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Akawalli, the Seething Tower has

Descend 8 - As long as there are eight or more permanent cards in your graveyard, Akawalli gets an additional +2/+2 and can't be blocked by more than one creature.

If you give Akawalli, the Seething Tower the keyword ability Menace while you have at least 8 cards in your graveyard, is it unblockable or do timestamps come into play with layers and such?

2 Answers 2

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It would be effectively unblockable.

“Can’t be blocked by more than 1 creature” and “can’t be blocked except by 2 or more creatures” are both restrictions. When declaring blockers, you cannot disobey any restrictions:

509.1b The defending player checks each creature they control to see whether it’s affected by any restrictions (effects that say a creature can’t block, or that it can’t block unless some condition is met). If any restrictions are being disobeyed, the declaration of blockers is illegal.

So whether you assigned 1 creature or 2 to block Akawalli, you would be disobeying a restriction and thus the declaration of blockers is illegal. It’s basically the same a creature having both “cannot be blocked by red creatures” and “cannot be blocked except by red creatures” at the same time.

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Timestamps are layers come into play only when two things interfere with each other, such as when one permanent tries to make everything blue and something else tries to make everything red.

While the two effects in your question don't leave any options for blocking, they don't actually contradict each other; they can both be true, leaving your creature unblockable. In MtG, if two or more effect leave no way of doing something, then you just can't do it; the effects don't cancel out. For instance, if one card says that you can't cast spells on your turn, and another says you can't cast spells on other players' turns, then you just can't cast spells.

There is however a loophole. Mirror Match puts creatures onto the battlefield blocking. Blocking restrictions apply when a creature is declared a blocker. But the tokens that Mirror Match puts on the battlefield aren't declared blocking, they simply are blocking. So you can use this card to block creatures with menace, regardless of how many other creatures are blocking them.

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  • Another similar loophole is Flash Foliage.
    – Wildcard
    Apr 5 at 21:08

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