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examples: Blazing Volley, Fumigate, Last One Standing.

marked as duplicate by Arcanist Lupus, GendoIkari magic-the-gathering Feb 28 at 14:31

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  • @paxtonius your question is slightly ambiguous. As currently written, it appears to be a duplicate of the one liked by Glorfindel; if this is the case, it will be closed as a duplicate. However, if your question is (also) about cards with abilities such as overload or replicate, then I believe it is not a duplicate, but you should edit the question to reflect this by including examples such as Electrickery and/or Gigadrowse. – Zags Feb 28 at 13:11
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    It's important to note that Last One Standing does not target either, choose is not the same as target in Magic the Gathering, and "choose" is not stopped by hexproof or shroud. – Andrew Feb 28 at 17:25
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Cards that affect "all creatures" (such Blazing Volley, Fumigate, and Last One Standing) are not stopped by hexproof because they don't actually target anything (to target, something must literally say the word "target"; the "choose a creature" in Last One Standing still doesn't count as targeting).

Even spells with overload (like Electrickery) won't target if cast with overload because overload changes them to not target.

However, spells that do target a bunch of creatures, such as spell with replicate (ex. Gigadrowse) or strive are stopped by hexproof. The difference is that these spells do literally say the word "target".

The relevant rules are:

114.1a An instant or sorcery spell is targeted if its spell ability identifies something it will affect by using the phrase “target [something],” where the “something” is a phrase that describes an object and/or player.

114.1c An activated ability is targeted if it identifies something it will affect by using the phrase “target [something],” where the “something” is a phrase that describes an object and/or player.

114.1d A triggered ability is targeted if it identifies something it will affect by using the phrase “target [something],” where the “something” is a phrase that describes an object and/or player.

  • Not sure why you called out overload spells here. If you don't pay the overload cost, it is just like any other spell that targets. If you pay the overload cost, it no longer targets and thus would no longer be stopped by hexproof. (This might be worth calling out, because it would be different than replicate.) – Becuzz Feb 28 at 14:12
  • @Becuzz good point – Zags Feb 28 at 15:34
  • @zags may be worth contrasting "target" with "choose" as it exists on Last One Standing – Andrew Feb 28 at 17:26
  • Re "to target, something must literally say the word "target"", Two other things do: Aura spells, and keyword abilities that represent abilities that target. – ikegami Feb 28 at 20:13
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Hexproof protects against spells using the keyword "target".

If the card does not use the word target, Hexproof will not protect against it. This includes all three spells in the question: none of them use "target", and so Hexproof offers no protection.

This also applies to all spells which use words like "all" or "each": they don't "target", so Hexproof does nothing. Even if it may seem a natural shortcut to assume that something that affects "all" of something "targets" them all, technically/ruleswise it's a completely different situation. This includes cases where a spell is overloaded to affect "each" creature, such as Electrickery. As the overloaded version no longer targets anything, it'll affect things with Hexproof.

As per gatherer:

Because a spell with overload doesn’t target when its overload cost is paid, it may affect permanents with hexproof or with protection from the appropriate color.

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