Both these puzzles occurred in Hawaii. The first one is from our play test session, and the second is from a match I played at the Pro Tour. Both happened in real games, with no knowledge if there WERE even solutions. Still, being able to solve something you know is a puzzle will train your mind so that when you encounter another difficult situation ‘in the field’ as it were, you might just be able to solve it, like I did. Special thanks to Mani Davoudi, for help solving the 1st puzzle, and to Dan Lanthier, for the graphics.

Puzzle 1

Q: How do you not die on your opponent’s next attack?

Opponent: 13 life

Gavony Township tapped
Plains untapped
2 Razorverge Thicket tapped
2 Sunpetal Grove tapped
Plains tapped

Hero of Bladehold x 2 (with 3 +1/+1 counters) tapped
Doomed Traveler (with 4 +1/+1 counters) tapped
Fiend Hunter ( with 3 +1/+1 counters) tapped (removing strangleroot geist)
Gideon’s Lawkeeper (with +1/+1 counter) untapped, summoning sick
Honor of the Pure

No cards in hand

You: 9 life

Rootbound Crag 2 Woodland Cemetery 2 Forest Copperline Gorge Birthing Pod 2 Huntmaster of the Fells (NOT FLIPPED)
Birds of Paradise Strangleroot Geist Llanowar Elves

Graveyard relevant cards: Ratchet Bomb

Hand/draw for turn: Phyrexian Metamorph


Us figuring out this puzzle in real-time

Puzzle 2

This happened to me at the Pro Tour

Opponent: 6 life

4 Forest, Copperline Gorge, Kessig Wolf Run all tapped.

Thrun, the Last Troll, Dungrove Elder

4 cards in hand (Incinerate, Strangleroot Geist, Phyrexian Metamorph, Huntmaster of the Fells) known from Gitaxian Probe.

You: 3 Life

2 Phantasmal Image, both copies of Strangleroot Geist 1 Glacial Fortress, 1 Seachrome Coast, 2 Island untapped

Hand: Sword of War and Peace, Gut Shot, Vapor Snag

Top card of library (from Ponder): Island

Your opponent has just shipped the turn after playing a Green Sun’s Zenith for Thrun and a Copperline Gorge. Little does he know that he is actually just dead. It is your opponent’s end step. How do you win?

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