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The Fastest Game of Magic: the Gathering Possible [WORLD RECORD]


Well, hello there! Brewer’s Kitchen here, with a bit of a different video as usual. Instead of showing you another spicy brew, I’m going to show you how I got the World Record in speedrunning Magic: The Gathering.

I highly suggest watching the video before reading this article since it will just go over the different deck lists while spoiling major details of the video.

Oh right, I should probably mention: We need a digital version of Magic to even start speedrunning Magic first. Arena’s Sparky (the bot to playtest your decks with) is our perfect punching bag. The goal is to kill her as fast as possible. Sparky’s randomness in which deck she plays and what spells she casts proved to be the most frustrating part of this challenge. I will refer to this as “Sparky RNG”.

Now, let’s get to speedrunning the game!
And as usual, on the internet, someone already did it. Before this video, the official (Speedrun.com) world record is 34 Seconds to beat Sparky by a runner named DR. Wurstpeter. This time was very hard to beat, but let’s see how I did it:

Mono Red Aggro/Burn:

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I first tried to do it the old-fashion way with some Lightning Bolt and some cheap, aggressive creatures. While the method showed to be a contender for runs below a minute, it involved drawing a lot of specific cards while being on the play with good Sparky RNG. If you have something like three Monastery Swiftspear and three Lightning Bolt, you will probably get quite the solid time, but not fast enough to beat the record.

Turn Two Dragonstorm (or bust)

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While the burn deck could win on the third turn at best, I wanted to see what happens if we force a win on turn two. For this, I picked a Dragonstorm combo deck with Dark Ritual to go off on turn two. As expected, assembling an infinite combo is too complicated and involves too much clicking to beat any record. In the end, I managed to pull it off in 01:14, which is more then double the world record.

Channel Robotball

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In the video, we see two versions of this deck. Both are built around Channel to cheat out as much power as possible on turn two. The first version played Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger which had too many triggers that made the runs very clunky. The second version instead played Rust Goliath and Metalwork Colossus instead which are also colorless 10/10s but without any additional triggers.

Equipments like Swiftfoot Boots and Helm of the Host turn these creatures into absurd threats on turn two. We also played Brass Knuckles, which turned out to be too much clicking to make the double strike worth it. In the end, the deck still couldn’t beat the 40 second mark. Even with an extra lucky draw that wins on turn two, we were still far off the record.

Mulligan Simulator

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This method should be the theoretical minimum of game actions to win a game. We literally just play two spells. Turn two, Treasure Hunt with a Reliquary Tower to prevent discarding at the end of turn. If the Oracle is in the last 4-3 cards of the library, we can play it next turn and win the game. If you can get this on the play with perfect Sparky RNG, this should beat the world record. While I actually pulled it off once, it was on the draw with bad RNG, yet the end time was still 45.03.

Mighty Minion

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The deck that did it in the end was Minion of the Mighty with Scale Up and Terror of Mount Velus. A very simple and efficient way to win the game on turn two.
Similar to the world record (Mist-Cloaked Herald, Colossus Hammer, Resolute Strike) it only needs three spells but contrary to the record, only one combat step.

In the end, I got the time down to 31.95. While this run is very optimized, my loading time to get in the game was relatively slow compared to my other recordings. It’s likely that this time can be beaten with some dedication, clean execution, and a good scoop of luck.  

Interestingly enough, there was already a run on the leaderboard (Runner: Murray) that used Minion of the Mighty. Back then, Scale Up was not available so they used two pump spells to get the Minion’s power up to six. In addition to that, the run had non-optimal execution, ending in a time of 41 seconds.  


Wrap up

So, that’s how I got the world record in speedrunning Magic. Ok, these were just the deck lists, I really hope, you watched the video before.

Can you think of fast ways to beat Sparky? Let me know in the comments, or even better, break my record. I’d love to see some more contention for the higher rankings on the leaderboard. If you do, be warned, the Arena support contacted with a warning that I’ve been scooping too many games. While my account didn’t get suspended in the end, it’s noteworthy that they actually keep track of early scooping, yet don’t exclude Sparky from this statistic.

And with that, remember to tap that like button, and I'll see you in the next one! 

 



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