19

We are in the combat phase:

  1. I declared my attackers
  2. My opponent declared his blockers, stating which attackers he was blocking
  3. I cast an instant, which automatically kills his blocker. There is nothing blocking my attacker now

Now we're in the damage phase. I said that my attacker now does damage and reduces my opponent's hit points. My opponent said that because my attacker was blocked no damage could be done. I pointed out that the blocker was destroyed before the damage phase, so therefore he wasn't blocking, but he wasn't having it. (My attacker does not have trample)

Is this covered by a specific section in the rules?

marked as duplicate by doppelgreener, TheThirdMan, Ken Herbert, Benjamin Cosman, Toon Krijthe May 30 '17 at 5:14

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  • 2
    Just a pedantic note about the wording: the title of your question (is the blocker still blocking) and then the actual question itself (does the attack still deal damage) are asking two different things. The thing is these subtle differences can make a big difference in the MtG rules (much to the dismay of MtG newcomers). – theosza Apr 12 '16 at 8:12
32

Your opponent was right. From the magic comprehensive rules (http://magic.wizards.com/en/gameinfo/gameplay/formats/comprehensiverules):

509.1h An attacking creature with one or more creatures declared as blockers for it becomes a blocked creature; one with no creatures declared as blockers for it becomes an unblocked creature. This remains unchanged until the creature is removed from combat, an effect says that it becomes blocked or unblocked, or the combat phase ends, whichever comes first. A creature remains blocked even if all the creatures blocking it are removed from combat.

I bolded the relevant part.

  • 8
    Just to add to this, you'd have to destroy your opponent's creature before the "Declare Blockers" step of combat if you want to prevent it from blocking any of your creatures. If you wait until after blockers are declared, it's too late. – Nuclear Wang Apr 11 '16 at 9:40
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    Also, even though your creature is still blocked, it isn't dealt combat damage since the blocking creature is no longer on the field. – Ghostship Apr 11 '16 at 14:24
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    @Matt: so — just to clarify — the declaration of blockers takes effect instantaneously, rather than going on the stack and giving a chance to respond with an instant? – PLL Apr 11 '16 at 14:35
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    THOUGH if your creature has trample, ALL damage would go through since it is effectively being blocked by a 0/0! – Ethan The Brave Apr 11 '16 at 14:36
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    @PLL, that is correct, declaring blockers (and attackers, too) doesn't use the stack and can't be responded to. After attackers are declared, each player gets priority, which is the last chance to get rid of potential blockers. Once the Declare Attackers step has ended, no one gets priority again until after the blockers have been declared (which is instantaneous, as you say, and is over and done with by the time priority is regained). – Nuclear Wang Apr 11 '16 at 15:08

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