Watcher in the Web – How blocking multiple attackers works

It’s no Hundred-Handed One, but Watcher in the Web does a pretty mean impression. Just in case you’ve ever wanted to block eight attacking creatures with one 2/5 with reach, Watcher is your spider.

Of course, with these rule-bending cards come complications–and that’s what we’re going to clarify in today’s Rules Tip!

When a Watcher in the Web blocks multiple creatures, each of those attacking creatures deals its damage normally; e.g., a 2/2 Zombie token, a 2/2 Wolf token, and a 1/1 Cleric token.
The three tokens will deal a total of 5 damage to Watcher. Additionally, the defending player decides the order in which Watcher’s damage is going to be dealt. Just like the attacking player chooses damage assignment order for an attacker blocked by multiple creatures, the defending player chooses the order in which the attacking creatures will be dealt damage by Watcher. For example, the defending player decides the order Watcher will assign its damage is Wolf, Zombie, then Cleric. When damage is assigned, the Watcher has to assign lethal damage to the first creature before it can assign any damage to the next. So Watcher in the Web will deal 2 damage to the Wolf token, and zero to the Zombie
and Cleric.

Let’s try another scenario. The active player has declared two 4/4 Angel tokens as attackers.
The defending player “double blocks” with two Watchers in the Web (i.e., each Watcher is assigned as a blocker for both Angels)–now what happens? Well, the result doesn’t change all that much.

The attacking player will choose the order of blockers for each Angel, and the defending player chooses the order in which each Watcher will deal its damage to the creatures it is blocking.

Now what if one Watcher blocks a 2/2 Wolf, a 2/2 Zombie and a 4/4 with trample? Can any damage trample over? Well, when figuring out whether “lethal damage” is being assigned (which must be done before any trampling can happen), you get to consider: a) damage already marked on the creature, b) damage from any source with deathtouch, and c) damage being assigned by other creatures at the same time. So the short answer is yes, you can assign trample in excess of the Watcher’s toughness, because there is a total of 8 damage being assigned at once, and 3 can trample over.

You’re more likely to see Watcher in the Web in a Draft or Sealed event, but knowing how blocking multiple creatures with one creature is always good to know! Hopefully, this helped clear up some of the confusion.

Today’s Rules Tip written by Jeremy Fain, L2 from Tustin, CA

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