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There are some rather cool and quite complex MtG puzzles on the web.  Link them from here.

MTG Arcana has an [index] to the offical Magic: the Puzzling ones.

["What is the best deck possible with only 1 Creature and 1 Land?"]

Random thought-experiment thread from the Wizards Magic Online BBS, but interesting to any Magic players...

How about huge number of Arcbound Workers? They're modular and cost only 1 mana to cast.--King DJ
Hmm. For my money it's Forest and Muscle Sliver. After 2x turns, you have 2^x number of (2+2^x/2+2^x) green creatures. But there are far, far more evil combos than that, as someone's sure to tell you. Or read the posts. --Requiem
I think my deck of MTG: Triskelion plus MTG: Mishra's Workshop beats the Muscle Slivers, and perhaps the Arcbound Workers... and stands a good chance of beating MTG: Meddling Mage (which is terrifying in the format). --AlexChurchill
Mishra's Factory and Arcbound Worker for beating the Mages? --Requiem
Yes, Mishra's+Factory is popular. The other dominant decks in the format (...!?) include MTG: Platinum Angel (comes out on turn 3 with MTG: Mishra's Workshop ), MTG: Bane of the Living, or the incredibly degenerate MTG: Strip Mine. But I encourage people to have fun tossing around ideas and seeing how they pan out; it's only when getting competitive that you have to start worrying about whether it can beat these. (There's another wonderful and very evil deck using MTG: Bazaar of Baghdad with MTG: Nether Shadow...) --AlexChurchill

[Find Mark's 20 Mistakes]

This is quite fun... on first readthru AlexChurchill only found 12.  Some are quite subtly hidden; I currently think I've found 22.  But one or two of them could be a mistake on the part of the MTGcom webmaster rather than MaRo, one of them might be true if we're missing a certian key piece of information, and one of them is the old "there aren't actually 20 mistakes" mistake. I was just so sure that MaRo would use that one that I was only expecting to find 19, but if one of my webmaster errors isn't one MaRo was counting then I've got 20 normal ones.  How did others do?
PeterTaylor reckoned he found about 12 on first readthrough, and hasn't done a second. Want to create a subpage to discuss them? (/TwentyMistakesSolution or somesuch?)

["Taking the Game by Storm"] on magicthegathering.com.

From the Scourge "fat pack". One of magicthegathering.com's easier puzzles, AlexChurchill thinks, but still entertainingly intricate.  (I think I was able to kill one more creature than necessary?)  But you've gotta love the combination of [Faces of the Past] with MTG: Imagecrafter.

I've found some other great ones in the past.  I'll try to remember to link them from here at some point.

ChrisHowlett can *almost* do it, but is killed by the pillar when he casts Brain Freeze. Also, does a Quanar'ed storm spell re-storm?
It doesn't.  The copy is "put on the stack", not "played", so Storm doesn't trigger.  And yes, avoiding dying to the combination of Vengeful Deads and the Pillar is tricky, but doable. --AC

Damn, I thought I had it there, but I can't play enough spells. I was assuming a win by decking, but I'm not convinced now. I'd need to play 4 spells before Brain Freeze, but I only have 3 and one of them does me damage. --CH
Well. Remember that even if the copied Freeze or Scattershot doesn't Storm again, it does add one extra copy... although you may have difficulty finding the mana to play every spell in your hand.  --AC
Another ruling to note: When a creature dies, Faces of the Past lets you either tap everything that shared a creature type with it, or untap everything such.  You can't tap some and untap others.  --AC

Question: what does playing a morph count towards? Do you take pain from the pillar? Do you add one to the storm?
From reading FAQ, you definitely add one to the storm. Can someone tell me about the pillar?
Playing a card using Morph counts as playing a spell with mana cost 0.  You have to pay 3 mana to do so, but the face-down spell on the stack has converted mana cost 0.  So it does trigger the Pillar, and it does count as a spell for Storm purposes.  --AC

Never mind. I finally found the /SolutionToStormPuzzle.
So you think... ;) See my comments there --AlexChurchill

["Plight of the Living Dead"] on magicthegathering.com

Zombie recursion puzzle.  AlexChurchill thought he'd solved this one, but got his solution wrong slightly. The answers are in the [Arcana archive].

