So I've been trying to play these two scenarios in my head, but I'm a little confused.

1). A person casts an Electrostatic Pummeler, and while it is on the stack, I cast a Fiery Temper. The person in response plays a Blossoming Defense. Would this player be able to do that since EP is still technically on the stack?

2). A person casts an EP, and while it is on the stack, I cast a Fiery Temper. The person originally had 3 energy counters. Once the person allows the stack to resolve, would they get another 3 energy counter, and be able to pay them to make EP a 4/4, allowing EP to survive?

I'm new to magic, so I don't understand these things fully yet.

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    Your question is rather unclear - are you trying to cast the Fiery Temper targetting the EP while it's on the stack, or are you simply casting a spell targetting i.e. the opponent or another creature they control, and wonder whether they may put multiple spells on the stack at the same time? Also, if you have multiple questions that mechanic-wise aren't closely related (such as these), please separate them into different questions. Either way, please edit your post or provide additional details. – TheThirdMan Dec 16 '16 at 9:38
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    Why the close votes? It's quite clear what OP's asking, and it shows that OP has a thorough misunderstanding of the rules. Let that misunderstanding be fixed with the answers here, the question itself is valid. – steenbergh Dec 16 '16 at 14:57
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    For each Case, what are you targeting with Fiery Temper? The existing answers are making the assumption that you're targeting Electrostatic Pummeler. If you are, than you've demonstrated a misunderstanding of how Fiery Temper and the stack work, that a complete answer needs to address. – Drunk Cynic Dec 17 '16 at 17:14

You generally cannot cast a spell that requires a creature as a target while that creature is still on the stack, because by that time it's still a spell.

While a creature card is on the stack, it's not a creature, but a creature spell. On the stack, only spells/abilities can exist, and spells/abilities can only exist on the stack.

111.1. A spell is a card on the stack. As the first step of being cast (see rule 601, “Casting Spells”), the card becomes a spell and is moved to the top of the stack from the zone it was in, which is usually its owner’s hand. (See rule 405, “Stack.”) A spell remains on the stack as a spell until it resolves (see rule 608, “Resolving Spells and Abilities”), is countered (see rule 701.5), or otherwise leaves the stack. [..]”

When a spell or ability says, for example, "creature" without further specifying the type of object, it means "creature permanent":

109.2. If a spell or ability uses a description of an object that includes a card type or subtype, but doesn’t include the word “card,” “spell,” “source,” or “scheme,” it means a permanent of that card type or subtype on the battlefield.

A creature, on the other hand, is a certain type of permanent, and permanents can only exist on the battlefield; everything on the battlefield is a permanent.

403.3. Permanents exist only on the battlefield. Every object on the battlefield is a permanent. [..]

Since both Fiery Temper and Blossoming Defense require a "creature" (= "creature permanent") as a target, not a creature spell, neither of you can cast Fiery Temper or Blossoming Defense on the Electrostatic Pummeler while it's on the stack. The creature spell has to resolve first, which results in the Pummeler entering the battlefield as a creature permanent.

Once the Pummeler is on the battlefield and both of you can start casting spells on it, the usual "last in, first out" stack resolution procedure commences.

Note that whenever a spell or ability resolves, either player may play new spells or abilities, even if the stack hasn't fully resolved yet. So if the enemy Electrostatic Pummeler is on the battlefield and you cast Fiery Temper on it, your opponent can respond with Blossoming Defense, let the BD resolve, then activate the EP's ability to make it a 6/6 before your Fiery Temper resolves, thereby saving the EP.

