Frankie Peanuts and Coercive Logic

Frankie Peanuts is by far the best card ever printed. He’s a better creature than Morphling. He makes your opponent do more than Mindslaver. He’s more useful than Black Lotus. And he only costs about $1.50 US to buy from an average singles store.

This guy? How is this guy better than Morphling or Black Lotus?

It’s all thanks to an interesting subset of logic called “Coercive Logic”. Coercive Logic is, in its simplest form, asking questions with only one truthful answer. Possibly the simplest example is “Yes or Yes?”, forcing a ‘yes’ answer. A better example is “Will you answer no to this question?”, which is a yes-or-no question which forces the answerer to lie.

Suppose your teacher/parent/son/jailed uncle tells you to make a statement. If it’s true, they will give you a penny or a quarter, but they choose which, but if it’s false, you get neither. You could say “You will give me the quarter”, but they could make it false and give you neither. You could say “One plus one equals two”, but you don’t have a guarantee of getting the quarter. If you want the quarter, you could say “You will give me the penny or one plus one equals two.” But there’s a better way of doing this. If you say “You will not give me a penny, a quarter, nor one million dollars,” you just got a good one million. How? If your statement is true, they have to give the penny or the quarter- but your statement said they won’t, so your statement is false. They won’t give the penny or the quarter if the statement is false, so they give you the million. Simple, right? That’s coercive logic for you.

To make a question in coercive logic, you should start with one thing you want and ask such that there are no alternatives.
The structure is:
"If my statement it true, I get my desired result"
"If my statment is false, it makes my statement true"
For example, if you don’t want your opponent to block, what question would you ask? This is for you to think about as your read on.
Top 10 Other Fun Things to do With Frankie(Besides Winning)
10. Get them to drive you to Wizards of the Coast to play some games with THEM using your deck.
9. Get them to stop playing Yu-Gi-Oh when they're not playing Magic.
8. Get them to touch the table for Cardpecker's Gotcha.
7. Get them to sing an embarrasing song such as "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star".
6. Get them to pay your way to the Prerelease.
5. Get them to learn the rules and stop using Final Fortune with Isochron Scepter
4. Get them to make the best trade of your lifetime.
3. Trade places at the table, but with Frankie dying.
2. Free Death Wish with no life loss every turn.
1. Black Lotus, anyone?
But how does coercive logic help Frankie? Well, Frankie says that they have to answer your question truthfully. And if your yes-or-no question has only one true answer, they are your servants. I recommend you ask “Yes or no: You will do the actions in exactly 1 of the two following groups of actions: The first group is answering ‘no.’ The second group is forfeiting this turn but first giving me one rare of my choice from your deck.”

If they answer "yes," they have to do one. They can’t answer ‘no’, because they just answered "yes." They must do exactly one, so they do the second. If they answer "no," they have to do an amount other than one. They already did one, so they have to do two. Feel free to replace the second group with whatever you want. Just don’t make then do anything illegal in your state, but it's ok if it's banned in France.

HKKID and Goblinboy have another possible question: "If I ask you to concede the game this turn (and abide by your reply) will you provide the same answer to that question (defined to be overall affirmative [yes] or overall negative [no]), that you gave to this question?"
The problem I have with this question is that the question asking them to concede is a separate one, and thus they don't have to answer immediately (although they lose if they do).

I use Blue/White for my Frankie Peanuts deck. It allows me to have searching, but more importantly lets me play Topsy Turvy turn 2 with a Mox and win turn 3 with Frankie. It also lets me run 8 copies of Frankie thanks to Richard Garfield, Ph.D. and other 2WW spells. Gifts Ungiven is useful with Richard because you can search out three or four 2WW spells, one of which becomes a Frankie. Johnny, Combo Player is also useful here. Although this deck should win the game before you play either, they provide good backup if you only have 1 or 2 of Mr. Peanuts here.

HKKID pointed out to me the interaction between Staying Power and Frankie Peanuts. If you have both in play and ask a question, the question lasts forever, allowing you to restrict your opponent's actions. This deck uses Staying Power.

Sample Frankie Peanuts DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
Type 2 with Unhinged
4 Frankie Peanuts
3 Richard Garfield, Ph.D.
3 Johnny, Combo Player

Other Creatures
2 Cardpecker
3 Carnivorous Death-Parrot
4 Cheatyface

Other Spells
3 Topsy Turvy
2 Sensei's Divining Top
4 Mise
2 Wrath of God
1 Scour
4 Serum Visions
2 Staying Power
1 Mirror Gallery

12 Island
6 Plains
4 Coastal Tower

This deck plays Wrath of God and Scour as Frankie when Richard Garfield is out. It plays Serum/Mise as Ancestral Recall and Death-Parrot as Time Walk. This deck is probably horrible; don’t bring it to your local Unhinged tournament without looking it over. It’s just a sample of what you can do with Frankie. This deck, taking out the Wraths, can easily be built on a budget… until the secret gets out.

Lesurgo found an amazing combo, although it requires several cards to execute.
Play Frankie and R&D's Secret Lair. At the begining of your upkeep, ask your opponent if they are going to concede the game this turn. They will, more then likely, say no. Then WHAM! You play Ashnod's Coupon, sacrifice it (remember R&D's Secret Lair is in play) and make them buy one of your drinks for some really high price- and they can't concede out of it! I started to see a deck take form in my mind... I threw in a couple more combos and a couple of hours later I had it finished. Here it is, in all its glory:

DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
Frankie Peanuts Combo
4 R&D's Secret Lair
12 Plains
5 Forests
5 Island

4 Frankie Peanuts
4 Bringer of the White Dawn
4 Auriok Transfixer

Other Spells:
4 Sylvan Scrying
4 Ashnod's Coupon
4 Donate
4 Mindslaver
4 Staying Power
2 Wayfarer's Bauble

Personally, I think this deck is a bit inconsistent, but it's pretty powerful. If you could actually play the Bringer without paying 9 mana, it would be even more so.

Frankie Peanuts is overall a powerful card, and should not be taken for granted. If your friend is playing a white Unhinged deck and has a smile on his face, do yourself a favor... RUN!

I used Raymond Sullivan’s book The Riddle of Scheherazde and Other Amazing Riddles as a help and for some examples to write the section on Coercive Logic. If you liked the part of this article on Coercive Logic, you’ll probably like the book.

By the way, please note any errors in the Coercive Logic section. I tried to be as careful as possible, but sometimes these slip by.

LSK cannot provide deck help. He’s finding more underrated cards to break.


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