Creatures with Death touch and first strike

  • #1
    Ok I'm getting a little sick and tired of people not understanding how first strike and deathtouch work.

    1. Deathtouch does nothing more than destroy a creature that was hit with even 1 point of damage.

    2. Deathtouch does not instantly kill the creature removing it from combat like some people think it does.

    3. A creature with both First strike and death touch DOES NOT MEAN the creature gets first strike death touch, there is no such thing.


    People think that if a creature that has both First strike and death touch blocks an attacking creature, that the attacking creature gets instantly removed from combat before any damage can be dealt to the blocking creature with First strike and death touch just because the creature has death touch.

    Such as the case with
    Glissa The Traitor (A 3/3 First strike Death touch)
    Blocking a Khalni Hydra which is a 8/8 that has Trample.

    Glissa is going to kill the hydra (Via the death touch), however Glissa will still die and Glissa's controller will still take 5 trample.

    Hydra is attacking
    Glissa blocks deals and deals 3 damage first strike to the hydra.
    The death touch kicks in thus is going to kill the hydra (This does not remove the Hydra from combat) this mearly says the hydra is going to get killed because death touch rules. Now you apply the first strike of 3 damage to the hydra, the game status checks is there enough leathal FIRST STRIKE DAMAGE to kill it, The answer is no you would still need 5 more damage dealt to the hydra, in order for first strike to kill the hydra without dealing any damage to Glissa. The game now sees that the hydra has been dealt damage and triggers this does not mean the hydra gets instantly killed and or removed from combat. It just says that the hydra is going to be killed at the end of combat. But combat is not over there is still the matter of after first strike damage is dealt, the game now checks to see if there is enough damage left over to kill Glissa which there is there is 8 damage coming to glissa which on requires 3 to kill, which leaves 5 damage left over. And because the hydra has trample, that leave 5 damage. Now combat resolves follows the above steps and 5 damage goes to the player.

    I wish people would get this.

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    Last edited by CarstenHaese: 2/27/2011 5:01:13 PM
  • #2
    Nope.

    Only creatures that are on the battlefield at the beginning of a combat damage step get to assign damage in that step. So here's what happens:

    Declare Attackers: Hydra attacks as a turn-based action, both players pass priority.
    Declare Blockers: Glissa blocks as a turn-based action, both players pass priority.
    First Strike Combat Damage: Glissa, the Traitor deals first strike damage in this step as a turn-based action. Because she has deathtouch, the damage is lethal, and Khalni Hydra is put into the graveyard as a state-based action (see 704.5h). Both players pass priority.
    Combat damage: Nothing happens, because Hydra is not on the battlefield to assign combat damage.

    Does that help? You may be confused because older, deathtouch-like abilities such as Thicket Basilisk only did their thing at the end of combat, but that is not how deathtouch works.
    Last edited by two_eyes: 2/27/2011 3:25:29 PM
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  • #3
    Two Eyes,
    That would only hold true if and ONLY if Deathtouch instantly removed a creature from combat the instant it was dealt damage. Or with double strike

    But in the above case between the Hydra and Glissa What is instantly removing the hydra from combat?

    Because Deathtouch does not remove the creature instantly from combat. M11 Rules have modified the way Deathtouch works and that is death touch simply checks to see if the creature has been dealt at least 1 damage...If a creature has been dealth 1 damage then it's destroyed AT THE END OF COMBAT...nothing more and nothing less.

    You saying what you said above means that first strike damage doesn't exist. and that the first strike damage now becomes first strike death touch. Which there is no such thing
    Last edited by tx3000: 2/27/2011 3:30:29 PM
  • #4
    You are mistaken. If a creature has been dealt damage by a source with deathtouch since the last time state-based actions have been checked, the creature is destroyed. So after first strike combat damage has been dealt in this situation, the game sees the Hydra has been dealt damage by a source with deathtouch, and the Hydra is destroyed. Since it is destroyed, it is no longer in combat, and it will not assign or deal any damage in the normal combat damage step.

    Nothing in deathtouch has ever said the creature isn't destroyed until the end of combat (you might be confusing deathtouch with the ability of creatures like Lowland Basilisk). Even before the M10 rules change, this would have worked the same (the difference being the Hydra would have been destroyed by a triggered ability in the first strike combat damage step, not as a state-based action).

