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New "blocker damage rules"



 
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chakal-PT



Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 166

PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:48 am    Post subject: New "blocker damage rules" Reply with quote

Hi,

During a game a couple days ago, I've been told that the rules changed a little bit... Not sure if it's true, and if it is in fact true, I'm not sure if that's how it works...

I was attacking with a 6/6 (with no trample), and my opponent blocked it with an AEtherling (turning it on a 3/6), and 2 1/1 tokens... By the rules I was used to play, I choose to deal 1 damage to each token, and the 4 remaining damage to AEtherling...

That's when my opponent told me, and showed me a bunch of rules from February (if I'm not mistaken), that says: If I can't kill the blocker he chosen first (AEtherling in this case), I can't deal the damage to the other blockers... Basically, I still can choose the amount of damage I want to deal to each blocker, but I need to be able to kill the first one in order to be able to deal damage to the second, third, and so on...

Is that true? And it really works like that?

Thanks for your help!
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saurgoth



Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 267

PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:40 am    Post subject: Almost Reply with quote

Close. Your opponent's interpretation was only slightly off. You (the attacker, not the defending player) chooses the order of the blockers. Continuing this example, you probably wanted to order them as
1. Token
2. Token
3. Aetherling.
You select this order when blockers are declared (as opposed to sometime later, such as when combat damage is assigned and dealt). Then during the combat damage step, you must choose to assign lethal damage (more if you like) to the first token before you assign any to the second, and so on.

I just discovered this change a few weeks ago myself, and read the following article:

http://www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/feature/42a

I'd recommend it to anyone else who hasn't played in a few years and is starting again.
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_Godica



Joined: 26 Nov 2012
Posts: 254

PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saurgoth summed it up pretty well, but I'll chime in here too. It sounds like your opponent was lying. You do need to assign lethal damage to the first one to be able to damage the second, third, and so on, but you choose to order the blockers, and the damage you assign will probably reflect this. Furthermore, note the distinction between "assigning lethal damage" and "killing." If, for example, your opponent blocks your 6/6 with an indestructible (or regenerated) 4/4 and two 1/1s, and you order the blockers: 1) 4/4 2) 1/1 3) 1/1, the 1/1s will still receive damage. If, however, your opponent plays a Wild Growth on the 4/4 after you have ordered blockers but before you have assigned damage, the 1/1s will be safe because all 6 points of damage must be assigned to the 7/7.
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warwizard87



Joined: 04 Oct 2006
Posts: 201

PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

_Godica wrote:
Saurgoth summed it up pretty well, but I'll chime in here too. It sounds like your opponent was lying. You do need to assign lethal damage to the first one to be able to damage the second, third, and so on, but you choose to order the blockers, and the damage you assign will probably reflect this. Furthermore, note the distinction between "assigning lethal damage" and "killing." If, for example, your opponent blocks your 6/6 with an indestructible (or regenerated) 4/4 and two 1/1s, and you order the blockers: 1) 4/4 2) 1/1 3) 1/1, the 1/1s will still receive damage. If, however, your opponent plays a Wild Growth on the 4/4 after you have ordered blockers but before you have assigned damage, the 1/1s will be safe because all 6 points of damage must be assigned to the 7/7.


Don't forget lethal damage also means if it has damage on it already say the 6/6 is blocked by A 4/4 and a 3/4 you order the blockers 4/4 and 3/4 then lightning boult the 4/4 you now only need to assign 1 damage on it to make it lethal.
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chakal-PT



Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 166

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all, thank you all for your time and help!
_Godica wrote:
Saurgoth summed it up pretty well, but I'll chime in here too. It sounds like your opponent was lying. You do need to assign lethal damage to the first one to be able to damage the second, third, and so on (...)
In fact he wasn't lying... Like Saurgoth said, his interpretation of the rule was wrong, but worst then that, when he showed it to me, my interpretation was also wrong... And as far as I can remember, I've been playing the right way, even without knowing that rule exactly as it is...Maybe a coincidence, but usually when you assign damage, you do it the right way and by the right order to kill as many blockers as you can, even without knowing exactly how the rule works, if you know what I mean...

Anyway... I understood your explanation, the basics of this rule and I appreciated your help on that!
With that said, I have a couple of situations that I'm not really sure if I'm right now that I know exactly how the rule works.
(1)When the attacking creature has deathtouch, and you assign just 1 damage point to each creature... Does it count as "lethal damage"? (Since you mentioned that killing and assigning lethal damage are different things...) I assume that it counts, but now, I'm not sure...
(2) If I decided not to deal lethal damage to the first blocker, and for some reason it's removed from combat... (exiled, killed by a spell, whatever...) Are the damage dealt to the second, third, (...) blocker? (For example, an AEtherling as the first blocker and exiled from combat, with other blockers assigned obviously)

One thing that I really didn't know, it's about the possibility of playing spells after the blocker orders being declared and before assigning damage...
Well, if there's a thing I love in MTG, is that we are always learning! Even on GPs and PTs, when some really good Pro-Players call a judge to ask about something that we already know for so long... It's amazing in my opinion, how much this game still have to give after all this time!...

Once more,
Thanks for your help!
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_Godica



Joined: 26 Nov 2012
Posts: 254

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1) Yes, part of the definition of deathtouch is that any nonzero amount of combat damage is considered "lethal damage." (Wonder why no creatures have been printed with trample and deathtouch?)

2) The order is:
a) blockers are declared.
b) the attacking player orders blockers.
c) both players (active first) are given the chance to play spells or abilities.
----declare blockers step ends, combat damage step begins----
d) combat damage is assigned and resolves.

The first thing to mention is that you can't "decide not to deal lethal damage to the first creature" unless is is actually impossible to do so. The second is that it is not possible to remove a creature from combat after it is assigned damage but before that damage resolves. If a blocking creature is removed from combat after it has been ordered but before it is assigned damage (during step c of the model above), it is simply skipped during damage assignment -- in your example, all combat damage would be assigned as usual, starting with lethal damage to whichever blocker had been ordered second after the Aetherling.
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YamiKuriboh



Joined: 01 Jan 2014
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No mention of damage on the stack in the above posts...
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_Godica



Joined: 26 Nov 2012
Posts: 254

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probably because combat damage does not use the stack.
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