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LSV’s Play – Dodging Mana Leak

The Scenario

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Of note is that we highly suspect the opponent to have a Mana Leak (though it could be the opponent trying to sell that by thinking about Leaking earlier).

There are a couple neat things going on here.

First of all, you have to look at how much mana you have at your disposal. Between Smokebraider and Soulbright Flamekin, you can generate another 4 mana on top of the 7 your lands can produce, while also giving your team trample.

Gut Shot adds an additional point of damage to any line, and can kill a Gust-Skimmer if you end up on defense. Brute Force can also add 3 to your damage count, or let a blocking Waxmane Baku kill an Aethersnipe.

Lastly, Mirror Entity puts a counter on Waxmane Baku, making it easier to either attack or survive.

The best line I saw in the comments came from Isaac Troan.

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Bravo, Isaac. This technically isn’t wrong, as I never stated your exact deck contents, and you could chain Swans draws perfectly. That being said, I wouldn’t recommend going down this path.

My Play

Whether or not your opponent has Mana Leak doesn’t affect the way you start your turn, just how you finish it. Either way, I think you lead by casting Mirror Entity off Smokebraider and a land, putting a counter on Waxmane. I like tapping Braider because it guarantees you are spending Elemental mana without using up lands, but it doesn’t matter a ton in this case.

If your opponent doesn’t cast Mana Leak:

Assuming no response, you can just win. Use your 6 remaining lands to activate Soulbright Flamekin three times, giving your team trample and generating 8 total mana. Activate Mirror Entity for 7, then use the last mana to tap Aethersnipe with Waxmane Baku. Attack for 14, and cast Gut Shot on Swans for style.

If your opponent does cast Mana Leak:

If the opponent has a Leak and can see the kill, just pay the 3 mana and pass the turn. On the opponent’s turn, tap Swans with Waxmane before they attack. If both Skimmers and Aethersnipe come in, you can Gut Shot a Gust-Skimmer and block ‘Snipe with Waxmane and cast Brute Force. You go to 2, and win on your turn unless the opponent has a way to deal with Mirror Entity.

What you do in this situation ends up being somewhat straightforward, but I thought the interactions were interesting, and the numbers all lined up nicely. This seems like a very plausible Limited situation, and how to navigate it was neat to figure out.

I’ll be back soon with another scenario, and until then, please keep sending them in to [email protected] for your chance to win $25 store credit at ChannelFireball.com!

LSV

Discussion

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