Magic: The Puzzling - Betrayers Edition

Posted in Feature on April 4, 2005

By Jeff Till

Magic: The Puzzling

Your worst fears and highest hopes have come true: Magic: the Puzzling is back again. This time you are running the gauntlet against some of the worst betrayers history has ever known. Do you have what it takes to annihilate Benedict Arnold? Can you come out victorious against a seemingly impervious Brutus? By fighting fire with fire and using your new cards from Betrayers of Kamigawa, you may just have a chance.

Main Puzzle

You were playing in a four-player free-for-all game and your plan was all set. You would help your best friend Brutus create an unstoppable attack force, with which he would eradicate both of the other players. Finally, as a gesture of respect to you, Brutus would concede the game, leaving you ultimate champion. After destroying your opponents, however, Brutus's greed overcame him, and he betrayed you. Your pleas for mercy did not go completely unheard, though, as Brutus promised you once more turn before his masses would come knocking at your door.

Given the seriousness of the crimes committed by this ruthless traitor, your goal is to not only kill Brutus this turn, but to also leave him with no permanents in play.

Your Resources:

Life: 14

Hand: All non-lands used to complete Puzzle 1 and non-land permanents used to complete Puzzle 4.

A portion of Brutus's Main Puzzle setup

In Play:

  • All non-land permanents used to complete Puzzle 3.
  • 8 Forests.

Graveyard:

  • All non-lands used to complete Puzzle 2.

Brutus's Resources:

Life: 1 million.

Hand: none

In Play:

Graveyard:

Puzzle 1

You are up against a formidable enemy: Nina Myers. At the beginning of your turn, she cast Shining Shoal for six targeting you, preventing what would have been lethal damage from your Myojin of Infinite Rage. While the situation still looks good for you, and your win next turn seems imminent, you know that Nina can be very wily, and may have you beat after all. You ponder the card you have drawn this turn (Crack the Earth), and wonder if it will be enough. You must capitalize on her mistake, and kill Nina this turn.

In Play:

You (17 life):

Nina (6 life):

Your Hand:

Your Graveyard:

Nina has no cards in hand, and only Shining Shoal in her graveyard.

Puzzle 2

Your are playing a mono-green big-creature deck against Benedict Arnold, who is running a mono-blue deck full of tricks. For starters, he has managed to get 16 counters on his Clearwater Goblet! Benedict's life gain is quickly getting out of hand. You must defeat him now, or else you may never get another chance.

In Play:

You (3 life):

Benedict (42 life):

Your Hand:

Benedict has no cards in hand, and neither player has any cards in their graveyards.

Puzzle 3

When you looked at your opening hand, you thought you were going to have the perfect game. First-turn Birds of Paradise is always a great start for a Ninjutsu deck. Right off the bat, though, Lando Calrissian played a first turn Lantern Kami and ruined all of your plans. The game has dragged on, and you've managed to reduce Lando to 6 life, but Worship is keeping him alive, and free to counterattack you at will. Destroy Lando this turn.

In Play:

You (3 life):

Lando (6 life):

Your Hand:

Lando has no cards in hand, and neither player has any cards in their graveyards.

Puzzle 4

Despite your growing army of black creatures, your opponent Judas has you on the ropes. His creatures are tough to kill thanks to Kira, Great Glass-Spinner. Also, both his Disciple of the Vault and Honden of Infinite Rage are threatening to deplete your remaining point of life. With no enchantment removal to be found in your deck, you have only one recourse: kill Judas before he kills you.

In Play:

You (1 life):

Public Enemies Numbers One through Three

Judas (12 life):

Your Hand:

Judas has no cards in hand, and neither player has any cards in their graveyards.

Thanks again to Justin Sarnak for helping to test the puzzles.

Good luck working your way through the various puzzles, and feel free to compare your answers on the message boards. Check back here Tuesday morning, when the solutions will be revealed.

Okay, here are the solutions! Spoiler alert!

Until then, best of luck... and watch your back.

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