Recently this situation happened to me on Magic: Arena. My opponent attacked with Ornery Goblin, and I blocked with my own Ornery Goblin. Surprisingly, my Goblin died while his did not.

I don't understand why. Here's what I think should happen:

  • He's the active player.
  • He attacks, I block. Both Goblin's triggers go on stack, but mine resolves first, since he's the active player (CR 101.4).
  • My trigger kills his Goblin.
  • Since his Goblin is dead, it can't deal damage anymore, so my Goblin survives.

Am I missing something or is this a bug?

1 Answer 1


Both should die. This sounds like an Arena bug.

Once an ability goes on the stack, removing the permanent that put it there doesn't stop it from resolving. The ability is now an entirely separate object that has no reliance on its source.

This means both Ornery Goblins' abilities resolve, killing each other. Your assessment is otherwise entirely accurate including ability ordering—it just doesn't matter here that one kills the other first because they'll both die anyway.

The only other thing I can imagine is they had a Mentor put a +1/+1 counter on their Ornery Goblin or something, boosting it to a 3/2 which could survive the ping damage from your goblin.

  • Are you sure that both should die? Ornery Goblin's ability says "Ornery Goblin deals 1 damage to that creature", so if Ornery Goblin is dead, it shouldn't be able to do damage (?)
    – Allure
    Oct 28, 2018 at 19:39
  • @Allure Yes. We use Last Known Information about the Ornery Goblin to know what the damage source is, but it's the ability dealing the damage. Oct 28, 2018 at 20:55
  • 2
    @Allure 608.2g, note "If an ability states that an object does something, it’s the object as it exists—or as it most recently existed — that does it, not the ability." Oct 29, 2018 at 8:32
  • @doppelgreener well, actually it seems that according to 608.2g it is the dead goblin. Oct 29, 2018 at 8:35
  • @Allure look at Mogg Fanatic (Sacrifice Mogg Fanatic: It deals 1 damage to any target.) or Fanatical Firebrand ({T}, Sacrifice Fanatical Firebrand: It deals 1 damage to any target), both goblins with abilities that sacrifice themselves but say the now dead goblin does damage.
    – Andrew
    Nov 2, 2020 at 15:12

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