I have a 1/1 Kitesail Scout and use a +1/+1 pump spell to make it a 2/2. My opponent casts a Fiery Temper to deal 3 damage to it. I respond with Blossoming Defense for +2/+2 and Hexproof, he responds with Murder.

Does the Kitesail Scout die?

I know the last in first out stack rule, but didn't my Kitesail have Hexproof, so therefore his Murder could not be cast as the Kitesail was no longer a legal target?

  • 1
    You can link cards using the [mtg:Cardname] syntax. If you decide to explain what cards do instead or in addition, make sure you don't confuse their function - Fiery Temper does not do -3/-3, but deals 3 damage. Dec 19, 2016 at 15:33
  • @TheThirdMan I've found [mtg:cardname] doesn't work well, every time I have used it it runs a search on gatherer, so it often pulls up multiple matches, murder for instance in this question has 11 matches. I still prefer direct links to the actual gatherer page for that reason.
    – Andrew
    Dec 30, 2017 at 18:28

3 Answers 3


With only a few exceptions, spells only have an effect once they resolve.
Just like you can cast Blossoming Defense in response to their Fiery Temper to save your creature before it would be killed, your opponent can respond to your Blossoming Defense by casting Murder to kill your creature before it's being protected.

Your 2/2 Kitesail Scout will be destroyed by Murder. Blossoming Defense and Fiery Temper will be countered by the game rules for not having any legal targets when they would resolve

608. 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. (...) The spell or ability is countered if all its targets, for every instance of the word “target,” are now illegal. (...)

608.2c. The controller of the spell or ability follows its instructions in the order written. (...)

If instead your opponent allowed Blossoming Defense to resolve and didn't cast Murder in response to it, the Kitesail Scout would indeed be an illegal target for the spell and therefore couldn't be cast.

601. Casting Spells

601.2. To cast a spell is to take it from where it is (usually the hand), put it on the stack, and pay its costs, so that it will eventually resolve and have its effect. Casting a spell includes proposal of the spell (rules 601.2a–d) and (...). To cast a spell, a player follows the steps listed below, in order. (...) If, at any point during the casting of a spell, a player is unable to comply with any of the steps listed below, the casting of the spell is illegal; the game returns to the moment before the casting of that spell was proposed (see rule 720, “Handling Illegal Actions”).

601.2c. The player announces his or her choice of an appropriate player, object, or zone for each target the spell requires. (...) The chosen players, objects, and/or zones each become a target of that spell. (...)


Your Blossoming Defense also uses the stack, so the creature does not have hexproof until it resolves. So, I'm assuming your opponent cast Murder before your spell resolved, so it did not have hexproof at the time.


You only get hexproof when the spell resolves, which means your creature will die before getting hexproof.

It depends on when it is cast. I'm guessing all were instants and abilities and cast as response to the last casting, without any of it resolving. So the order goes:

  1. fiery temper goes on stack
  2. blossoming defense goes on stack
  3. murder goes on stack
  4. murder resolves (kills creature)
  5. blossoming defense does not resolve (no target, so it is countered)
  6. fiery temper does not resolve (no target, so it is countered)
  • In your example, Blossoming Defense and Fiery Temper won't resolve. Instead, they will be countered by the game rules for having no legal targets. Dec 19, 2016 at 15:34
  • I think resolves just means "is processed". It is indeed countered by the lack of target during the resolution. Here is an example where the rules refer to one such spell being countered, as resolving: “If the creature isn’t a legal target during the resolution of Sorin’s Thirst (..), then Sorin’s Thirst is countered." Notice they say "resolution of Sorin's Thirst".
    – CyberClaw
    Dec 19, 2016 at 15:56
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    608.2b mentions "If the spell or ability is not countered, it will resolve normally.", which is why I'm phrasing it that way, although the rules in general talk about a spell resolving until the point where it's countered... Either way, we're obviously talking about the same meaning, and "it won't resolve normally" is likely more accurate, if not as elegant :) Dec 19, 2016 at 16:02
  • Yeah, we were reading the same section. I took that as "if it's countered it'll resolve differently" xD
    – CyberClaw
    Dec 19, 2016 at 16:06
  • 1
    Ah, found the actual answer. I was wrong. On the glossary of the same rulebook above linked: "Resolve: When the spell or ability on top of the stack "resolves," its instructions are followed and it has its effect. "
    – CyberClaw
    Dec 20, 2016 at 10:34

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