This week’s puzzle comes from a thought experiment that Jon Loucks and I were talking about during Grand Prix Vancouver.


Find a situation, using only Legacy-legal cards, in which both players are required by the rules of Magic to choose a number and in which the player who chooses the highest number will win the game.

Send your solutions to nex342+puzzle at gmail dot com with the subject line “Puzzle – Gazillion”, and I’ll include the best ones in next week’s article along with the next puzzle!

Good luck!


You may set the situation up however you’d like. Once the number has been chosen, the player with the highest number should win within the next turn cycle. Neither player should be able to stop this without casting additional spells.

Solution to Last Week’s Puzzle

Ryan Nightingale was the first to solve last week’s puzzle on turn one on the play. Here’s his solution:

PlayManaCards in Hand
Turn one A{0}7
Lotus Petal × 4; don’t sacrifice yet{0}3
Mox Opal{U}2
Sacrifice Lotus Petals5 × {U}2
Strip Mine{1} 5 × {U}1
Time Reversal{U}7
Lotus Petal x45 × {U}3
Mox Diamond, discarding Strip Mine6 × {U}1
Time Reversal{U}7
Lotus Petal × 45 × {U}3
Mox Diamond, discarding Strip Mine6 × {U}1
Time Reversal{U}7
Lotus Petal x45 × {U}3
Mox Diamond, discarding Strip Mine6 × {U}1
Time Reversal{U}7
Lotus Petal × 34 × {U}4
Mox Diamond, discarding Strip Mine5 × {U}2
Time Warp{0}1
Turn one B{1}{W}{U}{B}{R}{G}2
Cast Temporal Mastery via miracle cost{B}{R}{G}{W}1
Cast Kaalia of the Vast{0}0

On turn one C, attack with Kaalia, putting Hellcarver Demon onto the battlefield. This deals 8 damage total and causes you to reveal the top six cards of your library. Cast three Bogardan Hellkites from among these cards to win the game.

The above solution (and all other similarly fast solutions I saw) relies on extra turns not counting toward the turn count. I like this, but I didn’t explicitly allow it, so I’ll also show the fastest solution I received first that didn’t use extra turns. This is from Mark Dijkstra, for turn two on the play:

PlayManaCards in Hand
Turn one{0}7
Mox Opal{0}6
Strip Mine{1}5
Lotus Petal × 2{1}{G}{W}{U}3
Rafiq of the Many{0}2
Turn two{1}{G}3
Skullclamp, equip to Rafiq{0}2
Lotus Petal {G}1
Attack with Rafiq, allow exalted trigger to resolve{G}1
Berserk targeting Rafiq{0}0