Mind Twists #1

Welcome to the first edition of Mind Twists. Each week Dayv Doberne will be bringing you two Magic puzzles; submit a correct solution and you will be entered into a raffle for a small prize!

Hello everybody! Welcome to the first edition of Mind Twists on StarCityGames.com.

First, let me start with a brief introduction. My name is Dayv Doberne, and I love Magic puzzles! My favorite aspect of Magic is being put in a very complicated position with many possible lines of play and trying to come up with the best option. Whenever a new Duels of the Planeswalkers comes out, I head straight for the puzzle section and spend an afternoon trying to conquer each one. It has become a habit of mine to come up with Magic puzzles for my friends, and now (that it is summer vacation) I have the opportunity to share it with all of you.

Each week I will be bringing you two Magic: The Gathering puzzles; submit a correct solution and you will be entered into a raffle for a small prize! Here’s how it will work:

  • Two puzzles will go up each week at 12 AM EST on Wednesday morning.
  • From Wednesday to Sunday at 11:59 PM EST you can submit a solution to [email protected]. Please have the name of the puzzle in the subject title!
  • Correct solutions will be entered into a raffle based on when they are submitted. Solutions submitted on Wednesday (EST) will get five entries, Thursday will get four, Friday will get 3, and so forth, so get on those puzzles early!
  • Winners of the raffle will be announced at the beginning of the next week’s article and will receive a relevant card signed by myself.

On to the puzzles!

Puzzle 1: Caged

It’s the finals of your local FNM, and you’re paired up against Kiora Atua. In game 3 you flood out a little, and Kiora gets off to a fast start attacking you down to a low life total. When you finally stabilize, she drops a Stern Mentor and starts getting rid of the rest of your library! A timely Dark Impostor puts an end to that. However, you only have one card left in your library when Kiora taps out for a Vorstclaw, soulbonds it with her Geist Trappers, and passes the turn. You know your last card is a Swamp because you have seen every other card in your library. How can you win this game?

In Play — 3 untapped Swamp, 3 untapped Island, 2 tapped Island, Dark Impostor with one +1/+1 counter, Fettergeist, and Soulcage Fiend enchanted with Predator’s Gambit.

In Hand — Barter in Blood, Homicidal Seclusion, Human Frailty, and Peel from Reality.

In Graveyard — Nothing relevant.

  • You are at three life; your opponent is at ten.
  • Your draw step will yield a basic Swamp.

Winner will receive a signed Barter in Blood! Submit answers here.

Puzzle 2: That’s a Pretty Big Fireball

You are sitting down in the finals of the Magic: The Gathering Commander World Championships. Your opponent is none other than Jace, the Mind Sculptor. On your sixth turn (off of a mulligan to five), you topdeck the Yavimaya Coast you need to finally cast Riku of Two Reflections, and then you pass. Jace untaps his ten lands and smirks as he draws his card. “I have you now!” he exclaims. He uses Strip Mine on your Vivid Grove, then taps six and casts Barren Glory. Then, after suspending a Greater Gargadon, he casts Seething Song into Shivan Wurm returning Progenitus (his general) to his hand. Finally, he sacrifices each of his permanents (other than Barren Glory) to Greater Gargadon and casts Force of Will on it, pitching his own Progenitus and dropping to a perilous 140 life. 

“On my upkeep I will win from Barren Glory, and there’s nothing you can do about it!” Jace pronounces triumphantly as he unleashes his hideous laughter.

“Ha!” you think to yourself. “All I need is a Harrow off the top of my deck and he’s dead!” Sure enough, you peel the Harrow you need for victory. How do you win?

  • It is currently your precombat main phase.
  • Your opponent has just Barren Glory in play with no cards in hand and no relevant cards in his graveyard. He is at 140 life.
  • You have:

  • You are at 39 life; assume that you have plenty of basic lands in your library for Harrow.

Winner will receive a signed copy of Early Harvest! Submit answers here.

There are your two puzzles for this week. Good luck on them! If you have any questions, just email me at [email protected] and I will try to answer them. Submit your solution early to maximize your chance of winning the raffle!

If you have any ideas for future puzzles, I’d love to hear from you! Just send me an email at [email protected] and I’ll check them out.

Dayv Doberne