Let's say I cast Strangling Soot on Llanowar Elves.

Before this resolves, my opponent casts Giant Growth on the Llanowar Elves.

Giant Growth resolves, making the Llanowar Elves a 4/4. When the Strangling Soot resolves, is it able to destroy the Llanowar elves, or does it do nothing because Llanowar elves no longer has a toughness of 3 or less?


1 Answer 1


Strangling Soot has an illegal target (only one) as it resolves and therefore fizzles (is countered by game rules due to all targets being invalid).

When you cast a spell with targets, you check the validity of all targets as it is cast. If any targets are invalid, the spell is "undone" and goes back to where it started. As the spell resolves, it again checks if the targets are valid. If any are valid, it resolves as much as it can; if not, it fizzles.

608.2b If the spell or ability specifies targets, it checks whether the targets are still legal. .......

  • As a point of clarification, the spell only fizzles during the second target check if all of the targets are illegal.
    – Becuzz
    Feb 23, 2016 at 20:29
  • So if I had cast a card that destroys 2 creatures, then my opponent unsummons once of the targets, the remaining creature still gets destroyed?
    – tarun713
    Feb 23, 2016 at 20:35
  • @tarun713 correct
    – JonTheMon
    Feb 23, 2016 at 20:35
  • 1
    @tarun713 You have to be exact in your wording. If the spell would destroy 2 target creatures, and one becomes illegal, it will still destroy the other. If both become illegal, it will be countered. If the spell does not target the creatures, and both get unsommoned, the spell would still resolve and do whatever else it might do.
    – Hackworth
    Feb 23, 2016 at 20:39
  • 2
    @JonTheMon To be clear for future readers, I'd suggest explaining in the answer that "fizzles" means being countered due to all targets becoming invalid. Not that it's a bad answer as is, of course.
    – David Z
    Feb 24, 2016 at 9:47

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