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Allied Strategies


Mark Rosewater has claimed that Alliances was one of the most innovative sets ever in terms of card design. Let’s see how well suited that innovation is to winning the game quickly.


Using only cards from Alliances, win the game as quickly as possible.


You have perfect luck. For example, even after you shuffle your library, it’s ordered how you want. You may not assume anything about your opponent’s hand or library except that he won’t do anything relevant.

Winning “quickly” refers to both the turn of the game and whether you’re playing or drawing first. Turn three on the draw is quicker than turn four on the play but not as quick as turn three on the play.

You may only use four copies of any individual card.

Send your solutions to nex342+puzzle at gmail dot com with the subject line “Puzzle – Allied Strategies”, and I’ll include the best ones in next week’s article along with the next puzzle!

Good luck!

Solution to Last Week’s Puzzle

It turns out Omniscience is pretty powerful when you have infinite luck. Here’s Nick Tower’s solution for an arbitrary amount of life via Touch of the Eternal on the upkeep of turn five:

Play Mana Cards in Hand
Turn one 0 7
Forest g 6
Arbor Elf 0 5
Turn two gg 6
Forest ggg 5
Arbor Elf gg 4
Farseek for Island 0 3
Turn three ggggu 4
Forest gggggu 3
Gilded Lotus u 2
Turn four ggggguuuu 3
Forest gggggguuuu 2
Omniscience 0 1
Divination x3 0 4
Griffin Protector 0 3
Archaeomancer 0 2
Unsummon targeting Archaeomancer 0 1

Repeatedly cast and bounce Archaeomancer to make Griffin Protector’s power as large as you want, then cast Fungal Sprouting for that many permanents.

Ryan Nightingale came up with this solution for arbitrary amounts of life by the upkeep of turn six

without using Omniscience:

Play Mana Cards in Hand
Turn one 0 7
Forest g 6
Arbor Elf 0 5
Turn two gg 6
Mountain rgg 5
Fervor 0 4
Turn three rgg 5
Forest rggg 4
Elvish Archdruid × 4 rgg 0
Turn four rggg 1
Elvish Visionary × 2 0 1
Tap Archdruids for 7 g each g × 28 1
Garruk, Primal Hunter, drawing five cards g × 23 5
Island g × 23 + u 4
Farseek finding Island g × 21 + u 3
Boundless Realms × 3, finding a total of thirty-five lands of various types u 0
Turn five 70 1
Garruk, Primal Hunter, drawing five cards 65 5
Titanic Growth × 4 targeting an Elvish Archdruid 57 1
Garruk, Primal Hunter, drawing twenty-one cards 52 21
Bloodthrone Vampire 50 20
Gilded Lotus 48 19
Clock of Omens 44 18
Chronomaton × 4 40 14
Archaeomancer 36 13
Talrand, Sky Summoner 32 12

You can now create an infinite loop as follows:

With Talrand, this produces an arbitrarily large number of Drake tokens.

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