damage vs. Life lose

Discussion in 'Rules Questions' started by V.L.Sigma, Dec 7, 2004.

  1. V.L.Sigma New Member

    The other day my friend and I got into an argument over this topic. He claimed that damage and life loss is the same thing, while I said that damage results in life loss, but the two are separate things. I also pointed out that damage and life loss are both printed on separate cards, like target player takes 5 damage or target p[layer loses 5 life. He said that they're the same thing, just worded differently. Who's right?
  2. DarthFerret Evil Sith Weasel

    If I understand correctly, you are correct. (A bit redundant huh?). Damage can be prevented, life loss cannot. Thus the wording on simple cards such as Healing Salve: "Target player gains 3 life; or prevent the next 3 damage that would be dealt to target creature or player this turn. " It specifies that it prevents damage. Not life loss. Someone else may be able to describe it better than I did. I also think that it specifies that in the actual "Rules" located on the WOTC website....

  3. EricBess Active Member

    You did a fine job, DarthFerret. That is exactly right.

    Here are a few points to note:

    - Damage causes "loss of life"
    - A prevention effect is a replacement affect which replaces damage causing loss of life with damage doing nothing.
    - Worship has a specific replacement effect which causes damage that would take you below 0 life to be replaced with "set your life to 1". It cannot prevent loss of life.
    - Mana burn causes loss of life, not damage, so it cannot be prevented.
    - Typically, effects that cause loss of life are more powerful than effects that cause damage (to a player, anyway) because of this. Such effects tend to be black while damage effects tend to be red.
  4. Nightstalkers Creature — Nightstalker

    Eh... actually, I view them both as seperate things just to make it easier for me.

    Lose life = Cannot be stopped

    Damage = can be stopped

    But if you pass on damage and take it, it turns into a loss of life and you have to take it.

    They're the same, but not. Kinda like saying that my white jetta is the same as your black jetta. Differen't flavors of the same thing, but one will look totally different at night.

    So... yeah... I'm kinda messed up in the head then.
  5. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    So you drive a white Jetta... :p
  6. DarthFerret Evil Sith Weasel

    Is that because he is messed up in the head?...or in spite of it?
  7. V.L.Sigma New Member

    thanks a lot, everyone. I'll e sure to tell him, although he won't back down. He argues for the sake of arguing. I think he might make a great lawyer some day...
  8. Chaos Turtle Demiurgic CPA Member, Admin Assistant

  9. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    It's really fun to add in your own stuff before printing it... ;)
  10. DarthFerret Evil Sith Weasel

    I knew you were evil way deep down Oversoul. Where do you play at most (So I know to avoid it....lol).
  11. Aneximines New Member

    From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules:


    Damage can be dealt to creatures and/or players.

    Damage dealt to a player is subtracted from his or her life total.

    Damage dealt to a creature stays on the permanent until end of turn, even if it stops being a creature. A creature with damage greater than or equal to its toughness has been dealt lethal damage and is destroyed. (See rule 420, “State-Based Effects.”) Damage doesn’t alter a creature’s toughness. A noncreature permanent isn’t affected by damage (but if it becomes a creature again before the damage is removed, the creature may be destroyed). During the cleanup step, all damage is removed from permanents.

    Costs and effects that read “lose life” or “pay life” don’t deal damage, and that loss of life can’t be prevented or otherwise altered by damage-prevention effects.


    It is true that damage causes life loss, becuase

    1) Damage dealt to a player is subtracted from his or her life total.


    2) Any decrease in a player’s life total is considered to be losing life.
    (from the glossary entry for "life")

    Thus, for example, a player being damaged by Lightning Bolt would trigger that player's Transcendence.


    Also, here's the main rules on damage prevention:

    419.7. Prevention Effects

    419.7a Prevention effects usually apply to damage that would be dealt.

    419.7b Some prevention effects refer to a specific amount of damage—for example, “Prevent the next 3 damage that would be dealt to target creature or player this turn.” These work like shields. Each 1 damage that would be dealt to the “shielded” creature or player is prevented. Preventing 1 damage reduces the remaining shield by 1. If damage would be dealt to the shielded creature or player by two or more sources at the same time, the player or the controller of the creature chooses which damage the shield prevents first. Once the shield has been reduced to 0, any remaining damage is dealt normally. Such effects count only the amount of damage; the number of events or sources dealing it doesn’t matter.

    Basically, damage that is prevented never happens, and so isn't subtracted from the palyer's life total, and so doesn't cause any life loss.
  12. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    North of Houston and places like that... :rolleyes:

    While I have never actually edited the comprehensive rules and then printed them, I am still sure that it would be a fun prank... :D

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