If a creature's toughness were to reach 0 before the stack is finished resolving, does it die, or does the stack finish. For example, if a Llanowar Elf had Gigantic growth cast on it and the growth was responded to by Dismember what would happen? Would Dismember bring it to 0 and Gigantic raise it to 3 before it could die? Or does it bite the dust?

  • If you replace Dismember with Lightnig Bolt, the answer is exactly the same. SBA move the creature to the graveyard before Giant Growth raises its toughness. – ikegami Jul 3 '15 at 16:33
  • Note that Dismember lowers the elf's toughness to -4, and Giant Growth would raise it (if it weren't dead already) to -1 so it would still die. – diego Jun 3 '16 at 18:42

Yes, the creature would die as a State Based Action.

704.1. State-based actions are game actions that happen automatically whenever certain conditions (listed below) are met. State-based actions don't use the stack.

704.3. Whenever a player would get priority (see rule 116, "Timing and Priority"), the game checks for any of the listed conditions for state-based actions, then performs all applicable state-based actions simultaneously as a single event.

So, the state based effects would get checked after Dismember resolves.

Then, this SBA would happen

704.5f If a creature has toughness 0 or less, it's put into its owner's graveyard. Regeneration can't replace this event.

So, before the Giant Growth would get a chance to resolve, the Llanowar Elf would die.

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  • Maybe also nice to mention is that SBAs don't happen during the resolution of a spell or ability so if a creature's toughness becomes 0 but increases again during the same spell it will survive. An example would be casting Windfall with a Maro on the field – Ivo Beckers Jul 4 '15 at 18:45
  • It's also ignoring the fact that a Llanowar Elf with a giant growth on it still dies to dismember :) – Skyl3lazer Jul 5 '15 at 23:10

The creature would die and go to the graveyard immediatly.

Others spells targeting it can not resolve themselves so they are like countered, they go to the graveyard too.

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