My question pertains to a situation that happened last night when my friends and I were playing Magic: the Gathering.

There was a game of Two-Headed Giant going on and I had Werewolves on the battlefield with Trample. My partner had previously enchanted an opposing team member with Curse of Stalked Prey. I had a Reckless Waif with a 3/2 power and toughness (via Mayor of Avabruck and Full Moon's Rise) attacking said opponent. Their only blocker was a 2/2, so they blocked.

Curse of Stalked Prey reads "Whenever an opponent is deal combat damage..." and goes on to say the creature that dealt damage gets a +1/+1 counter. Is the counter immediately added, thus saving it from the 2/2 blocker?

  • 1
    Now, if you could give your Trampling Stalking Werewolves First Strike also, you might be in business... But no, since the werewolf is dealt combat damage at the same time as the opponent, state-based-effects have sent the Waif to the graveyard long before Cruse of Stalked Prey's effect can add a counter. Commented Jan 6, 2012 at 16:48

3 Answers 3


No, the blocker would be destroyed. From the comprehensive rules dealing with the Combat Damage Step

510.2. Second, all combat damage that’s been assigned is dealt simultaneously. This turn-based action doesn’t use the stack. No player has the chance to cast spells or activate abilities between the time combat damage is assigned and the time it’s dealt. This is a change from previous rules.

510.3. Third, any abilities that triggered on damage being assigned or dealt go on the stack. (See rule 603, “Handling Triggered Abilities.”)

510.4. Fourth, the active player gets priority. Players may cast spells and activate abilities

The state based action that destroys is 704.5g. So although the ability triggers it is placed on the stack. State based actions are dealt with before the stack is, and thus, the blocker dies.


The Curse of Stalked Prey will not save your Reckless Waif.

Because the evaluation of what zone a creature belongs in (has it been dealt lethal damage, does it have zero toughness, etc.) is a state-based action, it occurs before a player would next receive priority. A player would next receive priority at the end of the combat damage step, which is when the triggered ability of Curse of the Stalked Prey goes on the stack. See the following from the comp. rules:

704.3. Whenever a player would get priority (see rule 116, "Timing and Priority"), the game checks for any of the listed conditions for state-based actions, then performs all applicable state-based actions simultaneously as a single event. If any state-based actions are performed as a result of a check, the check is repeated; otherwise all triggered abilities that are waiting to be put on the stack are put on the stack, then the check is repeated. Once no more state-based actions have been performed as the result of a check and no triggered abilities are waiting to be put on the stack, the appropriate player gets priority. This process also occurs during the cleanup step (see rule 514), except that if no state-based actions are performed as the result of the step's first check and no triggered abilities are waiting to be put on the stack, then no player gets priority and the step ends.

704.5g If a creature has toughness greater than 0, and the total damage marked on it is greater than or equal to its toughness, that creature has been dealt lethal damage and is destroyed. Regeneration can replace this event.

Thus, your creature will go to the graveyard, then the triggered ability that's on the stack will fizzle.


No. The above answers are correct, but they overlook a simple detail: Curse of Stalked Prey only triggers when a creature deals combat damage to a player, not a creature, so you wouldn't get the counter even if your Reckless Waif would have survived combat.

  • 1
    Except that the Reckless Waifs have Trample thanks to Full Moon's Rise. Commented Jan 18, 2012 at 22:42

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