'Becomes blocked'

35 posts / 0 new
Last post
If a creature has an ability that triggers whenever it becomes blocked, does it trigger if a creature is put onto the battlefield blocking it? Or does it only work when a blocker is declared?
don't delete threads when I'm answering!

"becomes blocked" works similar to "attacked", it only matters what is declared, everything else is ignored

also, there is a difference between "whenever ~ becomes blocked" and "whenever ~ becomes blocked by a creature"
the first one will only trigger once, no matter how many blockers, the second one will trigger once for each blocker
proud member of the 2011 community team
don't delete threads when I'm answering!




Sorry, I thought of a more general way to ask the question. <3
So Flash Foliage wouldn't trigger Ashmouth Hound's ability, as an example?
So Flash Foliage wouldn't trigger Ashmouth Hound's ability, as an example?

correct
proud member of the 2011 community team
Wait, I just found this:


509.4c. An ability that reads "Whenever [this creature] becomes blocked, . . ." generally triggers only once each combat for that creature, even if it's blocked by multiple creatures. It will trigger if that creature becomes blocked by at least one creature declared as a blocker. It will also trigger if that creature becomes blocked by an effect or by a creature that's put onto the battlefield as a blocker, but only if the attacking creature was an unblocked creature at that time. (See rule 509.1h.)
Also this:


509.4d. An ability that reads "Whenever [this creature] becomes blocked by a creature, . . ." triggers once for each creature that blocks the named creature. It triggers if a creature is declared as a blocker for the attacking creature. It will also trigger if an effect causes a creature to block the attacking creature, but only if it wasn't already blocking that attacking creature at that time. In addition, it will trigger if a creature is put onto the battlefield blocking that creature. It won't trigger if the creature becomes blocked by an effect rather than a creature.
I'll be damned ;)

yeah, I guess I was wrong
509.4c and 509.4d highlight the difference between "blocked" and "blocked by a creature"
proud member of the 2011 community team
So Amphibious Kavu could trigger twice in a combat, possibly, even though the gatherer ruling says otherwise.
no, that is still not true

excerpt from the rules above:
but only if the attacking creature was an unblocked creature at that time.

and despite the blocker being bounced it will still be blocked
in theory it could trigger twice, with False Orders
but that is the exception rather than the rule, the ruling is true for 99,9% of the cases
proud member of the 2011 community team
So Amphibious Kavu could trigger twice in a combat, possibly, even though the gatherer ruling says otherwise.


Amphibious Kavu's ruling is correct. Note that the ability says "one or more".
So Amphibious Kavu could trigger twice in a combat, possibly, even though the gatherer ruling says otherwise.

Once it becomes blocked, it cannot become blocked again that combat since it already has that state for the remainder of the combat.

But the Kavu states that it triggers when it becomes 'blocked by a creature'.  The rules say that it can trigger when blockers are declared and when blockers are put onto the battlefield blocking it, so long as that creature wasn't already blocking it.
it does not
it states "blocked by one or more creature" which is different from "blocked by a creature"
proud member of the 2011 community team
True, but this rule also states that it can trigger both when blockers are declared and when blockers are put onto the battlefield.


509.4e. If an ability triggers when a creature blocks or becomes blocked by a particular number of creatures, the ability triggers if the creature blocks or is blocked by that many creatures when blockers are declared. Effects that add or remove blockers can also cause such abilities to trigger. This applies to abilities that trigger on a creature blocking or being blocked by at least a certain number of creatures as well.

There's nothing here about saying it can't trigger again.

I guess it's a little ambiguous though using the following as examples:

Example 1
I attack with Amphibious Kavu.

My opponent blocks with Invisible Stalker, and Kavu's ability triggers because he just became blocked by one or more creatures and goes on the stack.

Kavu's ability resolves.

My opponent casts Flash Foliage and it resolves, putting a 1/1 Saproling with Painter's Servant making it blue) into play blocking the Kavu.

Did it just become blocked by 1 or more creatures again?  Or is it still blocked by 1 or more creatures?  It definitely just became blocked by a creature.  And it definitely is 1 or more creature.  I could see it being interpreted either way.



However, here is another example:

Example 2
I attack with Amphibious Kavu.

My opponent blocks with Aetherplasm, and both creatures' abilities trigger.

Aetherplasm's ability starts to resolves and my opponent returns Aetherplasm to his hand but chooses not to put another creature into play.

