Does First Strike apply when blocking attacks from the opponents’ creatures, or only when you’re the one who’s attacking?
First Strike is a great ability to have when it comes to dealing combat damage from one creature to another, of that there is no doubt.
But, the real question we look at in this article is whether or not it works while blocking attackers.
Does First Strike Apply When Blocking Attacks?
As a combat initiated ability, First Strike is activated when some sort of combat action is declared, even blocking.
For the creature with First Strike, it doesn’t matter whether they are the attacker or blocker; First Strike always deals the first round of combat damage in a fight.
The only real strategy that works out consistently to stop First Strike is using spells and abilities that freeze or remove a creature’s abilities.
That said, the spell or ability must be used before the combat phase occurs or the First Strike will already be in play.
Example Card: Archetype of Courage
The Archetype of Courage is a special Enchantment; it’s a Human Solder creature and Enchantment hybrid of Uncommon status. The card enables all of your creatures on the battlefield to have the First Strike ability.
At the same time, it goes a step beyond the ordinary and also causes your opponent’s creatures to lose First Strike abilities if they have them. Even more, it prevents their other creature to gain First Strike.
With this card on the board, every one of your blocking creature automatically gets to deal the first blow of combat damage when blocking.
FAQs About Does First Strike Apply When Blocking in MTG
Does First Strike Work for Blocking Creatures?
First Strike absolutely works while blocking combat damage from the opponent’s attacking creatures. As soon as someone declares an attack on your, via creatures, and you declare a First Strike creature as a blocker, said creature automatically gets to deal its damage first.
Do First Strike Creatures Always Attack First?
There are a few underhanded strategies and techniques the opponent may use to keep a First Strike creature from striking first. But, the cards needed for such tactics are nill, so you shouldn’t have to deal with it much unless you play on a professional level.
When Doesn’t First Strike Work?
First Strike works any time that a combat exchange happens between itself and another creature. The only time it doesn’t work is if an opponent’s spells or abilities, more than likely Instants or Enchantments, target the creature and somehow remove or temporarily revoke its abilities. It is rare, but it can and does happen.
First Strike definitely applies when blocking… just as much as it does during any other combat damage exchange, including attacking.
Unless someone targets your creature and its abilities directly and somehow freezes or removes them, there is nothing to stop your First Strike creature from landing the first blow in battle.
Thanks for reading! We hope all your questions are answered!