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I'm not much of a Magic player myself, although I do know a bit about the game. Recently, I got into an argument about whether one creature can block multiple creatures' attacks.

It looks like rule 509.1a specifies that each blocking creature blocks one attacking creature:

509.1a The defending player chooses which creatures that he or she controls, if any, will block. The chosen creatures must be untapped. For each of the chosen creatures, the defending player chooses one creature for it to block that's attacking him, her, or a planeswalker he or she controls.

But the point of the argument was, can "one" creature be chosen multiple times? Because it seemed like multiple blocking creatures could block one attack, but not the other way around.

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avatar of hope can –  Sam I am Feb 19 '13 at 21:04
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4 Answers 4

up vote 8 down vote accepted

No, a creature can normally only block at most one attacking creature.

You have already quoted the relevant rule. I will bold the part of the rule that answers your question:

509.1a The defending player chooses which creatures that he or she controls, if any, will block. The chosen creatures must be untapped. For each of the chosen creatures, the defending player chooses one creature for it to block that’s attacking him, her, or a planeswalker he or she controls.

The chosen creatures referred to are the defenders. Your mistake in reasoning was that you applied the rule to attackers, not the defenders, basically the other way round. For each defending creature, you pick one attacker which to block. Of course you can chose the same attacker multiple times for multiple defenders.

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I would bold the "one" in "chooses one creature for it to block." –  GendoIkari Feb 19 '13 at 19:30
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@GendoIkari No because it does not counter the OP's wrongful assumption - that you can pick one several times per defender –  Hackworth Feb 19 '13 at 23:09
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"One" should indeed be in bold because the OP would be right if it said "For each ... chooses any number of ..." (like when for Avatar of Hope). –  ikegami Feb 19 '13 at 23:41
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I've made my point and stand by it, please don't edit my answer. –  Hackworth Feb 19 '13 at 23:42
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Maybe, but you made an invalid argument. Your conclusion doesn't follow from your premise (text in bold). –  ikegami Feb 19 '13 at 23:44
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Technically yes, if it has "can block any number of creatures" in the text. Otherwise no.

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This is not a useful answer at all, because any card can do what it says in the text, even if the rules wouldn't normally let it. That's the point of putting text on cards. –  Jefromi Feb 15 at 19:09
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No, one creature cannot be chosen to block multiple attackers (unless otherwise specified on the card, like Avatar of Hope). Each blocking creature may be assigned to one attacking creature. The rule, as you've pointed out, states (emphasis mine):

509.1a The defending player chooses which creatures that he or she controls, if any, will block. The chosen creatures must be untapped. For each of the chosen creatures, the defending player chooses one creature for it to block that’s attacking him, her, or a planeswalker he or she controls.

The rule starts out by saying that the defender chooses all creatures that will block. Declaring all blockers at the same time is important. The defending player then assigns each blocker to one creature to block. Since all blockers are declared at the same time, it cannot be assigned to block one creature multiple times; each blocker is assigned to one attacker when blockers are declared.

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I give this answer the nod because it clarifies the point that which creatures block is chosen simultaneously, and only once, which most accurately answers the confusion of the original question. –  ghoppe Feb 27 '13 at 22:52
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No sir, one creature can only block one creature, in any ordinary circumstances. (You can of course block one attacker with multiple different creatures: as long as each blocker is only blocking one attacker).

Check out this link for examples of creatures and other cards that can break the one-creature-blocked-per-blocker rule.

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