["Mist Opportunities"] on magicthegathering.com

From the Legions "fat pack".  Nicely complicated tricks of morphing, creature types, and other fun things.  AlexChurchill thought he'd managed to exceed the required damage by 2, but in fact was mistaken. The answer's in the [Arcana archive].

[The Painland Problem] on magicthegathering.com

Actually came up in Magic Online.  There are about 10 solutions, of which AlexChurchill came up with 3.  Requires a near-encyclopaedic knowledge of Seventh Edition, Invasion block, Odyssey block, and Onslaught.  Alternatively, can still be quite fun to do with a searchable card database.

[I Once Cast A Fireball THIS Big] from Magic: the Puzzling book and magicthegathering.com

How much mana can you squeeze out of these cards? More than you expect, probably. 

[Network Connection] from magicthegathering.com

[Double Duty] from Magic: the Puzzling book and magicthegathering.com

Rather simpler than some of the others here.  A good warmup.

[About Face] from magicthegathering.com

Another one testing your encyclopaedic knowledge rather than your tactical skill of combining card effects - but this time only of the Onslaught set.
Didn't take long to work out, but it's a nice trick.

[Fourteen down, Six to go]

[Build me Up, Buttercup]

Another how-many-cards-do-you-know puzzle.

[Magic Name Chain]

(For puzzle, see bottom of article).
PeterTaylor's got 55, but didn't put much effort into it. Better heuristics or a proper graph-theoretic approach should do better.

[Bombo or Combo?]

MaGo couldn't figure out what the last combo was inteded to do. Suggestions here.

ChrisHowlett reckons you have the mindslaver, coupon and the transfixer on the table, use the transfixer to tap the coupon (so it can't be used), donate the coupon and pop the 'slaver. Then on your opponent's turn, force them to buy themselves the most expensively alcoholic drink at the bar.
PeterTaylor reckons ChrisHowlett is a genius. I couldn't work out what on Earth it was for, but that works and is quite plausible.
That does indeed make sense. AC thought it was a nombo/bombo about forcing your opponent to force you to force them to buy you a drink, based on the misguided impression that using the MTG: Auriok Transfixer's ability would cause any tap ability of the artifact to become played (the way people supposedly misunderstood MTG: Twiddle targeting a MTG: Prodigal Sorcerer to work).
Quite tempted to submit my solution to Mark Gottlieb, and see what he thinks, if anything. --CH
You should. He doesn't appear to have a full inbox ATM anyway - or, at least, he already replied to mine about fixing Symbiote/Tangleroot?. --PT

[Which Ten Cards?]

A test of how well you can transate dev comments into actual cards. What do people think the ten cards are?

CH's guesses (drawing heavily on the spoiler):
1. MTG: Ageless Entity
2. Gives counters, but isn't R or W. That pretty much makes it G. Common or Uncommon, and the talk of mini-theme/mechanic makes me think MTG: Echoing Courage.
3. MTG: Carry Away, I'm pretty sure.
4. Heh. MTG: Vedalken Engineer
5. MTG: Flamebreak, I'm fairly sure.
6. MTG: Grimclaw Bats. Interesting that it started as a bird.
7. I reckon MTG: Purge. The talk of crossing lines fits, as "destroy creature" is not a traditionally white effect
8. MTG: Coretapper. Interesting to see they were really wanting to make charge counter effects workable
9. Probably MTG: Arcane Spyglass, from the references to lands, poly activation of charge, and identical effect
10. Must be MTG: Eater of Days :)
AC guessed 3-10 without spoiler help (and agrees with CH on those eight), but couldn't think of anything for 1 or 2. I think he might have been hoping that we'd think 3 was MTG: Murderous Spoils. I think CH is right about 1 but not 2.  I'm intrigued by 2... The wording is technically open to the possibility that the card doesn't give counters, but ... I know! I think it's MTG: Stand Together. The instant-speed +1/+1 counters would fit with "insta-enchantments".
That probably makes more sense, yes. I wonder what the wite and red ones were? --CH

[Letters in Card Art]

MaRo wants people to help him create a complete accidental alphanumeric alphabet from Magic card art. (eg, there's a K on MTG: Deflection). I reckon Wiki Magic players could help with this. Bung your suggestions next to the letters below, and see if we can get him a full alphabet! Note that the letters must be unintentional - the artist shouldn't have put them there deliberately (ie, you can't have actual text in art!)