At this point, the Kavu is still blocked but is no longer blocked by one or more creatures.

Kavu's ability resolves.

My opponent casts Flash Foliage  and it resolves, putting a 1/1 Saproling (with Painter's Servant making it blue) into play blocking the Kavu.

Kavu just became blocked by 1 or more creatures again and it's ability should trigger again.


So, I'm pretty certain it can trigger twice in Example 2.  I'm not certain about Example 1, but I still think it triggers twice.  I can't find a rule stating it wouldn't.
Your first example is governed by this rule:

603.2d Some trigger events use the word "becomes" (for example, "becomes attached" or "becomes blocked"). These trigger only at the time the named event happens—they don’t trigger if that state already exists or retrigger if it persists. An ability that triggers when a permanent "becomes tapped" or "becomes untapped" doesn’t trigger if the permanent enters the battlefield in that state.

So in the first example you won't get another trigger.

I agree, that in the second example the Kavu should trigger again.
Your first example is governed by this rule:

603.2d Some trigger events use the word "becomes" (for example, "becomes attached" or "becomes blocked"). These trigger only at the time the named event happens—they don’t trigger if that state already exists or retrigger if it persists. An ability that triggers when a permanent "becomes tapped" or "becomes untapped" doesn’t trigger if the permanent enters the battlefield in that state.

So in the first example you won't get another trigger.

I agree, that in the second example the Kavu should trigger again.




I think there's still an argument in example 1 that the Kavu just became blocked by another set of 1 or more creatures. 

Take Angelic Protector for example.  If I target it with a Shock, its ability triggers.  With those still on the stack, I cast another Shock.  The state of being the target of a spell or ability already exists.  Does its ability not trigger a second time, causing it to die?
Take Angelic Protector for example.  If I target it with a Shock, its ability triggers.  With those still on the stack, I cast another Shock.  The state of being the target of a spell or ability already exists.  Does its ability not trigger a second time, causing it to die?


A "becomes the target of a spell or ability" trigger works more like a "becomes blocked by a creature" trigger than a "becomes blocked" trigger.  Also, note that the state of being the target of the second spell did not already exist.
509.4c An ability that reads "Whenever [this creature] becomes blocked, . . ." generally triggers only once each combat for that creature, even if it's blocked by multiple creatures. It will trigger if that creature becomes blocked by at least one creature declared as a blocker. It will also trigger if that creature becomes blocked by an effect or by a creature that's put onto the battlefield as a blocker, but only if the attacking creature was an unblocked creature at that time. (See rule 509.1h.)

509.4d An ability that reads "Whenever [this creature] becomes blocked by a creature, . . ." triggers once for each creature that blocks the named creature. It triggers if a creature is declared as a blocker for the attacking creature. It will also trigger if an effect causes a creature to block the attacking creature, but only if it wasn't already blocking that attacking creature at that time. In addition, it will trigger if a creature is put onto the battlefield blocking that creature. It won't trigger if the creature becomes blocked by an effect rather than a creature.

700.1. Anything that happens in a game is an event. Multiple events may take place during the resolution of a spell or ability. The text of triggered abilities and replacement effects defines the event they're looking for. One "happening" may be treated as a single event by one ability and as multiple events by another.
Example: If an attacking creature is blocked by two creatures, this is one event for a triggered ability that reads "Whenever [this creature] becomes blocked" but two events for a triggered ability that reads "Whenever [this creature] becomes blocked by a creature."


The second blue and/or black blocker for Kavu Amphibian does not count as a second event for its trigger, regardless of whether the blocking is simultaneous or sequential.

No, I am not a judge. That's why I like to quote sources such as the rules that trump judges.

Kavu's ability isn't a 'becomes blocked' ability as described in 509.4c, nor is it a 'becomes blocked by a creature' ability as described in 509.4d.  It is a 'becomes blocked by a particular number of creatures' ability as described in 509.4e.

509.4e states that it can trigger when blockers are are declared and when blockers are added or removed from combat.  There's nothing that says that they wouldn't be two separate events.

The only rule that might apply is 603.2d.   Since he is already in the state of being blocked by 1 or more creatures, this might stop it from triggering again.

However, if 603.2d does apply here, why wouldn't it apply to the Angelic Protector example I gave?
However, if 603.2d does apply here, why wouldn't it apply to the Angelic Protector example I gave?


