Of all keywords, fight is the most confusing to me.

Whan creature X fights creature Y, do you only count plain power/toughness? How do you count enchantments, counters, static abilities of other creatures? Can you activate abilities? Can you cast instants?

  • 7
    Honestly, this question is more confusing than the "fight" keyword. Is there some reason you expect that it won't follow the normal rules for calculating power and toughness? Are you asking whether you can activate abilities and cast instants while a fight effect is resolving?
    – murgatroid99
    Nov 6 '15 at 23:58

The Fight keyword action is defined in rule 701.10:

  • 701.10a A spell or ability may instruct a creature to fight another creature or it may instruct two creatures to fight each other. Each of those creatures deals damage equal to its power to the other creature.
  • 701.10b If a creature instructed to fight is no longer on the battlefield or is no longer a creature, no damage is dealt. If a creature is an illegal target for a resolving spell or ability that instructs it to fight, no damage is dealt.
  • 701.10c If a creature fights itself, it deals damage equal to its power to itself twice.
  • 701.10d The damage dealt when a creature fights isn’t combat damage.

The bolded sentence is the part that describes what it actually does.

Power and toughness are calculated like usual, and, like with every other effect in the game, you can't cast spells or activate abilities while it is resolving. There has never been a card that cares about or uses a creature's base power or toughness.

A Fight effect is a one-shot effect, which means that you will only see it on an activated or triggered ability. Both of those go on the stack, which means that you can respond to them with instants and abilities like anything else.

  • Missing info regarding static abilities, and their effect on Fights. Deathtouch and Lifelink work, but First Strike and Double Strike don't. Similarly, Whither and Infect still work, but Banding, Flanking, and Shadow don't. etcetera. Nov 11 '15 at 3:40
  • Abilities that care about damage apply. Abilities that don't care about damage don't. It's that simple.
    – murgatroid99
    Nov 11 '15 at 3:41
  • Yes, but static abilities were the only part of the question not addressed by your answer. Nov 11 '15 at 3:43
  • I read the part about static abilities as being an extension of the part about how to calculate power and toughness, which I did answer.
    – murgatroid99
    Nov 11 '15 at 3:44

You're asking a lot of questions here, most of which aren't really specific to fight.

When a spell or ability resolves and says that two creatures fight, they each deal damage equal to their power to the other. That's all, nothing crazy.

When something depends on the power of a creature, like fight does, you always look at the actual net power of that creature. If you have a creature with base power/toughness 1/1 with a +1/+1 counter on it, and an aura that grants it +2/+2, it's a 4/4, so it deals 4 damage. If you have a plain 4/4 with nothing else going on, it's also a 4/4, and deals 4 damage.

Since fight only cares about the power of the creature, the toughness doesn't matter until after you're done resolving the spell or ability. If at that point a creature has been dealt damage greater than or equal to its toughness, it dies. It doesn't matter what dealt the damage - in this case it was fighting another creature, but it could just as easily have been a burn spell. It dies either way.

As for the bit about activating abilities and casting instants... that doesn't really make a whole lot of sense. You probably want to go have a look at how the stack works. There's only one spell or ability resolving at a time. If you cast Pit Fight to make two creatures fight, that goes on the stack, then players can respond with instants or activated abilities, which resolve first, and then when Pit Fight finally resolves, the creatures fight, plain and simple.

Remember, "fight" is an instruction you follow when resolving the spell or ability. It's not a little subgame with special rules and actions inside it, it's just a part of resolving a spell or ability that causes some damage to be dealt. When resolving a spell or ability, you can't cast spells or activate abilities, whether or not fight is involved.

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