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. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

If a weak creature with death touch attacks a tougher creature, does my own creature die as well?

If I have a 2/2 with death touch that attacks a 4/4, the 4/4 will die but what will happen to my 2/2?

share|improve this question
Welcome to B&CG! – Pat Ludwig Oct 25 '12 at 17:31
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Yes it does.

The damage to them both happen simultaneously (footnote 1), so the big one receives 2 deathtouch damage, and the little one receives four regular damage. Both of these are lethal damage (footnote 2, 3) to the respective receivers, and they are sent to the graveyard.

This can be avoided by giving the little guy first strike (consider Glissa, the Traitor or double strike, which will cause the little guy's damage to be dealt first (unless the big guy somehow also gains it.) Other things like protection can mitigate the damage too.

I should point out that creatures can't attack other creatures in normal combat. You can only declare them as attackers to a player or planeswalker. The defending player (in this case, the player owning the 4/4) can choose to block or not block.

You can cause them to deal damage to each other with the "fights" mechanic (like Prey Upon, or with spells and abilities (Livewire Lash comes to mind.) If a creature deals damage to another creature, and the damage-dealing creature has deathtouch, then the receiving creature has lethal damage (causing it to be destroyed).

Footnote 1

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.

Footnote 2

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.

Footnote 3

119.6. Damage marked on a creature remains until the cleanup step, even if that permanent stops being a creature. If the total damage marked on a creature is greater than or equal to its toughness, that creature has been dealt lethal damage and is destroyed as a state-based action

704.5g If a creature has toughness greater than 0, and the total damage marked on it is greater than or equal to its toughness, that creature has been dealt lethal damage and is destroyed. Regeneration can replace this event.

share|improve this answer

It dies. There's no is difference between dying from lots of damage and dying from damage from a source with deathtouch. If a 20/2 and a 4/4 would mutually kill each other, so would a 2/2 with deathtouch and a 4/4.

This is because all combat damage is dealt simultaneously [CR 510.2], and because the State-Based Actions that cause both kinds of deaths [CR 704.5g & h] happen simultaneously [CR 704.3].

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


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.