Hexproof vs Deathtouch in MTG – Differences Explained

Disclosure: As Amazon Associates we earn from qualifying purchases. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.

MTG is chockfull of awesome spells, abilities, and other game mechanics such as Hexproof and Deathtouch. Both are considered to be a super powerful static ability, one protecting your creatures the other killing creatures in a single stroke.

But, which is which, and is one ability better than the other?

Hexproof vs Deathtouch in MTG – Differences Explained

Read on below and explore these MTG mechanics and their differences!

Hexproof or Deathtouch – What’s the Difference?

Hexproof and Deathtouch aren’t all that similar when you really get into the meat of things. That said, they are both indeed worthy and powerful abilities, especially when combat damage assigned is involved.

One of these abilities grants immediate protection from the spells or abilities your opponents control, while the other one causes instant death when it touches another creature.

So, as you see, the biggest factor they have in common is how useful they are in general. Their specific abilities, or mechanics, however, are practically polar opposites.

How Does Hexproof Work?

The Hexproof ability grants your card, or target creature, complete protection from the spells or abilities your opponent’s control. That means that none of the abilities played by enemies affect your card so long as the Hexproof mechanic is still in play.

Example of Hexproof

Orbs of Warding

Magic The Gathering - Orbs of Warding (234/272) - Origins

Check Price on Amazon>>

The colorless Artifact, Orbs of Warding, is a Rare MTG card with Hexproof(not to be confused for a Hexproof creature). The card has a casting cost of five basic lands, including colorless lands, and prevents 1 damage point of damage that a creature would otherwise deal to you.

The second ability of the card could well be considered overkill. Most of the otherwise lethal damage that could be directed towards you or a creature you control would already be prevented by the Hexproof status of the card.

How Does Deathtouch Work?

The Deathtouch mechanic is one of the simplest to understand in the entire game: whenever a Deathtouch creature deals damage, the dealt damage turns into a fatal blow no matter how much power the attacker has or how much toughness the defender has.

In other words, Deathtouch is exactly what it sounds like; if a creature with Deathtouch even touches another creature, the blocking creature automatically receives lethal damage, dies, and then goes straight to its owner’s graveyard.

Example of Deathtouch

Vampire Nighthawk

Magic The Gathering - Vampire Nighthawk (116) - Zendikar

Check Price on Amazon>>

The Vampire Nighthawk is an Uncommon black Vampire Shaman creature. It comes with three of the best mechanics in the game: Flying, Lifelink, and Deathtouch. That means whenever this creature attacks, it goes right over the heads of nonflyers. If a blocker doesn’t have Reach, this card deals combat damage directly to players.

The creature card also gains life from all damage dealt as well as striking defending creatures to death before absorbing any lethal damage from them.

However, it is crucial to note that blocking creatures with Hexproof or Shroud are safe from Deathtouch(and any other ability – in this case, Lifelink).

A Final Word About Hexproof and Deathtouch in MTG

Of all spells or abilities created by Wizards of the Coast, the static ability of Hexproof is among the most loved in the whole game. On the other hand, the Deathtouch ability is one of the most feared on the battlefield.

Thanks for reading! Hopefully, we answered all of your questions about what hexproof means, as well as how Deathtouch rules function.