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March 5, 2018

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Rivals of Ixalan Season – Puzzle #7

Welcome back to Possibility Storm, the weekly MTG puzzle series available exclusively through MTGCanada and PossibilityStorm.com.

This week we’ve got what is easily the hardest puzzle we’ve made so far – take a look below, and good luck!

(Click to enlarge)

Think you’ve got it? Check your answer against the solution below:

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  1. Cast Fanatical Firebrand.
  2. Tap and sacrifice Fanatical Firebrand to deal 1 damage to your Needletooth Raptor. When its enrage ability triggers, target the Aerial Responder and deal 5 damage to it, killing it.
  3. Attack with your 5/5 Rowdy Crew, 2/2 Needletooth Raptor, 2/2 Tah-Crop Elite (exerting it), and 0/1 Tilonalli’s Skinshifter. Target Tah-Crop Elite with the Skinshifter’s ability.
  4. If your opponent does not use Spires of Orazca at this point to remove Tah-Crop Elite from combat (which would thereby counter Skinshifter’s attempt to copy it as the target is no longer “attacking” and therefore illegal), after the exert +1/+1 bonus gets applied to your team, you will be attacking for 6 flying (unblockable) plus a minimum of 1 on the ground thanks to Rowdy’s Crew being a 6/6 with trample. So they are dead without any further action on your part. If they use Spires at any later point in combat to remove an attacker, you can then use Sure Strike to guarantee lethal or more, regardless of which creature they removed. Therefore, if you follow this line, your opponent must use Spires on Tah-Crop Elite in response to the Skinshifter trigger.
  5. If your opponent chooses any blocking arrangement that does not include blocking Rowdy Crew, you can Sure Strike it for more than lethal. Therefore they must block Rowdy Crew.
  6. If they double block Rowdy Crew, they will take 3 from the Raptor and 1 from Skinshifter, and Sure Strike is again lethal. Therefore they must block Rowdy Crew and another creature.
  7. If they block Rowdy Crew and the Skinshifter, they will take 1 from Rowdy Crew’s trample and 3 from the Raptor, and Sure Strike is again lethal. Therefore they must block Rowdy Crew and Needletooth Raptor (which looks like the most reasonable block anyways.)
  8. If they block Rowdy Crew and Needletooth Raptor, cast Sure Strike on their Bellowing Aegisaur which is blocking Needletooth Raptor. Let first strike damage resolve, which will trigger your Raptor’s enrage ability. Target the other Bellowing Aegisaur which is blocking Rowdy Crew, dealing 5 damage to kill it.
  9. Although Rowdy Crew was blocked, because it has trample and is no longer blocked, when normal damage resolves all 6 of its power (plus 1 from the unblocked Skinshifter) will hit your opponent, for lethal.

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