Epic Puzzle: Turn 1 Drinker

Epic Box

Foreword

I recently posted an absurd Epic recycling scenario in my Epic Recycle Interactions article. This then led to a reader posting another crazy scenario which was awesome. So, based on vjjft’s recommendation, I am going to be posting more puzzle challenges on the blog going forward. Depending on participation, I might put up a Sea Hydra play mat as a reward.

Sea Hydra Play Mat

The Challenge

drinker_of_bloodOn the first turn of a 2-player standard game, you must put Drinker of Blood into play. Assuming your opponent plays nothing:

  1. What is the max amount of damage you can do in one turn?
  2. What is the max amount of health you can gain in one turn?
  3. What is the biggest health difference that can be achieved in one turn?

 

Since this is the first turn of the game, you start with 5 cards in hand and neither player has any cards in their discard piles. It is unlikely that all 3 questions will have the same solution.

Comment below with just the numbers you reached. I’ll wait to say my numbers until Saturday night, 6/25/16. In one week, on 6/30/16, everyone should post their comment with their answers.

 

Winners

Greylag (2 winning solutions), Ydnad (1 winning solution)

– Ydnad’s 71 damage submitted on June 29, 6:18pm was the first submission of the highest damage, result confirmed

– Greylag’s 43(45) health submitted on June 30, 5:01pm(July 1, 11:56am) was the highest health gain, result confirmed

– Greylag’s 98 difference submitted on June 30, 4:55pm was the greatest difference, result confirmed (you forgot to attack with the second pegasus in the difference calculation you posted, hence 98 not 94)

– No solution was posted for Josiah Fiscus’s 77 damage solution, but it was posted on June 27, 1:18pm

– Vjjft’s solutions involved a misuse of Faithful Pegasus, but even deducting that damage, the damage solution was only 6 below the winning solution

The next puzzle will be posted on Monday 7/18. The plan is to post it at 7pm CDT, but I am open to a time adjustment. There will be a few changes to the format that I will discuss at that time. Overall winner of that puzzle will receive the Sea Hydra play mat. (article updated with this information)

**Update** Derek Best Answers

My spam filter caught Derek’s answers, and I didn’t see them until today. They were submitted after the deadline (not including the spam delay) so Greylag and Ydnad are still technically the winners, but…

– Derek’s 83 damage submitted on July 1, 6:05pm was the highest damage submitted, result confirmed

– Derek’s 55 health submitted on July 1, 6:05pm was the highest health gain submitted, result confirmed

– Derke’s 119 difference submitted on July 1, 6:05pm was the greatest difference submitted, result confirmed

New Dawn put Derek over the edge without actually breaking any of the puzzle rules. I will have to specifically mention whether or not I’ll allow that in the next puzzle if applicable. (I probably will allow it.)

42 thoughts on “Epic Puzzle: Turn 1 Drinker”

  1. Great puzzle! Here’s the best I’ve gotten:
    Maximum damage: 29
    Maximum healing: 27
    Maximum swing (healing + damage): 36

    1. Wait, no, watch this spot – new method and I’m up to 40 damage and 49 swing so far, still working on max healing…

      1. Ok, I think this is the absolute best I can do. Here’s my final totals:
        Maximum damage: 40
        Maximum healing: 31
        Maximum swing (healing + damage): 49

        I hope more people enter – I’d dearly love a playmat! 🙂

  2. I just saw greylag’s post on BGG.
    This is a fun contest! I guess I’m a bit late but here are my numbers anyways:

    Maximum damage: 42
    Maximum healing: 33
    Maximum swing (healing + damage): 55

    1. Updated numbers:
      (I’ll share the exact method later today)

      Maximum damage: 71
      Maximum healing: 37
      Maximum swing (healing + damage): 79

  3. Excellent, my first quick pass was just:

    Maximum damage: 27
    Maximum healing: 14
    Maximum swing (healing + damage): 43

    I’m looking forward to seeing how high the numbers go, and if I can match them before 6/30/16.