    704.3. Whenever a player would get priority (see rule 116, "Timing and Priority"), the game checks for any of the listed conditions for state-based actions, then performs all applicable state-based actions simultaneously as a single event. If any state-based actions are performed as a result of a check, the check is repeated; otherwise all triggered abilities that are waiting to be put on the stack are put on the stack, then the check is repeated. Once no more state-based actions have been performed as the result of a check and no triggered abilities are waiting to be put on the stack, the appropriate player gets priority. This process also occurs during the cleanup step (see rule 514), except that if no state-based actions are performed as the result of the step's first check and no triggered abilities are waiting to be put on the stack, then no player gets priority and the step ends.

    704.5. The state-based actions are as follows:
    ...
    704.5h If a creature has toughness greater than 0, and it's been dealt damage by a source with deathtouch since the last time state-based actions were checked, that creature is destroyed. Regeneration can replace this event.

    506.4. A permanent is removed from combat if it leaves the battlefield, if its controller changes, if it phases out, if an effect specifically removes it from combat, if it's a planeswalker that's being attacked and stops being a planeswalker, or if it's an attacking or blocking creature that regenerates (see rule 701.11) or stops being a creature. A creature that's removed from combat stops being an attacking, blocking, blocked, and/or unblocked creature. A planeswalker that's removed from combat stops being attacked.
    Last edited by Natedogg: 2/27/2011 3:30:29 PM
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  • #5
    Quote from tx3000
    that would only hold true if Deathtouch instantly reomved a creature from combat the instant it was dealt damage..

    However Deathtouch does not remove the creature instantly from combat.

    What your saying is that first trike doesn't exist.


    Well, deathtouch does kill the damaged creature right away.

    704.5h If a creature has toughness greater than 0, and it's been dealt damage by a source with deathtouch since the last time state-based actions were checked, that creature is destroyed. Regeneration can replace this event.

    It's not an end of combat thing. It happens just like being killed with normal damage. If Khalni Hydra were blocked by an 8-power creature with first strike, it would still die in the first strike damage step before regular combat damage is dealt.
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  • #6
    Quote from tx3000
    that would only hold true if Deathtouch instantly reomved a creature from combat the instant it was dealt damage..

    However Deathtouch does not remove the creature instantly from combat.

    What your saying is that first trike doesn't exist.


    OK, let's walk through this step by step. First, from the Comprehensive Rules, the full text of Deathtouch:

    702.2. Deathtouch

    702.2a Deathtouch is a static ability.

    702.2b Any nonzero amount of combat damage assigned to a creature by a source with deathtouch is considered to be lethal damage, regardless of that creature’s toughness. See rules 510.1c–d.

    702.2c A creature with toughness greater than 0 that’s been dealt damage by a source with deathtouch since the last time state-based actions were checked is destroyed as a state-based action. See rule 704.

    702.2d The deathtouch rules function no matter what zone an object with deathtouch deals damage from.

    702.2e If an object changes zones before an effect causes it to deal damage, its last known information is used to determine whether it had deathtouch.

    702.2f Multiple instances of deathtouch on the same object are redundant.


    Declare Attackers Step: Khalni Hydra is declared as an attacker.
    Declare Blockers Step: Glissa, the Traitor is declared as a blocker.
    Combat Damage Step, First Strike: Glissa Deals 3 Damage to Khalni Hydra.
    Combat Damage Step, First Strike, State Based Actions. 702.2b applies in this instance. Since the Khalni Hydra has taken any amount of damage in the combat step, it is placed in the Graveyard as a State-based Action.
    Combat Damage Step, Regular: Since Khalni Hydra is no longer on the field or in combat, it does not do any damage to Glissa or to the player.

    Hopefully this helps.
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  • #7
    Quote from tx3000
    Ok I'm getting a little sick and tired of people not understanding how first strike and deathtouch work.


    Unfortunately it is you who does not understand how first strike and deathtouch work. The reason it is a very potent combination is that it does indeed kill creatures without first strike before they have a chance to retaliate.
  • #8
    You are mistaken. If a creature has been dealt damage by a source with deathtouch since the last time state-based actions have been checked, the creature is destroyed.


    Your adding in wording that is not there.

    Death touch is defined as if the creature is dealt damage destroy it. there is no timeframe of when and this is where people are getting messed up with the rulings an why they don't understand it.

