the Dawn = Ghost Ship
Mana Tithe = Force Spike
Mesa Enchantress = Verduran Enchantress
Mycologist = Elvish Farmer
Porphyry Nodes = Drop of Honey
Revered Dead = Drudge Skeletons
Sinew Sliver = Muscle Sliver
Sunlance = Strafe

Frozen Aether = Kismet
Gossamer Phantasm = Skulking Ghost
Merfolk Thaumaturgist = Dwarven Thaumaturgist
Ovinize = Humble
Piracy Charm = Funeral Charm
Primal Plasma = Primal Clay
Serendib Sorcerer = Sorceress Queen
Serra Sphinx = Serra Angel

Bog Serpent = Sea Serpent
Damnation = Wrath of God
Dunerider Outlaw = Whirling Dervish
Kor Dirge = Kor Chant
Melancholy = Thirst
Null Profusion = Recycle
Rathi Trapper = Master Decoy
Shrouded Lore = Forgotten Lore
Vampiric Link = Spirit Link

Blood Knight = Silver Knight
Brute Force = Giant Growth
Molten Firebird = Ivory Gargoyle
Prodigal Pyromancer = Prodigal Sorcerer
Pyrohemia = Pestilence
Reckless Wurm = Arrogant Wurm
Shivan Wumpus = Argothian Wurm
Simian Spirit Guide = Elvish Spirit Guide
Skirk Shaman = Severed Legion

Essence Warden = Soul Warden
Fa’adiyah Seer = Sindbad
Gaea’s Anthem = Glorious Anthem
Groundbreaker = Ball Lightning
Harmonize = Concentrate
Healing Leaves = Healing Salve
Hedge Troll = Sedge Troll
Keen Sense = Curiosity
Seal of Primordium = Seal of Cleansing