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  • posted a message on Most Damage Without Going Infinite, GRN-M21 Standard edition.
    I like how we each are good at different areas, we make a good team Smile

    With all the card possibilities, I imagine there is probably some way to make a second stage. But, it's a very different thought process than making layers - for example, for layers you make sure everything is going one way, for a stage it has to be self-looping to some extent.

    The switch from The Akroan War to Kiora Bests the Sea God seems promising. Instead of life going directly towards casting Fertile Footsteps, we can use life to pay for a black shockland, then use the black mana to cast Alter Fate, which can fetch Fertile Footsteps many times. This gains us two layers; but, this makes us use up all three of red, black, and white mana though, so we have nothing left for the end. We could switch from Martyr for the Cause to Evolution Sage, but that would require giving up Fertile Footsteps, possibly going back to On Alert. Anyway, it seems more profitable to go back from Fertile Footsteps fetching Mountains to fetching Islands, leaving red mana for the end. That loses us just one layer, so we wind up profiting a layer in the process.

    Layer 1: Tapping a Island can generate a lot of blue mana, thanks to Nikya of the Old Ways.

    Layer 2: Casting Fertile Footsteps from Beanstalk Giant can fetch an Island many times.

    Layer 3: Casting Alter Fate from Order of Midnight can bounce Usher to Safety many times.

    Layer 4: Tapping a black shockland can produce a lot of black mana, thanks to Nikya of the Old Ways.

    Layer 5: A Grasping Thrull can gain us a lot of life thanks to Angel of Vitality, at the cost of 2 life from the opponent.

    Layer 6: A copy of Heliod's Intervention can gain the opponent a lot of life.

    Layer 7: Casting Heliod's Intervention produces many copies.

    Layer 8: Tapping a white mana land produces a lot of white mana, thanks to Nikya of the Old Ways

    Layer 9: Resolving a couple of proliferate triggers will add lore counters to a bunch of Kiora Bests the Sea God.

    Layer 10: Destroying a Martyr for the Cause will trigger many proliferates, thanks to Teysa Karlov.

    Layer 11: Casting Purphuros's Intervention can destroy many copies of Martyr for the Cause.

    Layer 12: Making the opponent draw a card will give us a lot of red mana because of Smothering Tithe, which we can use to destroy planeswalkers using Dreadmalken.

    Layer 13: Unmoored Ego can force the opponent to draw a card 53 times.

    followed by

    Layer 12: Tapping a Nyx Lotus can generate a lot of red mana.

    Layer 13: Attacking with many Tenth District Veterans can untap Nyx Lotus many times.

    Layer 13: Activating Saheeli, Sublime Artificer will create a lot of untapped Nyx Lotuses.


    We add one layer, to get to 3 -> 3 -> 13 -> 14.


    Edit: I thought I had something good with:

    Layer 1: Casting Samut's Sprint can give many Gyre Engineers haste, thanks to Thousand-Year Storm.

    Layer 2: Tapping a Mountain can generate a lot of red mana, thanks to Nikya of the Old Ways.

    Layer 3: Casting Fertile Footsteps from Beanstalk Giant can fetch a Mountain many times.

    Layer 4: Casting Alter Fate from Order of Midnight can return Beanstalk Giant many times.

    Layer 5: Triggering step III of Kiora Bests the Sea God will untap a land, generating a lot of black mana.

    Layer 6: Resolving a couple of proliferate triggers will add lore counters to a bunch of Kiora Bests the Sea Gods.

    Layer 7: Destroying a Martyr for the Cause will trigger many proliferates, thanks to Teysa Karlov.

    Layer 8: Resolving a Deafening Clarion will destroy many copies of Martyr for the Cause.

    Layer 9: Casting Deafening Clarion will produce many copies.

    Layer 10: A Grasping Thrull will gain us a lot of life thanks to Angel of Vitality, at the cost of opponent life.

    Layer 11: Resolving a copy of Heliod's Intervention will gain the opponent a lot of life, thanks to Angel of Vitality.

    Layer 12: Casting Heliod's Intervention will produce a lot of copies.

    Layer 13: Tapping a Nyx Lotus generates a lot of white mana.

    Layer 14: Resolving an ability of Rowan, Fearless Sparkmage can untap many copies of Nyx Lotus.

    Layer 15: Activating Rowan, Fearless Sparkmage can generate a lot of copies of the ability.

    Layer 16: We can draw a Rowan a bunch of times thanks to combat and Happily Ever After.


    But, the problem is that we need Bolas's Citadel to turn life into casts of Deafening Clarion, and Bolas's Citadel can destroy Rowan at the cost of life, so that we get an infinite.

    One fix is just to go

    Layer 13: Making the opponent draw a card will generate a lot of white mana, thanks to Smothering Tithe.

    Layer 14: Unmoored Ego can force the opponent to draw a card 53 times.

    Layer 13: Tapping a Nyx Lotus can generate a lot of white mana.

    Layer 14: Attacking with a lot of Tenth District Veterans will untap a bunch of Nyx Lotuses.

    So that looks like it gets us to 3 -> 3 -> (3 -> 3 -> 54 -> 14) -> 14, which seems to be the best so far.


