Gideon, the Oathsworn has a +2 loyalty ability that reads:

+2: Until end of turn, Gideon, the Oathsworn becomes a 5/5 white Soldier creature that's still a planeswalker. Prevent all damage that would be dealt to him this turn. (He can't attack if he was cast this turn.)

In the card rulings, it states:

If damage that can’t be prevented is dealt to Gideon after his first loyalty ability has resolved, that damage will have all applicable results: specifically, the damage is marked on Gideon (since he’s a creature) and that damage causes that many loyalty counters to be removed from him (since he’s a planeswalker). Even though he’s also a creature, if Gideon has no loyalty counters on him, he’s put into his owner’s graveyard.

What is a scenario that could cause non-preventable damage after this ability has resolved, which states that it will "prevent all damage"?

2 Answers 2


Essentially, all cards that mention that "damage can't be prevented", though the sorceries will require additional cards to be cast during Gideon's owner's turn.

Those cards do what they say on the tin; damage can't be prevented, neither by activated abilities like Circle of Protection nor by static abilities like Gideon's.

  • Nitpick; the sorceries can be a relevant example even without something else allowing them to be cast, because they could by cast by Gideon's controller.
    – GendoIkari
    Commented May 19, 2019 at 18:49
  • Rre "Those cards do what they say on the tin", True, but it would be nice to know why do those cards do what they say on the tin, and Gideon doesn't.
    – ikegami
    Commented May 19, 2019 at 20:22
  • Yep, I was going to look for that reference when I got home but I see you already found it :)
    – Glorfindel
    Commented May 19, 2019 at 20:24
  • What’s “the tin?”
    – GendoIkari
    Commented May 19, 2019 at 23:52
  • 1
    @GendoIkari en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Does_exactly_what_it_says_on_the_tin
    – Glorfindel
    Commented May 20, 2019 at 5:42

The damage can't be prevented.

This is a situation covered by the second Golden Rule of the game.

101.2. When a rule or effect allows or directs something to happen, and another effect states that it can’t happen, the “can’t” effect takes precedence.
Example: If one effect reads “You may play an additional land this turn” and another reads “You can’t play lands this turn,” the effect that precludes you from playing lands wins.

As we colloquially say, "can't trumps can".

  • It appears that I misread the question. Nonetheless, I shall leave my answer up because it could be of use to those that land on this page.
    – ikegami
    Commented May 20, 2019 at 14:18
  • Not misread.I had to pick between two good answers. Thank you for explaining the "can't" vs. "can" semantics. Commented May 20, 2019 at 19:07
  • I thought you asked if the damage would be prevented or not. I think I extrapolated the question from (an earlier version of) Glorfindel's answer rather than actually reading it.
    – ikegami
    Commented May 20, 2019 at 19:08

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