Blocking and Instant Resolutions

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Newbie here trying to learn all rules. I have a couple simple question about attacking/blocking and playing instances.

Case #1: Offender has 1 creature, defender has  2 creatures. Offender elects to attack, defender elects to block with one of his creatures. Offender plays an instant creature kill card on the Defender's creature that is blocking and kills it. Questions..

1) Does the attacking creature's damage then pass through to the player/planeswalker? Or at the time of the block was declared, that attacking creature is then establised to deal damage to the creature and not the player, therefore the instant kills the creature leaving the attacking creature to 'wiff' his attack on the creature?


2) In the same scenerio above, after the instant was played on the defending creature elliminating it, can the defending player then elect to block with his other creature? Or, after blocking is declared, you cannot change your blocking?


Thanks in advance.
1) No, the attacking player's creature is still blocked. The attacking creature will "whiff."
2) No. Blocking creatures must all be assigned at the same time.
Thanks for the replay Bowshewicz, ok, the first answer suprised me. I think we have been playing it where it then hit the player. Now, if that that #1 scenerio if that attacking creature had trample, would it then pass to the player since you killed the defending creature and all its defence is now gone?


Now, if that that #1 scenerio if that attacking creature had trample, would it then pass to the player since you killed the defending creature and all its defence is now gone?


Correct, the attacker will be able to assign all damage to the defending Player/Planeswalker.
Ok, from what I understand all combat would first be resolved before you can play your instant. For example, in #1, if both the attacking and defending player were 2/2, then both would be put in the graveyard (then no need to play the instant then of course). If I understand correctly then, if the attacker with a 2/2 is being blocked by a 2/2, you CANNOT play the instant to kill the blocker to save your attacker (attacking creature takes no damage, but is still blocked). Is this correct? Or, you can play the instant and kill the blocker saving the attacking creature?
You get an opportunity in the Declare Blockers step to play Instants and abilities after the blockers are assigned, but before damage is dealt. You can kill the blocker at that time if you want
You get an opportunity in the Declare Blockers step to play Instants and abilities after the blockers are assigned, but before damage is dealt. You can kill the blocker at that time if you want



Hmm.. see, from what you said 'but before damage is dealt' would lead me to believe that if I used an instant to kill the blocker then the attacker's damage would go to the player. But, I guess not from what was explained above. So basically then, the block still exists, but you can play an instant before the damage is resolved killing the blocker and saving your attacking creature.
A blocked creature won't deal combat damage to the defending player (trample aside). It has nothing to do with timing; it's just that it doesn't happen. Consider Curtain of Light, which causes a creature to become blocked even though there is no blocking creature.

Also, think about creatures with double strike. They may kill their blocker in the first strike step, but even so, they will not be able to damage the defending player.
I guess the confusing part was that if you killed a creature that was blocking, then I would think that it is would no longer be considered blocking the attacker and it would be then played as if there was no blocker at all. It appears that the only thing it does then is elliminate any need for damage dealing on both sides and the attacker remains on the battlefield no matter what the x/x was for each of them. (trample aside of course).

We were playing it like - Declare Attacker, Declare Block, Cast spells (instance in this case), resolve Battle. In our 'limited knowledge' we easily thought that if the blocker was no longer there after the casting of spells were resolved, then when it was time to resolve the battle there wouldn't be a blocker left to block the attack so it was as if there was never a blocker.


Your two examples Bowshewicz sound logical to me, because in the Curtain of Light example acts as a blocking creature anyways, BUT lets say that my opponent cast that instead of blocking with a creature and I cast something that hexproofs that attacking creature. I would think that the stack would resolve by first hexproofing the attacking creature, then the Curtain of Light would be resolve doing nothing, and the creature would attack as normal to the player. Unlike what happens if it was a creature attacking.


On your second example with double strike, that seems logical to me just because the attacker had to 'deal' with the blocker during the whole attack turn, so therefore it would never reach the player.


I'm not arguing, just trying to understand everything. I think I am visualizing events in my head like a real battle and trying to understand the rules on how they are. lol. I just like going by the rules of course, even in casual play.  I have a feeling that the 'stack' thing might not be straight with me either. Arrghh.. it's card night today with friends, so just trying to work out some details before all us noobs go at it. haha      
 


We were playing it like - Declare Attacker, Declare Block, Cast spells (instance in this case), resolve Battle.

Close enough!

