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I'm currently working on a deck which is built around Species Gorger and its ability to return creatures I control to my hand. In order to make my deck work as intended, I need a way to "turn off" or avoid SG's ability from time to time. I was wondering if Plaxcaster Frogling could do the job. For the record, SG's ability reads:

At the beginning of your upkeep, return a creature you control to its owner's hand.

Let's say I control a Species Gorger and a Plaxcaster Frogling. The Gorger has a +1/+1 counter on it. At the beginning of my upkeep, I have to return a creature I control to my hand. If I choose the Gorger to be returned, and use the Plaxcaster's activated ability to make sure the Gorger doesn't leave the battlefield:

  • Will the Gorgers triggered ability be neutralized? or,
  • Will the Gorger just look for another creature to send to my hand, since I have chosen an invalid creature to send to my hand in the first place? After all, it says return a creature you control to your hand.

Since it dosn't say target creature, I'm not sure if the Plaxcaster would have to use its ability on all creatures on my battlefield, that I don't want to return to my hand, or if it is enough to "protect" the one creature that was originally chosen for the Gorger to send to my hand?

  • Only way to stop the ability is by skipping the upkeep (e.g. Eon Hub) or counter it (e.g. Stifle, Trickbind, Voidslime) – Ivo Beckers Jul 1 '14 at 8:21
  • Hmm okay. Is there a creature or enchantment that can counter triggered abilities? – Lund Jul 1 '14 at 10:54
  • Sundial of the Infinite is about the only repeatable way to do this on one card (when you end your turn, the stack is cleared), though you'll obviously skip your draw, main, and combat phases, too. If you're clever, you might find some combination of cards to make use of phasing or face-down or "loses all abilities" effects. But if you're trying to avoid bouncing a creature, you're not playing Species Gorger properly. Run Wall of Blossom / Elvish Visionary. – Hao Ye Jul 1 '14 at 17:00
  • Oh no obviously I want to use the Gorgers ability to bounce my creatures. Just not all the time! I'm considering playing "vanishing" on the gorger, but it's not ideal! – Lund Jul 1 '14 at 18:04
  • Vanishing doesn't help (by itself), because phasing occurs during the untap step, and players don't get priority until upkeep step after triggers have been put on the stack. (If you phase out during previous end step, it comes back in and triggers, if you phase out during upkeep, the trigger is already on the stack.) – Hao Ye Jul 1 '14 at 18:32
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Species Gorger's triggered ability does not target. Abilities that target use the word "target". As such, it does not interact with Plaxcaster Frogling's activated ability or any other shroud effects.

In addition, because the triggered ability does not target, you make the choice of which creature to return while the ability is resolving (which means the choice can't be responded to in any way).

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