When it comes to creatures under the influence of "Target creature you control fights target creature you don't control", are they, or the initiating creature, considered "attacking"? In my specific scenario, I played a Savage Punch, targeting my Summit Prowler and my opponent's Longshot Squad. She then played the instant Kill Shot, which reads "Destroy target attacking creature.", targeting my Prowler and therefore the stack resolves making my Savage Punch null.

So I guess all in all, does the keyword 'attacking' change this at all or was this a correct resolution?

  • 2
    The answer to your question is actually irrelevant. Even if fighting caused attacking, you still wouldn't be able to target the creature with Kill Shot because fighting is instantaneous. There's no time when the creature is fighting that you can cast a spell, just like you can't cast a spell in middle of drawing a card.
    – ikegami
    Dec 4, 2014 at 13:08
  • @ikegami Fighting is not "instantaneous". (I don't know what that term means in Magic) Savage Punch is put on the stack, as such it occurs at "instant speed." Because "Kill Shot" is an instant, it can be put on the stack. The timing of the scenario as described is just fine. The issue is Kill Shot fizzles because of the invalid target.
    – John
    Dec 4, 2014 at 17:15
  • @John, It doesn't have an M:TG meaning. I'm using the English meaning: having no duration. No, you cannot add Kill Shot to the stack (or do anything else) when creatures are fighting.
    – ikegami
    Dec 4, 2014 at 17:48
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    @ikegami I see now what you mean. The fight "attribute" (I suspect there's a better word for this) is not applied to Summit Prowler until Savage Punch resolves. At this point, it's too late to try and put anything on the stack, we're in spell resolution.
    – John
    Dec 4, 2014 at 18:34
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    @John, (I'd go with "state" to avoid confusion.) Yup, exactly. Mind you, there are cards that checked if a creature attacked. The question would be of consequence then. (Having fought would not qualify the creature as having attacked.)
    – ikegami
    Dec 4, 2014 at 19:03

2 Answers 2


No, attacking has nothing to do with "fighting"; the only similarity between the 2 is that they both involve creatures dealing damage. A creature is only considered an "attacking" creature if it is declared as an attacker during the combat phase.

508.1j Each chosen creature still controlled by the active player becomes an attacking creature. It remains an attacking creature until it's removed from combat or the combat phase ends, whichever comes first.

Therefore, your opponent was not allowed to do this.

Note also that neither creature in this situation is "initiating" anything. You as the player who cast Savage Punch initiated the "fight", but there's no difference between your creature and your opponent's creature in terms of one of them being the "attacker" and one the "defender". They are simply both creatures that were targeted for the fight.

Also note that even though a fight causes creatures to deal damage to each other, this damage is not "combat damage":

701.10d The damage dealt when a creature fights isn’t combat damage.

  • Ref your last paragraph and rule link - Does that mean that if the fight occurs pre-combat then any surviving creatures are treated as 'Fresh' during the combat phase? ie. Without any loss of Toughness Dec 5, 2014 at 15:45
  • @LuckySevens, replying to this very old comment because I just saw it. First off, creatures do not lose toughness when they take damage, losing they just have some amount of damage. And second, "refresh" (have all damage removed from them) only at the end of each turn.
    – GendoIkari
    Sep 19, 2017 at 2:58

Fighting is a different thing than attacking. So, the short answer is, "No, fighting is not considered attacking."

Specifically, Fight is a special keyword, that means, "This creatures deals damage equal to its power to target creature. That creature deals damage equal to its power to this creature." In particular, this "fight" occurs outside of the normal combat mechanics of the game.

To answer the second part of your question, no, you did not resolve things correctly. Here is what should have happened:

  1. During your main phase, prior to combat you play a Savage Punch, targeting your Summit Prowler and your opponent's Longshot Squad. [I'm assuming Longshot Squad has no +1/+1 counters on it.]
  2. Now, Savage Punch is on the stack. Your opponent then attempts to cast Kill Shot. Because there is no valid target for Kill Shot, this is an invalid play. You can follow the official rules for how you handle invalid actions, or house rules.
  3. Your Savage Punch resolves, and LongShot squad dies, and your Summit Prowler is 6/5 until end of turn with 3 points of damage on it.

Note: This question has been asked before here: Does 'fight' involve combat?


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