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During the combat phase, after I assign a blocker, can I then tap that blocker for its activated ability? What would happen? For example, say that a 1/1 Saproling token equipped with Healer's Headress is assigned to block an attacking 3/1 Blade of the Sixth Pride, but after it's assigned, the Saproling is tapped to prevent one damage to it. Is that legal? Would anything change if the attacking creature had first strike, like Ambush Party?

  • @bwarner True, the questions do ask the same thing. I am flagging as well, even though it's my own question. – Ian May 30 '14 at 0:38
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During the combat phase, after I assign a blocker, can I then tap that blocker for its activated ability?

Yes. Blockers only need to be untapped when they're actually declared as blockers; after that, tapping & untapping have no effect on blocking or any other parts of combat.

506.4b Tapping or untapping a creature that’s already been declared as an attacker or blocker doesn’t remove it from combat and doesn’t prevent its combat damage.


What would happen?

The activated ability would go on the stack, like normal.

For example, say that a 1/1 Saproling token equipped with Healer's Headress is assigned to block an attacking 3/1 Blade of the Sixth Pride, but after it's assigned, the Saproling is tapped to prevent one damage to it. Is that legal?

Yes.

Would anything change if the attacking creature had first strike, like Ambush Party?

No.

  • 4
    First strike indeed doesn't change anything in this example, but just for completeness, it does create one more opportunity to do things like tapping for the ability: you'll get another chance after first strike damage (well, assuming the creature with the ability hasn't died yet) but before regular combat damage, and in weird corner cases that might actually be what you want. – Cascabel May 28 '14 at 21:44

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