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It is my turn and I have Bristling Hydra on the battlefield and Blossoming Defense in my hand. During the Beginning of Combat my opponent uses Deadlock Trap's ability on my Bristling Hydra. Can I then play Blossoming Defense or activate the Hydra's ability to fizzle the Deadlock Trap? And does it matter which I use, or would either one work?

  • What makes you think this might not happen? Are you wondering about what happens when the target of an ability is illegal, or what order do things resolve on the stack, or something different entirely? – diego Dec 20 '16 at 19:40
  • Also the last chance your opponent has to tap your hydra to prevent it from attacking is during the Beginning of Combat step, once it has been declared as an attacker the Trap will not do anything to the Hydra. – diego Dec 20 '16 at 19:41
  • As an addenda......could I bypass the blossoming defense and just activate the Bristling Hydra's ability to make the Deadlock fizzle? – Tony Dec 20 '16 at 19:42
  • If you are wondering about that it should get added to the question. – diego Dec 20 '16 at 19:50
  • Thanks Diego. I guess the real question may be: my opponent activates the Deadlock trap's ability, can I then activate the Hydra's ability to fizzle the Trap. I am thinking I can. – Tony Dec 20 '16 at 19:51
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Yes, this works like you expect it to. You can activate the hydra's ability, or cast the Blossoming Defense in response to the Trap's ability, it doesn't matter which one you use since they both grant hexproof.

When a spell or ability attempts to resolve one of the things it does is make sure it still has legal targets. In this case your Hydra would have hexproof which makes it an illegal target for your opponents spells. Since the ability no longer has any legal targets it will be countered and not have any effect.

608.2b If the spell or ability specifies targets, it checks whether the targets are still legal. [...] The spell or ability is countered if all its targets, for every instance of the word “target,” are now illegal. If the spell or ability is not countered, it will resolve normally. [...]

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