AlexChurchill went through his rares binder looking for ideas, and has added the fruits below. Some of them are a bit dubious, but it's better to have some suggestion than nothing printed there at all; if you find one better I don't mind mine being removed. I think we ought to each take say one old set (Ice Age, Mirage, etc) and look at each card from that set. That way we avoid the recency effect that most of MaRo's readers started playing in the past three years. Also look at all art for Dragons, Wurms and Eqipment, as I think those are rather more likely to be letterlike than the typical piece of Magic art.

ChrisHowlett will take IceAge?, although since he's away for the next fortnight it might take a while to finish :)

A: MTG: Shield of the Ages (on face-mask) (CH)
C: MTG: Phantom Whelp (PT)
D: MTG: Mindslicer (AC) MTG: Elkin Bottle (Ribbon to the lower-right of the bottle) (CH)
E: MTG: Caves of Koilos, MTG: Feral Throwback? (Both could be "c" instead) MTG: Shield of the Ages (on shoulder - 2 from 1 card!) (CH)
F: MTG: Karmic Guide (AC)
G: MTG: Arcum's Weathervane (CH
I: MTG: Machinate (PT)
M: MTG: Dermoplasm (CH)
N: MTG: Stalking Stones (AC)
O: MTG: Soratami Mirror-Guard
P: MTG: Contested Cliffs (the sky), MTG: Dead-Iron Sledge (AC) MTG: Jester's Cap (CH)
Q: MTG: Cosmic Larva ?(PT) MTG: Barbed Sextant ?(CH)
S: MTG: Alabaster Dragon (AC; there are probably other better Dragons for this letter too)
T: MTG: Override (PT)
U: MTG: Mycosynth Lattice (AC)
W: MTG: Vexing Arcanix, MTG: Baton of Morale (CH)
X: MTG: Reality Twist ?, MTG: Soldevi Simulacrum (CH) / MTG: Spark Elemental (PT)
Y: MTG: Island Sanctuary (CH) (Arguably more of a V MTG: Mistform Dreamer is IMO a better Y. --PT), MTG: Urza's Bauble (possibly other letters) (CH)
Z: MTG: Spire Golem (AC) (or better as a "7"?) MTG: Arcum's Sleigh (Streamer) (CH)
3: MTG: Iron-Barb Hellion (if rotation allowed) (AC) MTG: Hematite Talisman ? (CH)
6: MTG: Planeswalker's Favor (her arms. not that good, but better than nothing) (AC)
7: MTG: Steely Resolve (AC)
9: MTG: Penumbra Wurm (AC)
(10: MTG: Necravolver (AC) )

MTG: Celestial Sword must be useable for something. Likewise MTG: Living Hive. MTG: Arcum's Whistle could be J, S or 5 --CH

AlexChurchill notes the [banner] for Top Ten Week on magicthegathering.com seems to have extracts from Magic art which look like the numbers 1 through 8.  1: ?? 2: MTG: Shunt 3: MTG: Knight of the Mists 4: MTG: Bonesplitter 5: MTG: Agonizing Demise 6: MTG: Muzzle 7:MTG: Infest 8: ??

The competition may have passed, but I still think this could be interesting if people spot things in passing. CH will be keeping his eyes peeled.

There's an interesting thread on one of the Wizards forums at the moment which poses the following puzzle (abbreviated to the interesting bit):
You are playing a goldfish. The challenge is to see how much damage you can do to it on turn 6. You can use any cards except (for the sake of a challenge) cards that would make you draw a card or put a card into your hand. Assume that you draw first, so during those 6 turns you will draw 13 cards. You may not do anything that would cause your opponent to lose life or take damage before turn 6. Infinite loops do not count. (This includes decks which use MTG: Goblin Charbelcher and an arbitrary number of MTG: Relentless Rats).

(PeterTaylor) The best I've done (although someone else did most of the work - I just optimised their play) is roughly 10^(3.52x10^49). That was T1 legal.
In fact, I hadn't optimised the play - someone else pointed out a minor change which takes it to roughly 10^(5.14x10^97).

