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Let's say my friend casts Rite of Replication on one of his creatures. Right after that, I play an instant--Flesh to Dust--and destroy his creature. Would that counter the sorcery?

If not, would I have to cast the instant right when he casts Rite of Replication?

Or say something like "before you cast that spell I'm destroying your creature..."

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    Note that you can't respond with "before you cast that spell..." Normally, by the time you know what your opponent is casting, it is already cast, or at least too late to do something before he cast it. But you can do something after he casts it, and before it resolves.
    – GendoIkari
    Commented Feb 11, 2015 at 7:24

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Yes, the Rite of Replication would fail if you destroy the creature it's targeting. It plays out like this:

  1. Your opponent casts Rite of Replication targeting their creature.

  2. You cast Flesh to Dust in response to Rite of Replication.

  3. Your Flesh to Dust resolves, and their creature dies.

  4. Your opponent's Rite of Replication tries to resolve, but since the creature it targeted is no longer on the battlefield, it doesn't resolve because of rule 608.2b, which says

    If the spell or ability specifies targets, it checks whether the targets are still legal. A target that's no longer in the zone it was in when it was targeted is illegal [...] If all its targets, for every instance of the word “target,” are now illegal, the spell or ability doesn’t resolve. It’s removed from the stack and, if it’s a spell, put into its owner’s graveyard.

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