A while ago, I asked the question of what would happen if all creatures in Magic would enter the battlefield simultaneously. The answer was that, after some complications, you would be able to win right away.
Today, I’ll cover a similar question for a different type of permanent: artifacts. To set this up, consider a singleton deck with 1 copy of every artifact card that has ever been printed in Magic. Suppose that you have gotten every single one of them into the graveyard and then cast Open the Vaults.
What would happen?
First of all, in the scenario described, you would have Open the Vaults in the graveyard. This means that you won’t lose to Immortal Coil. To be fair, Open the Vaults would be put back into your library via Vessel of Endless Rest, but it would be replaced by Mox Diamond before that. So you’re not losing the game yet.
Time to have some fun.
How about you start by taking all the turns?
Unfortunately, this doesn’t really work.
Boo. Now, surely you could get rid of Ugin’s Nexus if necessary, but you may have an even bigger problem.
Fortunately, there are several cards that will save you.
So at this point, it looks like you have ways to prevent “auto-losses” and you could take all the turns you’d want. But how will you actually win the game? Could you do it immediately after resolving Open the Vaults?
That’s a solid collection of enters-the-battlefield abilities. Magister Sphinx takes your opponent down to 10, 2 Verdurous Gearhulk triggers yield a total of 12 +1/+1 counters on Triskelion, and then you can ping your opponent for the win. It doesn’t even matter if they were at 20 life or 1,000,000,000 life.
Damn it. Okay, so enters-the-battlefield abilities on creatures aren’t going to cut it.
Any other route to victory, then?
Ah, that should do it. Not only can Door to Nothingness triumph over an opponent who sits at a billion life, you do so with 6 pieces of the Power Nine. I have to say that is a stylish way to win. (Note that Amulet of Vigor counteracts Orb of Dreams.)
Sadly, however, there are several artifacts that stifle this plan. Let’s meet the biggest obstacles of this entire thought experiment.
In addition to these two artifacts, there is also Cursed Totem. You can probably get around Cursed Totem, but Damping Matrix and Null Rod are big problems. Since you cannot rely on activated abilities—you cannot even activate Krark-Clan Ironworks to sacrifice them—you have to look for triggered abilities somehow.
Or can you?
Ridiculous. So Spine of Ish Sah won’t work. Even worse, I wasn’t able to find a single noncreature artifact that can bounce or exile other artifacts when it enters the battlefield. There are creatures with such abilities (for example, Ancestral Statue) but they won’t trigger because of Torpor Orb.
So unless I missed something (which is easily possible given that there are over 1,700 artifacts in Magic) you have no way to immediately rid yourself of Damping Matrix or Null Rod. And among the enters-the-battlefield effects that still happen, I didn’t find a way to win the game immediately.
But perhaps you could still win in a slightly delayed manner.
You mill your opponent for over 1,700 cards, which should be enough to demolish their deck, and then you will win during their next draw step. Right?
If you can’t deck your opponent, then maybe you should just move to combat?
All of your creatures have haste, so you can just attack for the win, right?
Let’s assume the worst and suppose you have 0 cards. I started to count the number of 0-power creatures that might still generate a kill via Signal Pest, but then I realized that Master of Etherium would just boost all of their power anyway. As a result, I don’t see a way to win through Ensnaring Bridge.
So it looks like you’re in trouble. You can’t activate abilities, you can’t attack, you can’t deck your opponent, you can’t get rid of your own permanents, and you don’t really seem to be getting anywhere.
So that makes this the perfect moment for a completely irrelevant interlude.
So will your permanents be colored or not? Who knows.
As it turns out, yes there is. You can do so via a collection of cards that I have already mentioned, along with Smokestack. Scroll up and see if you can work out the solution.
Since you can still sacrifice indestructible permanents, the plan is this: At the end of your turn, you sacrifice Ugin’s Nexus to Possessed Portal, giving you an additional turn. In your extra turn, you sacrifice Null Rod to Smokestack, then sacrifice Damping Matrix to Possessed Portal.
Having rid yourself of these pesky permanents, you retain priority in the end step of your extra turn. You tap a bunch of Moxen and mana rocks, activate Door to Nothingness, and win the game!
But over 1,700 artifacts cards have been printed in Magic according to Gatherer, and I wasn’t able to check every single one or all of their interactions. I did a targeted search by filtering on such terms as “as this enters,” “lose the game,” “instead,” “enters the battlefield,” “can’t,” “don’t,” “triggers,” etc., but I could easily have missed something. If you can think of an important card or interaction that I missed, then please join the conversation in the comment section below!