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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..."

  • 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 Feb 11 '15 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 is countered by 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 [...] The spell or ability is countered if all its targets, for every instance of the word "target," are now illegal.

  • Back in the old days, this was called fizzling, not countering. Interesting change in terminology. – John Feb 11 '15 at 15:54
  • Again, thank you for all the information it is very helpful to know. – Paul Feb 11 '15 at 16:04
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    If this answer gave you all the help you need, you can accept it by clicking the green check mark. – murgatroid99 Feb 11 '15 at 16:09
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    @John It is still called fizzling, however, it has always officially been countering. – Waterseas Feb 11 '15 at 16:43
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    @John, Fizzling has no rules meaning (and never has, as far as I know). Some people use it to mean "countered for lack of legal targets". Others also use it to mean "resolves without effect". – ikegami Feb 11 '15 at 18:14

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