LSV’s Play: World Championship Finals

The Situation

You’re William “Huey” Jensen, and the title of World Champion is within your grasp. You just cast Whirler Virtuoso, dropping to 3 life, and are deciding what to attack with. Your hand contains nothing but land.

Your opponent, Javier Dominguez, is at 9 life and has just a Rampaging Ferocidon in play. He does have 3 copies of Ramunap Ruins, but only 1 Mountain, so he will be paying 1 life to activate Ruins end of turn.

LSV’s Play

This turn only has a few possible plays, but picking between them is critical.
The first thing to note is that you are definitely attacking with Longtusk Cub. You have to pressure Javier, and the Cub is your best threat. You are also attacking with at least one Thopter, because there’s no scenario where you need to keep both Thopters and both Virtuosos back.
So, given that, here are the permutations:
1) Attack with Cub and both Thopters.
This puts Javier to 1 if Javier doesn’t block and Huey pumps the Cub. At that point, Javier can’t activate Ramunap Ruins end of turn, so he’s likely to chump, putting him to 7. Funnily enough, if Javier did go to 1, he would have drawn Chandra’s defeat to kill a Virtuoso and kill Huey (but I assume he would chump).
2) Attack with everything.
This is the play Huey ended up making, and Javier chumped Cub. This play is dangerous because if Javier blocks Virtuoso, Huey can’t afford to pump Cub maximally, or he dies to the Ferocidon attacking—he needs to save energy to make a Thopter token. However, that means that Javier only goes to 2, at which point he can use Ruins on Huey, and making a Thopter token kills Huey thanks to the Ferocidon trigger. If Huey has another creature to cast then he can pump Cub, taking Javier to 1, and play a creature to fall to 2, since Javier can’t use Ruins end of turn. What’s tricky is that it’s unlikely that Huey has another creature, given that he played Virtuoso this turn and would have played this other creature earlier.
As a result, I don’t think Javier should have chumped Cub, and following that, Huey shouldn’t have attacked with Whirler Virtuoso.
Given that, the play is for Huey to attack with Cub and two Thopters, and hope to dodge a Mountain or burn spell. Javier likely chumps, draws Chandra’s Defeat, and the game ends in the same way.

Have a sweet scenario of your own? If you think you can stump the readers (and me) then send it to [email protected]*, or via Twitter—just send a screenshot @LSV and I’ll be happy to take a look!

*Please keep your answers in the comments below, and not in my email inbox—I love reading through these responses, but I wouldn’t want to lose any good submissions amid the answers. Thanks!

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