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Death in Segments

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Your first Dragons of Tarkir / Fate Reforged Booster Draft didn’t go so well: You didn’t pick up enough good creatures for an aggro deck, and you had to play some strange mixture of control and support spells. After losing to better decks in your first two matches, you’re looking to salvage some personal pride; the problem is that your opponent wants to do the same thing.

Segmented Krotiq
Some time ago, Max hamstrung your offense by casting Pacifism on your Qal Sisma Behemoth. Then, a few turns later, he unmorphed a Segmented Krotiq to eat your attacking Gurmag Angler. Max is now in the second main phase of his turn after attacking with his Krotiq, and you’re trying to figure out how get back in the game.

At this point, Max makes the point moot: He pays 7 mana to unmorph his other face-down creature, revealing it as a second Segmented Krotiq! You might be able to handle one of them, but the prospect of seeing two of them charge into the red zone every turn is just downright demoralizing.

Then again, Max may have left an opening for you. He now has no untapped lands, and you’re pretty certain that he can’t cast anything in his hand until his next turn. And between the creatures in play and the cards in your hand, you can’t say that you don’t have options.

Max has just declared the end of his turn; you may still cast spells or activate abilities in response. Defeat Max before the start of his next turn.

You are at 6 life with the following cards in play:

Pacifism

You have the following cards in your hand:

You do not know the identity of the card that is currently on top of your library.

You have the following two cards in your graveyard:

Gurmag Angler

Max is at 13 life and has no untapped lands. He has the following cards in play:

If you think you have a great solution in mind, you’re welcome to send it to puzzles at gatheringmagic dot com with the subject line “Puzzle – Death in Segments”. We’ll include the best ones in next week’s article along with the next puzzle!

Last Week’s Puzzle

As of this writing, correct solutions were received via e-mails from Peco Ho, Adam Eidelsafy, djkensai, Matthew Myrick, Kelsi Lindblad, Matthew Wilson, Miko Losantas, Don N, Peter Round, and Seth Andrus.

djkensai Writes:

The solution to this puzzle hinges on getting to bolster onto the Ambush Krotiq while taking advantage of the Battlefront Krushok's static ability to trample over the lone blocker. Since this won't work if your Krotiq is blocked by 6-toughness Ojutai, you will have to tap it with your Glaring Aegis.

Since you have 10 mana available, you can cast all the spells in your hand. As such, the problem reduces to getting all your creatures to toughness 5 or greater when you resolve Dromoka's Gift so you can put the counters on the Krotiq.

Main phase, cast Glaring Aegis on your Dragon-Scarred Bear, targeting Ojutai with the tap trigger. Next, cast Epic Confrontation targeting Abzan Skycaptain and Cunning Breezedancer (note that you cannot fight your own creature, which would allow other solutions). Cast your Jeskai Barricade, stacking the trigger from the Stormrider Rig first so that you resolve the [enters-the-battlefield effect] from Barricade (returning Lightwalker) before attaching the Rig to the Barricade. Since your Skycaptain is now a 3/4 with 4 damage on it from the fight, it dies and you bolster 2, placing the counters on the Battlefront Krushok.

Now all your creatures have toughness 5 or more; Bear, Barricade, and Krotiq all have 5, and the Krushok has 6.

Attack with Krotiq (and any other creatures). Wait until blocks to slow-roll Dromoka's Gift, bolstering on the Krotiq to trample over for minimum 4 damage and the win.

Peco points out that you can tap any of Natalie’s creatures with Glaring Aegis’s effect, with the provision that your Abzan Skycaptain (with Stormrider Rig) must fight Ojutai instead. This puts 4 damage on Ojutai, which means that he can no longer block your 9/9 Ambush Krotiq as effectively as Natalie’s other creatures.

Matt Myrick suggests tapping the Ancient Carp in this way, and Don notes that if you do, Natalie would have to let at least 5 damage through when you attack with the bolstered Krotiq.


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