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Let's say I have a Drover of the Mighty and a Raptor Hatchling in play and then someone casts Fiery Cannonade, dealing 2 to each of them. Does the 3/3 dino arrive in time to save the Drover or does it briefly drop back to 1/1?

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Unfortunately no.

After Fiery Cannonade deals 2 damage, you check State-based-actions (SBA). SBAs happen right before a player would get priority.

It sees Drover as a 3/3 with 2 marked damage, and the Hatchling as 1/1 with 2 marked damage. So, it puts the hatchling in the graveyard.

Then it checks SBAs again to see if anything should happen again. It sees Drover as a 1/1 with 2 marked damage, so it puts it into the graveyard.

SBAs check again, see nothing, so then it goes ahead and puts the Hatchling's enrage trigger on the stack.

704.3. Whenever a player would get priority (see rule 116, “Timing and Priority”), the game checks for any of the listed conditions for state-based actions, then performs all applicable state-based actions simultaneously as a single event. If any state-based actions are performed as a result of a check, the check is repeated; otherwise all triggered abilities that are waiting to be put on the stack are put on the stack, then the check is repeated. Once no more state-based actions have been performed as the result of a check and no triggered abilities are waiting to be put on the stack, the appropriate player gets priority.

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  • Very clearly explained. Thanks, I know MTG better now! – Jeff Fry Nov 22 '17 at 21:08
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    Sometimes when we think of the "stack" we think that everything has to happen in order, but that is not the case. You might be tempted to say "okay, this one takes two damage... and dies... and comes back like this! Okay now the other takes two damage" - the damage happens at the same time - then state based checks happen. – corsiKa Nov 24 '17 at 22:21

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