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Sphinx's Revelation #4: Modern Mondays

We originally published an impossible puzzle with the opponent at 45 life. They should be at 44 life. Apologies for the confusion.

Hello and welcome back to this weeks installment in the Sphinx's Revelation series!

If you tuned in the the previous article then you must be itching for a solution! There are a few different answers that work and I'll be responding to all the submissions to confirm or deny. I've included one winning line at the bottom of the article. Even more exciting, Youtuber T1GlistenerElf has started a video series solving Magic puzzles. You can see their solution to the last puzzle here.

Now on to this week's puzzle! 

The Situation

We just got our most recent order of cards in and have sleeved up Death's Shadow Zoo at a Monday Modern tournament. Our opponent, the rambunctious twelve year old Steve, is running a goblin themed home brew. Steve has been chipping away, putting us at 12 life, while making impressive gains to his life total. It's Steves turn, sitting at 44 life, and he cast Tarmogoyf and two Reckless Bushwhacker for their surge cost. He moved to comabt and declared Goblin Piledriver and both Reckless Bushwhacker attacking. With zero cards in his graveyard and 4 cards still in hand, there's a very real possibility that we won't get to see another turn after our next. The card we draw on our turn could help us, but it doesn't matter, as we see a possible winning line right now. What is that line and can we win before it's too late?

(click to enlarge)

Sphinx's Revelation: Modern Mondays


Steve is at 44 life, with four cards in hand, tapped out, and zero cards in his graveyard. On the board he has:


We are at 12 life with the following cards in play:

the following cards in our hand:

and the following cards in our graveyard:


As always post any solutions and suggestions in the comments. If you have a favorite interaction that you want to see in a future puzzle, or just want to say Hello, you can email Jordan at or tweet at @adjunctmagician.

Sphinx's Revelation #3 Solution

Here's the solution to the last puzzle, Flashbacks over Innistrad:

  1. Cast gravepurge targeting blood artist in response to opponent activating Captain of the Mists while descendants' path and scorned villager triggers still on the stack. Put Blood Artist second from top and Champion of Lambholt on top of  our library. Draw Champion of Lambholt as part of gravepurge resolving.
  2. Scorned Villager trigger resolves and transforms. Descendants' path resolves and we put blood artist into play as it shares a vampire subtype with Fiend of the Shadows.
  3. Cast Prey upon targeting our Dread Slaver and the opponents Zealous Conscripts. Zealous Conscripts dies, blood artist triggers, opponent loses 1 life and we gain life, then Zealous Conscripts comes back into play under our control due to Dread Slaver trigger.
  4. Zealous conscripts enter the battlefield trigger resolves targeting captain of the mists. We get control of captain of the mists and it is now untapped and has haste. 
  5. Filter one of our lands into shimmering grotto for blue source. Activate captain of the mists to untap fiend of the shadows.
  6. Cast revenge of the hunted on dread slaver
  7. Move to combat. Declare dread slaver, fiend of the shadows, Moonscarred Werewolf, and zealous conscripts attacking.   
  8. Delver of Secrets and Hinterland Scourge (a transformed Hinterland Hermit)  must block dread slaver — the total toughness of blocking creatures is 3. The total power of dread slaver is 9. 6 trample damage gets through. The remaining creatures get through for 8 damage. Delver of secrets and Hinterland Scourge both die. We get the following triggers: two blood artist from both creatures dying, dread slaver from both creatures dying, and fiend of the shadows from damaging the opponent. All resolve and net result is: opponent loses 2 life and we gain 2 life, Delver of Secrets and Hinterland Hermit return to play under our control and opponent exiles kessig malcontents
  9. Hardcast Champion of Lambholt with Moonscarred Werewolf (a transformed Scorned Villager) and a remaining land. 
  10. Hardcast kessig malcontents with somberwald sage. We will have 7 humans in play when kessig malcontents ability triggers. Direct trigger at opponent for the win. 

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