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Alright I'm going to try a more clear approach to my last attempted puzzle. Given the mana costs given below, name cards with those exact mana costs to use in a solution that wins this turn (the card chosen must match the exact mana cost printed on the card so e.g. RR can be a Wild Guess but not a Rolling Thunder or a kicked Shattering Spree). Once you decide what card is associated with a particular cost, it must stay the same card in all zones; all usual rules apply to the card once chosen so if you decide that 3B is a Heartstabber Mosquito, you can pay kicker as though it were that card. You can play any card face down as a basic land that makes any color mana (still only one land per turn)

Some addition rules:

  • The same spell may not be named for multiple cards (e.g. even if you're only casting one copy of Dark Confidant, no other 1B card may be named as Dark Confidant)
  • The same spell may not be cast more than once
  • The Legacy banned list and rules should be observed (sorry Demonic Tutor)

Puzzle Setup

It's turn 1 and you're on the play. Let's assume that (magically) your opponent has no cards in hand. Win this turn with the rules given above and the mana costs given below. Both boards and graveyards are empty. Your solution must be a guaranteed win, not involving your opponent self-destructing (e.g. they choose 20 on a Choice of Damanations) or random chance (you Hymn to Tourach yourself and hit the right 2 cards). If multiple solutions are achieved, the one that does the most damage wins.

Your hand:
1B x 2
B x 3

Your library: (top to bottom)

Your opponent's library:
8GGG x 60

  • $\begingroup$ You forgot the rule that you can play a card as a land. Also, I appreciate the clarity of the above rules, but it's a real shame about the complexity you're missing out on by locking down each card's identity. $\endgroup$ Nov 26, 2015 at 18:20
  • $\begingroup$ "The same spell may not be cast more than once" This rule seems redundant given the "Can't call both 1Bs Dark Confidant" rule. Mostly it just rules out Flashback, or casting a card, finding a way to return it to hand, then casting it again. $\endgroup$ Nov 26, 2015 at 20:03
  • $\begingroup$ (magically) your opponent has no cards in hand? We can say that they've used the ultimate ability of Karn, planeswalker, and reset the game to have One with Nothing in play and no cards in hand, at which point you have to win the game before their upkeep. $\endgroup$
    – Kingrames
    Dec 8, 2015 at 15:09
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, was trying to think of the non-silver bordered The Cheese Stands Alone. It's not One With Nothing, but I can't remember the name of it. $\endgroup$
    – Kingrames
    Dec 8, 2015 at 15:31

3 Answers 3

  1. Play BBB as a land.
  2. Play B as Dark Ritual (BBB)
  3. Play 1 as Myr Moonvessel, then B as Culling the Weak, sacking the Myr (1BBBBB)
  4. Play B as Death's Shadow, which dies immediately (1BBBB)
  5. Play 1B as Plunge into Darkness, pay 19 life, get the B (BBB)
  6. Play 1B as Shallow Grave, which puts Death's Shadow into play as a 12/12 with haste (B)
  7. Play B as Tainted Strike, attack for 13 infect.
  • $\begingroup$ Nice and clean, good job and welcome to puzzling $\endgroup$
    – DrunkWolf
    Nov 26, 2015 at 19:19
  • $\begingroup$ Who needs a library, amirite? $\endgroup$ Nov 26, 2015 at 19:45

I'm gonna post my solution for 31 damage, to see if anyone can (dis/im)prove it.

  1. Play 1B as land. Mana: B Life: 20

  2. Play B as Dark Ritual. Mana: BBB Life: 20

  3. Play 1B as Carnival of Souls. Mana: B Life: 20

  4. Play 1 as Myr Moonvessel, trigger Carnival. Mana: B Life: 19

  5. Play B as Culling the Weak, trigger Moonvessel. Mana: 1BBBB Life: 19

  6. Play B as Blood Celebrant, trigger Carnival. Mana: 1BBBB Life: 18

  7. Play BBB as Infernal Contract, draw B,1G,1WW,R. Mana: 1B Life: 9

  8. Play B as Death's Shadow, trigger Carnival. Mana: 1B Life: 8

  9. Activate Celebrant. Mana: 1G Life: 7

  10. Play 1G as Nest Invader, get spawn, trigger Carnival. Mana: BB Life: 5

  11. Sac spawn. Mana: 1BB Life: 5

  12. Activate Celebrant twice. Mana: 1WW Life: 3

  13. Play 1WW as Silverblade Paladin, soulbond with Death's Shadow, trigger Carnival. Mana: B Life: 2

  14. Activate Celebrant. Mana: R Life: 1

  15. Play R as Burst of Speed. Mana: 0 Life: 1

  16. Attack for 1(Celebrant)+2(Invader)+2*2(Paladin)+12*2(Shadow)=31 damage.


I can beat Orp, and arguably beat NeedAName depending on how Infect scores.

  1. Play 1B as land. Mana: B (20 Life)

  2. Play B as Dark Ritual. Mana: BBB

  3. Play 1 as Myr Moonvessel. Mana: BB

  4. Play B as Culling the Weak, targeting Myr Moonvessel. Mana: 1BBBBB

  5. Play BBB as Infernal Contract, drawing B, 1G, 1WW, and R. Mana: 1BB (10 Life)

  6. Cycle Edge of Autumn (1G), sacrificing your land, drawing U. Mana: 1BB

  7. Play Gitaxian Probe``` (U) for 2 life, drawing BB. Mana: 1BB (8 Life)

  8. Play 1B as Cabal Ritual. Mana: BBBBBB (Graveyard was 1B, B, 1, B, BBB, 1G, U)

  9. Play B as Blood Celebrant. Mana: BBBBB

  10. Play B as Death's Shadow. Mana: BBBB

  11. Activate Blood Celebrant for R, G, B, B, B, B, B. Mana: BBRG (1 Life)

  12. Play R as Crimson Wisps on Death's Shadow, giving it haste and drawing G. Mana: BBG

  13. Play BB as Glistening Oil, enchanting Death's Shadow and giving it Infect. Mana: G

  14. Go to combat and swing, then play G as Berserk on Death’s Shadow, giving +12/+0 and trample

Hit for 24 infect (0 cards in deck, 1WW in hand)

```Presuming we're playing by Mental Magic's rule set, this is legal per MM.3i.


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