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When you have a card like Complete Disregard which reads "Exile Target Creature with power 3 or less", as I understand it, it becomes untargetable if the opponent's creature power increases thanks to a pump spell like Brute Strength.

But what if the Disregard is already on the stack and targeting; and they respond with Brute Strength? I'm pretty sure (and my opponent with Brute Strength was certain) that it won't exile the creature, but I don't know which rule states this, and there's no gatherer ruling on the spell.

  • Small note; you say "it won't kill the creature", but for clarity, the creature won't "die" either way; if the spell resolves than the creature will be exiled, which is different from dying. – GendoIkari Jan 19 '16 at 17:30
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    Good point, was using kill in the vernacular (I mean, if whatever they do to you leaves you alive that seems bad), fixed – deworde Jan 19 '16 at 17:31
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    Possible duplicate of MTG: Making a card ineligible as a target once a card has been cast – deworde Feb 24 '16 at 16:34
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    I think that other question should be closed as a duplicate of this one... this one came first. – GendoIkari Feb 24 '16 at 17:00
  • I vote for this question to be closed, because the other one is worded more universally. Also the best answer is more concise there, while still carrying (more or less) the same information. – tsuma534 Feb 24 '16 at 17:09
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At resolution, Complete Disregard will instead leave the stack and be put into its owner's graveyard without doing anything, because all its targets have become illegal.

Targeting spells and abilities check the legality of their targets twice; once as you put them on the stack, and again just before they resolve. If all their targets have become illegal at the time of the second check, it doesn't resolve at all.

If some, but not all, of its targets become illegal before the second check, the spell or ability resolves but does not affect or obtain information about those illegal targets.

  1. Resolving Spells and Abilities

608.2b 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. Other changes to the game state may cause a target to no longer be legal; for example, its characteristics may have changed or an effect may have changed the text of the spell. If the source of an ability has left the zone it was in, its last known information is used during this process. 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. Otherwise, the spell or ability will resolve normally. Illegal targets, if any, won’t be affected by parts of a resolving spell’s effect for which they’re illegal. Other parts of the effect for which those targets are not illegal may still affect them. If the spell or ability creates any continuous effects that affect game rules (see rule 613.11), those effects don’t apply to illegal targets. If part of the effect requires information about an illegal target, it fails to determine any such information. Any part of the effect that requires that information won’t happen.

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  • I'm sure I remember an exception to this or rather a thing that behaves differently. Something like "when X enters the battlefield draw a card if you control 2 creatures" – deworde Jan 19 '16 at 11:30
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    @deworde your example does not contain the word "target", so that is unrelated to your question and my answer, not an exception. – Hackworth Jan 19 '16 at 11:38
  • Yep, realised that after posting. Thanks! – deworde Jan 19 '16 at 11:38

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