Lifelink vs Lethal Damage

  • #1
    Which happens first?

    Ex: I am swinging with 3 creatures (for lethal damage). My opponent blocks 1 of my creatures with 1 of his (that has lifelink). My 2 remaining unblocked creatures would be dealing lethal damage, so how does that work with lifelink? If the combat damage and lifelink happen at the same time, how does everything resolve?
  • #2
    He will gain and lose the appropriate life at the same time, without using the stack. As such, if he is at six, attacked by 3 3/3's, and one is blocked by a 3/3 with lifelink, he will simultaneously lose 6 life and gain 3, and be alive at 3 life after damage. There is no time when he is at 0 life, and certainly not by the time state-based actions are checked and he would lose the game as a result.
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  • #3
    The rules are now in such a way that normal combat damage resolves all at the same time. So you would deal all damage to creatures and players at the exact same time taking into account any life gained by lifelink.

    If a player was at 2 and you attacked with 2 2/2 creatures they block with a 1/1 lifelink. Then the damage applied to the player is calculated as 1 and the lifelink creature dies, both simultaneously.
  • #4
    This is a very common question since lifelink was changed to a static ability instead of a triggered ability. I even posted this on the Rules Tips Blog recently. I should probably add it to my signature, since it comes up so frequently. Smile

    http://blogs.magicjudges.org/rulestips/2013/03/lifelink-can-save-you-from-dying-in-combat/

    Quote from Shiningjustice »
    If a player was at 2 and you attacked with 2 2/2 creatures they block with a 1/1 lifelink. Then the damage applied to the player is calculated as 1 and the lifelink creature dies, both simultaneously.

    Strictly speaking, the life gain occurs as part of the damage event, just before state-based actions are checked and destroy any creatures with lethal damage marked on them. This could matter for things like Fateful Hour or creatures that have P/T defined by or modified by abilities based on your life total.

    Also, the damage is applied as "lose 2 and gain 1 simultaneously." The game knows you lost two life even though your life total only changed by 1. This could matter for something like Children of Korliss.
    Last edited by bimmerbot: 4/17/2013 1:55:56 PM
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  • #5
    Just remember, damage doesn't kill people. State-based actions kill people. Grin
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  • #6
    Quote from ybadragon
    Just remember, damage doesn't kill people. State-based actions kill people. Grin


    Sometimes not even then.

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    Last edited by CarstenHaese: 4/18/2013 11:39:06 PM
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