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I play Pyxis of Pandemonium in a mill deck. I also run Undead Alchemist and Altar of the Brood. I understand that when Pyxis's 7-cost ability resolves, all relevant permanents enter at the same time, so does that mean the mill that would happen would only be a result of any Altars already on the field?

In addition, what of the zombies resulting from that mill? Would they be a separate resolution following the Pyxis ability or would they resolve during the Pyxis? Also would they then include any Altars and Pyxis that entered the battlefield by the ability of Pyxis?

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If Altar of the Brood enters the battlefield at the same time as other permanents, it would trigger for each of those permanents.

603.6a Enters-the-battlefield abilities trigger when a permanent enters the battlefield. These are written, “When [this object] enters the battlefield, . . . ” or “Whenever a [type] enters the battlefield, . . .” Each time an event puts one or more permanents onto the battlefield, all permanents on the battlefield (including the newcomers) are checked for any enters-the-battlefield triggers that match the event.

That means all of your Altars (both you already have on the battlefield and those entering it due to Pyxis of Pandemonium will trigger.

Basically what would happen: Pyxis's ability resolves, and a lot of permanents (possibly including other Altars) will enter the battlefield. There will now be a lot of triggers from all the Altars you have on the stack. They will start resolving one by one, sometimes triggering Undead Alchemist's ability (which then goes on stack and resolves). The zombies entering will also trigger all of the Altars and will be put on stack.

  • Alright so then the stack would not fully resolve until all of the zombies produced and any that would result would enter? – CAProgersMerica Oct 27 '15 at 8:05
  • @CAProgersMerica As I've mentioned in the answer, Undead Alchemist might trigger during the resolution of Altar trigger, and will be put on top of the stack. So yeah, most zombies will enter the battlefield before all Altar triggers resolve. – Vilmar Oct 27 '15 at 8:32
  • The first part of this doesn't seem right - the Altars entering the battlefield due to Pyxis don't trigger from everything else entering at the same time. Everything from Pyxis enters the battlefield at the same time, and the Altar has a "when enters battlefield" trigger. Since the Altar and everything else from Pyxis enter the battlefield at the same time, the Altar never sees the other Pyxis cards enter. That is, by the time the Altar is on the battlefield and available to be triggered, everything else is, too. – Nuclear Wang Oct 27 '15 at 9:08
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    @Matt, Altars will trigger on permanents entering the battlefield at the same time, added a rule quote to answer to clarify. – Vilmar Oct 27 '15 at 10:02
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From a Gatherer ruling on Altar of the Brood:

9/20/2014 If Altar of the Brood enters the battlefield under your control at the same time as other permanents, its ability will trigger for each of those permanents.

Like the ruling states, all the Altars would "see" the other permanents that come into play at the same time. You would mill X times the amount of Altars in play, and that includes the Altars that come into play after you sacrifice Pyxis. X is equal to the number of face down cards exiled with Pyxis of Pandemonium.

In addition, what of the zombies resulting of that mill? Would they be a separate resolution following everything in the Pyxis resolving or would they resolve within the Pyxis? Also would they then include any Altars and Pyxis that resolved in the Pyxis?

The Undead Alchemist's second ability is just a plain old triggered ability. You will have a whole lot of Altar triggers that mill cards. Every time one of Altar's triggers resolve, you mill one card. Then, if it is a creature card, the Alchemist's triggered ability triggers.

Remember that although the Pyxis will put many things on the battlefield at the same time, all these triggers have to be put on the stack one by one. They do not resolve as a group, but one at a time after priority has been passed by both players.

  • Why seven cards in particular? The correct formula will be (X cards entering due to Pyxis)x(Total Altars)-(Altars entering) – Vilmar Oct 27 '15 at 12:07
  • Aah it cost seven mana to pop so I'm just assuming you will pop it first chance you get when you get to seven mana. – Neil Meyer Oct 27 '15 at 12:16
  • You might, but it doesn't mean Pyxis will have 7 cards attached to it when you have 7 mana/ – Vilmar Oct 27 '15 at 12:19
  • OK golly I will edit – Neil Meyer Oct 27 '15 at 12:21
  • I don't think this answer deserves down votes as the information it provides is correct. – Neil Meyer Oct 27 '15 at 12:24

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