Friday, April 18, 2014

Life in the Fast Lane, Part 3




This is your brain on slowdecks. Any questions?



In Part 2 we supposed that one of the most effective ways to force an opponent to gain life was with Wall of Shards. The deck based on that idea worked quite well, ultimately spawning 65 Walls of Shards and gaining the opponent 44,256 life. There is an algorithmically superior method of gaining life in general, though, namely Beacon of Immortality. What's not clear is why any deck would ever need to target an opponent with Beacon of Immortality in order to kill them.

One option is to give the opponent his own copies of Beacon of Immortality. Hive Mind's trigger is mandatory, which provides a straightforward method for getting the opponent to "cast" any instant or sorcery you're willing to cast yourself. Another thought is to give yourself shroud with Ivory Mask, Solitary Confinement, or True Believer, and then somehow contrive an intermediate step in the deck that requires Beacon of Immortality to be cast.

Of course, each of those ideas present difficulties:

  • True Believer can simply kill an opponent by attacking
  • Solitary Confinement requires a steady supply of cards to discard
  • How do you get Ivory Mask or True Believer into play without just being able to cast Celestial Dawn?
  • Hive Mind, Ivory Mask, and Solitary Confinement are enchantments, each of which precludes the use of another enchantment until Celestial Dawn is ready to be cast

But they are difficulties that can be overcome! Here's a diabolical list that combines True Believer, Hive Mind, Beacon of Immortality, and the usual Murderous Betrayal engine to achieve a truly brobdingnagian double exponential:


“PoincarĂ© Recurrence” (36 cards)

Lands
Hall of the Bandit Lord
Gaea's Cradle
Mishra's Workshop
Serra's Sanctum
Tolarian Academy

Creatures
Draco
True Believer

Spells
Aladdin's Lamp
Apostle's Blessing
Beacon of Immortality
Blunt the Assault
Boggart Shenanigans
Breeding Pit
Celestial Dawn
Channel
Conspiracy
Corrosive Gale
Counterlash
Fold into Aether
Hidden Path
Hive Mind
Ivory Cup
Murderous Betrayal
Postmortem Lunge
Reverent Silence
Weakstone


As before, I encourage you to puzzle out for yourself exactly how the deck functions, and how many turns it takes to win. Turn-by-turn analysis follows.


+ Turn 1
Main
  • Play Mishra's Workshop
  • Available mana —
  • Cast Ivory Cup
+ Turn 2
Main
  • Play Tolarian Academy
  • Available mana —
  • Cast Weakstone
+ Turn 3
Main
  • Play Gaea's Cradle
  • Available mana —
  • Cast Weakstone
+ Turn 4
Main
  • Play Hall of the Bandit Lord
  • Available mana —
  • Cast Weakstone
NotesHall of the Bandit Lord enters the battlefield tapped.
+ Turn 5
Main
  • Play Serra's Sanctum
  • Available mana —
  • Cast Apostle's Blessing, paying 2 life (20 → 18)
  • Counter it with Fold into Aether, paying 3 life (18 → 15)
  • Put True Believer from your hand onto the battlefield
Notes — Were True Believer to attack, it would be a -1/2.
+ Turn 6
Main
  • Available mana —
  • Cast Hive Mind, paying 3 life (15 → 12)
Notes — A (temporary) source of white mana.
+ Turn 7
Main
  • Available mana —
  • Cast Aladdin's Lamp, paying 3 life (12 → 9)
NotesAladdin's Lamp brings the non-artifact, non-damaging available mana total up to 7.
+ Turn 8
Main
  • Available mana —
  • Cast Beacon of Immortality, targeting opponent
  • Opponent copies Beacon of Immortality, and targets himself
  • Pay to gain a life from the Ivory Cup trigger (9 → 10)
  • Opponent's life quadruples (20 → 20*22)
Notes — Unfortunately, True Believer grants you shroud, so you can't target yourself with Beacon of Immortality. Beacon does trigger Ivory Cup, however, making it the only way to gain the life that will ultimately be needed to get Celestial Dawn into play. (Also note that you can't tap Hall of the Bandit Lord during this cycle, or you won't actually gain life.)

