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I pump my Longtusk Cub up to make it a 6/6 and use Fling to deal 6 damage to my opponent. He responds with a Fatal Push on my cub. Does my cub still get through to deal 6 damage or does my fling spell fizzle and he takes no damage?

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    You cannot respond to a cost. – Neil Meyer Jan 5 '18 at 14:40
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The situation described in your question can't happen. Your opponent cannot use Fatal Push on your Longtusk Cub. Sacrificing the creature is part of the cost of casting Fling, not part of the effect. This means that the parts of casting a spell, which cannot be interrupted (announcing, entering the stack, choosing targets, determining and paying costs) all occur before they get priority and can cast Fatal Push, leaving no creature for your opponent to target and destroy. This also means though if Fling is countered, you have lost your creature, since it is part of the cost, not the effect.

In simpler terms by the time your opponent knows and is able to react to the fact you are going to Fling Longtusk Cub, it's already gone and too late to respond with anything intended to target the creature.

Note that the reverse is not true, you can respond to Fatal Push by using Fling on your Longtusk Cub, since the destruction from Fatal Push is part of the effect, not the cost. This would cause Fatal Push to fizzle.

  • "by the time your opponent knows you are going to Fling Longtusk Cub, it's already gone and too late to respond with anything intended to target the creature" Why? Responses usually evaluate before what they respond to, don't they? The Stack. – Mast Dec 30 '17 at 21:57
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    @Mast Because sacrificing the cub is a cost. So by the time you have put fling on the stack, the cost has been paid and the cub is gone from the battlefield. The sacrifice, in paying the cost, doesn't use the stack. – Andrew Dec 30 '17 at 22:36
  • Right, you can sacrifice a card in response to it being targeted, but not the other way around. Thanks for clearing that up. – Mast Dec 30 '17 at 22:53
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    @Andrew, Re "So by the time you have put fling on the stack, the cost has been paid", Not quite. Fling is put on the stack before the cost is payed, but there's no chance for anyone to cast or activate anything in between (except mana abilities). – ikegami Dec 31 '17 at 6:28
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    @Mast, Re "you can sacrifice a card in response to it being targeted", Not quite. You can cast a spell or activate an ability in response to a spell being cast, an ability being activated or a triggered ability being placed on the stack. – ikegami Dec 31 '17 at 6:30

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