Magic: the Gathering
( Comprehensive rules )


Contents Glossary

5.  Turn Structure

506.  Combat Phase


506.1  The combat phase has five steps, which proceed in order: beginning of combat, declare attackers, declare blockers, combat damage, and end of combat. The declare blockers and combat damage steps are skipped if no creatures are declared as attackers or put onto the battlefield attacking (see rule 508.5). There are two combat damage steps if any attacking or blocking creature has first strike (see rule 702.7) or double strike (see rule 702.4).

506.2  During the combat phase, the active player is the attacking player; creatures that player controls may attack. During the combat phase of a two-player game, the nonactive player is the defending player; that player and planeswalkers he or she controls may be attacked.

506.2a  During the combat phase of a multiplayer game, there may be one or more defending players, depending on the variant being played and the options chosen for it. Unless all the attacking players opponents automatically become defending players during the combat phase, the attacking player chooses one of his or her opponents as a turn-based action during the beginning of combat step. (Note that the choice may be dictated by the variant being played or the options chosen for it.) That player becomes the defending player. See rule 802, "Attack Multiple Players Option," rule 803, "Attack Left and Attack Right Options," and rule 809, "Emperor Variant."

506.2b  In the Two-Headed Giant multiplayer variant, the nonactive team is the defending team. See rule 810, "Two-Headed Giant Variant."

506.3  Only a creature can attack or block. Only a player or a planeswalker can be attacked.

506.3a  If an effect would put a noncreature permanent onto the battlefield attacking or blocking, the permanent does enter the battlefield but its never considered to be an attacking or blocking permanent.

506.3b  If an effect would put a creature onto the battlefield attacking under the control of any player except an attacking player, that creature does enter the battlefield, but its never considered to be an attacking creature.

506.3c  If an effect would put a creature onto the battlefield attacking either a player not in the game or a planeswalker no longer on the battlefield or no longer a planeswalker, that creature does enter the battlefield, but its never considered to be an attacking creature.

506.3d  If an effect would put a creature onto the battlefield blocking but the creature it would block isnt attacking either the first creatures controller or a planeswalker that player controls, that creature does enter the battlefield, but its never considered to be a blocking creature.


506.4  A permanent is removed from combat if it leaves the battlefield, if its controller changes, if it phases out, if an effect specifically removes it from combat, if its a planeswalker thats being attacked and stops being a planeswalker, or if its an attacking or blocking creature that regenerates (see rule 701.13) or stops being a creature. A creature thats removed from combat stops being an attacking, blocking, blocked, and/or unblocked creature. A planeswalker thats removed from combat stops being attacked.

506.4a  Once a creature has been declared as an attacking or blocking creature, spells or abilities that would have kept that creature from attacking or blocking dont remove the creature from combat.

506.4b  Tapping or untapping a creature thats already been declared as an attacker or blocker doesnt remove it from combat and doesnt prevent its combat damage.

506.4c  If a creature is attacking a planeswalker, removing that planeswalker from combat doesnt remove that creature from combat. It continues to be an attacking creature, although it is attacking neither a player nor a planeswalker. It may be blocked. If it is unblocked, it will deal no combat damage.

506.4d  A permanent thats both a blocking creature and a planeswalker thats being attacked is removed from combat if it stops being both a creature and a planeswalker. If it stops being one of those card types but continues to be the other, it continues to be either a blocking creature or a planeswalker thats being attacked, whichever is appropriate.

506.5  A creature attacks alone if its the only creature declared as an attacker during the declare attackers step. A creature is attacking alone if its attacking but no other creatures are. A creature blocks alone if its the only creature declared as a blocker during the declare blockers step. A creature is blocking alone if its blocking but no other creatures are.

506.6  Some spells state that they may be cast "only [before/after] [a particular point in the combat phase]," in which that point may be "attackers are declared," "blockers are declared," "the combat damage step," "the end of combat step," "the combat phase," or "combat."

506.6a  A spell that states it may be cast "only before (or after) attackers are declared" is referring to the turn-based action of declaring attackers. It may be cast only before (or after) the declare attackers step begins, regardless of whether any attackers are actually declared. (See rule 508.)

506.6b  A spell that states it may be cast "only before (or after) blockers are declared" is referring to the turn-based action of declaring blockers. It may be cast only before (or after) the declare blockers step begins, regardless of whether any blockers are actually declared. (See rule 509.)

506.6c  Some spells state that they may be cast only "during combat" or "during a certain players combat phase" in addition to the criteria described in rule 506.6. If a turn has multiple combat phases, such spells may be cast at an appropriate time during any of them.

506.6d  Some spells state that they may be cast "only before (or after) [a particular point in the combat phase]," but dont meet the additional criteria described in rule 506.6c. If a turn has multiple combat phases, such spells may be cast that turn only before (or after) the stated point of the first combat phase.

506.6e  If a spell states that it may be cast "only before [a particular point in the combat phase]," but the stated point doesnt exist within the relevant combat phase because the declare blockers step and the combat damage step are skipped (see rule 508.5), then the spell may be cast only before the declare attackers step ends. If the stated point doesnt exist because the relevant combat phase has been skipped, then the spell may be cast only before the precombat main phase ends.

506.6f  If a spell states that it may be cast "only during combat after blockers are declared," but the declare blockers step is skipped that combat phase (see rule 508.5), then the spell may not be cast during that combat phase.

506.6g  Rules 506.6 and 506.6af apply to abilities that state that they may be activated only at certain times with respect to combat just as they apply to spells that state that they may be cast only at certain times with respect to combat.



       5.  Turn Structure
<<  505. Main Phase
5.  Turn Structure       
507. Beginning of Combat Step  >>
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