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I have the Aura Public Enemy. Its Oracle text is:

Enchant creature
All creatures attack enchanted creature's controller each combat if able.
When enchanted creature dies, draw a card.

What is meant by "All creatures"? If I enchant one of my own creatures, would my other creatures attack me? Or is it impossible that my own creatures could attack me?

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  • Not directly relevant to the question, but mentioning it here because it comes up regularly in the context of cards like this: If there is a cost associated with attacking (for example, the defending player controls a Ghostly Prison), a creature cannot attack unless it’s controller chooses to pay the cost (that is, they are not forced to pay the cost in such cases). Sep 6, 2022 at 12:12
  • "All creatures ... if able" is way more concise than "Creatures controlled by enchanted creature's controller's opponents".
    – QBrute
    Sep 6, 2022 at 13:18
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    @QBrute, you can't drop the "if able" part, it's rather relevant.
    – ilkkachu
    Sep 6, 2022 at 15:13

2 Answers 2

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What is meant by "All creature[s]"?

All creatures means exactly what it says: every creature on the battlefield. The crucial point though is "if able", and you are correct in thinking that creatures controlled by a player can never attack that player (or planeswalkers that player controls). Quoting Comprehensive Rule 506.2:

During the combat phase of a two-player game, the nonactive player is the defending player; that player and planeswalkers they control may be attacked.

(my emphasis). There is similar wording in 506.2a for multiplayer games. As your creatures are not able to attack you, they do not have to and are free to attack your opponent(s) and/or their planeswalkers.

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Creatures can only be declared attacking an opponent or one of that opponent's planeswalkers. Your own creatures can never be made to attack you.

Let's pretend there's a player named Alex, and it might be you or someone else. If you cast Public Enemy on one of Alex's creatures:

  • On each of Alex's turns, they can attack freely.
  • On each of Alex's opponent's turns, any creature able to attack must be declared attacking Alex.
  • Any creature that is already tapped, prevented from attacking with Pacifism, or so on, will not be required to attack (because it can't).

Finally, when the creature dies, you (the one who controls the aura) will draw a card.

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    "any creature able to attack Alex* must be declared attacking Alex." Some effects may affect which creatures are allowed to attack which player, so creatures controlled by Alex' opponents may be able to attack, but unable to attack Alex. These are unaffected by Public Enemy.
    – Arthur
    Sep 5, 2022 at 13:17

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