If my opponent plays Ruinous Path and pays the Awaken cost, then I make the creature it targets invalid (e.g. bounce, protection, destroying it myself, ...) is that enough to counter the spell due to targeting rules:

608.2b If the spell or ability specifies targets, it checks whether the targets are still legal... The spell or ability is countered if all its targets, for every instance of the word “target,” are now illegal. ...

Are there 1 or 2 targets here? Does the land count as an additional target - so it still resolves because there is at least one valid target? Or is there only one target (the creature), as the other instance of the word "target" only appears in the reminder text not as actual rules text.

  • Note, any and all answers to this question may be incorrect. Questions about upcoming cards should not be asked until release notes are out for the new set, as all answers possibly given here are subject to change.
    – Waterseas
    Sep 1, 2015 at 15:12
  • 1
    Also note that Wizards of the Coast (an authoritative source) has released an article explaining the mechanics of Awaken. It is entirely possible to answer the question correctly, provided that we assume the comprehensive rules will not contradict the article when they are released. In the unlikely event that a contradiction does occur, we can update the answers.
    – Rainbolt
    Sep 1, 2015 at 15:37
  • @Rainbolt Unlikely, but still a reason to wait.
    – Waterseas
    Sep 1, 2015 at 16:21

2 Answers 2


You've mostly answered the question yourself, including the ruling quotations. Yes, paying Awaken cost will add a new target (a land), so if you make a first target illegal, it won't counter the spell to the full extent. And vise versa, as even mentioned in the linked article:

Also, if a spell with awaken normally doesn't require a target, and you choose to cast it for its awaken cost, you will add a target to the spell by doing so. If that target land becomes illegal before the spell tries to resolve, the spell will be countered. You won't get any of its effects, including the first effect that didn't require a target. This won't come up a lot, but it's definitely something to be aware of.

  • So if it says something like "Target creature gets +3/+3 until end of turn. Scry 1. Awaken 2 {G}{3}" and they bounce the creature, you still awaken and you still scry, but if you don't cast it as awaken you don't get to scry either? That seems very relevant in certain matchups, and also as a skill-testing feature.
    – corsiKa
    Sep 1, 2015 at 15:00
  • @corsiKa, Correct. No awaken means no scry on bounce as the spell will be countered as it would start to resolve.
    – ikegami
    Sep 1, 2015 at 16:00

The spell will still resolve and animate the land.

This is because Awaken does indeed target, from the article you linked:

You can also choose to cast a spell for its awaken cost. If you do, you'll also choose a land you control as a target of the spell.

Since it does target, and the spell has at least one legal target when it goes to resolve it will do as much as it can. In this case animating the land and putting 4 +1/+1 counters on it.

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