A more accurate sequence would be:
-Declare attackers
-Cast spells
-Declare blockers
-Cast spells
-Inflict damage

This is actually reflected in the structure of the Combat Phase:
506. Combat Phase:
  507. Beginning of Combat Step
  508. Declare Attackers Step
  509. Declare Blockers Step
  510. Combat Damage Step
  5
11. End of Combat Step

 

Wizards of the Coast: outsourced to Elbonia

Your two examples Bowshewicz sound logical to me, because in the Curtain of Light example acts as a blocking creature anyways, BUT lets say that my opponent cast that instead of blocking with a creature and I cast something that hexproofs that attacking creature. I would think that the stack would resolve by first hexproofing the attacking creature, then the Curtain of Light would be resolve doing nothing, and the creature would attack as normal to the player.

Correct.

Wizards of the Coast: outsourced to Elbonia

I guess the confusing part was that if you killed a creature that was blocking, then I would think that it is would no longer be considered blocking the attacker and it would be then played as if there was no blocker at all. It appears that the only thing it does then is elliminate any need for damage dealing on both sides and the attacker remains on the battlefield no matter what the x/x was for each of them. (trample aside of course).


Well, the creature that you killed is certainly no longer considered to be blocking. However, the orignal creature is still considered blocked. The difference may seem pedantic, but the rules do care. The game doesn't behave as though there was no blocker at all.


We were playing it like - Declare Attacker, Declare Block, Cast spells (instance in this case), resolve Battle. In our 'limited knowledge' we easily thought that if the blocker was no longer there after the casting of spells were resolved, then when it was time to resolve the battle there wouldn't be a blocker left to block the attack so it was as if there was never a blocker.


I would avoid using the phrase "resovle the battle," as resolve has a specific game meaning, and you may confuse players who think you are using the technical definition. A spell or ability resolves when it is the top item on the stack and all players pass. Game actions like declaring attackers and combat damage do not resolve, as they do not use the stack. Therefore, they cannot be responded to. A frequent misconception is when players say "In response to declaring attackers..." Normally, the player meant to act in the beginning of combat step, but things can get sticky if that player waited until his opponent actually announced his attacking creatures.

The entire combat phase looks something like this:


  • Players get priority (or, more plainly, "Cast Spells")

  • Declare Attacks

  • Players get priority

  • Declare Blocks

  • Players get priority

  • First strike damage (if applicable)

  • Players get priority (again, if applicable)

  • Regular damage

  • Players get priority

  • Players get priority (End of combat)


I've simplified it a bit, but that's the gist of it. The reason there's an extra round of priority there is because a player might want to do something specifically at the end of combat. As you can see, there are quite a few opportunities to cast your spells.



Your two examples Bowshewicz sound logical to me, because in the Curtain of Light example acts as a blocking creature anyways, BUT lets say that my opponent cast that instead of blocking with a creature and I cast something that hexproofs that attacking creature. I would think that the stack would resolve by first hexproofing the attacking creature, then the Curtain of Light would be resolve doing nothing, and the creature would attack as normal to the player. Unlike what happens if it was a creature attacking.


In this case, Curtain of Light actually doesn't resolve, since all its targets are now illegal. The curtain doesn't quite act as blocking creature; for example Cave Tiger would not get +1/+1.


On your second example with double strike, that seems logical to me just because the attacker had to 'deal' with the blocker during the whole attack turn, so therefore it would never reach the player.

I'm not arguing, just trying to understand everything. I think I am visualizing events in my head like a real battle and trying to understand the rules on how they are. lol. I just like going by the rules of course, even in casual play.  I have a feeling that the 'stack' thing not be quite not straight with me either. Arrghh.. it's card night today with friends, so just trying to work out some details before all us noobs go at it. haha      



A good analogy that many players use is something to this effect: The two creatures engaged in combat meet on the field of battle. They stare each other down, and prepare to attack each other. A bolt of lightning from the heavens strikes one down before the fight can really begin, but by then the rest of the vanguard has moved on. Unless, of course, the attacker had trample. In that case, he's not so careful as to size up his enemy before diving headlong into combat, and he notices the blocker only long enough to watch it fall.
I guess the confusing part was that if you killed a creature that was blocking, then I would think that it is would no longer be considered blocking the attacker and it would be then played as if there was no blocker at all. 

from a game design perspective, this can't happen, it'd make removal overpowered which is why it is the way it is

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Thank you for all the replies. That helped clear up that issue I believe.
I guess the confusing part was that if you killed a creature that was blocking, then I would think that it is would no longer be considered blocking the attacker and it would be then played as if there was no blocker at all.



That does sound logical, at least from a certain perspective. But it is not how the rules are written. As 2goth4u mentions, it is mostly a game design decision.

I have a feeling that the 'stack' thing might not be straight with me either. Arrghh..


Quite likely, it can be really confusing.....
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