MTG Wiki
Last strike
Keyword Ability
Type Static
Introduced Unstable
Last Used Unstable
Reminder Text Last strike (This creature deals combat damage after creatures without last strike.[1])
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oracle:"Last strike"

Last strike is a static ability featured in Unstable.[2]


Last strike means it happens after normal damage,[3] just the opposite of First strike.[4] It is flavorful downside.[5]

Mark Rosewater created it to allow the Triple strike mechanic be a thing.[4][5] He knows that there are some tricky ways to circumvent the rules to make last strike work and he says those ways also make triple strike work.[6][7]


Long before the keywording, there were some cards that attempted to portray the idea of anti-first-strike - Mammoth Harness, Goblin Flotilla, and Spitting Slug. The idea was to give their opposing combatant first strike, which is close to but not exactly how Last Strike would work.

Rosewater tried to put Last Strike into Future Sight on a future-shifted card and was stopped by the Magic rules Manager at the time, Mark Gottlieb,[4][8][9][10] due to rule rewriting issues.[4][11][12] Back during Future Sight set design, it was not worth the rules rewriting it would require just to create one or two cards.[8]

Until Unstable, it was not clear in what color Last Strike would appear.[13] Even after its release in Unstable, Mark Rosewater believes it is unlikely that Last strike (and Triple strike) will get into black border.[14][15]



Extremely Slow Zombie {1}{B}
Creature - Zombie
Last strike (This creature deals combat damage after creatures without last strike.)


  • If you give Extremely Slow Zombie first strike, it will it deal first and last strike damage (but not regular). This is called "Split Strike" by Mark Rosewater.[16]
    • His name for last strike + normal strike is "Molasses Strike".[17]


  1. Mark Rosewater (November 22, 2017). "Unstable FAQAWASLFAQPAFTIDAWABIAJTBT". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater (December 4, 2017). "Unstable Scraps, Part 2". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater (September 6, 2015). "So how exactly would last strike work?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  4. a b c d Mark Rosewater (October 20, 2014). "What are these questions about "Last Strike" referring to?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  5. a b Mark Rosewater (October 20, 2014). "What's the point of Last Strike?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  6. Mark Rosewater (October 20, 2014). "Why not just have last strike simply read "all creatures blocking or blocked by this creature gain first strike until end of combat"?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  7. Mark Rosewater (November 1, 2014). "Couldn't a creature with "Creatures blocking or blocked by this creature have first strike" work?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  8. a b Mark Rosewater (October 19, 2014). "Do you ever think that there might be a second strike mechanic?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  9. Mark Rosewater (April 15, 2014). "I think triple strike is very possible in Magic...". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  10. Mark Rosewater (September 6, 2015). "Where is "Last Strike" on the scale?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  11. Mark Rosewater (December 11, 2012). "What makes last strike so different from first strike?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  12. Mark Rosewater (October 20, 2014). "The only reason that I have herd thus far as to why we haven't yet seen last strike is...". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  13. Mark Rosewater (June 14, 2015). "Wouldn't last strike be much more flavourful in white?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  14. Mark Rosewater (November 16, 2017). "Is the inclusion of last strike and triple strike in Unstable a concession that they will never make it into black border?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  15. Mark Rosewater (November 16, 2017). "Are Triple Strike and Last Strike any closer to being black borderable today than they were in Future Sight?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  16. Mark Rosewater (November 16, 2017). "If you give Extremely Slow Zombie first strike, will it deal first and last strike damage (but not regular)?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  17. Mark Rosewater (November 18, 2017). "Is there a keyword for normal attacking + last strike?". Blogatog. Tumblr.