Mind Twists #10

Dayv Doberne gives you your weekly Magic: The Gathering puzzle fix with two new puzzles and the solutions to last week’s puzzles.

Hello and welcome to the tenth edition of Mind Twists, StarCityGames.com weekly puzzle column! As always, I have two new puzzles for you to tackle—complete with raffles for signed cards—as well as the solutions to last week’s puzzles. Speaking of which, congratulations to Sean Ramirez (“Through the Fog”) and Ryan Shaffer (“Oh the Bitter Shame and Sorrow”), our winners for this week. Check your inboxes!

Puzzle #1: Raising the Dead? I’ll Help!

You’re playing a casual game of Commander with one of your friends. It’s your Rafiq of the Many Blinks deck versus your opponent’s Oros the Avenger of Graveyards deck, and you spend many of the first several turns trading resources. Things start to heat up when your opponent casts Sulfuric Vortex, shutting down your Venser, the Sojourner + Pelakka Wurm life gaining engine. The Vortex proves to be too much for Venser, and he planeswalks away from your duel (or whatever happens when a planeswalker’s loyalty reaches zero). To make matters worse, your opponent casts Grimoire of the Dead, threatening to Reanimate everything and run you over.

Your opponent activates Grimoire of the Dead for the third time, discarding the land he drew for that turn to put the third and final study counter on the artifact. Sighing, you reach for your library and draw the last card before everything rises from the grave. You draw Intuition, and you start to tap your mana to cast the spell. Reconsidering, you untap your lands and pass the turn.

“Well, I guess you’re going to get everything back from the dead now,” you say in a defeated tone.

“What do you have there, a Fog?” your opponent asks as he untaps his permanents and draws his card for the turn. Instinctively, he plays the Swamp off the top of his deck then says, “Ok, I’m going to activate Grimoire of the Dead’s second ability. Urabrask the Hidden gives everything haste, and I definitely have enough to kill you. Responses?”

“In response to the Grimoire ability, I’ll cast Intuition.”

  • It is your opponent’s precombat main phase. Grimoire of the Dead’s second ability has been put on the stack, and your Intuition has been put on top of it.
  • With Intuition on the stack, both players’ hands are currently empty.
  • Your opponent is at 7 life, and you are at 4 life.

You have:

Your opponent has:

Formulate an Intuition that will lead you to victory!

Puzzle 1

Winner of the raffle will receive a signed Grimoire of the Dead!

Puzzle #2: Counting to Ten

It’s a casual Saturday night at your local game store and you’re in the middle of a Planechase match with a group of friends. You hear this announcement from the front of the store:

“Legacy Win an Underground Sea will begin in ten minutes, but we need at least eight people to begin and we only have four people so far…”

You look at your three friends. They look back at you. Simultaneously, each of you gets up from your seat and sprints to your backpack to try to throw a deck together. Tables flip. Chairs are knocked over. Cards go flying. You and your friends don’t actually play Legacy, but it’s an eight-man tournament for an Underground Sea! Recalling a decklist you saw online once, you hastily assemble a deck with Ad Nauseam and Tendrils of Agony. Looking around, you see one friend has assembled Elf Overrun and another has assembled a U/B Mill deck. Filling the remaining slots of your deck with basic Swamps, you head over to the counter to register for the tournament.

A few hours later, you find yourself in game 3 of the final match for the Underground Sea. You are on the draw this game, winning the last game by attacking with four 1/1 Goblins while your opponent did nothing for five turns. Your opponent plays a land and passes. You draw for your turn, play a Swamp, cycle a Barren Moor, and pass back. On your opponent’s second turn, he plays a bunch of spells then lands Battle of Wits with exactly 200 cards left in his library! Both players are still at 20, but your opponent will absolutely win the game on his next upkeep. Cautiously, you untap, draw a card, then crack a smile as you realize that you are about to win an Underground Sea.

You have:

(You pulled most of the cards out of a Commander deck, explaining why you have so many one-ofs.)

Puzzle 2

Winner will receive a signed Ad Nauseam!

Solutions to Last Week’s Puzzles

Puzzles: http://www.starcitygames.com/magic/misc/24647-Mind-Twists-9.html

Puzzle #1: Through the Fog


Puzzle #2: Oh the Bitter Shame and Sorrow


If you have any questions, comments, or puzzle suggestions, just email me at [email protected], as always. I hope you enjoyed this week’s puzzles, and I’ll see you again next week!

Dayv Doberne

@Sunyveil on Twitter