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This is a multi-part question because I have no idea how to predict the interplay of effects of two cards:

Probably I'm missing some basic timing rules information.

(Also, if the answer would be different prior to 9th Edition or so, I'd like to know both answers as pretty much all of my cards are that old so I tend to prefer the older rules for casual games.)

Several situations I'm wondering about:

Let's say I've played Abduction on one of my opponent's creatures (doesn't matter what for this question, call it creature A). Then, when the creature is about to be destroyed in combat with creature B (either as an attacker or a blocker, if it makes a difference I'd like to know both), I play Enchantment Alteration and move my Abduction to creature C.

What happens to creature A? Since it's no longer enchanted, I think it wouldn't be put back into play under owner's control, right? But would it be taken out of combat since I don't control it? Would creature B be saved from being killed? (Let's say creatures A and B are both 2/2s.)

Also, would creature C be untapped by moving Abduction onto it?

What if I moved Adbuction onto creature B instead? (From one creature in the combat to the other?) Or from a noncombatant to an enemy combatant?

Overall I just need to understand how transition of control affects combat, and also in particular whether moving Adbuction off a creature right before it dies prevents the "put into play under owner's control" effect of Adbuction.

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    You may not be aware that 9th Edition was published in 2005, and the rules have had multiple revisions every year since then, and the current rules are officially the only ones that count. Finding someone who knows the old rules is going to be a lot rarer than finding someone who knows the current rules. – murgatroid99 Sep 5 '20 at 23:24
  • @murgatroid99, fair enough; since I just play very casual games (and very rarely), it would likely come down to a "rule of fun" for any discrepancies anyway. :) I guess I'll settle for understanding the current rules, except for specific cards that I have and know rule differences for (e.g. Voracious Cobra). – Wildcard Sep 6 '20 at 0:04
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If you move Abduction off of a creature that is in combat and would die from combat damage, one of two things will happen:

  • If you control the originally enchanted creature anyway, that creature still dies in combat, and Abduction's last ability does not trigger.

  • If the creature instead returns to an opponent's control, it leaves combat and does not die.

If the enchantment moves onto a creature you don't control that is in combat, that creature will also be removed from combat.


In this scenario, the last opportunity you have to cast Enchantment Alteration before the creature dies is during the declare blockers step. Once it resolves, if the creature it moved from and/or the creature it moved to change control as a result, they leave combat. This is a result of rule 506.4:

A permanent is removed from combat if it leaves the battlefield, if its controller changes, if it phases out, if an effect specifically removes it from combat, if it’s a planeswalker that’s being attacked and stops being a planeswalker, or if it’s an attacking or blocking creature that regenerates (see rule 701.15) or stops being a creature. A creature that’s removed from combat stops being an attacking, blocking, blocked, and/or unblocked creature. A planeswalker that’s removed from combat stops being attacked.

Then combat damage is evaluated, and state-based actions are checked, which may result in some creatures dying. If the creature now enchanted by Abduction dies this way, it will be returned by Abduction's last ability. The creature previously enchanted by Abduction is completely unaffected by Abduction's abilities. All that matters for Abduction's last ability is whether the enchantment is attached as the creature dies.

Abduction's first ability says

When Abduction enters the battlefield, untap enchanted creature.

Attaching Abduction to a different creature does not cause it to leave or enter the battlefield, so Enchantment Alteration does not trigger that ability.

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  • Thanks! One thing I'd like clarified: you mentioned the last chance would be during the declare blockers step...does that imply that another blocker could be declared in place of the one removed from combat (if I moved it onto an opponent's declared blocker from a noncombatant)? – Wildcard Sep 6 '20 at 0:02
  • Also, possibly I should post as a separate question if it's complicated, but how would trample affect all of this? – Wildcard Sep 6 '20 at 0:02
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    The sequence of each step is taking turn-based actions (declaring attackers, declaring blockers, evaluating damage, etc), then gaining priority to take actions. So you declare blockers, then you can cast the spell, and then you can't declare more blockers. – murgatroid99 Sep 6 '20 at 0:06
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    Regarding trample, the only difference is that if a creature is attacking and blocked, and the creature blocking it is removed from combat, if the attacking creature has trample it deals all of the damage to the defending player, and if it doesn't it deals no damage. – murgatroid99 Sep 6 '20 at 0:08

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