For example, if a player plays Personal Sanctuary then plays Armageddon does the damage prevention mean they don't lose lands?

  • 2
    What reason have you to believe that preventing damage would also prevent the loss of your lands?
    – Rainbolt
    Apr 14, 2015 at 22:47
  • Also note that Personal Protection will do nothing to prevent damage to your creatures.
    – GendoIkari
    Apr 15, 2015 at 0:54
  • 3
    @Rainbolt I assume he didn't know that damage is a specific word in MTG, and was going off the general definition, as in something that's harmful to him.
    – GendoIkari
    Apr 15, 2015 at 0:55
  • Yup, I know the actual question here is basically "what does damage mean?" but I didn't want to alter it that drastically when editing.
    – Cascabel
    Apr 15, 2015 at 1:08

3 Answers 3


No, for two reasons.

If it doesn't say "deal(s) damage", it doesn't deal damage.

It's only damage if it's the result of the "deal damage" keyword action. That means those words must appear in the rule or effect. Currently the only damage caused by the rules is combat damage. So if it's not combat damage, and if the effect doesn't use the words "deal damage", it's not damage.

For example,

  • In the Combat Damage Step, attacking and defending creatures deal damage. If any of that damage is directed to you, it will be nullified. You won't lose life (or gain poison counters if the attacking creature has Poison or Infect) if you don't block an attacking creature because you are protected from the damage that would cause you to lose life (or gain poison counters).

  • A Lightning Bolt targeting you will have no effect.

  • Armageddon destroys lands. It does not deal damage, so it's not affected by Personal Sanctuary.

  • Sign in Blood causes lose of life. It does not deal damage, so it's not affected by Personal Sanctuary.

"You" refers specifically to the player.

Personal Sanctuary only protects you from damage. Your permanents are not protected.

For example,


No, "prevent all damage" only prevents actual damage - the kind of thing that happens when a creature deals combat damage to you, or a spell or ability deals damage (it'll actually say "damage", like "Lightning Strike deals 3 damage to target creature or player").

It will not stop anything else; Armageddon will still destroy lands, Wrath of God will still destroy creatures, and so on.


Firstly Personal Sanctuary only protects you not your permanents.

Nope the the only time a damage prevention effect can save a land is when the land is also a creature (weird but it sometimes happens) and is actually assigned damage from a spell, ability or another creature.

Similarly damage prevention doesn't work against effects that say 'lose life' (this phrase is used on effects that affect a player) or destroy creatures outright. So for example Personal Sanctuary won't protect you against some thing like Absorb Vie.

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