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So I am making an EDH deck featuring Ink-Treader Nephilim (yes I know its not legendary but the deck will be like five bucks to make and I'm sure someone will want to play with it). As I am looking up decklists online I see that people keep mentioning Mirror Strike. The idea is to target Inky with Mirror Strike when someone attacks, turning the entire attack against them.

As good as that sounds, I don't think it works. For a creature to be 'unblocked' it has to be attacking right?

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Yup, unfortunately you're right. Unblocked means attacking and unblocked, after blockers are declared.

This is in the comprehensive rules for the declare blockers step:

509.1h An attacking creature with one or more creatures declared as blockers for it becomes a blocked creature; one with no creatures declared as blockers for it becomes an unblocked creature. This remains unchanged until the creature is removed from combat, an effect says that it becomes blocked or unblocked, or the combat phase ends, whichever comes first.

And there's a friendly summary from the glossary at the end:

Unblocked Creature

An attacking creature once no creature has been declared as a blocker for it, unless an effect has caused it to become blocked. It remains an unblocked creature until it’s removed from combat or the combat phase ends, whichever comes first.

So your opponent could make good use of Mirror Strike, letting your whole team hit in, targeting the Nephilim (and thus the rest of your team), and sending it all back at you, but... I don't think that's quite what you were looking for.

  • It also has to be after blockers are declared. There are no unblocked creatures in the Declare Attackers Step. – ikegami Sep 20 '14 at 4:14
  • Just on the off chance someone reading doesn't understand why this doesn't work - the targets of your spells have to be legal. If you somehow manage to make spells that target illegal targets, such as someone responding to a kill spell with Vines of Vastwood, the game rules counter the spell with an illegal target. – ndre Sep 21 '14 at 22:27

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