+ Turn 109
Main
  • Available mana —
  • Cast Beacon of Immortality, targeting opponent
  • Opponent copies Beacon of Immortality, and targets himself
  • Pay to gain a life from the Ivory Cup trigger (110 → 111)
  • Opponent's life quadruples (20*2202 → 20*2204)
+ Turn 110
Main
  • Available mana —
  • Cast Reverent Silence
  • Opponent copies Reverent Silence
  • Hive Mind is destroyed
Notes — A regrettable but necessary step. The opponent copying some upcoming spells would be problematic.
+ Turn 111
Main
  • Available mana —
  • Cast Corrosive Gale, paying 2 life (111 → 109)
  • Counter it with Counterlash, paying 3 life (109 → 106)
  • Cast Channel without paying its mana cost
  • Add 47 colorless mana to your mana pool with Channel, paying 47 life (106 → 59)
  • Cast 3× Draco
  • Available mana —
  • Cast Hidden Path
+ Turn 112
Upkeep
  • Sacrifice all three Dracos
Main
  • Available mana —
  • Cast Corrosive Gale 2, paying 2 life (59 → 57)
  • Counter it with Counterlash 2
  • Cast Channel 2 without paying its mana cost
  • Add 50 colorless mana to your mana pool with Channel, paying 50 life (57 → 7)
  • Cast 3× Postmortem Lunge to reanimate 3× Draco, paying 6 life (7 → 1)
  • Available mana —
  • Cast Hidden Path 2
Combat
  • Attack for 18 (20*2204 → 20*2204−18)
End Step
  • Exile all three Dracos
Notes — Three extra colorless mana is required this turn because can be used to cast Draco, but not reanimate him. And in the interest of staying alive, Hall of the Bandit Lord stays untapped this turn.
+ Turn 113
Main
  • Available mana —
  • Cast Celestial Dawn
  • Pay to gain a life from the Ivory Cup trigger (1 → 2)
  • Cast Conspiracy
  • Pay to gain a life from the Ivory Cup trigger (2 → 3)
Notes — From this point forward, at the start of each turn, available mana will always be , and it may be spent as though it were mana of any color.
+ Turn 114
Main
  • Available mana —
  • Cast Breeding Pit
  • Pay to gain a life from the Ivory Cup trigger (3 → 4)
End Step
  • Thrull token 1 enters the battlefield
Notes — The tokens are Thrull in name only, as they are white due to Celestial Dawn and Goblins due to Conspiracy.
+ Turn 115
Upkeep
  • Pay for Breeding Pit
Main
  • Cast Murderous Betrayal
End Step
  • Thrull token 2 enters the battlefield
Notes — It's possible to change the order in which Breeding Pit, Murderous Betrayal, and Boggart Shenanigans are cast in order to gain more life off of Ivory Cup triggers, but since you can't reach the next power of 2 (that is, 8 life), there's no need. Getting Breeding Pit into play as soon as possible is therefore best.
+ Turn 116
Upkeep
  • Pay for Breeding Pit
Main
  • Cast Boggart Shenanigans
End Step
  • Thrull token 3 enters the battlefield
+ Turn 117
Upkeep
  • Pay for Breeding Pit
Main
  • Activate Murderous Betrayal targeting Thrull token 1
  • Pay half your life, rounded up (4 → 2)
  • Deal 1 damage to opponent (20*2204−18 → 20*2204−19) with Boggart Shenanigans
End Step
  • Thrull token 4 enters the battlefield (3 total remaining)
+ Turn 118
Upkeep
  • Pay for Breeding Pit
Main
  • Activate Murderous Betrayal targeting Thrull token 2
  • Pay half your life, rounded up (2 → 1)
  • Deal 1 damage to opponent (20*2204−19 → 20*2204−20) with Boggart Shenanigans
End Step
  • Thrull token 5 enters the battlefield (3 total remaining)
Notes — And now we wait ...
+ Turn 119
Upkeep
  • Pay for Breeding Pit
End Step
  • Thrull token 6 enters the battlefield (4 total remaining)

+ Turn 220*2204−20 + 112
Upkeep
  • Pay for Breeding Pit
End Step
  • Thrull token 220*2204−20−1 enters the battlefield (220*2204−20−3 total remaining)
+ Turn 220*2204−20 + 113
Upkeep
  • Sacrifice Breeding Pit
Main
  • Cast Blunt the Assault
  • Pay to gain a life from the Ivory Cup trigger (1 → 2)
  • Gain 220*2204−20−2 life (2 → 220*2204−20)
Notes — 220*2204−20−3 Thrull tokens and one True Believer.
+ Turn 220*2204−20 + 114
Main
  • Activate Murderous Betrayal
  • Pay half your life, rounded up (220*2204−20 → (220*2204−20)/21)
  • Deal 1 damage to opponent (20*2204−20 → 20*2204−21)
  • Activate Murderous Betrayal
  • Pay half your life, rounded up ((220*2204−20)/21) → (220*2204−20)/22)
  • Deal 1 damage to opponent (20*2204−21 → 20*2204−22)

+ Turn 220*2204−20 + 10*2204 + 103
Main
  • Activate Murderous Betrayal
  • Pay half your life, rounded up ((220*2204−20)/(220*2204−22)) → (220*2204−20)/(220*2204−21)))
  • Deal 1 damage to opponent (2 → 1)
  • Activate Murderous Betrayal
  • Pay half your life, rounded up ((220*2204−20)/(220*2204−21)) → (220*2204−20)/(220*2204−20)))
  • Deal 1 damage to opponent (1 → 0)


4 comments:

  1. There are some methods you're not using that can get you to far, far higher levels of exponentiation. You can use a Howltooth Hollow to hideaway an Open the Vaults, and force yourself to mill your entire deck in order to cast it. That forces all kinds of stuff into play and gets you into plenty of shenanigans involving Opalescence/Doubling Season/Followed Footsteps. I was inolved in a forum threat about this a few years back. Our lists aren't close to optimal, but here's my 31-card deck that takes on the order of (2^^^18)^(2^^10) turns: http://forums.goodgamery.com/viewtopic.php?p=527631#p527631

    Here's an even better one, a 34-card deck that takes on the order of 2^^(2^^^^^2) turns: http://forums.goodgamery.com/viewtopic.php?p=527798#p527798

    Both use Wishes which I'm not sure if you allow, but the same basic premise could be modified to not need them.

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  2. Replies
    1. Glad you liked it, thanks for reading :)

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