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By: CottonRhetoric, Cotton Rhetoric
Feb 13 2019 1:00pm
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The premise of each puzzle is simple: you have 4 of every Vintage legal card in your deck, and some sort of tutor in hand. The solutions are more about trivia than strategy—can you think of a weird and obscure card that fulfills these odd requirements? Here's Volume 1 if you missed it.

Let's start with an easy one to get warmed up.


1. The Case of the Stymied Wizard

Your Adeliz, the Cinder Wind beatdown plan was working great for a while, getting your opponent all the day down to 12 life, until they cast a Drift of Phantasms and stopped it cold. Making matters worse, they started drawing three cards a turn off Treasure Trove, threatening to turn the game around very quickly.

You cast an Urza's Blueprints and prayed, and what to your wandering eye should appear but your own Drift of Phantasms! What can you transmute for that would win the game this turn? After paying the 1UU, you'll have just enough untapped Mountains left to cast whatever 3-cmc spell you find.

Your hand: Your board: Opp's hand: Opp's board:
Drift of Phantasms
Baki's Curse
4 untapped Mountains
2 untapped Islands
6 tapped lands
tapped Urza's Blueprints
Adeliz, the Cinder Wind
irrelevant 12 tapped Islands
Drift of Phantasms
Treasure Trove

Hints and solutions for all puzzles are at the bottom.


2. The Case of the Tribal Changelings

Your Followed Footsteps produces your fourth Game-Trail Changeling, and although it's still summoning sick, it combines with your opponent's Coat of Arms to make your first three each 7/7.

Attacking for 21 isn't enough, though, as your opponent is at 38. What can you tutor for to push an additional 17 damage through this turn?

Your hand: Your board: Opp's hand: Opp's board:
Demonic Tutor
North Star
6 Swamp
4 Game-Trail Changeling
  • 1 with Followed Footsteps
  • 1 with summoning sickness
irrelevant Coat of Arms
Deep Water


3. The Case of the Legendary Quandary

Your opponent's Pacifism has got your Bramble Sovereign locked in Spofford. Its ability is still usable, but when your Time of Need can only get a legendary creature, does that even matter? You need to deal your opponent 8 damage this turn or face certain peril.

Your hand: Your board: Opp's hand: Opp's board:
Time of Need
Goblin Bomb
7 GR land
1 Bramble Sovereign
  • with Pacifism
irrelevant irrelevant


4. The Case of the the Flustered Elf

Your Ezuri, Renegade Leader is looking pretty ineffectual ever since your opponent Scorched Earthed all your Forests away. You still have 5 Islands and 4 Mountains, though, plus a Dizzy Spell in hand. You have 4 Elf tokens, and your opponent is at 20 life. How can you possibly pwn them once and for all?

Your hand: Your board: Opp's hand: Opp's board:
Dizzy Spell Ezuri, Renegade Leader
4 Elf tokens
5 Islands
4 Mountains
irrelevant Great Wall, just in case


5. The Case of the Extra Hard Puzzle for Geniuses Only

Your opponent adds 16 billion mana to their mana pool, using Auriok Salvagers and Black Lotus. "Now I'll cast Stream of Life for 15 billion, and I'll Bitter Ordeal your entire library." You consider casting Mana Leak when you remember they still have 999,999,996 mana in their pool.

"Darn," you say, "my favorite library." You pass priority and let the gravestorm trigger go on the stack. However, you still think you can win this. You have a Mystical Teachings in hand, and enough untapped lands to do something sweet with it. But what?

Your hand: Your board: Opp's hand: Opp's board:
Mana Leak
Mystical Teachings
16 Islands
Icatian Moneychanger
empty Auriok Salvagers
Black Lotus



— ♦ — Hints & Solutions — ♦ —

With over 20,000 unique cards in print, many of these puzzles are likely to have alternate solutions. Please post any you thought of!


1. The Case of the Stymied Wizard

Hint #1: Consider your opponent's exact life total. There is one 3cmc spell that hits that number.

Highlight the black boxes to reveal additional hints and solutions for each puzzle.

Hint #2: The board matters too.

Solution: Your opponent is at 12 life and has 12 lands in play. Acidic Soil will finish things up nicely, while still leaving you alive.


2. The Case of the Tribal Changelings

Hint: I think you're going to need more creatures in play. The more the better.

Hint #2: Not even Sengir Autocrat puts enough bodies on the field. Can you go even bigger?

Solution: There was an old 1BB card called Carrion that turns a 7-power creature into 7 Insect tokens—and Changelings are Insects. This gives you 10 bodies total, each with +9/+9, letting you tap your three 13/13 Game-Trails for lethal.


3. The Case of the Legendary Quandary

Hint #1: I can't think of any Legendary creature that both destroys an enchantment and adds 4 damage to the board this turn. Consider another route.

Hint #2: These puzzles are all about obscure cards that do unusual things. Maybe there's a legendary creature from the game's history that combines with (Bramble Sovereign) better than most do?

Solution: Brothers Yamazaki! Copying him will make two in play, which ignores the legendary rule and adds 8 hasty points of power to the board immediately.


4. The Case of the Flustered Elf

Hint #1: The Ezuri, Renegade Leader is not a red herring. There really is a way to get GGG on the battlefield this turn for only one mana (and I don't mean Orcish Lumberjack).

Hint #2: Think graveyard.

Hint #3: My choice not to put an extra goofy card in your hand like I usually do is an important part of this puzzle.

Hint #4: What if you tutored for a different tutor?

Solution: Riftstone Portal in your graveyard gives you the green mana. But how to get it there for only one mana, without any black to cast Entomb? Tutor for Gamble, then Gamble for the Portal—since Portal will then be the only card in your hand, you are guaranteed to discard it. You still have enough untapped lands to activate Ezuri.


5. The Case of the Extra Hard Puzzle for Geniuses Only

Hint #1: Your opponent just went infinite. Maybe you can go infinite too?

Hint #2: Of course, just going infinite isn't enough. You also need to find a win condition.

Hint #3: You do not need to flash back Mystical Teachings.

Hint #4: How can you get a card without tutoring for it?

Half of the solution: You may have figured out that finding Nexus of Fate before the Bitter Ordeals resolve, and casting it afterward, keeps you alive indefinitely. As for how to win the game,

Rest of the solution: if your whole deck was exiled, and your deck contains four of every vintage legal card, then 4 Misthollow Griffins are now in the exile pile. Cast them from there and chip away at your opponent's life. It will take a while, but you have infinite turns.


Thanks for playing!


Re: Eric Fletcher Clever!! by CottonRhetoric at Thu, 02/14/2019 - 08:11
CottonRhetoric's picture

Re: Eric Fletcher