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If you activate Tree of Perdition's ability, "Exchange target opponent's life total with Tree of Perdition's toughness", then play a spell before the ability resolves that brings the tree's toughness to 0, does the opponent's life total become 0?

marked as duplicate by Benjamin Cosman, tsuma534, Joe W, SocioMatt, diego Jul 14 '16 at 12:41

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No - the Tree's ability will fail to do anything when it resolves. After the -13/-13 effect resolves, the Tree will die as a state-based action. Thus by the time the Tree's ability resolves, it won't be in play so the exchange can't happen.

The general rule:

701.8a A spell or ability may instruct players to exchange something (for example, life totals or control of two permanents) as part of its resolution. When such a spell or ability resolves, if the entire exchange can’t be completed, no part of the exchange occurs.

And confirming this, a specific ruling for a very similar card:

If Tree of Redemption isn’t on the battlefield when the ability resolves, the exchange can’t happen and the ability will have no effect.

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