Haha, for as long as this discussion has gone on, I think I'm actually going to do an almost complete 180, and change my opinion regarding what is an "attack", and say the declaration aspect is more important. I also am now thinking "treat as" is the same thing as "is", going back to the Stheno vs Tribune question.
Wait a minute... are you saying that we actually agree now? If so, my mind is blown...
Great catch that the damage rules actually say "after a succesful attack", and therefore if counterattacks weren't attacks, they could never do damage. I had not thought to look there.
I appreciate the continued discourse. Even if it has been mainly the two of us going back and forth, it has certainly been helpful to allow my to look at the language of the rules in a different light.
Super excellent! And enjoyable too.