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  • While it may answer what the question is asking about, it's still not correct in general - you can perfectly cast spells such as Cancel that target a spell, just not ones targetting creatures. – TheThirdMan Dec 16 '16 at 10:04
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    A spell that requires a creature as a target cannot be cast on a creature spell, that's what my answer tries to say. I'll clarify the bolded part. – Hackworth Dec 16 '16 at 10:39
  • "On the stack, only spells can exist [...]" What about abilities? I went ahead and corrected that. – Rainbolt Dec 16 '16 at 15:19
  • One thing to keep in mind is that for the second case in your question (Person Plays EP then other responds with Firey Temper), the EP can still be killed. If you cast fiery temper in response to the EP's enter the battlefield trigger (gain 3 energy) Player 1 won't be able to receive the energy to save the EP until after the Fiery Temper Resolves (And kills it). – Malco Dec 16 '16 at 21:52
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    If the Opponent responds to Fiery Temper with Blossoming Defense targeting Electrostatic Pummeler, and Blossoming Defense resolves, than Fiery Temper will fizzle. When it tries to resolve, it will attempt to validate targets; since Electrostatic Pummeler has Hexproof, it is no longer a legal target. Fiery Temper has no legal targets, and will not resolve. No damage is done to Electrostatic Pummeler. – Drunk Cynic Dec 17 '16 at 18:05

The other answer correctly explains the difference between a creature spell, which exists on the stack, and a creature, which is a permanent that exists on the battlefield. A spell that refers to a "target creature" can therefore only be cast targeting a creature permanent that is already on the battlefield.

Because the proposed scenarios are therefore not actually possible, to further address them in any meaningful way we must assume that the Electrostatic Pummeler has resolved and is now a creature permanent on the battlefield. I make that assumption in the following explanations.

The other answer does not clarify that Blossoming Defense gives its target hexproof, which makes a creature an illegal target for the spells and abilities of opponents. If you cast Fiery Temper targeting Electrostatic Pummeler and your opponent casts Blossoming Defense in response, the Pummeler will be made an illegal target for your Fiery Temper. This means that when Fiery Temper tries to resolve, it will instead be countered because its target is illegal, so Fiery Temper will deal no damage and there will be no need to spend energy to pump.

Finally, one commenter noted that even if your opponent had 3 energy already available, if you responded to the Enters-The-Battlefield trigger of Electrostatic Pummeler by casting Fiery Temper on it, your spell would resolve before they got the +3 energy. This means they would not have enough energy for the second pump activation, they could only make the Pummeler a 2/2.

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  • While this is true, it's only true if the pummeler has already resolved. The scenario being presented in the question assumes all of these spells are cast while it's still on the stack. You might want to update your answer to make that clear you're explaining a different scenario to the one presented. – doppelgreener Dec 17 '16 at 13:11
  • I've updated my answer to clarify the assumption made. Fortunately the two points I wanted to address have been discussed further in other comments. – Tradeylouish Dec 17 '16 at 20:46

The question demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of Magic the Gathering and how cards interact. In order for the player to target the Electrostatic Pummeler with Fiery Temper, the creature has to be in play, not on the stack. You can't target it while it is on the Stack, because it isn't a creature.. Thus, the opening assumption must be that Electrostatic Pummeler resolves, entering the battlefield.

Case 1

The entering the battlefield ability has triggered, and is on the stack.
In response, the Player casts Fiery Temper targeting Electrostatic Pummeler. In response, the opponent casts Blossoming Defense targeting Electrostatic Pummeler. Assuming no other effects, Blossoming Defense resolves, and Electrostatic Pummeler gets +2/+2 and Hexproof until end of turn. When Fiery Temper tries to resolve, it first validates that the target is still legal; Electrostatic Pummeler has Hexproof, so is not a legal Target. Fiery Temper fizzles.

Case 2 - A

The entering the battlefield ability has triggered, and is on the stack.
Opponent has 3 energy, and Electrostatic Pummeler in play. Player casts Fiery Temper, targeting the Pummeler. In response, Opponent expends 3 energy to pump the Electrostatic Pummeler. At 2/2, Electrostatic Pummeler dies to Fiery Temper.

Case 2 - B

The entering the battlefield ability has triggered, and has Resolved
Opponent has 6 energy, and Electrostatic Pummeler in play. Player casts Fiery Temper Targeting the Pummeler. In response, Opponent expends 6 energy, 3 energy twice, to pump the Electrostatic Pummeler. At 4/4, Electrostatic Pummeler survives Fiery Temper.

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