Deathtouch is an capacity keyword in Magic: The Gathering. Whenever a creature with deathtouch transaction any lot of damages to another creature the is enough to ruin it, regardless of the other creature’s toughness.

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In this article, ns look at how deathtouch functions in MTG with plenty of examples including exactly how it works versus other abilities. I additionally look in ~ the best MTG deathtouch cards, deathtouch decks and also how come play against deathtouch. Lastly, ns go over the commonly asked concerns for deathtouch.

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Giant Scorpion MTG card with deathtouch. Image: Wizards of the Coast. Artist: Raymond Swanland.

MTG Deathtouch Rules

What go the MTG deathtouch reminder text say?


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Any lot of damages this transaction to a creature is sufficient to ruin it.

See Magic: The collection ComprehensiveRules, 702.2.“Deathtouch” for an ext information.

Essentially, this way that a deathtouch biology only demands to transaction 1 damage to one more creature to death it, regardless of what the creature’s toughness is.

That way that a 1/1 creature with deathtouch have the right to kill an 8/8 biology in one hit. That doesn’t issue how difficult the biology is.

Mechanics similar to deathtouch have remained in the game due to the fact that Alpha, as soon as a comparable ability appeared on Thicket Basilisk. However, the deathtouch keyword itself to be only presented in the Future vision set v Thornweald Archer. Since then, numerous older cards v this ability have retroactively been given deathtouch.

Since its development as a keyword, deathtouch has constantly been taken into consideration evergreen. You deserve to expect it to appear in every set on at the very least a few creatures. Although that is most common in black, plenty of green creatures have actually it too, however not in ~ the rate they offered to.

MTG Deathtouch Examples


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Ageless Guardian and also Oakhame devil MTG cards. Image: Wizards of the Coast.

For the very first example, expect my opponent attacked me v the 1/4 Ageless Guardian. My Oakhame devil has deathtouch, so I usage it come block the attacker. It deals only 2 damage to Ageless Guardian. But due to deathtouch, Ageless Guardian is ruined anyway.


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Oakhame Adversary and also Oggyar Battle-Seer MTG cards. Image: Wizards of the Coast.

Second, let’s say I assault with Oakhame Adversary, a 2/3 creature with deathtouch. My enemy blocks it with Oggyar Battle-Seer, i beg your pardon is 3/4. Typically, this would certainly be a waste of an strike for me due to the fact that my creature would certainly die there is no trading. However, mine creature has actually deathtouch.

In common circumstances, Oggyar Battle-Seer would make it through combat since it has greater toughness 보다 Oakhame Aversary’s power. However, my creature has deathtouch for this reason the 2 damage it dealt is enough to destroy its blocker regardless. Together such, the creatures trade.

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Oakhame Adversary, acquisitions Expert and also Grey seller of Asphodel MTG cards. Image: Wizards of the Coast.

Lastly, I strike with Oakhame adversary again. Currently my adversary blocks it v both repurchase Expert, a 1/2, and also Grey seller of Asphodel, a 2/4, and assigns blockers in that order. Right here I have actually a choice. Ns can pick to deal 2 damage to acquisitions Expert and also kill it. Or I deserve to deal 1 damages to it and also then deal an additional 1 damages to Grey vendor of Asphodel.

This happens due to the fact that my attack creature needs to deal lethal damages to each blocker prior to damaging the following one. Yep, this is exactly how blocking works. I double-checked this rule! Anyhow, due to the fact that Oakhame adversary has deathtouch, also 1 damages is lethal. Together such, it have the right to kill both creatures.

Deathtouch vs Indestructible

Indestructible is a wonderful counter come deathtouch. With the indestructible ability, a biology cannot be damaged in the normal way with combat damages or through abilities the say ‘destroy’ on them. This disables deathtouch entirely, as also if a deathtouch creature deals damage, it’ll never ever be lethal to an indestructible creature.


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Brash Taunter and Venomous Hierophant MTG cards. Image: Wizards of the Coast.

For instance, let’s say mine opponent attacks me through the 1/1 Brash Taunter. Ns block it through Venomous Hierophant, which is a 3/3 deathtouch creature. Also though mine blocker has higher power 보다 the attacker’s toughness and also has deathtouch, Brash Taunter survives. Gift indestructible, a creature v deathtouch cannot damage it.

Deathtouch vs Hexproof

Because deathtouch does no target a creature, hexproof won’t defend a biology from deathtouch. Instead, the hexproof biology will simply be dealt damages normally and also be damaged as a result. The exact same is true for ward and shroud, keywords with similar effects.


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Venomous Hierophant and Spined Megalodon MTG cards. Image: Wizards of the Coast.

Suppose it’s my rotate now. I assault my adversary with poisonous Hierophant. They block it through the hexproof Spined Megalodon. However, this makes no difference. Poisonous Hierophant damages it once attacking, which automatically destroys Spined Megalodon without targeting it.

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Deathtouch vs Trample

Even if her blocking creatures have actually deathtouch, you room still vulnerable to trample damage, which applies also if the creature that’s handle it is damaged in combat. As such, her deathtouch creature might easily death the trample creature, but that won’t save you native taking damages yourself.