Why would it?  It changed from "not the target of the second Shock spell" to "the target of the second Shock spell", the same as any other time that ability would trigger.  The second Shock spell is "a spell or ability", after all.

The Amphibious Kavu's old and new blockers together qualify as "one or more blue and/or black creatures", just like the old blocker(s) alone (or the usual case of several blockers declared simultaneously).  The two Shock spells together do not qualify as "a spell or ability".

No, I am not a judge. That's why I like to quote sources such as the rules that trump judges.

The second Shock spell is "a spell or ability", after all.

The Amphibious Kavu's old and new blockers together qualify as "one or more blue and/or black creatures", just like the old blocker(s) alone (or the usual case of several blockers declared simultaneously).  The two Shock spells together do not qualify as "a spell or ability".




So when the 2nd shock targets the creature, the creature becomes the target of 2 spells or abilities.  This doesn't meet the criteria of triggering the ability, does it? '2 spells or abilities' is not 'a spell or ability'.
So when the 2nd shock targets the creature, the creature becomes the target of 2 spells or abilities.  This doesn't meet the criteria of triggering the ability, does it?


Which part of the trigger condition is it not meeting?

"Whenever Angelic Protector becomes the target of a spell or ability"

Yes or no: Is the second Shock a spell or ability?

Yes or no, did Angelic Protector become the target of the second Shock?

700.1. Anything that happens in a game is an event. Multiple events may take place during the resolution of a spell or ability. The text of triggered abilities and replacement effects defines the event they're looking for. One "happening" may be treated as a single event by one ability and as multiple events by another.
Example: If an attacking creature is blocked by two creatures, this is one event for a triggered ability that reads "Whenever [this creature] becomes blocked" but two events for a triggered ability that reads "Whenever [this creature] becomes blocked by a creature."



No, I am not a judge. That's why I like to quote sources such as the rules that trump judges.

But the Kavu states that it triggers when it becomes 'blocked by a creature'.

No, it says 'becomes blocked ...'. The verb is "becomes". You can only become something if you aren't already that something.


  • If you've aged another year after becoming an adult, do you become an adult again? No.

  • If you eat another bite after becoming full, do you become full again? No.

  • If you're slipped a sleeping pill in your sleep, do you become alseep again? No.

  • If you're instructed to tap a tapped creature, does it become tapped again? No.

  • If a blocked creature becomes blocked by something else, does it become blocked again? No.

Escaped Null's ability triggers only once during the turn-based action of declaring blockers no matter how many creatures it becomes blocked by. After, if an additional creature enters battlefield blocking it, the ability does not trigger.

Ashmouth Hound's ability triggers for each creature that it becomes blocked by during the turn-based action of declaring blockers. After, if an additional creature enters battlefield blocking it, the ability triggers again. Ashmouth Hound goes from being not blocked by that creature to being blocked by that creature.

Amphibious Kavu's ability triggers only once during the turn-based action of declaring blockers no matter how many blue and/or black creatures it becomes blocked by. After, if one or more blue and/or black creatures enters battlefield blocking it, the ability triggers again. Amphibious Kavu goes from being not blocked by those blue and/or black creatures to being blocked by them.
*sigh* How inconsistent! ("becomes blocked" not like "becomes tapped")
So when the 2nd shock targets the creature, the creature becomes the target of 2 spells or abilities.  This doesn't meet the criteria of triggering the ability, does it?


Which part of the trigger condition is it not meeting?

"Whenever Angelic Protector becomes the target of a spell or ability"

Yes or no: Is the second Shock a spell or ability?

Yes or no, did Angelic Protector become the target of the second Shock?

700.1. Anything that happens in a game is an event. Multiple events may take place during the resolution of a spell or ability. The text of triggered abilities and replacement effects defines the event they're looking for. One "happening" may be treated as a single event by one ability and as multiple events by another.
Example: If an attacking creature is blocked by two creatures, this is one event for a triggered ability that reads "Whenever [this creature] becomes blocked" but two events for a triggered ability that reads "Whenever [this creature] becomes blocked by a creature."






I agree with you.  I apply the same reasoning to Amphibious Kavu.  It gets blocked by one or more creatures when a blocker is declared blocking it.  It then gets blocked by one or more creatures again when Flash Foliage puts another guy into play blocking it (made blue by Painter's Servant.   When the saproling came into play blocking it, did it become blocked by one or more blue and/or black creatures, yes or no?


