We’ve all been there: deep into a PPTQ, the long day of Magic has drained your mental resources and after making a difficult sideboarding decision in round seven you get ready to shuffle up – but you can’t remember how many piles to use!
Nothing is worse than an incorrectly performed pile shuffle – you’ve brought in the perfect hate-cards for this matchup, and then you end up clumping them all together instead of creating a nice even distribution. You might as well sign the match slip there and then.
Don’t fear though, I’ve got just the thing to help you! You probably remember singing “piles-by-one” when you were in kindergarten, but the children’s nursery rhyme was originally a teaching tool for mana weaving – and if you commit it to memory you can still use it today!
Take a look:
Piles-by-one, nothing’s been done;
Piles-by-two, that’s a DQ;
Piles-by-three, clumped you will be;
Piles-by-four, not on the draw;
Piles-by-five, will keep you alive;
Piles-by-six, if you play tricks;
Piles-by-seven, that’s mana heaven;
Piles-by-eight, draw all your hate;
Piles-by-nine, lands in a line;
Piles-by-ten, better start again!
And there you have it! A catchy song from your youth is all you need and you’ll never again slip up and do a six-piler with your combo deck in the heat of the moment – or worse yet, forgo the pile shuffle entirely and put yourself at risk of clumps! Just commit this simple rhyme to memory and you’ll have the right shuffle for any situation.
You know what they say – don’t be a chump, always declump – and remember, weaving is believing!
Until next time, happy shuffling!
Chifley Cole is widely regarded as the most significant Sin of Anubis, ranking far above Jackal Pup and Ankh of Mishra by this measure. He is also a Multiple PT Competitor ™, but only because he was smart enough to play Jace the Mind Sculptor – truly an under-looked gem.