35: Both, One or None

You look at the two cards, and pick… that one. No, no, maybe you should pick the other one. Then again… maybe you should choose both of them. Or maybe you might be better off choosing none of them at all.

Lucienne smiles at you. She’s being a remarkably patient opponent throughout this entire exercise.

It’s the semifinal match of your local game store’s sealed deck tournament, and you’re playing Lucienne in one last winner-take-all game. Neither of you are experts at this, but you’ve both built some reasonably good decks, and your match so far has been one great play after another.

Last turn, Lucienne raised the stakes by playing an Archfiend of Depravity. With only two creatures in play on your side, the Archfiend’s impact isn’t too heavy for you right now ― but in a couple of turns, the 5/4 flyer is going to dominate the table. Lucienne then used the rest of her mana to turn her lone morph creature face-up ― and between the Archfiend and her newly-revealed Sage-Eye Harrier, your offense is now dead in the water.

Fortunately, you’ve got a Sultai Ascendancy to help you dig for answers. You untap, start your upkeep phase, and find two very mediocre creatures on top of your library.

Now you need to make a decision. Should you keep both cards on top of your library, keep just one of them, or pitch them both into your (currently empty) graveyard? If you keep both, then how should you order them? If you keep just one, then which one? And how does this all go into your game plan?

It is the beginning of your upkeep phase. Can you choose how to resolve Sultai Ascendancy‘s ability, then win the game this turn?

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Lucienne is at 8 life and has no untapped lands. She has the following cards in play:

You are at 6 life. You have the following cards in play:

Your cards in hand:

You have no cards in your graveyard.

You are currently resolving Sultai Ascendancy’s ability. You’re now looking at the top two cards of your library, which are:

As per Sultai Ascendancy, you must put either both, one or none of these two cards into your graveyard, then return the rest to the top of your library in any order.

You have 16 other cards remaining in your library. You do not know the identity of the next few cards.