If someone attacks me with a trample creature say, 6/6, I block with a 1/1 deathtouch AND have Dissipation Field in play (returns permanents that damage me to their owners' hands), will the wyrm go back to his owner's hand or does it die from my deathtouch creature?

2 Answers 2


Death from deathtouch is a state-based action. Specifically, this one:

704.5h If a creature has toughness greater than 0, and it's been dealt damage by a source with deathtouch since the last time state-based actions were checked, that creature is destroyed. Regeneration can replace this event.

The triggered ability from Dissipation Field will still go on the stack, but its target will be dead by the time it resolves.


The trample creature will die.

702.2c A creature with toughness greater than 0 that's been dealt damage by a source with deathtouch since the last time state-based actions were checked is destroyed as a state-based action. See rule 704.

Sequence goes like this

  1. Damage is assigned by players.
  2. Damage is dealt simultaneously.
  3. Dissipation Field triggers due to damage to player.
  4. Active player is about to receive priority, due to rule 704, game checks for state-based actions. Due to 702.2c, the trample creature is destroyed.
  5. The dissipation field ability is put on the stack, but when it resolves does nothing, as it can no longer find the trample creature.
  • 1
    Just a small nitpick that doesn't change the outcome: the triggered ability is not put on the stack in step 3. That happens after state-based actions are checked. And the ability would not be removed from the stack, it would resolve normally but fail to return anything to his owner's hand.
    – Pablo
    Feb 14, 2012 at 18:27
  • @Pablo Fair point. Will edit accordingly.
    – ghoppe
    Feb 14, 2012 at 20:13
  • @user1873 According to 704.3., state-based actions are checked "whenever a player would receive priority" so you're correct, triggered abilities aren't actually put on the stack and the player doesn't receive priority until state-based actions are dealt with. Perhaps my wording was unclear. :)
    – ghoppe
    Feb 15, 2012 at 16:03

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