Massive Discard

See [posts 83 and 119]. I submitted a borken solution yesterday, which used Wishes to get a total of 385 discards (would be 400 but MTG: Burning Wish is restricted in Type I). However, I came up with a solution which goes infinite after I went to bed. Can anyone else figure it out? Does anyone with an account there want to borrow my solution, giving me some satisfaction despite my incompetence?
About 45 mins 'til closing time. No takers?

Unhinged Collecter Number Words

You've probably noticed that each Unhinged card has, after the collector number, a word (real or imaginary). MaRo cannot be cruel enough for these to have no meaning, so let's try to figure it out.

They words appear to be senseless if arranged in order (they don't seem to acrostic, either), but there are some tantalising things: For instance, card 77 has "Uncle", card 13 has "Istvan;". Similarly, there is "Circle" "Protection:" and any number of "of"s.

I suggest we all list the words we have on our cards below, which should provide us with a relatively complete picture of the set. Include punctuation - I think it's important - in particular note that ";" turns up frequently, and may be a terminator.

1: No
4: Machine;
5: Phyrexian
7: Nutclamp;
13: Istvan;
16: Look
17: Spark
19: Time
25: Ting!;
27: Pimp;
28: Chimney
29: Sno-Cone
30: Ass;
31: Electric
32: of
33: Them's
36: Darksteel
38: the
39: What
40: Codpiece
42: Dog;
45: Circle
49: We
50: Weasel
51: Greased
52: Flute
53: Squad;
54: Zombie
55: Goblin
56: Squizzle
63: Mishra
65: Tutor;
76: Nabizzle;
77: Uncle
79: Purple
80: Kami
81: Scrubotomy
83: Wrath
84: Mongrel
85: Mild
86: Ass
87: And
88: Fart;
90: of
94: Myr
95: Fifteenth
99: Pinko
101: Hydro
102: I'm
104: Hurl;
106: of
107: Orphan;
108: Kobold
109: Pants;
110: Protection:
111: Isle;
118: Cluck?!;
123: Nachomancer;
125: Demon
131: Lint
136: Obligatory
137: Bad
138: from
139: of
140: Spleen

Here are some more cards that didn't make it. Moronic Tutor; Lint Golem; Wave of incontinence; I'm quittin Magic; Bob from Accounting; Castrate; Mishra's Bling Bling;Dead Bunny Isle; Circle of Protection: Pants; Time Fart; Sliver and Onions; Kobold Ass Master; Thirsty Barn; Mild Mongrel; Robo-Samurai; Obligitory Chump-blocking Orphan; Wrath of Dog; Celery Stalker; Hugs-a-Lot Demon of Assticore; Codpiece the Chosen; Hurl; What the Crack?; Nachomancer; Scrubotomy; Arcbound Noah; Darksteel Spork; Look at Me, I'm Accounts Recievable; Hydro Djinn; Bad Stone Rain Variant; S.O.B.F.M.; Pinko Kami; Purple Nurple; Form of Uncle Istvan; Them's Fightin' Words; Spleen of Ramos; Fifteenth Pick; Squizzle, goblin Nabizzle ; Zombie Cheerleading Squad; Two-way Myr; Bone Flute 2: Electric Boogaloo; Magic Offline; Nutclamp; Bwahahahaaa!; Dragon Ass; Phyrexian Sno-Cone Machine; Chimney Pimps; R.T.F.C.; Greased Weasel; Flame War, We Don't Need No Stinkin' Merfolk; Ting!; and Disrobing Scepter (again!)

Computer Game References

Some time ago, AlexChurchill pointed out to me that WizardsOfTheCoast have had a habit recently of slipping a computer game reference into each set - witness MTG: Aven Warcraft and MTG: Mortal Combat. It recently occurred to me that /BetrayersOfKamigawa? added MTG: Soratami Mindsweeper - a reference hidden in a pun. Has anyone spotted any others? --ChrisHowlett
MTG: Need for Speed (Odyssey) and MTG: Dawn of the Dead (Torment also) were my other pieces of evidence. I theorised that there's been one per set, but MK and DotD? disprove that. If we wanted we could count either the MTG: Mistblade Shinobi or MTG: Okina-Gang Shinobi (both Betrayers), also. --AC

Cryptic Magic Card Clues

MagicTheGathering puzzle from [Star City]...

