Mind Twists #8

Check out the two new Magic puzzles that Dayv Doberne has to throw at you in this week’s installment of Mind Twists and see the solutions to last week’s puzzles.

Hello everybody! It’s Wednesday, and that means I have two new puzzles to throw at you. As a reminder, submitting a correct solution to a puzzle will enter you into a raffle for a signed card, free of charge. This week’s winners are Anthony Olszewski (“Exalted Not Optional”) and Mark Tocco (“Cephalid Nightmare”). Check your inboxes!

Here are this week’s puzzles:

Puzzle #1: Wheeeeee!

“Ok, you have 56 power on the board; may I take my turn?”

“I’ll attack for four, and then it’s your turn.”

Well, you think to yourself, Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite followed by Army of the Damned seems like a pretty good sequence of plays.

With only five Islands in play for your Five-Color Child of Alara Commander deck, you figure you will just draw your card for the turn and then ask your opponent for a rematch. However, the card you draw causes you to reconsider.

“Dream Halls?”

“Uh… Resolves.”

“Ok. I’ll discard Tendrils of AgonyDoomsday?”

You have:

Your opponent has:

You are at eighteen life, and your opponent is at 40. Win this turn!

magic puzzle

Winner of the raffle will receive a signed Conflux!

Puzzle #2: Guild Wars

This next puzzle has a long backstory. If you want to skip it, the puzzle is at the end.

You run into Niv-Mizzet in a dark alley one night. You don’t notice him until he is practically breathing fire down your neck, and by that time it is obvious you aren’t going to be able to escape if you tried. This is your first encounter with a dragon, and you can’t help but worry that it might be your last.

Niv reaches out telepathically and senses your fear. “Relax,” the signal comes in. “If you are worried that I might exhibit the stereotypical, primitive behaviors associated with dragons indigenous to planes such as Jund, I am not that kind of dragon.”

“So why did you have to sneak up behind me and scare me like that?” you reply.

“I recently returned from a sightseeing expedition through the Multiverse, and now that I am back home, reflecting on that voyage has allowed me to brainstorm ideas for a new ancillary product, tentatively dubbed ‘Duel Decks: Izzet vs. Golgari.’ Once it demonstrates a satisfactory level of polish, I will planeswalk to Wizards of the Coast and present the idea to them for a significant sum of money, and those irritating Orzhov parasites will not be there to demand their cut of the transaction! Right now I am searching for playtesters, and by all appearances, you would be adequate.”

“Okay… Does that mean I get to play the Izzet deck?”

“Only in your dreams. All blue-red mages have an impulsive side, after all, and while I may not devour you here on the spot, I have a multitude of contraptions that are quite capable of disposing of you in spectacular fashion.”

After you quietly surrender that point, the two of you head up to Nivix, where the table and decks are all set up. Niv-Mizzet leads off with an early Field of Dreams.

“Hold on, isn’t that on the Reserved List? They’ll never put one of those in the deck.”

“You are presupposing that I lack sufficient persuasion to demonstrate to them what a monumentally idiotic policy that is. Now play on.”

The game continues, and your Blood Artist is showing some decent synergy with the rest of your deck. You figured the creator of these decks would be biased and give you a weak one, but so far you seem to be holding up pretty well.

At least, until your opponent draws Pemmin’s Aura and slaps it on his own namesake card. He starts digging through card after card in an attempt to burn you out, silently mutters something like, “Hm…still not enough,” and finally with two mana left, he draws one more time and flips up Curiosity as the next card. That looks like game, and you get up from the table and start to walk away.

Quickly, Niv taps the remaining lands, untaps and retaps his self-portrait, draws Curiosity, and throws it down onto the table so he can attend to you.

“What are you doing? The combo cannot proceed until I have another mechanism for drawing a card.”

“Well, it’s going to happen in one more turn anyway, and since you cut off my black mana with those Stone Rains, it’s not like I can stop you. Maybe I can disrupt the combo, but then you’ll still just burn me out.”

The dragon drags you back to the table with a single claw. “You can always…” He doesn’t complete the thought, at least not in a way that you can hear. Maybe he’s talking to himself.

After a couple seconds, the silence gives way to what seems like a different kind of silence, as though the mental connection that allows you to hear Niv has been broken. You see his head scanning over the table, and soon the connection comes back.

 “Giving in to impulse can have dire consequences. Now I need to rebalance these decks. Truthfully, from the current position, my defeat is a foregone conclusion.”

You look wide-eyed at your opponent, and all you can get out is a weak, “Huh?”

“Are you actually incapable of seeing the play sequence? If so, then I have lost all confidence in the Ravnican populace. I will have to head out and let my curiosity get the better of me, resulting in the spontaneous ignition of this entire unworthy city-plane. Then I will gather my immediate followers and evacuate elsewhere. That Ulgrotha plane seems like a superior location to establish my settlement anyway.”

With that, all that’s left for him to do is discard down to seven cards and transmit one final word, giving you an intimidating stare all the while. “Go.

The dragon’s presence in your mind goes away again, leaving you to concentrate on the cards on the table like your life depends on it.

Niv-Mizzet has:

You have:

You’ve just untapped for your turn. Find a way to guarantee a win this turn so you can save Ravnica!

mtg puzzle

Winner of the raffle will receive a signed Liege of the Pit!

This puzzle was generously contributed by reader Russel Jones. Thanks for the great puzzle!

Solutions to Last Week’s Puzzles

Puzzles: http://www.starcitygames.com/magic/misc/24561-Mind-Twists-7.html

Exalted Not Optional


Cephalid Nightmare

That’s all for this week; have a great time playing at SCG Open Series: Washington D.C. this weekend or in the M13 Release Events on Magic Online! As always, send any questions, comments, or concerns to [email protected]. I’ll see you next week!

Dayv Doberne

@Sunyveil on Twitter