    Another option is to try to keep Planeswalkers, so we remove Bolas's Citadel. Then, we need a way to go from life gain to destroying Martyr for the Cause. Besides casting a destruction spell using Bolas's Citadel, the other options don't seem to be as good. Bloodsoaked Altar allows us to turn life into creature destrunction on a 2 for 1 basis, but it can only be activated as a sorcery. Vills, Broker of Blood also can destroy creatures at a 0 layer leve, but it also turns loss of life into card draw, which moots Rowen further down the line. Font of Agonies looks quite promising, except that proliferates can give it blood counters in place of life payment, so it goes infinite if it is higher than proliferating. Dawn of Hope and a couple of other cards turn life gain into card drawing, at basically a 1 layer level. The problem is how to turn card draw into creature destruction; we've pretty much used up all types of cards already, except for Planeswalkers, and it seems to early to use them here. Perhaps a nonbasic land? It can't be something that the land taps for, since we untap lands further down. So maybe something upon a land entering the battlefield? So it looks like we have two options: One is to go for Vills, which costs us Layers 8 and 9, and also loses us Rowan, so we loose another layer there switching to Saheeli, Sublime Artificer. So that's down to 13 layers, worse than the above chain. The other option is to switch to Dawn of Hope drawing a land, and putting the land into play (say with Arboreal Grazer) to trigger Evolution Sage. But that still looks like it loses two layers over Deafening Clarion, and we also have to switch from Fertile Footsteps to On Alert, which looks like it loses another two layers. So that's no good either.

    So anyway, it loos like a double nested 14-chain is the current best.


    Edit: So, for the first chain in the above list (the one with Purphoros's Intervention), we can replace Purphoros's Intervention by Electrodynamics. Each copy of Electrodynamics can allow us to cast Deafening Clarion, and each copy of Deafening Clarion will deal damage to many copies of Martyr for the Cause. So that turns one layer into three, pumping up the final damage to 3 -> 3 -> 13 -> 16.


    Concerning multiple stages, each stage basically works the same way, but each stage beyond the first must produce a bunch of the previous stage's resource while executing the stage. So for example, we could have the first stage be based on blue mana, and then the second stage will be based on red mana, but during its operation we have to produce blue mana on the side.

    It seems like using life to cast spells through Bolas's Citadel for the first stage is somewhat constraining. It would be better to use some color of mana, then the second stage could be some other color of mana, or life, or even creature tokens.


    Edit: Hmm, instead of using Islands to create blue mana directly, or Mountains to cast haste, we can use Plains to untap our mana dorks. The advantage of doing this, is that it allows Usher to Safety to come back in, since we will have mana available to cast it. So I get:

    Layer 1: Casting Rally to Battle can untap many Gyre Engineers, thanks to Thousand-Year Storm.

    Layer 2: Tapping a Plains can generate a lot of white mana, thanks to Nikya of the Old Ways.

    Layer 3: Casting Fertile Footsteps from Beanstalk Giant can fetch a Plains many times.

    Layer 4: Casting Usher to Safety from Silverflame Squire can bounce Beanstalk Giant many times

    Layer 5: Casting Alter Fate from Order of Midnight can return Silverflame Squre many times.

    Layer 6: Triggering step III of Kiora Bests the Sea God will untap a land, generating a lot of black mana.

    Layer 7: Resolving a couple of proliferate triggers will add lore counters to a bunch of Kiora Bests the Sea Gods.

    Layer 8: Destroying a Martyr for the Cause will trigger many proliferates, thanks to Teysa Karlov.

    Layer 9: Casting Get the Point will destroy many copies of Martyr for the Cause.

    Layer 10: A Grasping Thrull will gain us a lot of life thanks to Angel of Vitality, at the cost of opponent life.

    Layer 11: Damaging a Truefire Captain controlled by the opponent will gain the opponent a lot of life, thanks to Angel of Vitality.

    Layer 12: Casting Purphoros's Intervention will damage a lot of Truefire Captains.

    Layer 13: Making the opponent draw a card will generate a lot of red mana thanks to Smothering Tithe.

    Layer 14: Casting Unmoored Ego can force the opponent to draw up to 53 times.

    followed by

    Layer 13: Tapping a Nyx Lotus can generate a lot of red mana.

    Layer 14: Attacking with a lot of Tenth District Veterans can untap a lot of Nyx Lotuses.


    So this is 3 -> 3 -> (3 -> 3 -> 54 -> 14) -> 14, which I think is basically a tie with the current record with Bolas's Citadel.

    We can do the same switch into Electrodynamics and Deafening Clarion, if we get rid of Bolas's Citadel. However, we can no longer have Get the Point where it is, since we can't use life to cast it anymore. So, we have the same problem with converting life into creature distruction. It looks like Vills is the best solution I can find, but that loses a layer compared to Get the Point.

    So, the non-Bolas's Citadel version gets 3 -> 3 -> (3 -> 3 -> 54 -> 15) -> 15; just a little bit behind the record.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Most Damage Without Going Infinite, GRN-M21 Standard edition.
    I guess I have another turn 3 start:

    Turn 1: 3 Leyline of Abundance + Forest + [c}Arboreal Grazer[/c] + tapped land
    Turn 2: Maraleaf Pixie + Lotus Field
    Turn 3: Emergency Powers

    I guess that's just worse though.

