I am at 2 life, and my opponent is at 3 life. It is my opponent's turn. He attacks me with a Kindercatch. After blockers are declared (none) but before the combat damage step, I cast Divine Deflection, targeting my opponent with X declared as 4.

Who wins?


The oracle rulings of Divine Reflection state:

If Divine Deflection prevents damage, excess damage (if any) dealt by that source is dealt at the same time. Immediately afterward, as part of that same prevention effect, Divine Deflection deals its damage. This happens before state-based actions are checked, and before the spell or ability that caused damage to be dealt resumes its resolution.

So, the damage is done at the same time and only after are state-based actions checked.

704.5. The state-based actions are as follows:

704.5a If a player has 0 or less life, he or she loses the game.

As checking the life totals is a state-based action, both players will have 0 life at the same check, thus the game ends in a draw!

  • This is in direct contradiction to a ruling that was given to me by a L3 at a SCG tournament last month, but the Oracle rulings seem to support your answer. Thanks! – Hyppy Jun 14 '12 at 19:42

Assuming that you choose your opponent as the target of divine reflection, the game it's a draw. You'll be at 0 life and your opponent at -1 life the next time state based actions are checked.

Rule that shows that damage from divine reflection is done (almost) at the same time that combat damage, and both are done before state based actions are checked:

615.5. Some prevention effects also include an additional effect, which may refer to the amount of damage that was prevented. The prevention takes place at the time the original event would have happened; the rest of the effect takes place immediately afterward.

Rule for the state based action of losing the game:

704.5a If a player has 0 or less life, he or she loses the game.

Rule saying that if two players lose the game at the same time, the game it's a draw:

104.4a If all the players remaining in a game lose simultaneously, the game is a draw.

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