3

Undergrowth Champion is a 2/2 creature with an ability that reads:

If damage would be dealt to Undergrowth Champion while it has a +1/+1 counter on it, prevent that damage and remove a +1/+1 counter from Undergrowth Champion.

If Undergrowth Champion had 1 counter on it (making it a 3/3) and was in combat with another 3/3, how much damage would Undergrowth Champion deal? Would the counter being removed cause Undergrowth Champion to deal 2 damage? Or would the removal of the counter take place after damage amounts have been assigned? Would the opposing 3/3 live or die?

8

UC will deal three damage.

The key is that replacement and prevention effects change what you will perform. Necessarily, this happens before the replaced instructions are performed.

The event being replaced is

All combat damage that’s been assigned is dealt simultaneously.

In this case, the above means the following before prevention effects:

Simultaneously, UC deals 3 damage to the 3/3, and the 3/3 deals 3 damage to the UC.

But there's a prevention effect affecting the second half. Even if we naïvely apply apply the effect, the answer is clear

Simultaneously, UC deals 3 damage to the 3/3, and remove a +1/+1 counter from UC.

But as per 615.5, the additional part of the prevention effect is actually delayed, so we actually get

UC deals 3 damage to the 3/3, and then remove a +1/+1 counter from UC.

Either way, it's clear it does three damage.


615.5. Some prevention effects also include an additional effect, which may refer to the amount of damage that was prevented. The prevention takes place at the time the original event would have happened; the rest of the effect takes place immediately afterward.

  • There really are a lot of ways to skin this cat. – Radhil Oct 2 '15 at 23:02
5

Barring any other ability considerations that alter timing (like First Strike), combat damage is applied simultaneously.

The Champion would deal 3 damage to it's opponent. The Champion would receive 3 damage from the opponent, which it is shielded from by the prevention effect, then the counter is removed. It looks like this falls under the following rule:

615.5. Some prevention effects also include an additional effect, which may refer to the amount of damage that was prevented. The prevention takes place at the time the original event would have happened; the rest of the effect takes place immediately afterward.

  • Undergrowth Champion's ability is not a triggered ability. – Rainbolt Oct 2 '15 at 22:03
  • @Rainbolt - Well, I don't have the comprehensive memorized, what is the proper term? Do I at least have a correct answer about how it plays out? – Radhil Oct 2 '15 at 22:09
  • You have the right answer, but the wrong explanation. It's not a simple terminology issue, or I'd have gladly edited your answer for you. – Rainbolt Oct 2 '15 at 22:10
  • Undergrowth Champion's ability is a replacement effect which is why I'm not sure how it would be dealt with during combat. – bpeav Oct 2 '15 at 22:15
  • @Rainbolt - Think I found it – Radhil Oct 2 '15 at 22:15
4

Damage is assigned first, per rule 510.1.

510.1. First, the active player announces how each attacking creature assigns its combat damage, then the defending player announces how each blocking creature assigns its combat damage. [...]

Damage is dealt second, per rule 510.2.

510.2. Second, all combat damage that’s been assigned is dealt simultaneously. [...]

Since Champion has a counter on it when damage is assigned, it assigns 3 damage.

  • @murgatroid99 I do not think that 615.5 matters. Champion assigns 3 damage, then [deals 3 damage and loses a counter in some arbitrary order that we don't care about]. Technically he deals 3 damage and then loses a counter, but who cares? He assigned 3, so 3 will be dealt. – Rainbolt Oct 2 '15 at 22:39
  • On re-reading 510.2, I agree with you. It specifically says that the damage that's been assigned is dealt, so it doesn't matter if the power at that point doesn't match the assigned damage. – murgatroid99 Oct 2 '15 at 22:46
  • You explanation fails to explain why UC would deal 3 damage if the UC were to Fight a 3/3. There is a more general explanation that covers both cases. – ikegami Oct 2 '15 at 23:00
  • @ikegami Why does it matter what the Undergrowth Champion is fighting? 510.1 covers how much damage is assigned, and 510.2 covers how much damage is dealt. Neither rule cares about the power of the other creature. – Rainbolt Oct 5 '15 at 13:14
  • 510 doesn't apply to Fight, just combat. – ikegami Oct 5 '15 at 13:17

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