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If the target is indestructible, does Aura Mutation still resolve and give you the tokens, or is an indestructible enchantment an illegal target?

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2 Answers 2

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The spell still resolves and gives you tokens; being indestructible means nothing more than

702.12b A permanent with indestructible can’t be destroyed. Such permanents aren’t destroyed by lethal damage, and they ignore the state-based action that checks for lethal damage (see rule 704.5g).

(source: Comprehensive Rules)

This is different from being an illegal target because of protection from white, shroud or hexproof.

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  • I know what you mean, but this is slightly different that the situation in 609.3. It's two separate parts instead of not fulfilling a certain part to the max. I will look if there are any other references for this.
    – Glorfindel
    Dec 25, 2018 at 12:16
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    608.2c The controller of the spell or ability follows its instructions in the order written. explicitly mentions that there might be multiple instructions in a single spell. Aura Mutation does not try to do something impossible; it's just that it's effect is 'canceled/nullified' by indestructible.
    – Glorfindel
    Dec 25, 2018 at 12:21
  • That looks like a better suggestion.
    – Arthur
    Dec 25, 2018 at 12:31
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For an indestructible enchantment, say Purphoros, God of the Forge, to have been an illegal target, the text of Aura Mutation would have had to say something like (emphasis mine):

Destroy target enchantment without indestructible. Create X 1/1 green Saproling creature tokens, where X is that enchantment's converted mana cost.

The restrictions on targets are always explicit, and for Aura Mutation, the only restriction is that it must be an enchantment. In Magic, as long as a spell has a legal target, it resolves, doing as much as it can. This spell tries to destroy the indestructible enchantment and fails, this does not stop the second half of the ability from resolving, if it would have the wording would have been like this (emphasis mine):

Destroy target enchantment, if you do create X 1/1 green Saproling creature tokens, where X is that enchantment's converted mana cost.

If the ability was written like this, the intervening if means the first clause has to have succeeded for the second part to happen, in this case destroying the targeted enchantment. Since you can't destroy an indestructible permanent, that second clause does not happen, and no tokens would be created.

If however the enchantment becomes an illegal target, say an enchantment creature gaining hexproof or shroud in response, then the only target of the spell is no longer legal and the spell fizzles. This used to mean being countered, but now it is just put into the graveyard without resolving.

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