    I'm not seeing an infinite with [c}Faeburrow Elder[/c] and Escape Velocity.

    Do you have an idea for how the second stage should operate? We've used life, and if the first stage is paying life through Bolas's Citadel, that moots using mana to cast spells as the second stage resource. (except I guess for X spells)


    Edit: So, I can do a little better without Bolas's Citadel, although not yet enough to justify delaying the combo:

    Layer 1: Casting Samut's Sprint can give many Gyre Engineers haste, thanks to Thousand-Year Storm.

    Layer 2: Tapping a Mountain can generate a lot of red mana, thanks to Nikya of the Old Ways.

    Layer 3: Casting Fertile Footsteps from Beanstalk Giant can fetch a Mountain many times.

    Layer 4: A Grasping Thrull can gain us life from the opponent, triggering many copies of Dawn of Hope.

    Layer 5: A copy of Heliod's Intervention can gain the opponent a lot of life.

    Layer 6: Casting Heliod's Intervention produces many copies.

    Layer 7: Tapping a white mana land produces a lot of white mana, thanks to Nikya of the Old Ways

    Layer 8: Resolving a couple of proliferate triggers will add lore counters to a bunch of Kiora Bests the Sea God.

    Layer 9: Destroying a Martyr for the Cause will trigger many proliferates, thanks to Teysa Karlov.

    Layer 10: Casting Finale of Eternity can destroy many copies of Martyr for the Cause.

    Layer 11: Making the opponent draw a card will give us a lot of black mana because of Smothering Tithe, which we can use to destroy planeswalkers using Dreadmalken.

    Layer 12: Unmoored Ego can force the opponent to draw a card 53 times.

    followed by

    Layer 11: Tapping a Nyx Lotus can generate a lot of black mana.

    Layer 12: Attacking with many Tenth District Veterans can untap Nyx Lotus many times.

    Layer 12: Activating Saheeli, Sublime Artificer can create a lot of untapped Nyx Lotuses.


    With all the Layer 12 versions, we should be able to get to at least 3 -> 3 -> 13 -> 13.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Most Damage Without Going Infinite, GRN-M21 Standard edition.
    Oof oof oof, yes good point. That means that we can kill off not only planeswalkers, but also Martyr for the Cause, which is no good. So yeah, we definitely want to get rid of Bolas's Citadel. And yeah, that will be very difficult. If we can't, the most painless solution is probably just to get rid of the opponent life layer.

    Hmm, I guess we can stick in opponent life after Martyr for the Cause? But then we can't give opponent life in the same way of course. I'll look for other ways to do it.

    The idea for Nikya of the Old Ways was to cast Aether Gust, get a bunch of TYS triggers, cast Quasiduplicate, get a bunch of TYS triggers, then cast Nikya of the Old Ways, followed by Spark Double copying Nikya. Resolve all the Quasiduplicate spells, making a bunch of copies of the nonlegendary Nikya, but not too many. At that point, we tap whatever land we want to tap. Then resolve the Aether Gust spells, putting all of the Nikyas into the library.

    Hmm, but I guess we don't draw creatures cards anymore. In that case, after casting Quasiduplicate, we cast Vivien's Invocation, and put Nikya and Spark Double on the board, then proceed the same way.


    Edit: After some looking, I couldn't find anything better than just removing the opponent life gain layer from our triple nested 13-layer chain. This drops the current best down to 3 -> 3 -> (3 -> 3 -> (3 -> 3 -> 54 -> 12) -> 12) -> 12.

    Another possibility is to kill the copies of Martyr for the Cause by using Bolas's Citadel rather than Finale of Eternity, so that it costs opponent's life rather than black mana. We can convert white mana into life by casting Heliod's Intervention. Unfortunately, this means we don't have white mana available to cast Usher to Safety, so that loses a layer. I was hoping that we could get that layer back by the fact that Heliod's Intervention can gain the opponent a lot of life. But, the X life gained by the opponent doesn't give a stacking layer with the layer from all the copies of TYS, and I don't know how to give copies of Angel of Vitality to the opponent, without being able to also give them Teysa Karlov and a bunch of tapped tokens, so that we can give life to the opponent much more cheaply. So this switch seems to drop a layer.

    One way to add a layer to this is to add a planeswalker that can destroy a creature, like Garruk, Cursed Huntsman, and have Bolas's Citadel sacrifice Garruk instead. So that gets us back to 12 layers - but while the Smothering Tithe / Unmoored Ego ending seems to play nice with planeswalkers, Nyx Lotus / Tenth District Veteran and Wilderness Reclamation do not. So we get around 3 -> 3 -> 54 -> 12, lower than our triple nesting chain.

    Another possibility is to go without Bolas's Citadel. The immediate problem is that we can't cast Alter Fate from the graveyard anymore. However, we can use Dawn of Hope to get many card draws from a single life gain, to draw Usher to Safety many times. This loses us the Alter Fate layer, so we drop one layer, but at least we keep the opponent life gain layer. So this puts the chain in a tie with the first one at triple nested 12-chain.


