first time posting a puzzle in a while, thought I'd bring back some MtG related puzzles. Enjoy!


The usual magic rules apply here. Please be explicit in mana usage in your solution where relevant.

If you're fuzzy on a rule/interaction, here is the comprehensive rulebook and here is the mtg judge chat where you can ask rulings questions that you can't find on the web.

All permanents in the given setup below are owned by their controllers

Your solution may not assume that an opponent will cooperate with you in some way (e.g. choose no to a may ability that would be bad for you). Your solution must be able to win regardless of any potential choices made by your opponents; it must be able to beat the optimal plays from them.


It's your main phase 1 and you have just cast the card Master Warcraft. Both you and your opponent are nigh dead, but your opponent has a seemingly unbeatable board. Find a way to win before they get to their main phase 1 and kill you with the burn on top of their deck.

Opponent's Hand

Opponent's Mana
15 tapped mountains

Opponent's Graveyard

Opponent's Library (top to bottom)
Lava Axe
Lava Axe
Urza's Rage
Lightning Bolt

Opponent's Board (all untapped and summoning sick)
Vicious Shadows
Avatar of Slaughter
Farbog Revenant
Stuffy Doll (you are the chosen player) enchanted with
Pariah (also controlled by your opponent)

Opponent's Exile
Ancestral Vision with one time counter left.

Opponent's Life Total

Your Hand
Lightning Bolt
Appeal // Authority

Your Mana (all untapped)
2 Mountain
1 Forest
1 Island

Your Graveyard
Storm Crow

Your Library
15 Relentless Rats

Your Board (all untapped, none summoning sick)
Sheoldred, Whispering One
Gang of Devils
Kederekt Parasite

Your Exile
15 Relentless Rats

Your Life Total

  • $\begingroup$ Edited because I forget an incredibly key portion of the puzzle setup. Sorry for any confusion it's absence may have caused $\endgroup$
    – NeedAName
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 4:31
  • $\begingroup$ Which creature is Pariah enchanting? $\endgroup$
    – Bass
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 7:10
  • $\begingroup$ It's on the Stuffy Doll $\endgroup$
    – NeedAName
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 13:19
  • $\begingroup$ Edited once more, I had someone else also look over the solution and we missed a small thing that made the solution one life point off from working. Fixed now. $\endgroup$
    – NeedAName
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 14:12

1 Answer 1


With Master Warcraft, we choose that our opponent will block Sheoldred with Avatar of Slaughter, Gang of Devils with Farbog Revenant, and will not block Kederekt Parasite.

We tap our Forest to cast Appeal on Sheoldred, buffing her to a 9/9 trampler.

We go to combat. Once blockers have been declared (in the fashion we specified) we use our first Mountain to cast Lightning Bolt on their Revenant. It dies, and we take 2 from Vicious Shadows, bringing us to 6. In first strike damage, Sheoldred kills their Avatar and tramples over for 1 point, that ends up going to our face, bringing us to 5. Gang of Devils is still treated as blocked, so does no damage. Kederekt gets through for 1, which goes to our face, bringing us to 4. We lose 2 more from Shadows triggering for the Avatar dying, bringing us to 2.

Since the Avatar is gone, our creatures lose doublestrike, and so deal no damage in the second combat damage step.

702.4c Removing double strike from a creature during the first combat damage step will stop it from assigning combat damage in the second combat damage step.

In their upkeep, Sheoldred triggers, as does their Ancestral Vision. Since they are the active player, their trigger goes on the stack first, so ours resolves first.

As soon as Sheoldred's trigger resolves, their only creature is Stuffy Doll, which they must sacrifice (They can choose to tap it to deal one to itself first, bringing us to 2). We then use our second mountain to Shock them for 2, bringing them to 0, before their Ancestral Vision or Vicious Shadows resolves.

  • $\begingroup$ A solid attempt. And you leveraged some of the key rulings for this puzzle. However, you have two problems with your solution. 1 You forgot about Vicious Shadows triggers for your opponent. 2 You might want to revisit the way multiple triggers are stacked on your opponent's upkeep. $\endgroup$
    – NeedAName
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 14:15
  • $\begingroup$ @NeedAName Updated to account for that, hopefully $\endgroup$
    – StephenTG
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 15:18
  • $\begingroup$ Nicely done! There are at least 2 solutions (that I could see) and this is the more optimal of the two. $\endgroup$
    – NeedAName
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 15:45

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