Solution to 16: Immortal Engines

Desdemona has a good engine going: Whenever she loses life via any means other than damage, Transcendence forces her to gain life, which Nefarious Lich converts into drawn cards. All that Desdemona has to do is keep her graveyard well-stocked. And make sure her Nefarious Lich doesn’t get destroyed, of course.

Unfortunately for Desdemona, you do have a card that can destroy Nefarious Lich: Wickerbough Elder. It’s too bad that the Elder has already lost its -1/-1 counter, but maybe you can get it a new one.

  1. Tap two forests to add (both used as generic mana), and one island to add to your mana pool.
  2. Spend to cast False Demise on Wickerbough Elder.
  3. Tap Hornet Nest to cast Gather Courage on your Wingcrafter. Wingcrafter is now a 3/3 creature.
  4. Declare the start of your combat phase, assigning Wingcrafter to attack. Noble Hierarch’s exalted ability triggers, giving Wingcrafter +1/+1 until end of turn. Wingcrafter is now a 4/4 creature.
  5. Tap a forest to add and one island to add (used as generic mana) to your mana pool.
  6. Spend and tap Ulvenwald Tracker to activate its ability, targeting Wickerbough Elder and Wingcrafter.
  7. Wickerbough Elder and Wingcrafter each deal 4 damage to each other. Wickerbough Elder, Wingcrafter and False Demise are all put into your graveyard. Liability forces you to lose 3 life. You are now at 2 life.
  8. False Demise’s ability triggers, returning Wickerbough Elder to the battlefield under your control. Wickerbough Elder enters the battlefield with a -1/-1 counter on it.
  9. During your second main phase, tap Noble Hierarch to add to your mana pool.
  10. Spend and remove a -1/-1 counter to activate Wickerbough Elder’s ability, destroying Nefarious Lich and defeating Desdemona.