First Strike was the first game mechanic that I actually encountered when I started playing, aside from Flying. Very simply, the reminder text reads:

 “This creature deals combat damage before creatures without first strike.”

Simple enough, right? a 6/1 first strike would kill a 1/1 without dying because he does his damage first.

As for some background, First Strike has been around since the beginning of Magic with Alpha, and is focused mainly in White and Red, though it’s in all colors.

So, yeah. Easy mechanic, right?

And then I ran into this card.



Double strike. And that is?

Well, a creature with Double Strike deals combat damage both during first strike and regular combat damage. For example, a 2/2 with double strike would deal 2 damage to a 4/4, and then deal an additional 2 damage, killing it in the second combat step.

Double Strike began in Legions and has seen some existence in every block since then.

Notable cards with first strike:

  • Akroma, Angel of Wrath
  • Baneslayer Angel
  • Gisela, Blade of Goldnight
  • Porcelain Legionnaire
  • Phyrexian Crusader

Notable cards with double strike:

  • Mirran Crusader
  • Drogskol Reaver
  • Warren Instigator