Suppose I have a Saryth, the Viper's Fang, a Hooded Blightfang, and a third creature without deathtouch or vigilance. I attack with that creature, causing it to tap so that it now has deathtouch from Saryth. Does Hooded Blightfang trigger?

My analysis is no, the Blightfang will not trigger, because of rule 508.2a:

Abilities that trigger on a creature attacking trigger only at the point the creature is declared as an attacker. They will not trigger if a creature attacks and then that creature’s characteristics change to match the ability’s trigger condition.

I interpret this as "abilities triggered on attacking trigger only during the performance of rule 508.1a, declaring which creatures will attack, and not during 508.1f which taps the creatures". Am I correct?

1 Answer 1


I think this analysis is incorrect; specifically, it's not consistent with rules 508.1m and 603.10.

Rule 508.1 describes the process of declaring attackers:

508.1. First, the active player declares attackers. This turn-based action doesn’t use the stack. To declare attackers, the active player follows the steps below, in order....

508.1f The active player taps the chosen creatures. Tapping a creature when it’s declared as an attacker isn’t a cost; attacking simply causes creatures to become tapped.

508.1m Any abilities that trigger on attackers being declared trigger.

These steps are carried out in order and take effect instantly, without using the stack. Saryth's static ability also doesn't use the stack, it simply applies at all times. When-something-attacks abilities aren't on the list of triggered abilities that can look back in time (rule 603.10). Therefore, they must use the characteristics of the creature immediately after the event to determine if they trigger:

603.10. Normally, objects that exist immediately after an event are checked to see if the event matched any trigger conditions, and continuous effects that exist at that time are used to determine what the trigger conditions are and what the objects involved in the event look like.

At the point in time that the Blightfang's ability checks whether it should trigger, the third creature is tapped and therefore Saryth's ability applies and it has deathtouch.

  • Conversely: if an effect said "whenever a creature with hexproof attacks", a creature attacking would not trigger that effect, correct? Oct 30, 2022 at 21:33
  • @TheWreckersCompanion I believe so, because it doesn't have hexproof at the moment that the ability checks whether it should trigger.
    – Cadence
    Oct 30, 2022 at 22:36

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