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I'm making a poison deck and want to check the Infect rules.

If a 2/2 creature with Infect is blocked by a vanilla 3/3 creature, what happens?

I know the 3/3 gets two -1/-1 counters instead of damage, but does it do 3 or 1 damage to my 2/2 infect creature?

Can anyone give reference to official rules on when the counters come into play?

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Related:… – ghoppe Sep 19 '11 at 15:12
This is a question about Infect, not poison. – adamjford Sep 19 '11 at 17:19
Oops, I capitalized infect in the question/previous comment when I shouldn't have, and now I can't change enough characters to get another suggested edit. :( – adamjford Sep 19 '11 at 17:28
One thing for future readers to note: infect isn't a spell or ability, so it doesn't actually resolve. – David Z Jul 15 '12 at 21:11
up vote 9 down vote accepted

if a 2/2 poison creature is blocked by a normal 3/3 creature what happens ?

I know the 3/3/ gets two -1/-1 counters instead of damage but does it do 3 or 1 damage to my 2/2 poison creature ?

can anyone give reference to official rules on when the counters come into play?

From the comprehensive rules, all damage is dealt simultaneously.:

510.2. Second, all combat damage that's been assigned is dealt simultaneously. This turn-based action doesn't use the stack. No player has the chance to cast spells or activate abilities between the time combat damage is assigned and the time it's dealt. This is a change from previous rules.

A creature with infect deals damage like this, according to rule 119.3d & e and 702.88c:

119.3d Damage dealt to a creature by a source with wither and/or infect causes that many -1/-1 counters to be put on that creature.

119.3e Damage dealt to a creature by a source with neither wither nor infect causes that much damage to be marked on that creature.

702.88c Damage dealt to a creature by a source with infect isn't marked on that creature. Rather, it causes that many -1/-1 counters to be put on that creature. See rule 119.3.

Therefore, since damage is done simultaneously and the counters come into play at the same time damage is dealt, your 2/2 creature with infect will be dealt 3 damage, and the 3/3 creature will get two -1/-1 counters during the combat damage step. Your creature with infect will therefore die.

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However, if your infect creature had First Strike, it would only be dealt 1 damage and survive. – Pithlit Sep 19 '11 at 16:23
@Pithlit That would be correct, since there would be two Combat Damage Steps as per rule 702.7, and the 3/3 creature without first strike or double strike would not assign damage during the first step. – ghoppe Sep 19 '11 at 16:53

Combat damage happens at the same time for both sides, so if you attack with a 2/2 with wither (or whatever the new one is that does poison), and they block with a 3/3, your creature does its 2 damage to the blocking creature the same time the blocking creature does its 3 damage to your attacking creature. The attacking creature dies with the 3 damage but the 3/3, after combat, is now a 1/1.

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The "new one that does poison" is called Infect. – thesunneversets Sep 19 '11 at 14:47
@thesunneversets, thanks, I haven't played much with sets after Alara. – DForck42 Sep 19 '11 at 14:48

DForck's answer is correct. The only way for the 2/2 poison creature to receive only 1 damage from the 3/3 blocker is if it has First Strike as well as Infect: then, in the first strike combat damage step, 2 points of infected damage is dealt, putting two -1/-1 counters on the 3/3; and then during normal combat damage, the now 1/1 creature deals its damage.

Infect means that a creature "deals its damage [to creatures] as -1/-1 counters". It doesn't change the speed of the damage in any way; it doesn't alter the damage from being damage in any way (so, for instance, a creature with Infect and Lifelink will gain its controller the same amount of life as the number of -1/-1 counters dealt). It's just plain old ordinary damage, albeit in a slightly modified form.

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