    I like where this is going, so I am going to try and come up with multiple puzzles that I could use for the playmat challenge.

    1. Just so you know, Tom, Ydnad’s post lit a fire under me, and I’m onto 65 damage for the 1st part of the challenge now… Will post more when I have all 3 answers. Thank you for the challenge, I wouldn’t have thought these numbers were possible if I hadn’t looked into it like this. (I *really* hope I’m not making any silly errors…)

  4. By the way – I’m assuming we’re all using constructed decks here. What about Kickstarter cards? My figure of 65 uses some of the KS cards – there are a couple which REALLY ramp up the damage.

  5. I think we should modify the challenge so that the opponent can take infinite damage because we already reached the theoretical maximum of 30. 🙂

    Thank you greylag for showing that we can still do better.
    I will reconsider my strategy. 🙂

    1. Let’s just say we are single-handedly fighting one of the Elder Gods (from the Kickstarter), who begin with 90 HP. That will do until we find a solution for 90+ damage… 😉

  6. The original intent was constructed rules: just 3 of any card in your deck seemed the only relevant one. KS cards are fine (since I haven’t talked about them much on the blog, they can be found here http://www.epiccardgame.com/card-gallery/).

    I’ll make the rules a bit tighter for future challenges, once this one ends. 90 HP for an Elder God seems like a strong target number but overkill is underappreciated.

    1. Just to check, Josiah – that includes playing Drinker? (You’re not starting with it already in play – your turn has to involve getting it onto the table.)

          1. vjjft, I ended up with a spreadsheet of some kind showing one of yours. I’m not sure it’s right! Can Pegasus launch an expended champion back into battle? That’s not how I thought Pegasus worked…

            1. Wait, can Pegasus do that? That makes it way more powerful than I thought…

              Also the play order of Revolt + Pegasus matters.
              If I’m not mistaken Revolt doesn’t affect the champions that come to play after Revolt was played.

            2. It is quite powerful (though I knew of its use, iirc it was a game against Tom where I first saw multiple in play escorting Lord of the Arena to my utter loss (Tom, if I’m wrong, my apologies)).

              The requirement of a champion being ready is for the context of choosing champions when declaring an attack. The Pegasus ability is triggered (so resolves after the attack has been declared) and says nothing about champion state.

              I checked the current Card Rulings, and Pegasus is not listed. Until it is, I’d say “Enjoy your Faithful Pegasus (or 3)!” 🙂

              1. Hey, awesome solutions everyone. I haven’t had a chance to go through them closely yet (working on an article for tonight), but they seem pretty solid.

                Faithful Pegasus is a card that was discussed a bit on the facebook page with Ian (the head rules guy at WWG). The wording isn’t the greatest, but Faithful Pegasus can only attack with another human champion that is legal to attack. In other words, the human champion can’t be expended or deploying (unless it has blitz).

                As soon as the champions attack the escorted human champion (Lord of the Arena for instance) gains airborne until the end of the turn (which can only be removed by Blind Faith). The nice thing about Faithful Pegasus and Lord of the Arena is that they both have blitz. 15 airborne blitz damage from 2 cards, 13 of which is unbreakable, is quite nice.

                1. Well, to clarify, Faithful Pegasus can attack in a group with any legal champions, but it can only give airborne to a human champion that is legally attacking with it.

                2. Any link for that, so I can refer to it until WWG updates their card rulings?

                  Given that ruling, it isn’t that the wording on Pegasus isn’t the greatest; it is that the wording on Pegasus doesn’t say what WWG apparently intended it to say, and it should be fixed with errata.

                  1. If the WWG ruling is not just that it is restricted to ready champions but also that “it can only give airborne to a human champion that is legally _attacking with it_.”, that is even further from what is written on the card.

                    The errata would need to read “-> One of your attacking or blocking human champions may gain airborne this turn.”

