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If player A is at 3 life and has a Platinum Emperion in play, does player A lose if the big robot gets targeted by a Smash to Smithereens?

  • This question is already answered here: mtgthesource.com/forums/… – Erik Apr 23 at 11:20
  • Or here: magicjudge.tumblr.com/post/149879963199/… – Erik Apr 23 at 11:21
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    @Erik If a question has an answer elsewhere but not here, I think there is still value in posting it on stackexchange for two reasons. First, forums are a really bad medium for future readers to find answers. Second, none of the links you posted reference the rules, meaning they answer this in the specific case rather than the general case. At its heart, this is not a question about the interaction of Platinum Emperion and Smash to Smithereens, but rather it is a question about a multi-step spell interacting with a creature with a static replacement effect. – Zags Apr 23 at 11:29
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    @Erik The existence of the answer to a question on another site has no bearing on whether it should be asked or answered here. It is appropriate to ask this question, and it would be appropriate to cite answers like the ones you link in an answer here if that would be helpful. – murgatroid99 Apr 23 at 17:27
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    While Erik may have not made his point well, there is a point that one of the downvote criteria is "shows a lack of research effort", and I think he was just trying to point out that this question shows a lack of research effort. On the other hand, I would argue that for this site in particular, many if not most of our questions could be said to show a lack of research effort. – GendoIkari Apr 23 at 17:34
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The owner of Platinum Emperion will lose because Smash to Smithereens is a multi-step spell. The Emperion is destroyed before the damage is dealt:

608.2c The controller of the spell or ability follows its instructions in the order written.

The Emperion ability stops functioning as soon as it leaves the battlefield:

611.3. A continuous effect may be generated by the static ability of an object.

611.3b The effect applies at all times that the permanent generating it is on the battlefield or the object generating it is in the appropriate zone.

And, importantly, "destroy" causes the Emperion to leave the battlefield immediately (as opposed dealing it lethal damage, which would not cause it to die until after the spell had finished resolving because that is when state-based actions are next checked):

701.7a To destroy a permanent, move it from the battlefield to its owner's graveyard.

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