The card Dive Down states:

Target creature you control gets +0/+3 and gains hexproof until end of turn. (It can't be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control.)

If I cast creature and opponent casts counter, can I Dive Down on the stack to give creature hexproof?

  • 2
    I'm not sure what this is asking us for exactly, except perhaps to elaborate on a number of possible combinations. Have you read our explanation of how the stack & priority work? It'll tell you where the various opportunities to use this will be and when and how you can respond to things. Oct 5, 2017 at 12:05
  • I didn't formulate my question well, so I had to go through and rewrite it couple times. Does it make sense now? Thanks for helping. Oct 5, 2017 at 12:06
  • The first question is straightforward (but also answered by the stack one). The second one isn't our site's forte -- per our questions to avoid asking we don't do unbounded opinion/idea collection where every answer is equally valid. "Are there interesting use cases for this?" would be more a matter for a discussion forum or chat. Oct 5, 2017 at 12:07
  • Thanks for pointing this out. I will now edit my question to remove idea collection. Oct 5, 2017 at 12:08
  • Changed title as well. Thanks for the suggestions @doppelgreener Oct 5, 2017 at 12:09

1 Answer 1


So if I understand correctly:

  1. You're casting a creature spell.
  2. Your opponent has cast Essence Scatter targeting that spell to counter it.
  3. You want to use Dive Down to prevent that creature spell from being countered.

No, you can't do this. For a few reasons:

  1. Hexproof only functions on the battlefield. A creature card on the stack that has hexproof can still be a target of your opponent's spells. (Same for when it's in your graveyard, in exile, etc.)

    702.11b “Hexproof” on a permanent means “This permanent can’t be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control.”

    (Anytime it's not on the battlefield, it's not a permanent.)

  2. Dive Down targets a "creature", which refers to only creature permanents on the battlefield. It can't target a spell — things that target creature spells say "creature spell", such as Essence Scatter.

    114.2. Only permanents [ed: cards and tokens on the battlefield] are legal targets for spells and abilities, unless a spell or ability (a) specifies that it can target an object in another zone or a player, (b) targets an object that can’t exist on the battlefield, such as a spell or ability, or (c) targets a zone.

If you want to prevent your creatures from getting countered, you'll need effects that say your spell "can't be countered." For example, Altered Ego and Carnage Tyrant both can't be countered. Meanwhile Surrak Dragonclaw and Prowling Serpopard both grant this ability to other creature spells you cast, whilst also having the ability themselves.

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    Thnak you very much for both the answer and suggesting Prowling Serpopard. This was a card I was looking for! The other one unfortunately is not Standard. Oct 5, 2017 at 12:43
  • You're welcome. Personally Surrak and Prowling Serpopard are both among my absolute favorite cards, even beside the "your creature spells can't be countered" ability. :) Oct 5, 2017 at 12:54
  • I wonder if it'd be worth mentioning the technicality that even if a creature spell can't be countered, it can still be the target of a counterspell like Essence Scatter, it's just that the "counter [the] spell" clause won't do anything. So "can't be countered" is not quite the same as hexproof for spells. It's admittedly obscure but I could imagine that tripping someone up someday.
    – David Z
    Oct 5, 2017 at 19:16

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