                    1. The ruling wasn’t quite as robust as I remember.
                      Question on Facebook Epic Card Game Fan Page from 3/3/16:
                      “Faithful Pegasus….can it cause a human champion that entered play this turn, that does not have blitz, to join the attack?”

                      Ian Taylor’s response came after a few non-WWG affiliated responses:
                      “No.”

                      The primary wrinkle for accurate wording is with regard to blocking, since the human isn’t a legal champion to block an airborne champion until after Faithful Pegasus gives it airborne. I thought Ian said at some point that it had to be a human champion that could legally attack, but I am not sure where. For blocking I would assume the same thing in that it can’t be flipped or expended.

                      The best errata I can come up with is just adding ‘if possible’ to the end, and then just have an official ruling for reference. (Since the card is packed with text as is.)

                      When this champion attacks or blocks → One of your human champions may gain airborne this turn and attack or block with this card ‘if possible’.

  7. A little over 3 hours (11:59pm CDT) left to post final numbers. After that, everyone is free to share their answers to determine the winner.

  8. Maximum damage 71 (total damage in brackets)

    Opening hand: Warrior Golem A, Surprise Attack, Flash Fire, Inspiration A, Inspiration B

    1. Play Warrior Golem A, reveal Inspiration A + B for Loyalty, attack for 4 (4)

    2. Play Surprise Attack, drawing Mist Guide Herald A…

    3. … Put Mist Guide Herald A into play, revealing Mist Guide Herald B…

    4. … Put Mist Guide Herald B into play, revealing Mist Guide Herald C…

    5. … Put Mist Guide Herald C into play, revealing Drinker of Blood…

    6. … Put Drinker of Blood into play

    7. Flash Fire, dealing 2 damage direct, killing 4 champions for 8 damage = 10 (14)

    8. Warrior Golem triggers, recycles Surprise Attack + Flash Fire to draw Inspiration C

    9. Discard now contains: [Mist Guide Herald A + B + C]

    10. Inspiration A on Warrior Golem A + Mist Guide Herald A, draws Knight Of the Dawn A + B

    11. Inspiration B on Mist Guide Herald B + Mist Guide Herald C, draws Knight of the Dawn C + Faithful Pegasus

    12. Inspiration C on Inspiration A + Inspiration B, draws Revolt A + B

    13. Play Knight of the Dawn A through C

    14. Play Revolt A

    15. Play Faithful Pegasus to recycle Inspiration C, Revolt A, drawing Revolt C

    16. Play Revolt B + C

    17. Champions are now buffed as follows:

    18. KoTD A + B + C = 6 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 12 each

    19. Human Token A = 1 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 7

    20. Faithful Pegasus = 2 + 2 + 2 = 6

    21. Human Token B = 1 + 2 + 2 = 5

    22. Human Token C = 1 + 2 = 3

    23. Swing with all Good champions for 36 + 7 + 6 + 5 + 3 = 57 (71)

    1. Maximum swing of 94 (giving total damage/healing in brackets as xD, yH)

      The opening hand and early play is as above in my maximum damage example. The difference is in the 6 cards drawn from the 3 plays of Inspiration.

      The swing after having attacked with Warrior Golem and later played Flash Fire is 4D from WG, 2D from Flash Fire, -2H from Flash Fire, and 8D and 8H from Drinker of Blood triggers. (14D, 6H)

      10. Inspiration A on WG A + MGH A, draws Revolt A + Revolt B

      11. Inspiration B on MGH B + MGH C, draws Arcane Research A + Hands from Below

      12. Inspiration C on Inspiration A + Inspiration B, draws Faithful Pegasus A + B

      13. Now:

      14. Play Hands from Below

      15. Faithful Pegasus A recycles Inspiration C, Hands from Below, draws Arcane Research B

      16. Play Revolt A

      17. Play Revolt B

      18. Faithful Pegasus B recycles Revolt A, Revolt B, draws Warrior Golem B

      19. Play Warrior Golem B, reveal Arcane Research A + B for Loyalty

      20. Play Arcane Research A, banishing 0 from discard, drawing Revolt C

      21. Play Arcane Research B, banishing 0 from discard, drawing Flash Fire

      22. Play Revolt C

      23. Champions are now buffed as follows:

      24. Faithful Pegasus A = 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 8

      25. Human Token A = 1 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 7

      26. Human Token B = 1 + 2 + 2 = 5

      27. Human Token C = 1 + 2 = 3

      28. Warrior Golem B = 4

      29. (zombie tokens cannot attack as are expended)