    Edit: Hmmm, with Bolas's Citadel, we can almost get the following:

    Layer 1: Casting Samut's Sprint can give many Gyre Engineers haste, thanks to Thousand-Year Storm.

    Layer 2: Tapping a Mountain can generate a lot of red mana, thanks to Nikya of the Old Ways.

    Layer 3: Casting Fertile Footsteps from Beanstalk Giant can fetch a Mountain many times.

    Layer 4: Casting Alter Fate from Order of Midnight can return Beanstalk Giant many times. We can cast it from our library using 2 life.

    Layer 5: A lifelink creature dealing damage to itself can gain us a lot of life, thanks to Angel of Vitality.

    Layer 6: Triggering step III of The Akroan War will cause a lot of tapped lifelink creatures to deal damage to themselves.

    Layer 7: Resolving a couple of proliferate triggers will add lore counters to a bunch of The Akroan Wars.

    Layer 8: Destroying a Martyr for the Cause will trigger many proliferates, thanks to Teysa Karlov.

    Layer 9: casting Finale of Eternity can destroy many copies of Martyr for the Cause.

    Layer 10: Tapping a black mana land can generate a lot of black mana.

    Layer 11: Activating Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner can untap a black mana land many times.

    Layer 12: Casting Heliod's Intervention can give the opponent a lot of life.

    Layer 13: Smothering Tithe can generate a lot of white mana.

    Layer 14: Unmoored Ego can force the opponent to draw 53 times.

    which would be 14 layers! The one flaw I can spot is that Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner allows us to draw a card whenever a creature of power 4 or greater enters the battlefield, which goes infinite with Quasiduplicate, provided we have a creature card of power 4 or greater. Of the top of my head, we have to get rid of Nikya of the Old Ways which loses 2 layers off that bat. That would already reduce this below the previous best chain. I don't know what to replace Kiora with; Nissa, Who Shakes the World's ability will turn the land into a creature, which will allow us to Quasiduplicate it cheaply; switching out Beanstalk Giant for Silverflame Squire untapping Gyre Engineer would also lose us two layers. And I still can't figure out how to make Rowan work.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Most Damage Without Going Infinite, GRN-M21 Standard edition.
    No worries, I should probably be making updates more often, since things change a lot.

    Another idea - instead of Silverflame Squire for On Alert, how about Beanstalk Giant for Fertile Footsteps? Fertile Footsteps can fetch a basic Mountain, which we can tap for a lot of red mana. We can then spend a red mana for say Rubble Reading, to destroy it. So, Fertile Footsteps can basically replace On Alert. The advantage is, we can now have nonbasic lands and artifacts later in the chain, without having to worry about getting untapped further down.

    So, we can have the same chain leading up to using Smothering Tithe and Unmoored Ego. That gets us to more than 3 -> 3 -> 54 -> 13. Then, we can make lots of copies of Wilderness Reclamation. At the beginning of the end step, we can untap a tapped land that produces black mana many times, which takes us to more than 3 -> 3 -> (3 -> 3 -> 54 -> 13) -> 13.

    So, the chain looks like:

    Layer 1: Casting Samut's Sprint can give many Gyre Engineers haste, thanks to Thousand-Year Storm.

    Layer 2: Tapping a Mountain can generate a lot of red mana, thanks to Nikya of the Old Ways.

    Layer 3: Casting Fertile Footsteps from Beanstalk Giant can fetch a Mountain many times.

    Layer 4: casting Usher to Safety from Shepherd of the Flock can bounce Beanstalk Giant many times.

    Layer 5: Casting Alter Fate from Order of Midnight can return Shepherd of the Flock many times. We can cast it from our library using 2 life.

    Layer 6: A Grasping Thrull can gain us a lot of life thanks to Angel of Vitality, at the cost of 2 life from the opponent.

    Layer 7: A lifelink creature dealing damage to itself can gain us a lot of life for the opponent, thanks to Angel of Vitality.

    Layer 8: Triggering step III of The Akroan War will cause a lot of tapped lifelink creatures to deal damage to themselves.

    Layer 9: Resolving a couple of proliferate triggers will add lore counters to a bunch of The Akroan Wars.

    Layer 10: Destroying a Martyr for the Cause will trigger many proliferates, thanks to Teysa Karlov.

    Layer 11: Casting Finale of Eternity can destroy many copies of Martyr for the Cause.

    Layer 12: Making the opponent draw a card will give us a lot of black mana because of Smothering Tithe.
    followed by


    Layer 12: Tapping a black mana land will generate a lot of black mana.

    Layer 13: At the beginning of the end step, we can untap many black mana lands thanks to Wilderness Reclamation.


    That's pretty good - but it doesn't feel like we're getting the full use out of Wilderness Reclamation, since we're only untapping a few lands each time. Can we somehow get a lot of black mana lands for Wilderness Reclamation to untap? The problem is, I think we would need to turn a land into a creature to do that. But, if we could do that, what's to prevent us from animating the Mountain, and making many copies with Quasiduplicate? So, I haven't quite figured that out yet.


