On today’s Good Morning Magic, Gavin Verhey covered three of the more bizarre interactions that can happen in a game of Magic.
Abusing the Cleanup Step
Most seasoned Magic players know about how the cleanup step works at the end of a turn, but did you know there can be multiple and potentially infinite cleanup steps if certain effects take place? Verhey explains how this is possible using Swans of Bryn Argoll, Seismic Assault, Dakmor Salvage, and Kozilek, Butcher of Truth.
Once assembled, you use Seismic Assault to send any extra lands at whichever target, until you’re down to eight cards, then once you proceed to the cleanup step, you discard Kozilek, which will shuffle your graveyard back into your deck and trigger another cleanup step. Now with priority in another cleanup step, you can repeat the combo, pitching lands and dealing damage. If Kozilek is put in the graveyard, you repeat. If you draw it, simply discard and trigger another cleanup step.
Odd Ways to Draw the Game
It’s not uncommon to have games end in a draw, but there are strange ways to make this happen. Verhey first references the classic Oblivion Ring on an Oblivion Ring on an Oblivion Ring on an empty battlefield, causing an infinite loop where neither player can stop it, thus ending the game in a draw. He also references his personal favorite, albeit far less common way to force a draw, involving taking control of an opponent’s Lich’s Mirror, and then getting to ten poison counters.
Since you will only shuffle in cards you own, the Mirror will stay on the battlefield, keeping you alive and infinitely looping the shuffle/draw sequence and forcing the draw.
Unique Ways to Use Activated Abilities
Activated abilities are a staple in Magic, but some of the interactions are less obvious. Verhey cites the scenario of attacking with multiple creatures and having an opponent cast a spell that would destroy two of the attacking creatures. If you have a Ninja of the Deep Hours in hand, you can pay the 1U cost twice to bounce both your creatures back to hand despite only having one Ninja to replace them.
Verhey also provides the example of the old Standard combo Martyr of Sands and Proclamation of Rebirth. This combo by itself can gain a ton of life, but you can still run out of cards and lose. To prevent this scenario, an ability like Chronosavant can be activated multiple times.
While it would only enter the battlefield upon the resolution of the last activation, if you invested twenty mana, you would still skip ten turns and potentially deck your opponent out before yourself.