My opponent is at 7 life and has a Grizzly Bears (2/2) and a Gavony Ironwright (Fateful hour — As long as you have 5 or less life, other creatures you control get +1/+4.).

I attack with 2 2/2s and my opponent blocks with his Grizzly Bears. This attack will knock my opponent down to 5 life. Does my opponent's Grizzly Bears die or does Fateful Hour kick in before hand and save it? (making it a 3/6 with 2 damage marked on it)

  • Why wouldn't your opponent block with Gavony Ironwright? As a 1/4, both the attacking GB and it would survive.
    – user1873
    Feb 5 '13 at 15:07
  • 7
    I just wanted to make a situation that explained what I wanted to know with out going into to much detail. Gavony Ironwright could have been tapped but I didn't think that mattered. Feb 5 '13 at 15:15
  • Also, his opponent probably would WANT to go from 7 life to 5 life, if he's playing Fateful Hour...
    – GendoIkari
    Feb 7 '13 at 13:58

Dealing damage does not directly destroy creatures. It's actually state-based actions performed afterwards (the next time someone would get priority) that do. His Grizzly Bear would survive because your opponent has 5 life when SBAs are performed.

  1. All participants assign their damage [CR 510.1]. No damage is actually dealt at this point, so your opponent has 7 life for the entire process, so his Grizzly Bear is 2/2 for the entire process.

    1. 2 damage is assigned to your blocked attacker by his Grizzly Bear
    2. 2 damage is assigned to his Grizzly Bear by your blocked attacker.
    3. 2 damage is assigned to him by your unblocked blocked attacker.
  2. All participants deal the previously assigned damage simultaneously [CR 510.2]. (The power/toughness of the participants is not checked here.)

    1. 2 damage is dealt to your blocked attacker by his Grizzly Bear.
      1. 2 damage is marked on your blocked attacker.
    2. 2 damage is dealt to his Grizzly Bear by your blocked attacker.
      1. 2 damage is marked on the Grizzly Bear.
    3. 2 damage is dealt to him by your unblocked blocked attacker.
      1. He loses 2 life.
  3. State-based actions are performed.

    1. Your blocked attacker is destroyed because its toughness, 2, is not greater than than its marked damage, 2.
    2. (Nothing happens to his Grizzly Bear because its toughness, 6, is greater than its marked damage, 2.)
    3. (Your opponent does not lose the game because his life, 5, is greater than 0.)
  • I realise the question has already been answered, but I hope you find my explanation and walkthrough more readable than the wall of rules of the earlier answer.
    – ikegami
    Feb 5 '13 at 19:24
  • +1, I like your walk through approach to answering. I agree with your reason for a new answer, I could have totally excluded someof the irrelevant portions of the cited rules.
    – Colin D
    Feb 5 '13 at 20:24

Your opponents Grizzly Bear will survive. Damage is dealt simultaneously but because the lethal damage is checked as state based action it will not happen until after your opponent has 5 life and the Fateful hour ability has kicked in.

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. Example: Squadron Hawk (a 1/1 creature with flying) and Goblin Piker (a 2/1 creature) are attacking. Mogg Fanatic (a 1/1 creature with the ability "Sacrifice Mogg Fanatic: Mogg Fanatic deals 1 damage to target creature or player) blocks the Goblin Piker. The defending player sacrifices Mogg Fanatic during the declare blockers step to deal 1 damage to the Squadron Hawk. The Hawk is destroyed. The Piker deals and is dealt no combat damage this turn. If the defending player instead left Mogg Fanatic on the battlefield, the Fanatic and the Piker would have dealt lethal damage to one another, but the Squadron Hawk couldn't have been dealt damage.\

510.4. Fourth, the active player gets priority. Players may cast spells and activate abilities.

704 State-Based Actions

704.1. State-based actions are game actions that happen automatically whenever certain conditions (listed below) are met. State-based actions don't use the stack.

704.3. Whenever a player would get priority (see rule 116, "Timing and Priority"), the game checks for any of the listed conditions for state-based actions, then performs all applicable state-based actions simultaneously as a single event. If any state-based actions are performed as a result of a check, the check is repeated; otherwise all triggered abilities that are waiting to be put on the stack are put on the stack, then the check is repeated. Once no more state-based actions have been performed as the result of a check and no triggered abilities are waiting to be put on the stack, the appropriate player gets priority. This process also occurs during the cleanup step (see rule 514), except that if no state-based actions are performed as the result of the step's first check and no triggered abilities are waiting to be put on the stack, then no player gets priority and the step ends.

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.

  • Is the total damage marked on it at the time state-based actions are checked lethal? You're suggesting that the Fateful Hour static ability is applied later than the state-based check somehow? Feb 5 '13 at 16:15
  • @StevenStadnicki Haha yea, I totally misread 704.3 this morning while writing this. I think you guys are right.
    – Colin D
    Feb 5 '13 at 17:58

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