The situation: Player A has 1 life and several lifelink creatures adding up to 100 power. He swings at player B who has no defenders, planning to gain 100 life. Player B concedes. Without a valid defending player, player A can gain no life and has tapped all his creatures, and so player C can swing with a 2/2 and kill him.

Player A claims he can redirect his attack to player C after player B concedes.

Question: as per the official rules, can player A redirect his attack in response to player B conceding?

I already know the real answer is to play with sportsmanship in mind. In the specific example we were all having fun winding up player A, all done in good humour and would not be tolerated in a deliberately spiteful manner.

I was simply curious how the official rules would deal with it.

  • 2
    Strategic Tip: only attack with enough power to kill player B. You could also attack player C with the other creatures at the same time. when B concedes then you still get the lifelink from attacking C. But even then I would leave some blockers because a simple Fog or a Holy Day-like spell screws you in the same way.
    – Ivo
    Apr 23, 2015 at 13:27
  • 6
    Tangential to the actual question - I'd say this exposes a problem your group needs to address - some people (including it seems player A, in this case) don't like the concept of performing non-game actions to impact the game state. It might be just me, but I wouldn't want to play a game where tactical concessions such as this are accepted practice.
    – Patters
    Apr 23, 2015 at 13:44
  • 5
    Agree with Patters. I personally would warn player B that this sort of thing would make me not want to play games with him in the future. The act he took didn't help increase his chances to win the game; so he shouldn't have taken it.
    – GendoIkari
    Apr 23, 2015 at 14:10
  • 3
    Correct answer is what Gendolkari said. Spite in so far of casting spells to damage the board of the person killing you is fine; spite in scooping just so the person killing you loses an advantage they may have gained is rude.
    – Waterseas
    Apr 23, 2015 at 14:41
  • 1
    I feel like I am the only one finding such a strategy interesting. Like you're in a tournament and you can still win if you because you have more points, unless that exact player wins. So, if my death can make them die too and lead me to win the tournament, I would do that for sure. There's nothing better than unexpected tactics when playing games.
    – Morwenn
    Apr 23, 2015 at 16:03

1 Answer 1


No, they cannot change who they are attacking. Once a creature has been declared as an attacker you cannot change who (or what) it is attacking.

Say instead of attacking Player B directly you attack their Planeswalker, but before damage gets dealt they Boomerang the Planeswalker back to their hand. You would not be able to redirect your creatures attack to that player, they would just end up ineffectually attacking the air. It is the same thing when a player concedes, your attackers are still going attacking the one player even if they leave the game before the creatures deal damage.

There is also this rule that implies you can still have creatures attacking a player that is no longer in the game.

800.4e If combat damage would be assigned to a player who has left the game, that damage isn’t assigned.

  • IIRC I've seen a couple of rules that cover situations which are either impossible or sufficiently obscure that I can't figure out how they could happen. (I don't remember which ones.) So I don't think it's a good idea to take the presence of a rule describing situation X as evidence that situation X can actually occur.
    – David Z
    Apr 24, 2015 at 5:19
  • Oh, and also it may or may not be worth mentioning that this seems to be a general principle in Magic: once you make a choice of any sort, the choice is locked in, and if it becomes invalid you don't get to change it.
    – David Z
    Apr 24, 2015 at 5:20
  • Just confirming diego's answer since it's still waiting to be accepted: There's nothing in the rules giving you the option to change the attackee, and there's nothing in the rules giving you the option to rewind the game to a point before you declared attackers. Your choice has been made, and you must stick with it unless you have an instant or ability that can help you.
    – ikegami
    Apr 26, 2015 at 15:25

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