Does Double Strike Have First Strike? (Full Answer)

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First Strike and Double Strike are not one and the same, though they are closely related MTG abilities.

In this article, we discuss whether or not Double Strike creatures have the first strike in a battle. 

Does Double Strike Have First Strike

Read on below and explore the real answer to this question!

Do Creatures with Double Strike Have First Strike?

Unless the card specifically states otherwise, or the Double Strike creature also has the First Strike ability, Double Strike creatures do not automatically get the first strike in battle unless they are the attacker. 

But, even then, if a creature with Double Strike comes up against a creature with First Strike, it won’t get the first strike even if it is the attacker; the First Strike creature gets to attack first.

The only exceptions are Double Strike creatures that happen to have equipment, enchantments, or auras attached to them that allow them First Strike abilities. 

And, again, if they come up against a legit First Striker creature, they will only have the first strike against them if they are the attacker. If they are blocking, and have First Strike, the attacker with First Strike still gets to hit first.

Example of Double Strike:

Magic The Gathering - Battle Mastery (007/264) - Dragons of Tarkir

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Battle Mastery is a white Enchantment Aura of uncommon status that grants Double Strike to a creature of your choice. The card does not include First Strike, so your creature would only strike first if it is the attacker. It could also gain First Strike from the use of an Instant, Sorcery, or some other spell like equipment or artifacts.

Example of First Strike:

Magic The Gathering - Archetype of Courage (4/165) - Born of The Gods

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The Archetype of Courage is another great First Strike card, this one an Enchantment Creature – Human Soldier of uncommon status. The great thing is that it gives all of your other creatures First Strike. 

So, in the case that you have this card on the battlefield, your Double Strike creature would indeed have First Strike. Further, the card casues your opponents’ creatures to lose First Strike abilities altogether.

FAQS About Double Strike Striking First or Not

How Do You Know if Double Strike Has First Strike?

The only time Double Strike has first strike is when it’s attacking a creature that does not have the First Strike ability. The exception is if your creature has First Strike in addition to the Double Strike ability.

Is First Strike or Double Strike Better?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question. The truth is, whether Double Strike or First Strike is better depends on your deck, playing style, and which cards you happen to draw. If you prefer aggressive playing styles, First Strike may be more to your liking. Likewise, Double Strike is a great defensive ability.

A Final Word

Generally speaking, Double Strike creatures only have First Strike if the card clearly states as much. Otherwise, they will strike the other creature first only if they are the creature initiating the attack.

Thanks for reading! We hope we cleared up all your questions!