    Edit: Hmm, now that we don't untap stuff anymore, it looks like Nyx Lotus can come back in. So we get:


    Layer 1: Casting Samut's Sprint can give many Gyre Engineers haste, thanks to Thousand-Year Storm.

    Layer 2: Tapping a Mountain can generate a lot of red mana, thanks to Nikya of the Old Ways.

    Layer 3: Casting Fertile Footsteps from Beanstalk Giant can fetch a Mountain many times.

    Layer 4: Casting Alter Fate from Order of Midnight can return Shepherd of the Flock many times. We can cast it from our library using 2 life.

    Layer 5: A Grasping Thrull can gain us a lot of life thanks to Angel of Vitality, at the cost of 2 life from the opponent.

    Layer 6: A lifelink creature dealing damage to itself can gain us a lot of life for the opponent, thanks to Angel of Vitality.

    Layer 7: Triggering step III of The Akroan War will cause a lot of tapped lifelink creatures to deal damage to themselves.

    Layer 8: Resolving a couple of proliferate triggers will add lore counters to a bunch of The Akroan Wars.

    Layer 9: Destroying a Martyr for the Cause will trigger many proliferates, thanks to Teysa Karlov.

    Layer 10: Casting Finale of Eternity can destroy many copies of Martyr for the Cause.

    Layer 11: Tapping an untapped Nyx Lotus can generate a lot of black mana.

    Layer 12: Casting Masterful Replication can turn a lot of artifacts into untapped Nyx Lotuses.

    Layer 13: Activating Karn, the Great Creator can turn many artifacts into creatures, and restart the above combo many times.

    So this should get us to more than 3 -> 3 -> 12 -> 14.


    Edit: Whoops, I missed a pretty obvious flaw. We can cast Masterful Replication in its first mode to create many artifact tokens, then cast it in its second to turn all the new artfacts into nonlegendary versions of Nyx Lotus. Oh well. I don't see a fix for this.

    So, going back to the previous version, I believe we can still make use of Nyx Lotus. We can animate it, then attack with many copies of Tenth District Veteran, allowing us to untap it many times. So, this gets another Layer 13 activation. That will take our damage up to 3 -> 3 -> (3 -> 3 -> (3 -> 3 -> 54 -> 13) -> 13) -> 13.


    Edit: I'm thinking that we can get back to 14 layers, if we repace Karn, the Great Creator with Rowan, Fearless Sparkmage. We can use proliferates to increase her number of loyalty counters (through combat, I suppose), and then activate her ultimate. Activating her ultimate gets a lot of copies, and resolving one copy can untap a lot of Nyx Lotuss, which we can animate with Animating Faerie. So that should get us to 14 layers.


    Edit: It looks like there's a problem again: We can proliferate until Rowan gets precisely 9 counters, then she will kill herself with her ultimate, allowing us to recycle her. Also, we can use the proliferates that we generate from one Rowan to add counters onto the next, so it looks like the last chain goes infinite.

    Unless - what if we got rid of Bolas's Citadel, and had no way to draw planeswalkers? We can fetch instants and sorceries using Scholar of the Ages, we can fetch creatures using Vivien's Invocation, we can fetch artifacts and enchantments using Dance of the Manse, and we can fetch basic lands using Beanstalker Giant. I'm sure there are many ways to fetch nonbasic lands as well. So this idea could maybe work? It would be devilishly hard to get started though. We get cards from Emergency Powers - could we possibly squeeze in a second Emergency Powers or Finale of Revelation, without going infinite?
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Most Damage Without Going Infinite, GRN-M21 Standard edition.
    True - fortunately, our current chain doesn't have Nyx Lotus, so that's okay.

    Hmm, Bond of Revival is interesting. Unfortunately, I guess we would need black mana to cast it? And since we cast it during the stage, we need to have black mana during the stage. Not sure how to fit Godless Shrine in there, unless we put lands in the stage as well, which kind of defeats the purpose of switching from lands to creatures in the stage...
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Most Damage Without Going Infinite, GRN-M21 Standard edition.
    Yeah, I think that goes infinite. We can get a "hasted" blue mana producer, by playing Maraleaf Pixie on turn 2, so that it no longer has summoning sickness and we can just untap it. But, I don't see how to preserve Layer 1 - we need to turn red mana (or white or black could work) into a bunch of blue mana somehow, presumably by untapping or hasting Gyre Engineers or Maraleaf Pixies.


    Edit: So, I have an interesting idea. What if we replaced the lands in the stage combo with creatures? The immediate problem seems to be, if creatures can produce mana in the stage, then why can't we just use Quasiduplicate them to get unlimited amounts of mana. But, there's an interesting enchantment called Rhythm of the Wild, which gives all nontoken creatures riot. That means that they come in with either a +1/+1 token or haste. So, we can have the creature cards that we put onto the battlefield during the stage combo come in with haste, but we won't necessarily be able to give any creature tokens haste. So this makes the stage combo seem doable with creatures.

