Last week I presented you with a board state:
It’s a kind of strange one, and I ended up making the play I made because of an uncommon rules interaction.
First of all, unless you Jeskai Charm the Archangel of Tithes before attacking, your attacks are quite bad. You have to pay a bunch of mana just to attack with some of your creatures, and you end up with a bunch of them getting eaten (like Rabblemaster getting devoured by Knight of the White Orchid, or Mantis Rider by Archangel).
Another thing to note is that your life total is high enough that you can withstand some hits. The opponent, playing mono-white, is unlikely to have any reach, and the best they can hope for is to topdeck something like Spear of Heliod. That they are hellbent (no cards in hand), is also very relevant.
Lastly, knowing the interaction between Archangel and Rabblemaster is key. Because the Archangel makes you pay to attack, you can just choose to not pay and not attack with Rabblemaster, even though you are supposed to be forced to (and amusingly enough, this also negates Gideon’s force-to-attack ability). As such, you can run the very rare “sit there and accumulate Goblins” plan, made possible solely because of the opponent’s cards!
Once you are on this plan, there are still two options: play Mantis Rider, or pass with Jeskai Charm mana up. I like passing, because that lets you put Archangel on top at the end of your opponent’s turn, then untap and attack with everything, using the second Jeskai Charm to give +1/+1 and lifelink. Plus, if you do draw an untapped land, you can still play the Mantis Rider.
As it actually turned out, my opponent drew and just played a land, so I felt safe enough waiting an additional turn, which let me hit for millions and gain millions of life. Either way, this was a funny scenario, and one that really hammered home how important it is to know card interactions.
Remember, I’m always on the lookout for interesting scenarios like this one. If you think you’ve got a tough board state to solve, send it my way at [email protected] If I feature your submission, you’ll win $25 store credit!