# Do +1/+1 counters count for Fighting?

I have a 3/2 with six +1/+1 counters on it, making it a 9/8. My friend used Prey Upon targeting it with his own 5/5. He said the +1/+1 counters didn't count while fighting, and that it was just considered a 3/2. Is that true?

• @ikegami Check your math. Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 3:02
• It's a 9/8, period. It's not "considered" anything else. Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 3:04

No, your friend is wrong. The creatures simply deal damage equal to their power:

701.11a 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.

A 9/8 has a power of 9, and it doesn't matter what its base power was. The whole point of power/toughness-changing effects (like +1/+1 counters) is that they change the power/toughness of the creature.

Your friend may have been confused because certain abilities that modify or care about `combat damage` do not apply to two creatures "fighting" because it is not considered `combat damage` as defined by the rules. For example, `first strike` and `double strike` don't "count" when creatures fight because those abilities modify the combat step. They deal damage at a different time during the combat step. If they `fight` via Prey Upon, they do not go through all the Combat steps, and there isn't a separate first strike combat damage step for those abilities to apply.