First strike

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First Strike
Mtga first strike.png
Keyword Ability
Type Static
Introduced Alpha
Last Used Evergreen
Reminder Text First strike (This creature deals combat damage before creatures without first strike.)
Statistics 238 cards
{W} 41.2% {U} 1.3% {B} 8.8% {R} 26.9% {G} 2.1% {W/U} 1.7% {U/B} 0.8% {B/R} 3.8% {R/G} 0.8% {G/W} 2.1% {B/G} 0.4% {R/W} 3.8% {M} 2.9% {artifact symbol} 3.4%
Scryfall Search
oracle:"First Strike"

First strike is an evergreen keyword ability that changes the rules for combat by adding an additional combat damage step.

Description[edit | edit source]

A creature with first strike deals combat damage before creatures without first strike. The ability usually represents a creature's exceptional speed or skill; or possession of long range weapons, such as spears, lances, or bows. The most common creature types to have first strike are Knights and Soldiers.

History[edit | edit source]

First strike has been in Magic since the original Alpha set.[1] First strike has appeared in all colors, but is primarily placed in white and red. It is tertiary in black.[2][3]

Fresh Faced Recruit from Guilds of Ravnica is R&D experimenting with creatures that just give first strike offensively.[4][5] Play Design enjoys it more when used offensively. Defensively it can just shut down combat.[6]

Rules[edit | edit source]

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (October 4, 2019—Throne of Eldraine)

First Strike
A keyword ability that lets a creature deal its combat damage before other creatures. See rule 702.7, “First Strike.”

From the Comprehensive Rules (October 4, 2019—Throne of Eldraine)

  • 702.7. First Strike
    • 702.7a First strike is a static ability that modifies the rules for the combat damage step. (See rule 510, “Combat Damage Step.”)
    • 702.7b If at least one attacking or blocking creature has first strike or double strike (see rule 702.4) as the combat damage step begins, the only creatures that assign combat damage in that step are those with first strike or double strike. After that step, instead of proceeding to the end of combat step, the phase gets a second combat damage step. The only creatures that assign combat damage in that step are the remaining attackers and blockers that had neither first strike nor double strike as the first combat damage step began, as well as the remaining attackers and blockers that currently have double strike. After that step, the phase proceeds to the end of combat step.
    • 702.7c Giving first strike to a creature without it after combat damage has already been dealt in the first combat damage step won’t preclude that creature from assigning combat damage in the second combat damage step. Removing first strike from a creature after it has already dealt combat damage in the first combat damage step won’t allow it to also assign combat damage in the second combat damage step (unless the creature has double strike).
    • 702.7d Multiple instances of first strike on the same creature are redundant.

Examples[edit | edit source]

Example

Anaba Bodyguard {3}{R}
Creature — Minotaur
2/3
First strike (This creature deals combat damage before creatures without first strike.)

Enchantments that grant just First Strike[edit | edit source]

One creature

All your creatures

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]