What If Every Enchantment in Magic Entered the Battlefield at the Same Time?

I’ve done creatures. I’ve done artifacts. Today, I’ll cover enchantments.

Consider a singleton deck with 1 copy of every enchantment card that has ever been printed in Magic. Suppose that I got every single one of them into the graveyard and then cast Replenish.

For clarity: I have no permanents other than 4 Plains. This means that most Auras, except for enchant lands, enchant permanents, or enchant players, will remain in the graveyard. (Although all enchantments will soon turn into creatures due to Opalescence, enchant creatures still won’t be put onto the battlefield because there was no creature before Replenish resolves.)

Enchant lands usually yield extra mana, change the land type, turn the land into a creature, or grant it some other ability. They are largely irrelevant. Enchant permanents are cards like Confiscate, and they won’t matter much either. Enchant player cards include Overwhelming Splendor and Curse of Death’s Hold, but even if I enchant myself, I don’t think they are ultimately going to have an impact either.

And that’s unfortunate because those Auras are the only ones that could still matter:

The bane of judges for many, many years, the current interaction between these two enchantments is described in Gatherer, although the explanation assumes that you’re familiar with the layer system:

“The type-changing effect applies at layer 4, but the rest happens in the applicable layers. The rest of it will apply even if the permanent loses its ability before it’s finished applying. So if Opalescence, Humility, and Worship are on the battlefield and Opalescence entered the battlefield before Humility, the following is true: Layer 4: Humility and Worship each become creatures that are still enchantments. (Opalescence). Layer 6: Humility and Worship each lose their abilities. (Humility) Layer 7b: Humility becomes 4/4 and Worship becomes 4/4. (Opalescence). Humility becomes 1/1 and Worship becomes 1/1 (Humility). But if Humility entered the battlefield before Opalescence, the following is true: Layer 4: Humility and Worship each become creatures that are still enchantments (Opalescence). Layer 6: Humility and Worship each lose their abilities (Humility). Layer 7b: Humility becomes 1/1 and Worship becomes 1/1 (Humility). Humility becomes 4/4 and Worship becomes 4/4 (Opalescence).”

Right. For many people, that was gibberish, but what you should know is that you end up with a board of animated enchantments that have no abilities whatsoever.

“No abilities” means that enters-the-battlefield triggers won’t even happen. But as-this-enters effects still occur. And that brings a big problem.

The Oracle text of Lich reads “As Lich enters the battlefield, you lose life equal to your life total.” This still happens, despite Humility/Opalescence. But afterwards, the rest of the text box is blanked, including the “You don’t lose the game for having 0 or less life” part.

So as far as I can tell, you will lose the game immediately at 0 life. But the interaction between Humility and Opalescence is one of the crazier ones in the Magic rules, and there is a big risk I missed some key enchantment, so I wanted to put it to the test. I fired up Magic Online and started building a deck with 4 Plains, 1 Replenish, and one of each enchantment. You know, for science.

Apparently, a deck on Magic Online can contain no more than 1,400 cards—either total or unique. I’m not sure as I was building a singleton deck. The number 1,400 seems like a bizarre one to choose (why not 4,096?) but it surely spoiled my plans as there are 2,186 enchantments in Magic.

So then, as an alternative, I built a deck with Attunement, Opalescence, Humility, Lich, Replenish, and lands to see what would happen. Magic Online confirmed my fears: You lose the game right away. Bad news.

What if Every Enchantment, Creature, and Artifact in Magic Would Enter at the Same Time?

After analyzing each permanent type separately, the natural question is what would happen if you would combine them all. I built a deck with what I believed to be the key cards and challenged my good friend frankkarsten, who simply discarded a land every turn. Here is the outcome:

If Magic Online’s implementation is correct and I’m not forgetting anything, then Enchanted Evening would turn everything permanent (including any cards that might save me) into enchantments, which become creatures with no abilities due to Opalescence/Humility. So the main conclusion from the enchantment section extends to all permanents:

You’d die to Lich, and nothing could save you.

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