Responding to First Strike?

  • #1
    First Strike says that this creature deals combat damage before other creatures. Now that combat damage doesn't use the stack, when is the First Striking creature actually dealing the damage? Is there a way to respond to it?
  • #2
    When First or Double Strike is involved there is a completely separate combat damage step created where that damage is dealt. It remains impossible to 'respond to' damage, but both players will get priority and can cast spells/activate abilities in that step, after First Strike damage, but before regular damage.
  • #3
    There's a first strike damage step and a regular damage step. You can't "respond" to first strike damage (because, as you said, it doesn't use the stack), but you do get an opportunity to play spells and activate abilities before and between the two.
  • #4
    Creatures with First Strike or Double Strike deal their damage in the First Strike Combat Damage Step.
    You cannot respond to the assignment/dealing of combat damage since it no longer uses the stack but there is an opportunity for players to play spells/activate abilities in the First Strike Damage step before moving the normal Combat Damage Step.
    Level 3 Magic Judge

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  • #5
    Ok so if my opponent attacks with Anaba Bodyguard, and I block with Mons's Goblin Raiders, I have the opportunity to Giant Growth the Raiders at 4 different times?

    First during Declare Attackers
    Second during Declare Blockers
    Third during First Strike Combat Damage Step
    and Fourth during Normal Combat Damage Step

    Giant Growthing during any of the first three steps would result in my Goblins living correct?
  • #6
    Quote from PeterRiviera
    Ok so if my opponent attacks with Anaba Bodyguard, and I block with Mons's Goblin Raiders, I have the opportunity to Giant Growth the Raiders at 4 different times?

    First during Declare Attackers
    Second during Declare Blockers
    Third during First Strike Combat Damage Step
    and Fourth during Normal Combat Damage Step

    Giant Growthing during any of the first three steps would result in my Goblins living correct?


    No, It needs to be one of the first 2. You don't get priority in the First Strike Combat damage step until after damage.
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  • #7
    Quote from ACOG Kirin
    No, It needs to be one of the first 2. You don't get priority in the First Strike Combat damage step until after damage.


    What about in the case where we go:

    Declare Attackers: Anaba Bodyguard
    Declare Blockers: Mons's Goblin Raiders
    First Strike Damage Step: for whatever reason my opponent decides to Lightning Bolt me, he has to pass priority on the bolt, with which I can Giant Growth my goblins, right?

    If this is true, my opponent should almost never cast a spell during the First Strike Damage Step in order to never pass priority to his opponents.
  • #8
    Neither player gets priority in the step until damage has been dealt. Afterwards, both players will get priority (active player first, then non-active player).

    You need to cast the Giant Growth before the first strike combat step (which would usually mean after you declare the goblins as blockers).
  • #9
    Quote from PeterRiviera
    What about in the case where we go:

    Declare Attackers: Anaba Bodyguard
    Declare Blockers: Mons's Goblin Raiders
    First Strike Damage Step: for whatever reason my opponent decides to Lightning Bolt me, he has to pass priority on the bolt, with which I can Giant Growth my goblins, right?

    If this is true, my opponent should almost never cast a spell during the First Strike Damage Step in order to never pass priority to his opponents.


    I think you are confused on how priority works. In order for the game to advance at all Priority has to be passed through all players. A player cannot deny his opponent the opportunity to act.

    During Combat there are a number of Turn Based Actions which do not use the stack, the majority of these take place at the beginning of the appropriate step.
    The Combat Phase unfolds as such:
    • Beginning Combat Step - Players get priority.
    • Declare Attackers Step - Attackers are declared THEN players get Priority.
    • Declare Blockers Step - Blockers are declared THEN players get Priority (last chance to play Giant Growth to save your Goblins)
    • First Strike Combat Damage Step(if applicable) - Combat Damage is assigned and Dealt THEN players get Priority
    • Combat Damage Step - Combat Damage is assigned and Dealt THEN players get Priority
    • End of Combat Step - Players get Priority THEN creatures are removed from combat. (this is the one step where the turn based action is at the end instead of the beginning)
    Last edited by Exsam: 1/27/2011 1:51:44 PM
    Level 3 Magic Judge

    "To face death, that's nothing much. But to feel really stupid when you die, well, that would be insufferable." -Nafai, The Ships of Earth

    Ever wanted to know what guidelines Judges use to make rulings? Find out at the DCI Document Center.

    You can also find the latest Comprehensive Rules here.
  • #10
    Both players get priority before and after first strike damage. For example:

    If my opponent attacks with an Ajani's Pridemate that has two +1/+1 counters on it, and is 4/4. I block with Vampire Hexmage. Vampire Hexmage deals 2 first strike damage to Ajani's Pridemate, and then both players get priority to cast spells, during which I can sacrifice the Hexmage to remove the counters from the Pridemate, which will result in the Pridemate dying from the two damage already on it.
  • #11
    This clears things up beautifully, thank you for all the quick responses.
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