Knowing that Thornwood Falls allows us to cut Tropical Island except for the start gives me a little hope that we can find an improvement. But, I guess Tropical Island + Channel is pretty hard to match or beat in terms of number of cards needed.
Quote from CTNC »
That said, I like that you brought up the question "What's the highest damage in the first turn of a realistic game without infinite combos?"
Yeah, for this deck we are assuming that you draw a particular set of 7 cards, followed by a particular set of 4 cards, followed by 2 cards getting milled, followed by a particular set of 8 cards being drawn; after that I think you cannot fail if you do things right. That's not the only way the deck can get started, but the probability of this deck actually going off is probably one in quadrillions; a large number, but at least much smaller than the amounts of damage we have been talking about in this thread.
One may ask "What's the highest damage in the first turn of a realistic game without infinite combos?", but for the question to be precise, we have to define what "realistic" means exactly. Does it mean some cutoff in terms of the probability of success? If we set the minimum probability at, say, one in a million, then we could achieve that by getting started with a five card combo or less, or a slightly larger combo for which we have multiples. So, a deck which starts off with Black Lotus / Show and Tell / Omniscience / Enter the Infinite would suffice. Unfortunately, this doesn't work with are current deck, since being able to draw cards with a sorcery is too good. However, perhaps the we could have Enter the Infinite compatible with the megastage if we got rid of the additional stages. At the very least, we should certainly be able to get a hyperstage plus some additional stages, so we can still get an extremely large number with a probability of over one in a million.
Of course, one might argue that one in a million is still not "realistic". If we bump up to minimum probability to, say, 1%, then things become much harder. It seems to me at first glance that even constructing a deck that can draw all the cards with at least a 1% chance is a challenge. If we can't, then we have to fill the deck with much of the same type of cards so that we can guarantee a certain amount of damage, which will probably be quite low. The biggest problem though is actually calculating the chance of success, which will be a near impossible calculation most of the time. For that reason, we likely can't implement the 1% challenge - we won't know if a deck achieves the minimum probability.
With Un-Sets legal in Commander until January 15th, I'd like to point out that the Commander variant of this challenge is "solved" by a Turn 1 Infinity Elemental with Haste. It's Infinite Power, but it's NOT an Infinite Combo. The death glares I'm getting means there's going to be a rule change, don't they?
The official rules for the challenge are stated at http://www.soniccenter.org/sm/mtg/megacombo.html , with the key rule being that there must be a finite upper bound to the damage that can be achieved. As far as I know, this prevents all the loopholes that people have tried. (A good one is using a card that allows you to choose a number, then add cards that allow you to turn that number into damage - no infinite combo, but the damage can be as large as you want.)
But, it's amusing that Un-Sets are legal in Commander - I didn't expect that.