      30. Attack with champions above for 8 + 7 + 5 + 3 + 4 = 27 (41D, 6H)

      31. Play Flash Fire, breaking 8 champions, for 18D 14H (59D 20H)

      32. Discard now contains [Faithful Pegasus A + B, Warrior Golem B, Revolt C, Flash Fire]

      33. Warrior Golem triggers, recycling Faithful Pegasus A + B, drawing 2nd Chance A

      34. Play 2nd Chance A, recycling Warrior Golem B + Revolt C, drawing 2nd Chance B (59D 25H)

      35. Play 2nd Chance B, recycling Flash Fire + 2nd Chance A, drawing 2nd Chance C (59D 30H)

      36. Play 2nd Chance C (59D 35H)

      37. Total swing 59 + 35 = 94

      1. Maximum Health (total in brackets)

        Opening Hand: Hands from Below, Priest of Kalnor A, Surprise Attack, Wolf’s Bite, Flash Fire

        1. Play Hands from Below

        2. Play Priest of Kalnor A, healing 4 (4)

        3. As above, play Surprise Attack => Mist Guide Herald x3 => Drinker of Blood

        4. Play Wolf’s Bite, dealing 2 damage to Priest of Kalnor, recycling Hands from Below and Surprise Attack to draw Inspiration A

        5. Play Flash Fire, killing 7 (zombie x 2, wolf, PoK, MGH x 3), healing net 12 (16)

        6. Play Inspiration A on Mist Guide Herald A + B, drawing Inspiration B, 2nd Wind A

        7. Play Inspiration B on Inspiration A, Mist Guide Herald B, drawing 2nd Wind B and 2nd Wind C

        8. Play 2nd Wind A, recycling Wolf’s Bite + Flash Fire, drawing Forcemage Apprentice A (21)

        9. Play 2nd Wind B, recycling Priest of Kalnor A + 2nd Wind A, drawing Inspiration C (26)

        10. Forcemage Apprentice A expends to deal 2 damage to itself, healing 2 (28)

        11. Play Inspiration C on Inspiration B, Forcemage Apprentice A, drawing Priest of Kalnor B + C

        12. Play 2nd Wind C, recycling Inspiration C, 2nd Wind B, drawing Forcemage Apprentice B (33)

        13. Play Priest of Kalnor B + C, healing 8 (41)

        14. Forcemage Apprentice B expends to deal 2 damage to itself, healing 2 (43)

        Too late for this result, but I could have done 2 better by exchanging PoK C for Hands from Below B, FMA B for Wolf’s Bite B, then playing out as I did at the start, Hands from Below, PoK, Wolf’s Bite on PoK recycles HfB and 2nd Wind C, draws FF, play FF.

  9. Can’t wait to see everyone else’s methods! I’m especially proud of the “warrior golem blitz trick” I pull with Arcane Research in my healing result. And the absurd stacking of Revolt really surprised me – terrifying numbers!

    1. One trick I had up my sleeve but never got to lose was pitching a single copy of Inspiration as first play, banishing nothing and still drawing 1, to later use as recycle fodder. But Inspiration proved too useful as a draw engine with the multiple copies of Mist Guide Herald available to target.

      I spent a long time looking at whether it was possible to play Drinker of Blood in any other way – I was most interested in whether we could get to play it from the discard. But the only way I found to pitch 1-cost champions to discard was to target myself with Thought Plucker’s (post-errata) tribute effect, but then the gold is spent and can’t be used again on the variety of Evil reanimation cards. If anyone’s achieved this, I’d be delighted…

      1. I think I missed the deadline because I thought this was ending Saturday for some reason, but here is my answer.

        Max Damage (83) & Max Difference (119) [Your health /Opp. health]
        Opening Hand: New Dawn, Mist Guide Herald (MGH), Arcane Research, Warrior Golem (WG), Inspiration.

