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If a creature has an enchantment, like Defang, and I cast Sheltering Word on that creature, would the other enchantment be removed? Or does it need to be cast in response to the enchantment being played?

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In one of the first tournaments I ever played in, I tried to cast... Mystic Veil I think it was, to remove a troublesome enchantment from an opponent's creature. Lesson learned the hard way! I wish I'd been a better player at that time, because it was one of the most absurdly powerful sealed deck pools I've received to this day. A good player would have qualified for a Pro Tour or something without breaking a sweat, I'm sure... – thesunneversets Jun 1 '12 at 9:32
up vote 2 down vote accepted

No, Auras do not target the creature they are attached to once they are in play. Auras only target a creature while they are a spell on the stack. Yes casting Sheltering Word in response to Defang would make your creature untargetable, and therefore Defang would be countered on resolution.

114.1b Aura spells are always targeted. These are the only permanent spells with targets. An Aura’s target is specified by its enchant keyword ability (see rule 702.5, “Enchant”). The target(s) are chosen as the spell is cast; see rule 601.2c. An Aura permanent doesn’t target anything; only the spell is targeted. (An activated or triggered ability of an Aura permanent can also be targeted.)

702.11b “Hexproof” on a permanent means “This permanent can’t be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control.”

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That means: One could cast Sheltering Word in response to Defang to counter Defang (since the aura spell targets). But once Defang is already attached, Sheltering Word does nothing to it (since the aura permanent doesn't target). – ikegami Jun 1 '12 at 15:42
Correct. This is the same reason that you can bring back an Oblivion Ring from the graveyard to remove a Geist of Saint Traft. Only casting the spell targets, but entering the battlefield and attaching it does not. Note, however, if you cast Faith's Shield to give a creature protection from White, then the Aura would fall off. – Hyppy Jun 13 '12 at 14:17

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