I played with a group recently who was convinced that an effect like "each creature" will target (while "all creatures" does not).

I consider rule 114.9a good enough to prove that it must say "target" or have a keyword whose rule says target or... it doesn't target.

But they are so sure that I think I will get some push back. Is there anything besides rule 114.9a that I could use to clearly show that "each" does not target? (Assuming I am right and it doesn't.)


To quote 114.9a, with bold for emphasis:

114.9a Just because an object or player is being affected by a spell or ability doesn't make that object or player a target of that spell or ability. Unless that object or player is identified by the word "target" in the text of that spell or ability, or the rule for that keyword ability, it's not a target.

That really seems as straight-forward as possible. Does the spell or keyword rule use the exact specific word "target"? No? Then "it's not a target". The only other thing I can think of that may help is to show them gatherer rulings from any number of cards. Look at any card with Overload, for example: Cyclonic Rift, Blustersquall, etc. Both of these have Gatherer rulings that specifically state "If you pay the overload cost, the spell won't have any targets."

  • The overload card rulings will work perfectly! – Vaccano Feb 28 '14 at 5:31
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    More importantly, they have the follow-up ruling under it which says "Because a spell with overload doesn't target when its overload cost is paid, it may affect permanents with hexproof or with protection from the appropriate color." – corsiKa Feb 28 '14 at 6:17
  • Re "Does the spell or keyword rule use the exact specific word 'target'?" That leaves out Auras. They target when they're on the stack. – ikegami Feb 28 '14 at 14:24
  • @corsiKa, I don't rely on rulings; they're sometimes outdated. But it wouldn't have hurt to mention it too. – ikegami Feb 28 '14 at 14:25
  • @ikegami Isn't that covered by the special exception 114.1b? – corsiKa Feb 28 '14 at 15:41

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