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Sphinx's Revelation #7: Classic Mode

On the heels of another exciting Grand Prix weekend, let's delve into Magic puzzle time! Thanks for joining us again for another entry in the Sphinx's Revelation series! If you weren't able to figure it out one of the winning lines to the previous puzzle, a solution can be found at the bottom of this article

If you have any suggestions for future articles (perhaps a neat interaction or the next set you want to see used in the puzzle), or just want to say "Hi!", you can reach Jordan via Twitter, @adjunctmagician and email, Enough of the preamble, let's get puzzling.

The Puzzle

(click to enlarge)

Sphinx's Revelation #7: Classic Mode

The Situation

It's a chilly Saturday morning. You and your best friend, July, are at the Anderson's garage sale hoping to find something big.

"Check out this chest," yells July as she rips back the enclosure on what appears to be a Magic themed container, "the Andersons are selling their son's collection!"

After taking the collection home and dusting off the old enclosure, you and July find a pair of Sixth Edition decks and begin to duel.

The game is going great and you seem to be in a dominant position during your first main phase, when your phone rings. You're needed back at the office. Before leaving, July convinces you to finish out your turn. See if you can win!



July is at 13 life and hellbent, with no relevant cards in her graveyard. On board she has:


We are also at 15 life, during our first main phase, and we have not played a land this turn with the following on board:

and the following in hand:


Post any solutions you come up with in the comments section and be sure to check back soon for the next puzzle!


Sphinx's Revelation #6 Solution

There were several excellent submissions to last week's puzzle. Two unique lines of winning are as follows depending on whether you do or do not use the Swamp on top of our library:

A. With the Swamp

  1. Stitchwing Skaab blocks Archangel Avacyn. Thing in the ice blocks Groundskeeper. Elusive Tormentor blocks Thraben Inspector. Prized Amalgam blocks Kessig Dire Swine.
  2. Before damage, activate Elusive Tormentor to discard Alms of the Vein and cast it for it's madness cost. Opponent goes to 7, we go to 5. Thing in the Ice goes to three counters.
  3. Damage happens, our Skaab and Amalgam die, Thing in the Ice and Groundskeeper bounce, Tormentor and Inspector bounce.
  4. Untap, upkeep Avacyn doesn't flip, draw our Swamp.
  5. Play Swamp. UUUU and BB untapped.
  6. Pay UU, discard Asylum Visitor and Westvale Abbey to return Stitchwing Skaab to the battlefield tapped.
  7. Pay UB, cast Murderous Compulsion targeting Stitchwing Skaab. Thing in the Ice goes to two counters.
  8. Pay U, cast Invasive Surgery targeting our own Murderous Compulsion. Thing in the Ice goes to one counter.
  9. Invasive Surgery resolves, countering Murderous Compulsion.
  10. Pay B to activate Brain in a Jar. Cast To the Slaughter without paying its mana cost.
  11. Last counter is removed from Thing in the Ice. Thing in the Ice flips, bouncing everything but itself, our tapped Stitchwing Skaab, and the Kessig Dire Swine.
  12. To the Slaughter resolves, opponent is forced to sacrifice Kessig Dire Swine.
  13. Swing with Awoken Horror for lethal.

B. Without the Swamp

  1. Prized Amalgam blocks Kessig Dire Swine, Stitchwing Skaab blocks Archangel Avacyn, Thing in the ice blocks Groundskeeper, and Elusive Tormentor blocks Thraben Inspector

  2. Second Main -  UU, Discard Westvale Abbey + Asylum Visitor: Return Stitchwing Skaab

  3. End of Their Turn - 
    Return Prized Amalgam
    U, Discard Compulsion - Flip Elusive Tormentor.
    UB - Madness cast Murderous Compulsion on Prized Amalgam. Thing to three counters

  4. Our Turn
    With Avacyn Trigger on Stack:
    U, Brain in a Jar - Alms of the Vein. Thing to two counters.
    U - Invasive Surgery on Alms. Thing to one counter.
    UUB - To the Slaughter. Thing flips, bounces everything but Skaab and Kessig Dire Swine. Slaughter resolves and Swine sacrificed.

  5. Attack with Awoken Horror + Skaab for 10.

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