Abilities

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Once a creature has been declared as a blocker, before damage is assigned, can it then be tapped to activate its ability if it has one?  If so, how is it possible for a blocker to be tapped and still be eligible to block before damage is assigned?
Once a creature has been declared as a blocker, before damage is assigned, can it then be tapped to activate its ability if it has one?

Yes that is correct.
If so, how is it possible for a blocker to be tapped and still be eligible to block before damage is assigned?

Whether or not a block is legal is only checked once: as you declare blockers. It does not matter if the blocker becomes tapped later.
Thank you!  So, given this, if a Thundersong Trumpeter is declared as a blocker for one creature, it could then tap to prevent another attacking creature from attacking?
Thank you!  So, given this, if a Thundersong Trumpeter is declared as a blocker for one creature, it could then tap to prevent another attacking creature from attacking?


You could, but since it was already declared attacking, that wouldn't do much. It would stop it from attacking during a second combat phase.
To "unattack" creatures, you need an effect that explicitly says "remove it from combat." Examples include Disharmony and Gustcloak Harrier

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It can, but it won't do much good. Once a creature is attacking, making it illegal for it to attack won't affect the creature: it will still be attacking and will deal and receive damage like normal. So while you're free to block with the Trumpeter and use its ability on an attacking creature, that won't actually do anything to the already attacking creature: it will still be attacking and will still deal damage like normal.

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Thank you both for your help...this is all sort of confusing, but it gets clearer the more I play!
Well, let me say this to try to help alleviate the confusion:

To prevent something from happening means to not let it happen in the first place. How could you possibly prevent a creature from attacking when it's already attacked? 
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how is it possible for a blocker to be tapped and still be eligible to block before damage is assigned?

A tapped creature can not be declared as a blocker, but if it was untapped and was successfully declared as a blocker then it will remain a blocking creature as long as it remains in combat. Tapping it to pay for an activated ability does not remove it from combat. All players are given an opportunity to take action after the blocking turn based action is complete and this occurs while still in the Declare Blockers step. Once everyone decides they have no more actions to take and the stack is empty, then the game advances to the combat damage step.

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