I’ve been having fun with Mental Magic lately. For those who don’t know, this is a format in which the cards can do anything but what they say they do. There are many variations, but the rules I’ve been using are as follows:
- You get 10 mana of any color to spend each turn. This mana only empties from your mana pool at the end of your opponent’s turn, but all other mana you may get empties as usual.
- You may cast cards in your hand as any spell of the exact same mana cost—as long as it’s not the printed card and that spell hasn’t been cast yet this game. Hybrid spells may be cast using any valid mana cost (e.g. you may cast Grave Bramble as Kitchen Finks). You may pay life for Phyrexian mana spells, but you must use a card with the full mana cost (so Steel Sabotage can be Mental Misstep, but Darksteel Relic cannot).
- Cards outside the battlefield have all their printed characteristics. You may cast flashback spells from the graveyard as above using their flashback costs (e.g. you may cast Cancel from your graveyard as Cackling Counterpart for ).
- If a card would enter the battlefield for any reason other than being cast, you choose a permanent with the same mana cost for it to become as it enters.
Your library is empty, and your hand contains the following cards: Balduvian Frostwaker, Child of Night, Incinerate, Melira, Sylvok Outcast, Moonlace, and Skyshroud Ranger. Your opponent controls no permanents. Using only cards in the Modern format, deal infinite damage to your opponent this turn, according to the rules above.
You may not assume anything about your opponent's hand or library, except that he won't do anything relevant and he's at an arbitrarily high life total. You may not use any effects that bring in cards from outside the game.
Send your solutions to nex342+puzzle at gmail dot com with the subject line “Puzzle – Going Mental”, and I’ll include the best ones in next week’s article along with the next puzzle!
Solution to Last Week’s Puzzle
Turns out the monsters are pretty fierce! Qihan Long found solutions for infinite damage on turn five for both Spirits and Zombies. However, it looks like the Humans will be able to survive—Aaron Golas sent in the following solution for infinite damage on turn four on the play using only Human cards.
|Play||Mana||Cards in Hand|
|Champion of the Parish||2|
|Mentor of the Meek||2|
|Avacyn's Pilgrim, draw from Mentor||2|
|Village Bell-Ringer, draw from Mentor||3|
|Fiend Hunter, exile Village Bell-Ringer||2|
|Fiend Hunter, exile Fiend Hunter, returning Village Bell-Ringer||1|
|Fiend Hunter, exile Fiend Hunter||0|