1) Apropos Campanological Performance
2) Colloquial Tea
3) [ESC] Chrononauts get less
4) gasp gasp gasp GASP (
5) "Li Mother Of Flame"
6) Mental Sump
7) Tease a fruity cake?
8) N..A..R..E..?
9) Devastating, Underworld & Insidious
10) Hit by the Olsens!
11) a la Dream Lover
12) Knave gets sour war joke
13) Canine Haemorrhoid
14) Deer has meal
15) Exposed oneself in a draft
16) How Crusoe found Friday?
17) eltsirg
18) Breathe out (without the beer) and about
19) Friend to Duane?
20) A-List, B-List, C-List etc
21) 6-feet under (and cross)
22) She said 3.30
23) I doubt a marlin
24) Funny and clever e-mail
25) A History Of Rambling?
26) Janeway? Chakotay? Parris?
27) U R a penis!
28) It saves 9
29) Hieroglyphic Word Game
30) Risky A.A.A.A
31) O! Stephen's fist!
32) Umlantir, Izzet Marquis
33) British Snack Bacon-flavoured
34) Adding-up Time
35) Comedy situation? Yelp!
36) Put a flamin' end to it!
37) English Al
38) Single parade of
39) Yearn for the Latin bear?
40) Finally, someone has sneaked into the Quiz twice can you tell me who it is?

qqzm has just started looking at it and has about half a dozen so far.

Magic: the Pondering

If we're done with that one, there's another set of cryptic clues to Magic puzzles starting here:
They involve a variety of different types of puzzles, but all of them end up with you having to name a card. Each puzzle has 2 hints available, and won't give you the solution, although if you're skilled in JavaScript hacking you ought to be able to obtain it fairly easily if you're that way inclined. AlexChurchill has got to puzzle 11 so far, taking a total of about 5 hints.

Die Of Shock

This puzzle arose out of a punny discussion on ToothyChat. If you're causing someone to "die of shock", what's the best way to do it?
For purposes of this puzzle, "die of shock" implies that the opponent is on 20 life, and you're going to kill them using cards (or other objects) called MTG: Shock, with no other object dealing damage to them (or causing them to lose for other reasons). Also, any mana counts count the total mana spent (so MTG: Seething Song won't help you, as you spend 3, and then probably spend another 5).
Different variations of the puzzle are possible:

Fewest Cards, then Least Mana

Using only two cards plus some mana, ChrisHowlett was able to make someone "die of shock" by spending 5 generic and 12 red mana. AlexChurchill found a different solution using only two cards, but that needed 25 generic mana and 19 red. Can you (a) figure out these two solutions, and/or (b) find any other two-card solutions?
It's possible with two cards, 18 generic, 3 red and nine blue. --Edwin
Yes, you can. I see this one. --CH

Least Mana, then Fewest Cards

This is trickier. StuartFraser suggested spending 4 red and 18 generic mana, but he was presupposing some permanents on the table: including their costs as well brings the total up to 4 red and 33 generic mana. ChrisHowlett found a solution using 9 red and 2 generic mana (5 cards total); AlexChurchill one using 9 red and 1 generic mana (six cards total). Can you figure out these solutions, or find any others of comparable or cheaper cost?
I can do 2UGGGG, with five cards. (Edit: Actually, drop the GGGG) --Edwin
Five cards, 2U, dealing 20 damage with MTG: Shock? Impressive! Oh - I see. Not sure why you need 5 though...--CH
Yes, I see the loophole and the card, but I don't get the GGGG or the fish, and it does seem to presuppose rather more turns than I'd imagined. To do it in one turn would need... hmm, the cheapest way would in fact need GGGGG, I think. (Or other permutations of five mana such as 1RRGG.) --AC
1U to cast a permanent, then 1 to play an activated ability.  My GGGG (or 0) was budgeted on casting something one turn and doing all the damage the next turn. Reducing it to all one turn would be another card and another G or R.  The fish do the same as what costs GGGG, uses the same number of cards, but costs no mana. --Edwin
Ahhhh... those fish :) (I looked at all merfolk and fish, but missed those fish :) ) Very nice. And very naughty. I salute thee. --AC

Unreliable Solutions

Actually, it's possible to do this using five cards and only RRRRR. Find that one too.

