49: The Boys in Blue

You’ve been playing a very conservative game today, with your bargain-box blue deck facing Airini’s sixty cards. Both of you have been more than a little hesitant to attack each other, and you’re now looking at the result: a large stockpile of creatures, some substantial life totals, and fifteen minutes of staring at each other from across the table.

You drew a Halimar Depths last turn, and after you cast the last spells in your hand, you played the Depths to look for something to break the monotony. Cards like Artful Dodge and Infiltrator il-Kor were just what the doctor ordered, but you wanted to see if Airini was going to do anything first; her Chancellor of the Dross was worth worrying about.

On her turn, however, Airini made her move: She cast Glimpse the Unthinkable on herself, then copied it with Twincast. Then she tapped her last three mana and dropped a Laboratory Maniac on the table, smiling all the while.

Suddenly your opponent’s flyers aren’t as much of a concern for you anymore. Your mind races as you untap your lands: If you don’t do something soon, the game will be over once Airini reaches her next draw step. And even if you somehow manage to stave off the inevitable, she’s still got some huge flyers in play.

You draw the top card of your deck (an Alchemist’s Apprentice) and think about the other two cards you placed. There’s one other way you can derail Airini’s plans this turn, and that involves winning the game before she does. But how?

It is the middle of your first main phase. Can you win the game this turn?

Click the image for a larger version.

Airini is at 12 life, has no cards in her hand, has no untapped lands, and has zero cards remaining in her library. She has the following cards in play:

You are at 8 life. You have the following cards in play:

You have the following card in your hand:

You 21 cards remaining in your library. The top two cards (that you placed with Halimar Depths) are:

You are not aware of the identities of any of the other cards in your library.


UPDATE (06/04/2015): The previous version of this puzzle had an error that caused this to be unsolvable; the error has been corrected.


  1. This one is a nightmare. I tried many things but I always come short. It is obvious that I have to deck myself and draw a card to win, all in one turn.

    This is the closer I have gotten, and it is driving me crazy:

    Cast Alchemists Aprentice. Evole.
    Tap Neurok transmuter and Alchemist Aprentice to give flying to Laboratory Maniac.
    Tap the two birds to draw a card.
    Play Artful dodge, targeting the pirates.
    Attack, steal the Altar of Dementia.
    Spend U to turn the simic manipulator into an artifact creature.
    Spend UU to exile Ilfiltrator from the top of the library giving mindshriek +5/+5. No more mana left 🙁
    Sacrifice the Arcbanound slith to AoD, 18 cards left in the library, the counter goes to the simic manipulator.
    Remove 2 counters from the manipulator: gain control of the laboratory maniac.
    Count the total power of your creatures: 16 not counting the laboratory maniac.
    You are 3 cards and a card draw short of winning.
    Cry yourself to sleep.

    • Creating the puzzle drove me up the wall, too. I do have a solution, and I had to double-check it after reading about your woes. I think it’s still solid, so there should still be a way to win here.

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