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Nature Shields Its Own is an Archenemy scheme that creates a blocking creature (green plant) any time the Archenemy is attacked and the attack is not blocked. We ran into a few issues last night playing this scheme in a game. The Archenemy was attacked by a flying creature as well as one with protection from Green. Neither was blocked, and a plant was created blocking each. The part we did not understand was whether the plant tokens could actually block the attackers.

Do abilities that say "Create creature X blocking attacking creature Y." allow X to block Y even if normally X could not be declared as a blocker?

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Yes, the creatures will still be blocked by tokens. See the ruling on Nature Shields its Own:

The Plant token blocks the attacking creature even if the block couldn't legally be declared (for example, if the attacking creature has flying).

This is because things like flying and protection only affect the declare blockers step. The prevent a creature from being declared as a blocker. But Nature Shields its Own kicks in at the end of the declare blockers step; it is not affected by evasion abilities.

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    It might help to make a clearer distinction between "block" and "blocking". The plant token cannot legally block the flyer, but it can be put into play blocking because the card says so. – Rainbolt Dec 15 '14 at 16:07
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Declaring a creature as a blocker is different from an attacker being blocked. Declaring a blocker requires meeting requirements and restrictions for blocking (such as only blocking flying creatures with a flying or reach creature). Being blocked means that you deal damage to the blocking creature(s) instead of the defending player (or with trample, deal damage to the blockers first). While the former is the normal means of achieving the latter, it is not the only means of doing so.

It is even possible to have an attacker become blocked without any blocking creature in existence. See for example: Curtain of Light, Dazzling Beauty, and Fog Patch. These cards cause a creature to become blocked, but there is no creature card or creature token actually doing the blocking. (This is functionally similar to being blocked by a 0/0 creature. The attacker isn't going to take any combat damage, and an attacker with trample will still be able to send all of its damage through.)

  • Fog Patch will even cause Progenitus to be blocked. – Hao Ye Dec 15 '14 at 19:40
  • @HaoYe, Thanks, I knew there was a green card with a similar effect, but I had trouble finding it. – Brian S Dec 15 '14 at 20:03

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