10th Edition Art Previews

MagicTheGathering.com are previewing all the art for 10th edition in the feature articles for the next 5 weeks, in 5 chunks... but without any names! Put your guesses here as to what they are. The chunks are, in some order, cardnames A-D, D-H, H-P, Q-S, S-Z. Answers are given each week, and will be added in bold.

[Week One]

Section: H-P?
1. MTG: Overgrowth
2. MTG: Mending Hands? MTG: Ication Priest
3. Some Loxodon: MTG: Loxodon Mystic
4. MTG: Llanowar Elves? MTG: Llanowar Sentinel, which is interesting.
5. MTG: Nekrataal (art was voted on in [Selecting 10th Edition]) Correct
6. MTG: Legacy Weapon? Which would be cool. Correct
7. MTG: Persuasion - art's a bit odd for that.
8. MTG: Might of Oaks (art was voted on in [Selecting 10th Edition]) Correct
9. Seems to resemble MTG: Knights of Thorn, but surely not. MTG: Tivadar of Thorn?? (note there are already 2 other officially-confirmed white legends) Note that the hand on the ledge, at least, is either skeletal or wearing a skeletal gauntlet. --CH MTG: Loyal Sentry
10. MTG: Incinerate (art was voted on in [Selecting 10th Edition]) Correct
11. Probably MTG: Joiner Adept. Only other real possibility is MTG: Nomadic Elf. MTG: Joiner Adept
12. MTG: Manabarbs, which I did wonder about.
13. MTG: Hurkyl's Recall
14. MTG: Kamahl, Pit Fighter Correct
15. MTG: Knight of Dusk
16. MTG: Nomad Mythmaker - funky!
17. Perhaps MTG: Puppeteer (rather than MTG: Puppet Master)? Correct
18. MTG: Paladin en-Vec
19. MTG: Lord of the Pit (art was voted on in [Selecting 10th Edition])

[Week Two]

Section D-H

1. MTG: Giant Growth Correct
2. MTG: Hill Giant
3. MTG: Ghitu Encampment Correct
4. MTG: Howling Mine Correct
5. MTG: The Hive? Does that fit into H? Yes. Correct
6. MTG: Faerie Conclave Correct
7. MTG: Femeref Archers Correct
8. MTG: Gaea's Herald Correct
9. MTG: Foul Imp MTG: Dusk Imp
10. MTG: Fire Whip MTG: Guerilla Tactics
11. MTG: Fugitive Wizard
12. MTG: Holy Day
13. MTG: Evacuation - er, what?
14. MTG: Glorious Anthem ?? MTG: Holy Strength
15. MTG: Forbidding Watchtower Correct
16. MTG: Firebreathing Correct
17. MTG: Essence Drain Correct
18. MTG: Honor Guard
19. MTG: Emperor Crocodile, surely. Or MTG: Dross Crocodile. MTG: Dross Crocodile
20. MTG: Demolish ?? MTG: Earth Elemental

[Week Three]

Section S-Z
1. MTG: Sylvan Basilisk
2. MTG: Unholy Strength Correct
3. MTG: Wall of Fire Correct
4. MTG: Vampire Bats Correct
5. MTG: Stronghold Discipline
6. MTG: Wild Griffin
7. MTG: Suntail Hawk? I have to ask, why does it have three legs? I agree. Correct, but still none the wiser on the three legs.
8. MTG: Wall of Wood Correct
9. MTG: Sudden Impact
10. MTG: Wall of Swords Correct
11. MTG: Time Stretch
12. MTG: Sunken Hope
13. I have a suspicion, but again only due to having read unofficial spoilers. --qqzm MTG: Upwelling! Wow! I have a deck that uses that.
14. MTG: Story Circle Correct
15. MTG: Uncontrollable Anger
16. MTG: Treetop Village Correct
17. Wow, weird, disturbing and cool. An Ouroboros of skeleton, musculature, human! MTG: Terror
MTG: Spawning Pool must be there at either 5 or 17.