    So, here's the proposed setup: We will have Quasiduplicate copy Scholar of the Ages to get our instants and sorceries. We can use Scholar of the Ages to fetch Vivien's Invocation, which we cast to bring two copies of Maraleaf Pixie onto the battlefield. Rhythm of the Wild gives them haste, so we can tap them for two blue mana and a bunch of green mana. Then, we cast Collision // Colossus (also fetched with Scholar of the Ages) to destroy both Pixies, sending them to the graveyard. Resolving a copy of Devious Cover-Up will bring them back to the library, to do the combo again. I think this is a working stage combo?

    If this works, then we can go on the the next layers with Samut's Sprint or On Alert, same as before. The difference is, we haven't used up lands, so they can be used for more of the later layers. My first thought was that we could probably make some major change to give the lands the most effective increase, but after looking for a bit, I haven't found anything better than keeping the lands in the same place, being untapped by On Alert and creating red mana to cast many copies of Samut's Sprint.

    But, we can still improve the combo by adding copies of Nikya of the Old Ways, allowing the red land to tap for a lot of red mana. That will give us another layer. The only concern I think is, how to get rid of all the Nikyas after we tap them for mana, so that we can start casting noncreature spells again. I'm thinking Aether Gust works? If so, we add a straight one layer to the chain, getting us to more than 3 -> 3 -> 54 -> 13.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Most Damage Without Going Infinite, GRN-M21 Standard edition.
    Ooh nice! Oh, but it can target our animated land and untap it. So close.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Most Damage Without Going Infinite, GRN-M21 Standard edition.
    Oh, right. We could possibly work around that, if we worked things so that the animated Nyx Lotus could not get haste. There are some ways to deal with problems, for example for Layer 2, Nissa can give the land haste, and for Layer 5, we can use Goblin Smuggler to get tapped tokens. But, I don't see a way to preserve Layer 1, since the idea is to use red mana to give our mana creatures haste. Since we only improved by one layer, it looks like we don't improve with this.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Most Damage Without Going Infinite, GRN-M21 Standard edition.
    Oh, I forgot that we needed to fetch Lotus Field to destroy our lands. In any case, we were only using Fertile Footsteps in inferior chains, so it doesn't really matter.


    Edit: Okay, I think I see a way to stick in the Masteful Replication combo at the end. We have to get rid of Usher to Safety, since it can bounce Karn, the Great Creator, but we are able to make up the lost layer and wind up ahead, it looks like. We have:


    Layer 1: Casting Samut's Sprint can give many Gyre Engineers haste, thanks to Thousand-Year Storm.

    Layer 2: Casting On Alert from Silverflame Squire can untap a red tapped land many times.

    Layer 3: Casting Alter Fate from Order of Midnight can return Shepherd of the Flock many times. We can cast it from our library using 2 life.

    Layer 4: A Grasping Thrull can gain us a lot of life thanks to Angel of Vitality, at the cost of 2 life from the opponent.

    Layer 5: A lifelink creature dealing damage to itself can gain us a lot of life for the opponent, thanks to Angel of Vitality.

    Layer 6: Triggering step III of The Akroan War will cause a lot of tapped lifelink creatures to deal damage to themselves.

    Layer 7: Resolving a couple of proliferate triggers will add lore counters to a bunch of The Akroan Wars.

    Layer 8: Destroying a Martyr for the Cause will trigger many proliferates, thanks to Teysa Karlov

    Layer 9: Casting Finale of Eternity can destroy many Martyrs for the Cause.

    Layer 10: Tapping an untapped Nyx Lotus can generate a lot of black mana.

    Layer 11: Casting Masterful Replication can turn a lot of artifacts into untapped Nyx Lotuses.

    Layer 12: Activating Karn, the Great Creator can turn many artifacts into creatures, and restart the above combo many times.


    We can have Karn, the Great Creator, and four Spark Doubles, allowing for five Karn activations. Then, we can kill them all with Drakuseth, and play them all again. So we get 10 activations, enough for more than 3 -> 3 -> 12 -> 13.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Most Damage Without Going Infinite, GRN-M21 Standard edition.
    Hmm, I guess I wrote that without really thinking it through carefully. The idea was that we could cast Fertile Foosteps as an alternative to Quasiduplicate, so that we could build a stage using 2 less blue mana, which I figured would allow us to profit 2 blue mana. But, now that I think about it, each time we resolve a stage, we lose a group of mana. So after resolving the stage here, we would lose the 2 blue mana that we had to gain.

    We could make it work I think, if we inserted two copies of Fertile Foosteps into the stage. Then, the stage would have cost 4 blue mana than it was supposed to, and even when we lose two blue mana be finishing off the whole combo, we would still be 2 blue mana ahead. But, I don't see an easy way to insert two copies of Fertile Footsteps. due to stack issues. I guess we can have Fertile Foosteps in our hand, and Usher to Safety / Alter Fate available. We can than cast Fertile Footsteps, cast Devious Cover-Up, and then cast Usher to Safety / Alter Fate to retrieve Beanstalk Giant after we cast it from exile. We can then cast Fertile Foosteps to build up the stage further. So we have a 3-layer stage combo while spending only two blue mana, and after we resolve the 3-stage combo we can get 4 blue mana back, so we will profit 2 blue mana. But, I don't see how to profitably use all the copies of Usher to Safety, so in fact it will be Usher to Safety that is Layer 0 rather than Fertile Footsteps. That means we lose 2 layers rather than 1, and only the Saheeli, Sublime Articer chain from above is still at 11 layers. Anyway, all 3 of the previous chains were already worse than our current chain, so I guess it's rather academic.


