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Here's a problem having to do with the proper resolution of the stack. My friend played Decimator of the Provinces for its emerge cost by sacrificing his Hooded Hydra. In response I played Disperse targeting his Hooded Hydra. This way he wouldn't have enough mana to play his Decimator of the Provinces.

Is that how it would resolve? And if so does the Decimator of Provinces return to his hand or go to his graveyard?

7

Unfortunately, you can't prevent him from saccing his Hooded Hydra. What happens is this:

  1. Friend declares he's going to cast Decimater
  2. Friend determines the cost (in this case, Emerge)
  3. Friend pays the cost, including sacrificing Hooded Hydra
  4. Decimater goes on the stack
  5. Decimater's cast trigger goes on the stack
  6. Players now get priority, starting with your friend.
  • And so if you want to do something like this, the best you can do is casting Disperse before they ever have a chance to cast their emerge creature, perhaps on your turn or during their upkeep. Might come up if you've seen their hand, or just have a good read on their deck. – Cascabel Aug 6 '16 at 5:09
2

Emerge is an Alternative Cost so it is...

A cost a spell may have that its controller can pay rather than paying its mana cost.

All this said it still is a cost and uses the same rules for paying cost that the regular casting of spells do. This includes all cost must be paid for before the spell is cast and priority can change.

So your opponent will sacrifice as a cost of emerge and only after all cost have been paid can your opponent pass priority, when this happen the creature he sacrificed will already be in the graveyard and unable to be targeted with any spell or ability.

As the old MTG adage go... "You cannot respond to costs."

You can find all the pertinent rules to this question here and also here

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