    No where in the rules does it say anywhere that deathtouch instantly detroys whatever it hits.

    If that were true then it would shut down everything from regeneration all the way up to be able to prevent all damage dealt to it.

    What your saying is that creatures that get hit by death touch cannot regenerate, be saved, no nothing it's an instant kill nothing can be done about.

    In order for a creature it be removed from combat via deathtouch, Deathtouch has to have in it's definition If this creature is damaged it is Immediately destroyed.

    M11 rules updates now specifically state that when in combat Deathtouch gets applied at the end of combat damage dealing.
    Last edited by tx3000: 2/27/2011 3:42:53 PM
  • #9
    Quote from tx3000
    Your adding in wording that is not there.

    Death touch is defined as if the creature is dealt damage destroy it. there is no timeframe of when.

    No where in the rules does it say anywhere that deathtouch instantly detroys whatever it hits.

    If that were true then it would shut down everything from regeneration all the way up to be able to prevent all damage dealt to it.

    What your saying is that creatures that get hit by death touch cannot regenerate, be saved no nothing it's an instant kill nothing can be done about.

    In order for a creature it be removed from combat via deathtouch it has to Deathtouch has to have in it's definition If this creature is damaged it is Immediately destroyed.

    M11 rules updates now specifically state that when in combat Deathtouch gets applied at the end of combat damage dealing.


    I see where you're getting confused.

    There are two seperate damage dealing steps during the Combat Phase. One for First Strike, and one for Regular. State Based Actions are checked after each one. After the First Strike damage dealing step, Khalni Hydra has damage from a deathtoucher on it and is destroyed.
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  • #10
    Quote from tx3000

    Death touch is defined as if the creature is dealt damage destroy it. there is no timeframe of when and this is where people are getting messed up with the rulings an why they don't understand it.


    What are you talking about? Did you just make up an entire ruling by yourself?

    "Oh, well Doomblade doesn't say when it destroys the creature, so the creature will be destroyed whenever it's best for me."

    No, when something says it destroys something, it destroys it when state-based effects are checked. The creature with first strike deals deathtouch damage? The other creature is destroyed. If it happens to not have first strike, then it is destroyed without dealing damage because state-based effects are checked in between the first strike damage and the regular strike damage.
    Last edited by Sprankton: 2/27/2011 5:34:49 PM
  • #11
    I think where you are getting tripped up is not realizing that first strike damage and normal damage are dealt during 2 separate steps. Between these 2 steps each player is given priority and SBA's are checked. When the SBA's are checked the game sees a hyrda that has been dealt damage by a source with death touch and it is removed from combat and sent to the graveyard before moving on to the next step (normal damage).

    EDIT: I think you are also unsure of how regeneration works by the sound of your posts.
    From the Comprehensive Rules

    * 614.8. Regeneration is a destruction-replacement effect. The word “instead” doesn’t appear on the card but is implicit in the definition of regeneration. “Regenerate [permanent]” means “The next time [permanent] would be destroyed this turn, instead remove all damage marked on it and tap it. If it’s an attacking or blocking creature, remove it from combat.” Abilities that trigger from damage being dealt still trigger even if the permanent regenerates. See rule 701.11.

    It seems that you think regeneration is paid at the time of death, but this is not true. It is paid anytime before the actual death has occurred and it sets up a replacement effect.
    In your above scenario with glissa and the hydra, a player could use a regeneration effect anytime before the first strike combat damage step to save the hydra. This effect would usually be used at the end of the declare blockers step.
    Last edited by eSporks: 2/27/2011 3:50:30 PM
  • #12
    State-based actions are not selective. You don't just check for some, you check all of them each time a player would get priority. One of the state-based actions is a creature that's been dealt damage by a source with deathtouch is destroyed. You don't just check that at the end of combat, you check it any time state-based actions would be checked. The relevent rules are posted in my first post in this thread.

    This does not 'shut down' regeneration or damage prevention. All you have to do is set up the regeneration shield or the prevention shield during the declare blockers step and your creature can be saved. You'd have do to the same thing if a 2/2 without first strike is blocked by a 2/2 with first strike.
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  • #13
    Quote from tx3000
    In order for a creature it be removed from combat via deathtouch, Deathtouch has to have in it's definition If this creature is damaged it is Immediately destroyed.


    It does.

