Sorcery Speed and Combat Phase Question

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I have a 3/3 tapped and attacking.
They have a 1/4 blocker

When they declare the block, can I use Pillar of Flame to bring the blocker to 1/2 and destroy him?
No you cannot. You cannot cast a sorcery during combat.

You can cast it in the second main phase after combat and destroy it. Damage stays marked until the cleanup step at the end of the turn. 
first off Pillar of Flame (or damage in general) doesn't reduce toughness
second you can cast sorceries only during your main phase when the stack is empty

you can cast Pillar of Flame in your postcombat main phase to destroy the blocker
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No, because Pillar of Flame is a sorcery and can only be cast in your main phase while the stack is empty. But you could cast it in either your precombat main phase before attacking, or in your postcombat main phase after the 3/3 has dealt 3 damage to the blocker. The creature will go to exile if it would die in either case, so any "dies" effects won't happen.

Note, that damage does not reduce toughness. The 1/4 will be a 1/4 at all times in this scenario. But it will have damage marked on it (3 from your creature, 2 from the Pillar)

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note: there are ways to cast Pillar of Flame at that point, but they are the exception
eg. you reveal it to Djinn of Wishes' ability or you have a Vedalken Orrery 

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