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 Banding 101

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Acalia
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PostSubject: Banding 101   Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:56 am

Date: Tuesday March 15th, 2011.

Hey everyone. Just gonna clarify some things with banding here. If anyone has anything to add go for it!

Banding is an ability on creatures which alters how they work in combat. Banding allows lots of small creatures to attack as a gang and beat down a big creature (should they block with it). Banding is usually seen on White creatures, it was first printed in Legends, and was last seen in Weatherlight. Banding is written as follows:
Quote :
Banding (Any creatures with banding, and up to one without, can attack in a band. Bands are blocked as a group. If any creatures with banding you control are blocking or being blocked by a creature, you divide that creature's combat damage, not its controller, among any of the creatures it's being blocked by or is blocking.)
For questions sake, please take good note of the Any creatures with banding, and up to one without part. You can always add one creature whom doesn't have banding to a band!





Lets get started. Your band is declared during the Declare Attackers Step as per rule 508.
Quote :
508. Declare Attackers Step
...
508.1e If any of the chosen creatures have banding or a "bands with other" ability, the active player announces which creatures, if any, are banded with which. (See rule 702.19, "Banding.")




Banding itself is found in rule 702.19.
Quote :
702.19. Banding

702.19a Banding is a static ability that modifies the rules for combat.

702.19b "Bands with other" is a special form of banding. If an effect causes a permanent to lose banding, the permanent loses all "bands with other" abilities as well.

702.19c As a player declares attackers, he or she may declare that one or more attacking creatures with banding and up to one attacking creature without banding (even if it has "bands with other") are all in a "band." He or she may also declare that one or more attacking [quality] creatures with "bands with other [quality]" and any number of other attacking [quality] creatures are all in a band. A player may declare as many attacking bands as he or she wants, but each creature may be a member of only one of them. (Defending players can't declare bands but may use banding in a different way; see rule 702.19j.)

702.19d All creatures in an attacking band must attack the same player or planeswalker.

702.19e Once an attacking band has been announced, it lasts for the rest of combat, even if something later removes banding or "bands with other" from one or more of the creatures in the band.

702.19f An attacking creature that's removed from combat is also removed from the band it was in.

702.19g Banding doesn't cause attacking creatures to share abilities, nor does it remove any abilities. The attacking creatures in a band are separate permanents.

702.19h If an attacking creature becomes blocked by a creature, each other creature in the same band as the attacking creature becomes blocked by that same blocking creature.
Example: A player attacks with a band consisting of a creature with flying and a creature with swampwalk. The defending player, who controls a Swamp, can block the flying creature if able. If he or she does, then the creature with swampwalk will also become blocked by the blocking creature(s).

702.19i If one member of a band would become blocked due to an effect, the entire band becomes blocked.

702.19j During the combat damage step, if an attacking creature is being blocked by a creature with banding, or by both a [quality] creature with "bands with other [quality]" and another [quality] creature, the defending player (rather than the active player) chooses how the attacking creature's damage is assigned. That player can divide that creature's combat damage as he or she chooses among any number of creatures blocking it. This is an exception to the procedure described in rule 510.1c.

702.19k During the combat damage step, if a blocking creature is blocking a creature with banding, or both a [quality] creature with "bands with other [quality]" and another [quality] creature, the active player (rather than the defending player) chooses how the blocking creature's damage is assigned. That player can divide that creature's combat damage as he or she chooses among any number of creatures it's blocking. This is an exception to the procedure described in rule 510.1d.

702.19m Multiple instances of banding on the same creature are redundant. Multiple instances of "bands with other" of the same kind on the same creature are redundant.







A few of the rules in banding which have been misunderstood are probably rules 702.19g, 702.19h, 702.19i, and 702.19j/702.19k.

702.19g states that Banding doesn't cause attacking creatures to share abilities, nor does it remove any abilities. The attacking creatures in a band are separate permanents. This basically means that all banding creatures will keep abilities such as Indestructible, Protection from Color, and Trample. I will say more about this later.

702.19h states that If an attacking creature becomes blocked by a creature, each other creature in the same band as the attacking creature becomes blocked by that same blocking creature. The example is fairly self explanatory. If I'm attacking with a band of Benalish Hero, Benalish Hero, and Progenitus, the defending player can block one of my Benalish Hero's, and they will thus block Progenitus.

702.19i states that If one member of a band would become blocked due to an effect, the entire band becomes blocked. This is different from 702.19h because it's referring to spells that cause your creatures to become blocked, like Curtain of Light or Choking Vines. Again, the same theory as above applies. If I'm attacking with a band of Benalish Hero, Benalish Hero, and Progenitus, the defending player can cast either Curtain of Light or Choking Vines on one of my Benalish Hero's, and they will thus block Progenitus.

For 702.19j and 702.19k, I'll state now that the banding, or by both a [quality] creature with "bands with other [quality]" and another [quality] creature just means a creature within the band.

702.19j is for someone attacking, and the defending player having banding. It states that During the combat damage step, if an attacking creature is being blocked by a creature with banding the defending player (rather than the active player) chooses how the attacking creature's damage is assigned. That player can divide that creature's combat damage as he or she chooses among any number of creatures blocking it. This means the player with banding gets to choose how the damage from your creatures is assigned across all of his/her creatures. If I had my trusty band of Benalish Hero, Benalish Hero, and Progenitus blocking for me, I can have all of your damage go to my Progenitus, which has Protection from Everything (meaning nothing bad happens for me, and you probably just lost a creature).

702.19k is for you being the attacking player with a band of creatures, and the defending player blocking your band. It states that During the combat damage step, if a blocking creature is blocking a creature with banding, the active player (rather than the defending player) chooses how the blocking creature's damage is assigned. That player can divide that creature's combat damage as he or she chooses among any number of creatures it's blocking. Same theory as above applies, if I attack in with my Benalish Hero, Benalish Hero, and Progenitus, and you block my Benalish Hero (thus making Progenitus blocked remember) I can have all of your blockers' combat damage be directed to my Progenitus, instead of my Benalish Hero!





Now, let's run down some things that my be confusing.

If I make a band of three creatures and you cast Lightning Bolt on one to get rid of it, I cannot disperse your Lightning Bolt's damage! It's not combat damage, so I can't do anything. That creature's probably dead.

If I make a band of three Teremko Griffin's (2/2's) and attack, you block with your Emeria Angel (a 3/3), I can disperse your 3 combat damage as 1 a piece to each of my Teremko Griffin's, causing me to lose no creatures and your Emeria Angel to take a total of 6 damage.

Let's get a bit more complex now, if I attack with a band of a Noble Elephant, a Teremko Griffin, and a Benalish Hero, you decide to cast Curtain of Light making my entire band blocked. You will still take the trample damage from my fearsome Noble Elephant!

Again, I'll attack with my band of a Noble Elephant, a Teremko Griffin, and a Benalish Hero, you got some blockers this turn and block with your Battlegrace Angel, you will take 2 trample damage (and your Battlegrace Angel is dead). This is because I have a 1/1, a 2/2, and a 3/3. In a band this totals out to 6 power, and 6 toughness spread across my 3 creatures, which I get to disperse. I have 2 of your Battlegrace Angel' damage hit my Noble Elephant, 1 of it hit my Teremko Griffin, and sadly my Benalish Hero will also take 1 and die.


Don't forget that banding allows you to add any number of creatures with banding, and up to one without banding. This can become key when making your very own banding deck!

I hope this clears some things up. Giving Protection from Color, or Indestructible to things in a band is quite powerful.

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