    Edit: I believe I can get one more layer - we add a red tapped land or shockland, and use Nissa, Who Shakes the World to animate it. Then, we can use On Alert to untap that land for red, and then use the red to repeated cast Samut's Sprint, giving our Gyre Engineers haste. So that should be one more layer. Though, we can't use Chandra, Awakened Inferno anymore, since we now have access to the red mana to recast it. But, any black planeswalker that can destroy creatures should be fine - Garruk, Cursed Huntsman for example. So that gets us to at least 3 -> 3 -> 54 -> 12. That beats our deck from the previous Standard! (but on turn 3, of course)
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  • posted a message on Most Damage Without Going Infinite, GRN-M21 Standard edition.
    Ooh, I missed that the target creature will never go to the graveyard, so Martyr for the Cause won't get activated. So it looks like that works! It's too bad that the layer that we get from killing off many Martyr for the Causes won't stack with the layer that we would get for having many Teysa Karlovs. But, I guess that does mean we won't need to have Teysa Karlov for dies triggers. We are still using her for lifelink, but we don't necessarily need Spark Double anymore. (although I suspect it will be useful for more planeswalker activations).


    Edit: So, I had a few ideas for sticking Nyx Lotus in, nothing really great though. If we have cheap enough ways to give a creature haste, then we can animate Nyx Lotus with Dance of the Manse, and then give it haste, to be continually untapped with On Alert. So, in that case we need to replace On Alert. Fertile Footsteps from Beanstalk Giant can get fetch a few basic lands, so it's roughly equivalent to Quasiduplicate without the blue mana cost, so it can function as Layer 0. This loses us one layer.

    Also, if we need to use a Planeswalker, Usher to Safety can bounce the Planeswalker, and Nyx Lotus can pay to cast it, so we can't have Usher to Safety if we need to use a Planeswalker later on.

    One possible ending is:

    Layer 8: Destroying a Martyr for the Cause will trigger many proliferates, thanks to Teysa Karlov.

    Layer 9: Casting Finale of Eternity will destroy many Martyrs for the Cause.

    Layer 10: Tapping a Nyx Lotus can generate a lot of black mana.

    Layer 11: Activating a Saheeli, Sublime Artificer can turn many untapped artifacts into Nyx Lotus, thanks to Repeated Reverberation.

    So that would be 12 layers - except, to use Saheeli, Sublime Artificer, we have to get rid of Usher to Safety, so that loses 1 layer, down to 11. And this 11-chain is based on number of Saheeli activations, which is very likely going to be less than 53.

    Another possibility is to replace Saheeli with Rowan, Fearless Sparkmage. Rowan's ultimate can untap a lot of animated Nyx Lotuses and give them haste, so that can be one more layer. However, now we have hasted animated Nyx Lotuses, so we can't have On Alert, so we lose a layer. So this winds up being equivalent to the Saheeli version.


    Edit: Another possibility is to have many Tenth District Veterans untap lots of Nyx Lotuses. But again, this means we can't have On Alert, so that drops the combo down to a 10-chain, albeit a big 10-chain.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Most Damage Without Going Infinite, GRN-M21 Standard edition.
    Looking good, lots of open card slots.

    I think bouncing a planeswalker back to our hand should be fine, so long as we don't have the mana to be able to cast it. So it needs to be red or black. All the planeswalkers that are able to destroy a Martyr for the Cause seem to be red or black anyway, so that should be fine. But, Chandra, Awakened Inferno has the problem that it can destroy itself by activating it for 6, so it can put itself back in the library.

    Oh nice, so that combo does seem to work. But, I can't quite see how to use it to extend our combo to further layers. The combo seems to be limited by Dance of the Manse, which requires blue and white mana, and needs to be in our hand. But, we have to be able to fetch instants and sorceries cheaply for the stage combo it seems, and Nyx Lotus can get us pleny of mana of any color. I'm wondering if there is some way to make things difficult in terms of having Dance of the Manse and our artifacts in either our graveyard or library. But, at first glance, it seems like we can cast Dance of the Manse, and then fetch it from the graveyard by casting Quasiduplicate to copy Scholar of the Ages (or else, cast Devious Cover-Up to reshuffle, then cast the Quasiduplicate to copy the other instant/sorcery fetcher). Quasiduplicate can also copy Nyx Lotus to put it back into the graveyard for recycling. Hmmm, but the other artifact doesn't have to be legendary, so perhaps there is no easy way to destroy it? That could be a thing.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Most Damage Without Going Infinite, GRN-M21 Standard edition.
    Devious Cover-Up versus Quasiduplicate seems fine, we will have lands that produce 2 blue and 2 nonblue, and we will just build up nonblue mana, that won't help increase the stage. So Goblin Electromancer may be unnecessary, although having one might not be a bad idea.

    Loaming Shaman and Enhanced Surveillance seem like they would be reused via Quasiduplicate, which is probably no good.

