I have a timing question: Is it possible to attack with "Bloodthrone Vampire" and let's say 10 other creatures at the same time, while using BOTH abilities of "Brutal Hordechief" and therefore cause 30 damage with only 1 creature actually causing damage?

In Detail:

  • My opponent has 15 creatures on the battlefield.
  • I attack with Bloodthrone Vampire and 10 other creatures. Since Brutal Hordechief is on the field, I cause 11 damage to my opponent due to Hordechief's first ability.
  • Then I want to sacrifice 9 of my 10 other attacking creatures in order to give Bloodthrone Vampire +18/+18, causing another 19 damage to my opponent.
  • Since I have used Hordechief's 2nd ability (spent 5 mana), all my opponent's creatures should have blocked the last of my 10 attacking creatures (the one I didn't sacrifice with my Vampire's ability).

Therefore I caused 30 damage using Bloodthrone Vampire and Brutal Hordechief's first ability, right?

Or is there a timing error somewhere along the way?

  • 1
    "Since Brutal Hordechief is on the field, I cause 11 damage to my opponent due to Hordechief's first ability." - Correction; your opponent loses 11 life. This is important: it's not damage, so they can't prevent it using effects like Channel Harm. Mar 24, 2015 at 11:32

2 Answers 2


Assuming you have Bloodthrone Vampire and 10 other creatures:

  1. You have successfully activated Brutal Hordechief's ability.
  2. During the declare attackers step you declare 11 attackers. Brutal Hordechief's ability triggers, you gain 11 life and the opponent loses 11 life.
  3. During the declare blockers step, you can choose how enemy creatures block since you activated Brutal Hordechief's second ability. You can choose all 15 creatures to block one of your 10 creatures.
  4. After this, you get priority and you can sacrifice 10 of your creatures to give your Bloodthrone Vampire +20/20. Assuming the opponent doesn't have anything to respond, Bloodthrone Vampire will deal 21 damage (for a total of 32 damage).

Some extra strategy tips:

Also note that you can deal even more damage if you choose not to sacrifice creatures with power more than 2 (and even 1 unless you fear your opponent can get rid of a group of small creatures).

For example, say 2 out of 10 creatures are 1/1, 4 are 2/2 and 4 are 3/3. You can choose enemy creatures to block one of your 1/1 creatures, sacrifice them, and you will deal 5 damage with your vampire, 8 damage with your 2/2 creatures and 12 with your 3/3 creatures, with a total of 25 damage. Add 11 life loss to that - opponent loses 35 life this combat phase, and you still have 9 creatures alive if the game goes on.

  • Super! Great Answer!
    – Klausi
    Mar 24, 2015 at 9:55
  • 1
    @Vilmar If that stuff is worth saying it should probably be in your answer; comments are transient and can/will get deleted eventually. Mar 24, 2015 at 12:43
  • @Klausi If this answer satisfies your question, you can on click the green check mark next to the answer to accept it. This rewards the author, and it lets others know that your question was answered. You can always come back and change it later if a better answer comes along.
    – Rainbolt
    Mar 25, 2015 at 0:24

Therefore I caused 30 damage using Bloodthrone Vampire and Brutal Hordechief's first ability, right??


Or is there a timing error somewhere along the way?


You will deal 30 damage, but your steps are a little bit incorrect. How it should be:

  1. Combat phase begins(rule 507)
  2. You choose an opponent who becomes a defending player(but since you're only playing with 2, you can only choose the other player, so basically you do not have any choice here)
  3. Declare attackers step starts(rule 508)
  4. You choose all your creatures to attack
  5. Then triggered abilities go on the stack(Brutal Hordechief's first ability)
  6. When this ability resolves, you get 11 life and your opponent loses 11 life. (This isn't damage, it's life loss, which is important because effects like that of Channel Harm won't be able to do anything about it.)
  7. Declare blockers step starts(rule 509)
  8. Second ability of Brutal Hordechief will let you choose the blockers. You may let them all block one of your tiny creatures
  9. Then you get the priority(rule 509.5)
  10. Now you can activate Bloodthrone Vampire's ability and sacrifice 9 creatures to give your Bloodthrone Vampire +18/+18. Because 9 of your creatures were removed from combat after declare blockers step, your opponent can't choose new targets to block
  11. Combat damage step starts(rule 510)
  12. Combat damage is dealt simultaneously, so your unblocked 19/19 Bloodthrone Vampire deals damage to your opponent and his creatures do nothing(because they were blocking a creature that were removed from the battlefield)

So this sums up to 30 damage + damage of that 1 creature that you didn't sacrifice(which is probably Brutal Hordechief), so in total you would deal 33 damage

  • I've added a note about it being life loss when the asker called it damage; please review my addition and edit it further if you like. Mar 24, 2015 at 11:36
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    Two things, in the interest of not confusing new players: you left out any mention of activating Brutal Hordechief's second ability, which of course has to be done before the declare blockers step; and in step 6, technically it's 11 individual triggered abilities that each make the opponent lose 1 life and the player gain one life.
    – David Z
    Mar 25, 2015 at 5:54

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