Can I go infinite with Faceless Butcher and Wispweaver Angel?

Asked by WhatevWorks 10 months ago

Sorry boys, this is gonna be a long one. I know it says to ask questions briefly and plainly, but my brain already hurts and I definitely need help.

I'm trying to build an Aminatou, the Fateshifter commander deck that abuses things like Wispweaver Angel and Faceless Butcher to make infinite combos, with each exiling the other until the end of time.

Turns out, though, the stack gets funky when you have Faceless Butcher leaving the battlefield before its trigger resolves.

Here's an example, so you can get an idea of why I'm so confused. Let's say I have Aminatou, the Fateshifter and Storm Crow on the battlefield, and Faceless Butcher and Wispweaver Angel in my hand. My opponents are all F6'd. I cast Faceless Butcher. He enters, and I target Storm Crow with the trigger. I wave bye-bye to the crow. I then cast Wispweaver Angel, and it enters. I target Faceless Butcher with the trigger. Faceless Butcher leaves the battlefield, and Storm Crow comes back. Wispweaver Angel isn't done resolving though; Faceless Butcher comes back and puts its own trigger on the stack. I target Wispweaver Angel. The angel leaves, and the stack is empty. I use Aminatou, the Fateshifter's -1 ability and blink Faceless Butcher. Faceless Butcher leaves, and triggers Wispweaver Angel to enter again.

This is as far as I can go before I stop knowing what happens.

My questions are these: How do the triggers play out in the above scenario? If I add an Altar of the Brood to the above board state, can I mill everyone out and win? And if so, how?

Kogarashi says... Accepted answer #1

Short answer: you're going to need another repeatable way to blink Faceless Butcher to go infinite.

Here's the breakdown:

  • You cast Faceless Butcher. Butcher enters, ETB targets Storm Crow, and Crow is exiled.

  • You cast Wispweaver Angel. Angel enters, ETB targets Butcher. Butcher leaves (LTB goes on stack), then comes back (ETB goes on stack, targeting Angel). ETB resolves, exiling the Angel. LTB then resolves, and Crow comes back.

  • Then you use Aminatou, the Fateshifter's -1 to blink Butcher. Butcher leaves (LTB trigger), then comes back (ETB trigger, targeting Crow for lack of another target). ETB resolves, Crow leaves. LTB then resolves, and the Angel comes back, and its ETB goes on the stack targeting the Butcher.

  • Angel trigger resolves, and the Butcher leaves (LTB trigger), then comes back (ETB trigger, targeting Angel). ETB resolves, and the Angel is exiled. LTB resolves, and the Crow comes back.

This is where the cycle stops, because Storm Crow can't blink Faceless Butcher, and you're out of activations for Aminatou (unless you're running Oath of Teferi, but then you only get one more cycle). So it's not infinite yet. You'll need another creature that can blink Faceless Butcher so that you can keep bouncing it and returning it.

If you add in Altar of the Brood, with the above setup you're going to mill 8 cards due to 8 counts of permanents entering the battlefield under your control. If you can go infinite, then you'll mill everyone out, and each of them will lose as soon as they have to draw a card.

December 10, 2018 9:04 a.m.

Kogarashi says... #2

As an extra note, the real thing to watch out for is people getting rid of Faceless Butcher while its ETB is still on the stack. If that happens, you get the Oblivion Ring trick, where Butcher's LTB will resolve first, returning nothing because nothing has been exiled yet. Then the ETB resolves, exiling whatever you targeted with it permanently.

This is the case with any card that has the "Exile" and "Return" clauses as separate triggers. If they're manipulated so that the LTB resolves before the ETB, whatever the ETB targeted is just gone. If, however, you use it as intended so that the ETB resolves before the LTB is put on the stack, as in your combo, it'll work fine.

December 10, 2018 9:09 a.m.

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