Amphibious Kavu's ability triggers only once during the turn-based action of declaring blockers no matter how many blue and/or black creatures it becomes blocked by. After, if one or more blue and/or black creatures enters battlefield blocking it, the ability triggers again. Amphibious Kavu goes from being not blocked by those blue and/or black creatures to being blocked by them.



PirateAmmo I agree with your interpretation of the Amphibious Kavu, however the problem is there is a card ruling that states it only triggers once during combat.  I agree it's an old ruling and maybe it wasn't considering a case such as this, but normally we would follow what the rulings state.

DCI Level 2 Judge

Rockford, Illinois

PirateAmmo I agree with your interpretation of the Amphibious Kavu, however the problem is there is a card ruling that states it only triggers once during combat.

The ruling states what happens under normal circumstances. Remember the first golden rule?
The ruling states what happens under normal circumstances. Remember the first golden rule?



I've never heard about any golden rules.  Did I miss a post I was supposed to read?
I've never heard about any golden rules.  Did I miss a post I was supposed to read?


101. The _Magic_ Golden Rules

101.1. Whenever a card's text directly contradicts these rules, the card takes precedence. The card overrides only the rule that applies to that specific situation. The only exception is that a player can concede the game at any time (see rule 104.3a).

101.2. When a rule or effect allows or directs something to happen, and another effect states that it can't happen, the "can't" effect takes precedence.
Example: If one effect reads "You may play an additional land this turn" and another reads "You can't play land cards this turn," the effect that precludes you from playing lands wins.

101.2a Adding abilities to objects and removing abilities from objects don't fall under this rule. (See rule 112.10.)

101.3. Any part of an instruction that's impossible to perform is ignored. (In many cases the card will specify consequences for this; if it doesn't, there's no effect.)

101.4. If multiple players would make choices and/or take actions at the same time, the active player (the player whose turn it is) makes any choices required, then the next player in turn order (usually the player seated to the active player's left) makes any choices required, followed by the remaining nonactive players in turn order. Then the actions happen simultaneously. This rule is often referred to as the "Active Player, Nonactive Player (APNAP) order" rule.
Example: A card reads "Each player sacrifices a creature." First, the active player chooses a creature he or she controls. Then each of the nonactive players, in turn order, chooses a creature he or she controls. Then all creatures chosen this way are sacrificed simultaneously.

101.4a If an effect has each player choose a card in a hidden zone, such as his or her hand or library, those cards may remain face down as they're chosen. However, each player must clearly indicate which face-down card he or she is choosing.

101.4b A player knows the choices made by the previous players when he or she makes his or her choice, except as specified in 101.4a.

101.4c If a player would make more than one choice at the same time, the player makes the choices in the order written, or in the order he or she chooses if the choices aren't ordered.

101.4d If a choice made by a nonactive player causes the active player, or a different nonactive player earlier in the turn order, to have to make a choice, APNAP order is restarted for all outstanding choices.

No, I am not a judge. That's why I like to quote sources such as the rules that trump judges.

Amphibious Kavu's ability triggers only once during the turn-based action of declaring blockers no matter how many blue and/or black creatures it becomes blocked by. After, if one or more blue and/or black creatures enters battlefield blocking it, the ability triggers again. Amphibious Kavu goes from being not blocked by those blue and/or black creatures to being blocked by them.


That same argument would lead to it triggering multiple times if several such blockers are declared for it normally.

Consider declaring three such creatures as blockers for it: A Carnophage, a Cursecatcher, and a Saproling being suitably recolored by a Painter's Servant.

  1. It went from not being blocked by the Carnophage to being blocked by it.

  2. It went from not being blocked by the Cursecatcher to being blocked by it.

  3. It went from not being blocked by the Saproling to being blocked by it.

  4. It went from not being blocked by the Carnophage and Cursecatcher ("one or more blue and/or black creatures") to being blocked by them.

  5. It went from not being blocked by the Carnophage and Saproling to being blocked by them.

  6. It went from not being blocked by the Cursecatcher and Saproling to being blocked by them.

  7. It went from not being blocked by the Carnophage, Cursecatcher, and Saproling to being blocked by them.


If 4 and 3 don't lead to two triggers when the declarations are simultaneous, I don't see why adding the blocking Saproling later would be any different.

