Rule 608.2c. starts with "The controller of the spell or ability follows its instructions in the order written.", and Skullcrack's effects read

Players can't gain life this turn. Damage can't be prevented this turn. Skullcrack deals 3 damage to target player.

Does the second sentence causes the damage from the third one to become impossible to prevent?

  • 5
    I find this question odd. You quote the rule that answers the question, then pose the question? What's unclear?
    – ghoppe
    Commented Nov 12, 2014 at 21:58
  • I suspect his confusion is that if they all happen at the same time, the skullcrack damage might not "see" the game-defining characteristic of damage not being prevented. You and I know that's not the appropriate interpretation, but I suspect that's what's occurring.
    – corsiKa
    Commented Nov 13, 2014 at 1:30
  • @corsiKa Pretty much. Usually they try to be as clear as possible with tehse things nowadays, but you still run into cases like that that are not necessarily super intuitive.
    – Circeus
    Commented Nov 13, 2014 at 3:48

2 Answers 2


As you quote in rule 608.2c, you resolve a spell or ability, effects in different sentences are resolved consecutively. When Skullcrack resolves, first it creates a continuous effect that stops players from gaining life for the rest of the turn. Then it creates a continuous effect that makes damage unpreventable for the rest of the turn. Finally, it deals the damage, which cannot be prevented because the effect stopping prevention already exists.

  • I don't understand. What is Deflecting Palm supposed to be an example of?
    – murgatroid99
    Commented Nov 13, 2014 at 16:07
  • @murgtroid99 If the three instructions on Skullcrack were written in the reverse order, Deflecting Palm could prevent the damage (according to your answer). I think that's unintuitive, and worth mentioning explicitly.
    – Rainbolt
    Commented Nov 13, 2014 at 16:32
  • Yeah, I don't think that's necessary. No cards that deal prerventable damage and then disable future damage prevention exist, and even if they did, anyone should be able to extrapolate from my answer to that situation.
    – murgatroid99
    Commented Nov 13, 2014 at 16:35
  • @murgatroid99, If he play Deflecting Palm, then wouldn't Deflecting Palm win because the card states "the next time a source of your choice would deal damage to you this turn, prevent that damage"...
    – Pacerier
    Commented Jul 5, 2015 at 5:13
  • @Pacerier I'm not really sure what you mean. Skullcrack says that damage can't be prevented. I can't really tell why you would think a damage prevention effect would change that.
    – murgatroid99
    Commented Jul 5, 2015 at 5:27

You are correct that the damage cannot be prevented. Anything that says it would prevent the damage no longer works as soon as the spell resolves.

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