        Play New Dawn putting MGH into play and then chaining two more into a Drinker of Blood (DoB). Opponent puts same chain of 3 MGH into play but then puts Zealous Necromancer (ZN) into play (opponent is technically not playing anything by putting champions into play with New Dawn).

        Play WG revealing Arcane Research and Inspiration. Attack with WG [4/0] (opponent decides not to block). Play Arcane Research drawing Flash Fire (FF).

        Play FF dealing 2 damage to both players [6/-2] and breaking 6x MGH and WG for 7 DoB triggers [20/12] and 7 ZN triggers. Recycle New Dawn and Flash Fire with WG trigger drawing Inspiration.

        Play Inspiration banishing 2x MGH drawing Knight of the Dawn (KotD) and Revolt. Play Inspiration banishing MGH and WG drawing Inspiration and Revolt. Play Inspiration banishing 2x Inspiration drawing Revolt and Faithful Pegasus (FP).

        Play KotD then Revolt. Play FP recycling Inspiration and Revolt drawing Faithful Pegasus. Play 2x Revolt then Faithful Pegasus recycling 2x Revolt drawing Flash Fire. Attack with all for 35 [55/12] (opponent decides not to block) then FF [57/10] for 13 Dob triggers [83/36].

        Max Health (55)
        Opening Hand: New Dawn, Mist Guide Herald, Hands from Below, Wither, Inspiration.

        Play New Dawn putting MGH into play and then chaining two more into a Drinker of Blood (DoB). Opponent puts same chain of 3 MGH into play but then puts Zealous Necromancer (ZN) into play.

        Play Wither targeting a MGH for 6 DoB and ZN triggers (12).

        Play Inspiration banishing 2x MGH drawing Priest of Kalnor and Inspiration. Play Inspiration banishing MGH and Inspiration drawing Vanishing and Inspiration. Play Priest of Kalnor (16) and Vanish it. Play Inspiration banishing Vanishing and Inspiration drawing Second Wind and Second Wind.

        Play Second Wind (21) recycling Wither and Inspiration drawing Second Wind. Play Hands from below making two zombies. Play Second Wind (26) recycling Hands from Below and Second Wind drawing Hands from Below. Play Second Wind (31) recycling Second Wind and Hands from Below drawing Wither. Play Priest of Kalnor (35) then Wither targeting a zombie for 10 DoB triggers (55).

        1. Sorry this didn’t go up sooner, my spam filter caught it, and I only now saw it. I verified the methods. These are the highest of all 3 fields, they do not break any rules I set, but they were submitted after the deadline. Still, since this was a test puzzle though, the deadline isn’t that important.

  10. Winners: Ydnad (1) and Greylag (2)

    – Ydnad’s 71 damage submitted on June 29, 6:18pm was the first submission of the highest damage, result confirmed

    – Greylag’s 43(45) health submitted on June 30, 5:01pm(July 1, 11:56am) was the highest health gain, result confirmed

    – Greylag’s 98 difference submitted on June 30, 4:55pm was the greatest difference, result confirmed (you forgot to attack with the second pegasus in the difference calculation you posted, hence 98 not 94)

    – No solution was posted for Josiah Fiscus’s 77 damage solution, but it was posted on June 27, 1:18pm

    – Vjjft’s solutions involved a misuse of Faithful Pegasus, but even deducting that damage, the damage solution was only 6 below the winning solution

    The next puzzle will be posted on Monday 7/18. The plan is to post it at 7pm CDT, but I am open to a time adjustment. There will be a few changes to the format that I will discuss at that time. Overall winner of that puzzle will receive the Sea Hydra play mat. (article updated with this information)

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