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Magic: The Gathering» Forums » Rules

Subject: Untapping an attacker due to activated ability - does combat occur? rss

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col_w
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I am still learning Magic, and getting to grips with the stack and turn order as described in the 8th edition rules (since we were using a box set with preconstructed decks - Heavy Hitters and Sky Slam). The following scenario occurred:

Player A declared a single attacker.
Player A did not play any instants or activated abilities, so priority passed to player B.
Player B activated an ability that allowed them to untap a target creature, choosing player A's attacking creature, and put it on the stack.
Player A did not play any instants or activated abilities.
Player B's untap ability resolved.
Player A's attacker was untapped.

So, should combat have taken place or not? We weren't sure if it couldn't occur since the attacker was now untapped, or if it still occurred because the attacker had already been declared (but was now untapped anyway).

In the end we agreed on the 2nd interpretation and also to let player B undo his play.
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Dave Rubin
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"It may be doubted whether so small a number of men ever employed so short a space of time with greater or more lasting effects upon the history of the world.” — Sir George Otto Trevelyan on the Battles of Trenton and Princeton
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You were correct. The attack still occurs.
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Eric Jome
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Being tapped or not does not mean you are attacking or you are not attacking. Neither does it mean you are blocking or not blocking.

Creatures can be tapped and attacking. Creatures can be untapped and attacking - see Vigilance, for example.

There is a phase in the formal rules called "Declare Attackers". To designate a creature as an attacker it must be done in general in this phase and generally requires you to tap it when you do so declare. This is not an activated effect. It does not go on the stack. It cannot be interrupted or reacted to in general. There is no stack while you are declaring attackers, though triggered effects may be generated and put on the stack for resolution after declaring is done.

The same is true for "Declare Blockers".

Being tapped or untapped immediately after either declaration phase means almost nothing. Note, there is a phase immediately before these declare phases where you can use instants and such. That is when you tap a creature to prevent it from being able to be declared as attacking or blocking.
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col_w
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Thanks everyone.

louper wrote:
506.4b. Tapping or untapping a creature that's already been declared as an attacker or blocker doesn't remove it from combat and doesn't prevent its combat damage.


Does that number refer to a master set of rules somewhere?b
 
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Jeff Wiles
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col_w wrote:
Thanks everyone.

louper wrote:
506.4b. Tapping or untapping a creature that's already been declared as an attacker or blocker doesn't remove it from combat and doesn't prevent its combat damage.


Does that number refer to a master set of rules somewhere?


It's from the Comprehensive Rules.
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Tyler Bishop
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col_w wrote:
Thanks everyone.

louper wrote:
506.4b. Tapping or untapping a creature that's already been declared as an attacker or blocker doesn't remove it from combat and doesn't prevent its combat damage.


Does that number refer to a master set of rules somewhere?b


http://media.wizards.com/images/magic/tcg/resources/rules/Ma...

Brace yourself before opening that. The FULL rules for MTG are... impressive.
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Joakim Björklund
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Overtext?! We don't need no stinking overtext! Oh wait...
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Overtext?! We don't need no stinking overtext! Oh wait...
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The set FAQs can sometimes be of help as well:

http://www.wizards.com/Magic/tcg/resources.aspx?x=magic/rule...
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Dan Owsen
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Check out Maze of Ith's Gatherer entry and Q&A, as it is somewhat relevant to this topic. (Plus one of my all-time fave cards.)

http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiver...
 
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Michael Becker
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It has been a long time since I played any type of competitive magic... I don't want to open the comprehensive rules, but isn't the first step of an attack declaring you are wanting to move to the attack phase? Once this is done the "blocking player" could tap a creature to prevent it from tapping to attack during the next step "tap attacking creatures"?

Cheers,
Michael
 
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