You Make the Play – Easy Game is Easy

Congratulations!

You probably figured out an possible solution to the conundrum presented in You Make the Play – Phantasmal Image is Hero’s Demise.

Before we continue, Easy Game may be Easy, but michaelj… err… um…

What I wanted people to see — and I was pretty sure they wouldn’t necessarily see it immediate-like — was that you could spend two of your eight mana to play a Phantasmal Image on the Batterskull, have that piece go to the graveyard, set up ye olde Morbid mechanic, and then have at it with Brimstone Volley.

Now it turns out that based on the way I set up the hypothetical that is maybe the third most efficient thing you can do. For example — and many of you beloved readers pointed this out — you can just attack with the Batterskull. If the opponent doesn’t block, he is dead to double Brimstone Volley regardless. If he does, you set up Morbid (and without actually having to spend your Phantasmal Image).

I was very fixated on the notion of using the Living Weapon on the Batterskull to set up a sexy Phantasmal Image play that I didn’t notice that I gave you all an incredibly straightforward (and probably “just better”) way of solving the problem.

Now here comes the interesting part (isn’t it interesting how interesting stuff can come up even when michaelj screws up?)…

Note:
For the sake of this “solution” I am going to ignore all the (presumably good-natured) solutions involving Dismember, Gut Shot, and other cards that we don’t actually play in the U/R deck. To be fair, I never put a list on this site, and not every reader has StarCityGames.com Premium 🙂

Resource Management 101

Line 3 (intended line)

  • Use 2/8 to play Phantasmal Image, copying Living Weapon on Batterskull; Phantasmal Image goes to the graveyard (setting up Morbid).
  • Use 3/6 to play Brimstone Volley targeting the opponent; opponent on 5.
  • Use 3/3 to play Brimstone Volley targeting the opponent; opponent on 0

Total resources used: eight mana and three cards

Line 2 (generally accepted line)

Attack with Batterskull.

  • If opponent blocks, some Spirit enables Morbid.
  • Use 3/8 to play Brimstone Volley targeting the opponent; opponent on 5.
  • Use 3/5 to play Brimstone Volley targeting the opponent; opponent on 0.

Total resources used: six mana and two cards.

  • If the opponent DOESN’T block, opponent falls to 6.
  • Use 3/8 to play Brimstone Volley targeting the opponent; opponent on 3.
  • Use 3/5 to play Brimstone Volley targeting the opponent; opponent on 0.

Total resources used: six mana and two cards.

Line 1 (the line nobody mentioned)

You can do the exact same thing as in Line 2 (with the decision on the opponent as to whether or not he should block)… But instead of “double Brimstone Volley” you can do this:

  • Use 3/8 to play Brimstone Volley targeting the opponent (for 3 or 5).
  • Use 2/5 to play Snapcaster Mage, giving Brimstone Volley flashback.
  • Use 3/3 to play Brimstone Volley targeting the opponent (for lethal).

Total resources used: eight mana and one card.

Obviously any of the three lines will — at least based on the presumed reality of this hypothetical — kill the opponent to death. Sorry about that. I will try to do better next time..

As any of the three lines will end the poor other guy, it is difficult to say which is better between the last two (though I think either of them is better than the one I intended, because we don’t throw away a Phantasmal Image, so we don’t give up that piece of information if we are going into another game, and we don’t use a third card). You really have to ask yourself whether it is better long-run to use two Brimstone Volleys or only one, but giving up the potential flexibility of a later Snapcaster Mage. I would tend to think Line 1 is the best, but, again, all three get us to the same “B” in this case.

Thanks for reading. You guys all warm my heart.

LOVE
MIKE

PS Speaking of warmed hearts, check out Gavin Verhey’s final article at Star City today. Gavin alludes to a dinner at US Nationals last year that was incredibly memorable for a bunch of us. So memorable that I included it as the last chapter of my upcoming book, The Official Miser’s Guide; up to, and including the question Gavin credits to me. I am 80% sure this dinner also produced the birth of Flores Rewards (which will come back at some point).

(still)
LOVE
MIKE

PPS – Dick


a sketch

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#1 MTGBattlefield on 10.25.11 at 4:54 pm

You Make the Play – Easy Game is Easy…

Your story has been summoned to the battlefield – Trackback from MTGBattlefield…

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