Magic the Gathering Tactics Wiki

First strike is a special ability in Magic the Gathering Tactics.

Whenever a figure with first strike counterattacks, the counterattack takes place before the enemy attack.

Unique characteristics

First strike has no effect if the figure attacks, only if the figure counterattacks.
This can make the figures power more important than its health, since it can destroy an enemy before taking damage.

First strike can only be triggered by an enemy attack, so it acts like offensive protection. Note that during a counterattack a critical hit will not happen.

Between two figures with first strike, the one attacking first will get damaged first.

A counterattack can only be done to the first enemy attack per turn unless the figure also has vigilance. This can make initiative important, in order to gain more turns (counterattacks).

When combined with defensive protection (such as vigilance, flying, deathtouch, or fear) or other offensive protection (such as lifelink) first strike can be problematic for an enemy to deal with.


First strike in Magic the Gathering Tactics works differently than in the traditional Magic card game.

In the Magic card game creatures with first strike go "first" and simultaneously during the combat phase. This is most advantageous during blocking, when the player can choose which creatures will block. Two creatures with first strike that are in combat will strike simultaneously and is treated like a normal combat.

First strike in the Tactics game reflects the defensive nature of the ability but paints a very different picture in practical application.

A creature in traditional Magic cards doesn't normally have to attack, therefore is protected from combat.

In the Tactics game, since creatures can directly attack creatures and each creature only counterattacks the first attack against it a turn, a figure with first strike can be overcome by numbers.

Traditional Halberdier
Tactics Halberdier
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First strike description