Both attacking and defending players have 1 life left
Attacking player is attacking with a 3/1 creature with trample
Defending player blocks with a 1/1 creature with lifelink
Defending player also control an artifact with "Every time you gain life, deal 1 damage to target opponent"

What would happen? I cannot figure it out. I think the artifact's ability will be ignored because the combat damage was made and defending player already lost. Therefore the game ends and attacking player wins.

  • Notably, no such artifact exists (unless I failed in my search) - the next closest thing is Searing Meditation. While theoretically possible to print a card where the damage dealing is done as a replacement effect (which would apply before state-based actions), this is very likely to ever be done outside of a triggered ability. Dec 7, 2016 at 13:01
  • @TheThirdMan thank you for pointing that out. I found this Forum today and the Game was long ago. However to enable me to ask my question I just created a similar situation. It was a Creature (Cliffhaven Vampire).
    – Fallender
    Dec 7, 2016 at 13:10

1 Answer 1


Assuming nothing else happens, in the combat damage step, P1's creature will deal 2 damage to P2 (and 1 damage to P2's creature), and P2's creature will deal 1 damage to P1's creature.

Lifelink modifies the damage dealt, so at the very same time, both creatures are dealt 1 damage, P2 is dealt 2 damage, and P2 gains 1 life.

119.3f. Damage dealt by a source with lifelink causes that source’s controller to gain that much life, in addition to the damage’s other results.

The artifact triggers, but before the trigger is put on the stack, State-Based Actions are checked and see P2 at 0 life, causing that player to lose the game.

116.5. Each time a player would get priority, the game first performs all applicable state-based actions as a single event (see rule 704, “State-Based Actions”), then repeats this process until no state-based actions are performed. Then triggered abilities are put on the stack (see rule 603, “Handling Triggered Abilities”). These steps repeat in order until no further state-based actions are performed and no abilities trigger. Then the player who would have received priority does so.

704.3. Whenever a player would get priority (see rule 116, “Timing and Priority”), the game checks for any of the listed conditions for state-based actions, then performs all applicable state-based actions simultaneously as a single event. (...)

704.5a. If a player has 0 or less life, he or she loses the game.

The trigger from the artifact is never put on the stack, and certainly never resolves.

  • I did not interpret this question to ask for an explanation on how Trample damage works, but for anyone interested, here are the relevant rules Dec 7, 2016 at 12:51
  • Technically P2 is at 0 life.
    – JonTheMon
    Dec 7, 2016 at 13:48
  • @JonTheMon: Heh, indeed... fixed, and thanks for the hint. Dec 7, 2016 at 14:03
  • Consider referencing 510.3 and 603.3 Dec 7, 2016 at 19:29

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