Take the 2-minute tour ×
Board & Card Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who like playing board games, designing board games or modifying the rules of existing board games. It's 100% free, no registration required.

If someone declares an attacker and that creature does not have vigilance, if I untap that creature, for example with burst of energy, does it stop the creature from attacking?

share|improve this question
4  
It doesn't remove abilities with {T} in their activation cost from the stack either. –  ikegami Oct 14 '13 at 15:49
add comment

2 Answers

up vote 13 down vote accepted

No it does not.

Once an attacker is declared attacking, it is attacking. Tapping or untapping it after it has been declared as an attacker will have no affect on that.

While untapping can (to my knowledge) never stop a creature attacking, you can use an effect like Tumble Magnet in a players "Beginning of Combat" step, to prevent a specific creature from being tapped to attack.

It is important to note however that you must do this BEFORE your opponent taps their creatures to attack. You cannot respond to a declared attacker by tapping it, which means you cannot wait until you know which creatures your opponent is attacking with to tap one down.

There are cards such as Gustcloak Savior which do behave in the manner described in the question. However, these cards explicitly remove the creature from combat, the untapping element is unrelated and incidental. If an effect only untaps a permanent, it is still attacking. Similarly, if an effect only removes a permanent from combat, it is still tapped unless the effect explicitly untaps it.

share|improve this answer
    
That's true, untapping (or tapping) a creature after it has been declared as an attacker can never stop it from attacking. (Same goes for blocking.) But there are some cards that will say things like "Untap target attacking creature and remove it from combat," which does stop the creature from attacking. –  David Z Oct 14 '13 at 11:27
    
@DavidZ yes, i would assume you are referring to maze of ith and possibly others. However, i didnt want to confuse my answer by including any information on them. Thinking on it though it's probably safe to add a paragraph at the end, pointing to maze as the prime example. –  Patters Oct 14 '13 at 11:32
    
Maze of Ith does not remove the targeted creature from combat, although in most cases the effect is the same. (Maze prevents combat damage dealt to and by the targeted creature.) A Maze'd creature can still be the target of spells like Arrows of Justice, and an effect such as that of Skullcrack would allow the Maze'd creature to still deal and receive combat damage. ('Remove from combat' effects do exist, just not on that particular card. Try Gustcloak Savior.) –  Brian S Nov 14 '13 at 22:31
    
@BrianS updated to your example, nice catch, i totally misremembered how maze works –  Patters Nov 15 '13 at 9:34
add comment

No, once a creature is declared as an attacking creature, it remains so until removed from combat or when the combat phase ends.

The Combat Phase is broken up into five steps, in this order: Beginning of Combat Step, Declare Attackers Step, Declare Blockers Step, Combat Damage Step, End of Combat Step. During the Declare Attackers step, the Active Player follows rules 508.1a-508.1j, choosing attacking creatures and tapping them. After that, players have priority to cast spells and activate abilities.

508.1f The active player taps the chosen creatures. Tapping a creature when it's declared as an attacker isn't a cost; attacking simply causes creatures to become tapped. [...]

508.1j Each chosen creature still controlled by the active player becomes an attacking creature. It remains an attacking creature until it's removed from combat or the combat phase ends, whichever comes first. See rule 506.4.

508.3. Third, the active player gets priority. Players may cast spells and activate abilities.

Besides the combat step ending, there are several ways a creature can be removed from combat.

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 701.12) 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.

Your last chance to prevent a creature from attacking is during the Beginning of Combat step, before it can be declared as an attacker.

506.4a Once a creature has been declared as an attacking or blocking creature, spells or abilities that would have kept that creature from attacking or blocking don’t remove the creature from combat.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.