    702.2c A creature with toughness greater than 0 that's been dealt damage by a source with deathtouch since the last time state-based actions were checked is destroyed as a state-based action. See rule 704.

    704.1. State-based actions are game actions that happen automatically whenever certain conditions (listed below) are met. State-based actions don't use the stack.

    704.3. Whenever a player would get priority (see rule 116, "Timing and Priority"), the game checks for any of the listed conditions for state-based actions, then performs all applicable state-based actions simultaneously as a single event. If any state-based actions are performed as a result of a check, the check is repeated; otherwise all triggered abilities that are waiting to be put on the stack are put on the stack, then the check is repeated. Once no more state-based actions have been performed as the result of a check and no triggered abilities are waiting to be put on the stack, the appropriate player gets priority. This process also occurs during the cleanup step (see rule 514), except that if no state-based actions are performed as the result of the step's first check and no triggered abilities are waiting to be put on the stack, then no player gets priority and the step ends.

    M11 rules updates now specifically state that when in combat Deathtouch gets applied at the end of combat damage dealing.


    This is false.
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  • #14
    Quote from tx3000
    Your adding in wording that is not there.

    Death touch is defined as if the creature is dealt damage destroy it. there is no timeframe of when.

    No where in the rules does it say anywhere that deathtouch instantly detroys whatever it hits.

    If that were true then it would shut down everything from regeneration all the way up to be able to prevent all damage dealt to it.

    What your saying is that creatures that get hit by death touch cannot regenerate, be saved no nothing it's an instant kill nothing can be done about.

    In order for a creature it be removed from combat via deathtouch it has to Deathtouch has to have in it's definition If this creature is damaged it is Immediately destroyed.

    M11 rules updates now specifically state that when in combat Deathtouch gets applied at the end of combat damage dealing.


    Both Natedogg and two_eyes have given you the rules about a creature who was dealt damage from a source that has deathtouch, that the creature will be destroyed by state-based actions.

    During the combat phase, if a creature has first strike, they will deal their damage in the First Strike Combat Damage Step. Glissa will deal 3 damage to the Hydra. Now before moving onto the Combat Damage Step, which is where the Hydra will do it's damage, players will gain priority, but before that state-based actions are checked. When they are checked, the game will see the Hydra was dealt damage from a source with deathtouch and will destroy it. You may regenerate the Hydra if you choose to, whether by an effect or spell. However, part of regeneration when it replaces destruction is that you remove the damage from the creature, it becomes tapped and removes it from combat. A creature removed from combat will not deal any damage, which in this case, the Hydra is no longer in combat for it to deal damage in the Combat Damage Step.

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  • #15
    Both Natedogg and two_eyes have given you the rules about a creature who was dealt damage from a source that has deathtouch, that the creature will be destroyed by state-based actions.


    You can say this all you want but the key factor here is this you people need to pull out where in the rules it says Deathtouch instantly kills a creture it hits.
    Saying a creture gets destroyed just means teh creature is destroyed...it does not state the creature is destroyed INSTANTLY

    You people need to realize that Destroying a creature. and instantly destroying a creature ARE NOT THE SAME THING. Deathtouch rules specfically state 1 damage is enough to destroy the creature not when.

    It does not say 1 damage is dealt to this creature and then it's instantly killed and or removed from combat.

    You people are posting that death touch instantly kills anything hit with it nad the rules do not say that.

    You people need to read the wordings on rules and stop adding things to the rules that are not there

    Death touch simply says 1 damage is enough to kill a creature... PERIOD.....That's all the deathtouch mechanic does there is no it kills the creature instantly worded anywhere in there.

    So when anyone can pull out and show me where it says the creature gets killed instantly, then fine, until then you're all wrong.
    Last edited by tx3000: 2/27/2011 4:01:19 PM
  • #16
    Requoting myself for effect here with emphasis in bold and italics:

    Quote from Zakman86
    OK, let's walk through this step by step. First, from the Comprehensive Rules, the full text of Deathtouch:

    702.2. Deathtouch

    702.2a Deathtouch is a static ability.

    702.2b Any nonzero amount of combat damage assigned to a creature by a source with deathtouch is considered to be lethal damage, regardless of that creature’s toughness. See rules 510.1c–d.

    702.2c A creature with toughness greater than 0 that’s been dealt damage by a source with deathtouch since the last time state-based actions were checked is destroyed as a state-based action. See rule 704.

