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If I cast Inquisition of Kozilek, and my only target is a Loxodon Smiter, do I have to make my opponent discard the Loxodon Smiter, or can I "fail to find" just as I would if i were searching my library?

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Sucks that this may have happened to you. :P. Forces to help opponent to win. – wesdfgfgd Apr 26 '13 at 19:44
@wesdfgfgd: But it's so satisfying when it happens to your opponent. There's something great about forcing your opponent into a corner with their own evil targeted discard spell. – Tikhon Jelvis Jan 28 '15 at 0:15
up vote 17 down vote accepted

You can "fail to find" a card, but only while explicitly searching someone's library or hand. In the case of Inquisition of Kozilek, you are not "searching" the zone, so you must choose a card if a valid choice is available.

Per the comp rules, "fail to find" is specific to searching a hidden zone:

701.15b If a player is searching a hidden zone for cards with a stated quality, such as a card with a certain card type or color, that player isn’t required to find some or all of those cards even if they’re present in that zone.

While the hand is still considered a hidden zone even when it is revealed (CR 400.2: "Library and hand are hidden zones, even if all the cards in one such zone happen to be revealed"), Inquisition of Kozilek's instructions say to choose a card from it, not search for one. Thus, you must follow the normal rules: which is to carry out as much of the actions as possible.

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Why don't other kinds of actions have a "fail to find" clause? The simple version is that the rules manager tries hard to make sure no cards are printed with instructions to take actions that other players can't "double-check" using public information -- so if those discard spells said "Look at target layer's hand" instead of "Reveal," they'd probably have a "may" clause like Vendillion Clique. – Alex P Apr 26 '13 at 17:19

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