    True, the next 2 expansions can certainly shake things up.


    Edit: I think I can get us back up to 11 layers again. Instead of having On Alert untap Nyx Lotus, it will untap Gyre Engineer. That loses us our first two layers for Samut's Sprint and Nyx Lotus getting lots of mana. But, we can make that back up because some mana colors are restricted again. We can cast Alter Fate to recycle Shepherd of the Flock, and we can only cast Alter Fate from the library at the cost of life, because we won't have the black mana to cast it from our hand. Then, we can end with a Planeswalker destryong many copies of Martyr for the Cause, and then Smothering Tithe getting us lots of mana from our restricted colors. We can bounce the Planeswalker with Shepherd of the Flock, but if the Planeswalker is red or black, we won't have the mana to recast it.

    So we get:

    Layer 1: Casting On Alert from Silverflame Squire can untap Gyre Engineer many times.

    Layer 2: casting Usher to Safety from Shepherd of the Flock can bounce Silverflame Squire many times.

    Layer 3: Casting Alter Fate from Order of Midnight can return Shepherd of the Flock many times. We can cast it from our library using 2 life.

    Layer 4: A Grasping Thrull can gain us a lot of life thanks to Angel of Vitality, at the cost of 2 life from the opponent.

    Layer 5: A lifelink creature dealing damage to itself can gain us a lot of life for the opponent, thanks to Angel of Vitality.

    Layer 6: Triggering step III of The Akroan War will cause a lot of tapped lifelink creatures to deal damage to themselves.

    Layer 7: Resolving a couple of proliferate triggers will add lore counters to a bunch of The Akroan Wars.

    Layer 8: Destroying a Martyr for the Cause will trigger many proliferates, thanks to Teysa Karlov

    Layer 9: Activating a creature destruction planeswalker ability will destroy many copies of Martyr for the Cause, thanks to Repeated Reverberation.

    Layer 10: Making the opponent draw a card will give us a lot of black mana because of Smothering Tithe, which we can use to destroy planeswalkers using Dreadmalken.

    So back up to 11 layers, hopefully.


    Edit: Some random thoughts - I was wondering if maybe Dawn of Hope could be used for some advantage. However, it looks like having a life gain trigger a lot of card draws, so that we can draw say Shepherd of the Flock many times to cast it without spending life, is pretty much the same as gaining a lot of life with that life gain trigger and using it to cast Usher to Safety from the library many times.

    I was also thinking about shenanigans with Nyx Lotus, perhaps with cards like Dance of the Manse, Spark Double, Saheeli, Sublime Artificer, or Masterful Replcation. One possibility: Use Dance of the Manse to bring bac Nyx Lotus and one other artifact as artifact creatures. Cast Spark Double, and have it copy Nyx Lotus, to get a noncreature, nonlegendary Spark Double. Replicate a lot of noncreature copies of the other artifact. Then, cast Masterful Replication to make all other artifacts into copies of the Spark Double version of Nyx Lotus.

    Rules question: after Masterful Replication, will our artifacts made into creatures by Dance of the Manse still be creatures? Probably, in which case the above combo seems too easily repeatable. But, we could use Saheeli instead of Masterful Replication, to get many copies of Nyx Lotus at the cost of a planeswalker activation.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Most Damage Without Going Infinite, GRN-M21 Standard edition.
    Oh, for the Adventure additions, the idea was to get rid of Clear the Mind, perhaps using Devious Cover-Up. (Can we get that to work instead?) Then, to get instants and sorceries back, we can use Augur of Bolas or Scholar for the Ages. So we can cast the Adventure spells from the library, but only at the cost of life, which is the next layer up.

    But yeah, there is some cleaning up to do, like replacing Clear the Mind, and figuring out the start.


    Edit: Okay, the most recent 11 layer chain doesn't work, because Usher to Safety can bounce our planeswalkers so that we can replay them. One option is to just remove Usher to Safety, and cast On Alert with life instead. That takes us down to 10 layers. But, we could also try to keep Usher to Safety, and see if there is some other way to destroy our copies of Martyr for the Cause. We can attack with many copies of Bloodfist Infiltrator or Drakuseth, Maw of Flames, destroying many Martyrs. So that also gets us to 10 layers. The difference is, that the planeswalker version will take us to X -> X -> N+1 -> 10, where N is the number of times that we can activate a planeswalker ability that can destroy a Marytr for the Cause. That is probably double digits at most. On the other hand, for the attacking creature version, N is based on how many Bloodfist Infiltrators and Drakuseths that we can attack with, so in that version N will itself be a large 4-chain number. So that's currently the best version for the turn 3 deck.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Most Damage Without Going Infinite, GRN-M21 Standard edition.
    Hmm yeah, Rosethorn Acolyte's ability could be a problem. Anyway, I've found something better: Animate Nyx Lotus with Dance of the Manse or whatever, and give it haste with say Samut's Sprint. Then we can cast On Alert from Silverflame Squire to repeated untap it, and each time it taps for a lot of red mana, after making many copies of a red permanent, like The Akroan War. So we get one more layer, up to 11?

    Hmm, that does seem pretty rough for the 2-stage attempt.
    Posted in: Magic General
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