Total War and Not Attacking

Asked by Spirit_Logan 9 months ago

Total War but modern oracle text:

Whenever a player attacks with one or more creatures, destroy all untapped non-Wall creatures that player controls that didn't attack, except for creatures the player hasn't controlled continuously since the beginning of the turn.

If I didn't attack, would I not have to destroy my own creatures?

darkmatter32x says... #1

The trigger condition must be met before you you start destroying creatures, which is one or more creatures. Not attacking with any doesn't meet the condition.

March 12, 2018 7:07 a.m.

Boza says... Accepted answer #2

Basically, Total War has 3 options, only one of which ever does anything:

1/ No attack -> nothing happens
2/ Attack with at least one, but not all of your dudes -> destroy all of your non-wall dudes
3/ Attack with all of your dudes -> nothing happens.

March 12, 2018 7:39 a.m.

-Orvos- says... #3

Boza your second option is missing the "destroy all 'untapped' non-wall creatures". There are situations where you could attack with only 1 dude but your other dudes have a tap ability that you could use before Total War resolves. That would mean they didn't attack but you could tap them before Total War resolves and they would not die.

and in your 3rd option Total War would still trigger at which point an opponent could untap any number of your creatures before Total War resolves and kill them all. So Total War does trigger, just doesn't destroy anything in option 3.

March 12, 2018 1:29 p.m.

-Orvos-: Even more specifically, the second option is missing the "destroy all untapped non-wall creatures that didn't attack". Vigilance and untap effects are things that must be considered.

So actually it depends, an opponent untapping your creatures before it resolves to kill them only works on the ones that didn't attack.

March 12, 2018 3:20 p.m.

-Orvos- says... #5

Very true good catch. I want that card now haha

March 12, 2018 3:28 p.m.

It's also worth noting (especially if you're going up against this card) that a lot of tap abilities are instant speed and with no other cost. So if I have a tapped Elvish Mystic, and I enter the combat phase and attack with something, triggering Total War, and my opponent responds by untapping my elf, I can just tap it again before Total War resolves. Thus, in a lot of cases, untapping an attacker's tapped creatures in response to Total War won't actually net you the destruction you're looking for, though it certainly could be amazing in the right situation. Any sort of sorc-speed restricted tap effects, stuff that costs mana, etc.

In the right circumstance, you could force an opponent to choose between losing their Royal Assassin, or using it to kill their own attacker.

March 12, 2018 3:39 p.m.

Spirit_Logan says... #7

thank you all for this info!!!

March 12, 2018 5:22 p.m.

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