No, I am not a judge. That's why I like to quote sources such as the rules that trump judges.

Kavu is blocked by a blue creature.  It just became blocked by one or more blue and/or black creatures.


Another blue creature is put into play blocking it.  Did it just become blocked by 1 or more blue and/or black creatures?  My understanding of the English language tells me yes.


I'm ready to be wrong about my understanding of the English language, but I haven't seen any evidence to support this.





(I do concede that my comparison to Angelic Protector was misguided.)
Alright, I gave the matter some thought from another perspective and have reversed my position.  Here's my thought process.


Let's take a hypothetical creature.  Let's call him Hypothetical Kavu.  He has the following abilities.

Whenever Hypothetical Kavu becomes blocked by exactly two creatures, it gets +3/+3 until end of turn.

Whenever Hypothetical Kavu becomes blocked by exactyl four creatures, it gets +10/+10 until end of turn.

Hypothetical Kavu attacks and is blocked by Russet Wolves
Did it become blocked by a creature?  Yes.  Did it become blocked by two creatures? No.

The defending player casts Flash Foliage and another creature is put into play blocking the Kavu.
Did it become blocked by a creature? Yes.  Did it become blocked by two creatures?  Yes. (409.4e tells me it works this way)  It gets +3/+3 until end of turn.

Parallel Lives is then cast by the defending player (it has flash due to Alchemist's Refuge).  He then casts another Flash Foliage and two Saprolings are put into play blocking the Kavu.

Did it just become blocked by two creatures?  No.  It was already blocked by two.  It just became blocked by 4 creatures.  It gets another +10/+10 until end of turn.

The attacking player casts Shock targeting a Saproling.  Kavu just became blocked by 3 creatures.

The attacking player casts Shock targeting a Saproling again.  Kavu just became blocked by 2 creatures and it gets another +3/+3 until end of turn.



--------------------------end of thought process----------------------------


With the above scenario in mind, my previous example using Amphibious Kavu wouldn't trigger twice.  This is because when the Saproling is put into play blocking it, it didn't just become blocked by 1 or more creatures.  It was already blocked blocked by 1 or more creatures and is still blocked by 1 or more creatures.

Still, I think the rules could be written more clearly.
If 4 and 3 don't lead to two triggers when the declarations are simultaneous, I don't see why adding the blocking Saproling later would be any different.

Because they become blockers simultaneously, the trigger sees it as one event. The event is Amphibious Kavu becomes blocked by one or more blue and/or black creatures. If it becomes blocked by an additional creature later, that is a new event.

This is the same as the trigger condition "whenever you're dealt damage." It will trigger only once if you are damaged by multiple sources simultaneously. If you are damaged again later, it will trigger again.
Alright, I gave the matter some thought from another perspective and have reversed my position.

The ability "whenever Ashmouth Hound blocks or becomes blocked by a creature" triggers when a creature enters the battlefield blocking Ashmouth Hound no matter how many creatures are already blocking it. If it becomes blocked by a creature, then it also becomes blocked by one or more creatures.

Becoming blocked by a creature is the same event as becoming blocked by one creature. Amphibious Kavu's ability also triggers when a blue and/or black creature enters the battlefield blocking it no matter how many creatures are already blocking it.
If 4 and 3 don't lead to two triggers when the declarations are simultaneous, I don't see why adding the blocking Saproling later would be any different.

Because they become blockers simultaneously, the trigger sees it as one event. The event is Amphibious Kavu becomes blocked by one or more blue and/or black creatures. If it becomes blocked by an additional creature later, that is a new event.

This is the same as the trigger condition "whenever you're dealt damage." It will trigger only once if you are damaged by multiple sources simultaneously. If you are damaged again later, it will trigger again.
Alright, I gave the matter some thought from another perspective and have reversed my position.

The ability "whenever Ashmouth Hound blocks or becomes blocked by a creature" triggers when a creature enters the battlefield blocking Ashmouth Hound no matter how many creatures are already blocking it. If it becomes blocked by a creature, then it also becomes blocked by one or more creatures.

Becoming blocked by a creature is the same event as becoming blocked by one creature. Amphibious Kavu's ability also triggers when a blue and/or black creature enters the battlefield blocking it no matter how many creatures are already blocking it.




I think there's merit to both interpretations and obviously a lot of smart people on here see it different ways.  Can we simply agree that the rule could use some clarification?
Sign In to post comments