Deflecting Palm + Dictate of the Twin Gods

Deflecting Palm: the proverbial palm-to-the-face, a card that has already been mentioned in its own Rules Tips section but continues to be a “rules monster.” This time we’ll be discovering what happens if a source would double damage that is being dealt before it’s prevented by Deflecting Palm. For example’s sake, we’ll use Dictate of The Twin Gods, which doubles damage each time a source would deal damage. Here we go:

Ashley has a 5/5 creature attacking Nathan. There is a Dictate of The Twin Gods on the board, and Nathan is packing heat with a Deflecting Palm just waiting for the right moment. In the declare blockers step, Nathan casts his Deflecting Palm, choosing Ashley’s 5/5 as it resolves. As we enter the combat damage step, what happens? When is the damage doubled and how many times? How much damage will Ashley take, and what is the source of the damage?

Great questions, and some I am sure many of you will have. When Deflecting Palm resolves, it creates an effect that prevents damage the next time the chosen source would deal damage. This means that there are now two effects affecting the 5/5’s damage: a prevention effect and a doubling effect. Since Nathan is the receiver of the damage, he determines the order that the effects apply. If he chooses the order where the prevention applies first, only 5 damage is prevented by the Deflecting Palm. If he chooses to have the doubling effect apply first, and the prevention effect apply afterwards, 10 damage will be prevented. In summary, Nathan can have the damage prevented or doubled then prevented.

Next, the Palm’s damage-dealing effect occurs. Depending on the order that Nathan chose, Palm is now dealing either 5 or 10 damage, which is again doubled by the Dictate. Realistically, Nathan will surely default to dealing more damage, but it’s possible to deal 10 instead of 20.

I hope this cleared up this process for you. Keep on palming your opponents for the win!

Today’s Rules Tip written by Daniel Clarke

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