# Can one creature block multiple attacks?

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.

## 5 Answers

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.

• 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. Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 22:52
• The way this is written makes it sound like you imagine a separate step or phase to determine the set of blockers, and then another to associate the blockers with attackers. But as far as I'm aware, both those things are done at once - certainly, that's how the interface for both official online clients presents it. It's not as if either player has priority in between deciding which creatures are blockers and deciding what each of them blocks. Commented Jun 11 at 8:11
• @KarlKnechtel While it is common to simplify it to do it all at once, I believe they are actually technically separate. It is usually entirely equivalent, but there are two cards – Invasion Plans and Brutal Hordechief – that seem to let a player control only the second part (compare their wording to Master Warcraft's). Usually, those effects also make the first part trivial by forcing every creature to block, but, e.g., Familiar Ground changes that.
– m90
Commented Jun 15 at 10:25
• @m90 oh, wow. Are all of those cards supported on MTGO? Commented Jun 15 at 10:29
• @KarlKnechtel They do appear to be present on MTGO. (I don't know how they work there.)
– m90
Commented Jun 15 at 10:59

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.

• I would bold the "one" in "chooses one creature for it to block." Commented Feb 19, 2013 at 19:30
• @GendoIkari No because it does not counter the OP's wrongful assumption - that you can pick one several times per defender Commented Feb 19, 2013 at 23:09
• "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). Commented Feb 19, 2013 at 23:41
• Maybe, but you made an invalid argument. Your conclusion doesn't follow from your premise (text in bold). Commented Feb 19, 2013 at 23:44
• I agree with ikegami, I get what point you're making with the bolded text, but it would be clearer to make your conclusion read: "No, a creature is normally assigned to block once, and may normally block only one creature." Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 22:51

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.

The answer here is no, unless there is an effect in play allowing a creature to block more than one creature, it can only block one. This is covered in the second sentence of the rule you quoted, where it says for each blocking creature to choose one attacker to block. There's a few different cases for being able to block more than one attacker:

• Can block an additional creature:

There are some creatures and effects that allow you to block a second creature, some creatures have this naturally like Night Market Guard or Two-Headed Dragon some cards give the ability like Brave the Sands or Echo Circlet.

• Can block any number of creatures:

Some creatures can block any number of creatures, for example Palace Guard or Guardian of the Gateless

• Can block a specific number of additional creatures:

This is pretty rare, but two cards Hundred-Handed One and Watcher in the Web can block a specific number of extra creatures (the giant one per hand, the spider one per leg/eye) and one spell, Yare allows its target to block 3 additional creatures.

If a creature could block more than one creature, or any number of creatures, naturally, then none of these abilities would need to exist on cards.

Technically yes, if it has "can block any number of creatures" in the text. Otherwise no.

• 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. Commented Feb 15, 2014 at 19:09
• There seems to be conflict between 509.1a and 509.1g Commented Jul 12, 2018 at 1:38
• @Kevin there isn't, these are the technical steps involved in blocking, 1a is where you declare which creatures are going to block, 1g is where the creature is officially a blocking creature. Most players follow most of 509.1 all at once without going through all the steps manually. Commented Jun 10 at 13:24