    702.2d The deathtouch rules function no matter what zone an object with deathtouch deals damage from.

    702.2e If an object changes zones before an effect causes it to deal damage, its last known information is used to determine whether it had deathtouch.

    702.2f Multiple instances of deathtouch on the same object are redundant.


    Declare Attackers Step: Khalni Hydra is declared as an attacker.
    Declare Blockers Step: Glissa, the Traitor is declared as a blocker.
    Combat Damage Step, First Strike: Glissa Deals 3 Damage to Khalni Hydra.
    Combat Damage Step, First Strike, State Based Actions. 702.2b applies in this instance. Since the Khalni Hydra has taken any amount of damage in the combat step, it is placed in the Graveyard as a State-based Action.
    Combat Damage Step, Regular: Since Khalni Hydra is no longer on the field or in combat, it does not do any damage to Glissa or to the player.

    Hopefully this helps.
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  • #17
    Quote from tx3000
    Pull out where in the rules it says Deathtouch instantly kills a creture it hits.

    Detroying a creature and instantly destroying a creature ARE NOT THE SAME THING.

    You people are posting that death touch instantly kills anything hit with it.

    However no where in the rules anywhere does it ever say that. All it says is that a creature that is dealt 1 damage is enough to kill it...Not kill it instantly.


    You people need to read the wordings on rules and stop adding things to the rules that are not there


    Nothing in the rules say that a creature with deathtouch destroys a creature instantly. What you are failing to understand is that there is a First Strike Combat Damage Step, which occurs first and state-based actions are checked before ever moving onto the Combat Damage Step. A creature dealt damage from a source with deathtouch who's toughness is greater than the damage marked on it is destroyed as a state-based action.

    Other users have posted the correct rules on deathtouch, whether you believe it or not.

    Death touch simply says 1 damage is enough to kill a creature... PERIOD that's all the deathtouch mechanic does.


    There's more to the deathtouch ability than that

    702.2. Deathtouch

    702.2a Deathtouch is a static ability.

    702.2b Any nonzero amount of combat damage assigned to a creature by a source with deathtouch is considered to be lethal damage, regardless of that creature’s toughness. See rules 510.1c–d.

    702.2c A creature with toughness greater than 0 that’s been dealt damage by a source with deathtouch since the last time state-based actions were checked is destroyed as a state-based action. See rule 704.

    702.2d The deathtouch rules function no matter what zone an object with deathtouch deals damage from.

    702.2e If an object changes zones before an effect causes it to deal damage, its last known information is used to determine whether it had deathtouch.

    702.2f Multiple instances of deathtouch on the same object are redundant.

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  • #19
    You need to read this rule very closely:

    702.2c A creature with toughness greater than 0 that’s been dealt damage by a source with deathtouch since the last time state-based actions were checked is destroyed as a state-based action.
    .
    State-based actions are checked whenever a player receives priority. This includes between first strike and regular damage.

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  • #20
    This is how things progress in the combat phase:

    Beginning of Combat Step
    1-State-Based Actions are checked
    2-Active player gets priority to play spells or activate abilities
    Declare Attackers Step
    1-Attackers are declared and tapped
    2-State-Based Actions are checked
    3-Active player gets priority to play spells/abilities
    Declare Blockers Step
    1-Blockers are declared
    2-Attacking player orders blockers
    3-State-Based Actions are checked
    4-Active player gets priority to play spells/abilities
    First Strike Combat Damage Step (this is skipped if no attacking or blocking creature has first strike or double strike)
    1-Attacking and blocking creatures with first strike or double strike deal combat damage
    2-State-Based Actions are checked (this is where Khalni Hydra dies)
    3-Active player gets priority
    Regular Combat Damage Step
    1-Attacking and blocking creatures without double strike that didn't deal combat damage in the First Strike Combat Damage Step deal their combat damage (Khalni Hydra has been destroyed by this point and cannot deal combat damage because it has been removed from combat)
    2-State-Based Actions are checked
    3-Active player gets priority
    End of Combat Step
    1-State-Based Actions are checked
    2-Active player gets priority
  • #21
    This question has been answered sufficiently, so I'm going to go ahead and lock this thread. tx3000, if you have a legitimate follow-up question to this topic, please send me a private message.
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