[Week Four]

Section Q-S
1. MTG: Spawning Pool Correct
2. MTG: Serra Angel (?? Surely not. Looks like a 1/1 or 2/2 flyer, not a big 4/4 angel. To me, at least. --AC)
I think it's an even bigger angel - MTG: Reya Dawnbringer. --qqzm Oh, [good point] --CH Reya
3. MTG: Rampant Growth, perhaps? Correct
4. Perhaps MTG: Sizzle, although that doesn't explain the faces in the fire. --AC Or MTG: Soulblast? --qqzm MTG: Soulblast
5. MTG: Rootwater Matriarch
6. MTG: Serra's Embrace? --CH I agree --qqzm Correct
7. MTG: Shatter'''storm'''
8. MTG: Squee, Goblin Nabob Correct
9. Reminds me of the art to MTG: Righteous Cause... MTG: Righteousness
10. MTG: Steadfast Guard
11. MTG: Sea Serpent MTG: Sea Monster
12. MTG: Robe of Mirrors
13. MTG: Shock? Correct
14. MTG: Skyshroud Ranger (odd, considering the simpler MTG: Sakura-Tribe Scout)
15. MTG: Rod of Ruin Correct
16. MTG: Rushwood Dryad, MTG: Shanodin Dryads, or perhaps MTG: Quirion Dryad? --AC I think the third. --qqzm
17. MTG+Regeneration
18. MTG: Shivan Dragon MTG: Shivan Hellkite'

[Week Five]

Section A-D
1. MTG: Demonic Consultation?
4. MTG: Caller of the Claw?
6. MTG: Air Elemental
8. MTG: Cho-Manno, Revolutionary
11. MTG: Canopy Claws?
17. MTG: Circle Of Protection: Black?
18. MTG: Circle of Protection: Red?
19. MTG: Citanul Flute

Vintage Deckstacker 2009

From the bottom of [Latest Developments 6th March 2009]:
Build a [Vintage-legal] deck, then stack it in any order you choose. Your opponent gets to cut it exactly once before you draw your opening hand. You will take the first turn, and your opponent has no way to interact with you during your first turn. Can you stack your deck so that you win the game on that first turn no matter where your opponent chooses to cut the deck?
For the moment, let's assume the cut is taking some number of cards from the top of the deck and putting them on the bottom (or vice versa).
AlexChurchill's discussion of possible routes to a solution follows below.

We can arrange the deck with a periodicity of 7 such that it goes A1B1C1D1E1F1G1 A2B2C2D2E2F2G2 ... A8B8C8D8E8F8G8 A9B9C9D9.
So to have reliability wherever we end up - say E2 F2 G2 A3 B3 C3 D3 - we want to find categories of card such that we can have 9 of them in the deck and end up drawing a game-winning combo.
A: We'll probably want something like a land that can tap for any colour of mana on turn 1 - there's enough of those. (MTG: City of Brass x4, MTG: Tarnished Citadel x4)
B: We'd also like moxen to get a bit more mana. There's the five original Moxen, plus MTG: Lotus Petal, MTG: Black Lotus, MTG: Chrome Mox and MTG: Mox Diamond (we can stack things to have the right spare card for the Chrome and Diamond moxen.)
C: Key to winning consistently will be a 1-mana tutor. MTG: Demonic Consultation has no drawback when we know the order of the deck. MTG: Mystical Tutor and MTG: Vampiric Tutor need a card-draw to work. Still need 6 more.
What do we actually want to win with?

You could also run multiple 2 card combos. So e.g. MTG: Protean Hulk + MTG: Flash in 1-4 and MTG: Channel + MTG: Fireball in 5-8 rather than running tutors. --qqzm
True. Though you'd still need tutors since both Channel and Flash are restricted. --AC

Actually, I think you can do it by running 1 discard outlet, 2 dredge cards, 1 cheap draw card (MTG: Careful Study or MTG: Breakthrough etc), 1 land and 1 mox in each set, then squeeze MTG: Dread Return, 2x MTG: Bridge from Below, 4x MTG: Narcomoeba and 1x MTG: Flame-Kin Zealot into the spaces. --qqzm
And in 4 of those, the discard enabler can probably be MTG: Lion's Eye Diamond (assuming that isn't restricted), saving a few slots. --qqzm
Only 1 of them. LED is on the [restricted list]. --AC
And MTG: Careful Study isn't enough by itself to dredge the entire deck, so we need to run more MTG: Dread Returns, MTG: Bridge from Belows and MTG: Flame-Kin Zealots to guarantee drawing enough in those cases, or fit all of them into the half of the deck following the first MTG: Careful Study. --qqzm

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