1

Suppose my opponent has Saheeli, Sublime Artificer, a Servo token, and another creature in play, and uses her ability to make the Servo a copy of the creature. In response to the ability going on the stack, I cast Murder on the other creature. Does the Servo still become a copy of that creature when Saheeli's ability resolves?

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The ability will resolve, but it will fail to do anything:

  1. Resolving Spells and Abilities

    608.2b If the spell or ability specifies targets, it checks whether the targets are still legal. A target that’s no longer in the zone it was in when it was targeted is illegal. Other changes to the game state may cause a target to no longer be legal; for example, its characteristics may have changed or an effect may have changed the text of the spell. If the source of an ability has left the zone it was in, its last known information is used during this process. If all its targets, for every instance of the word “target,” are now illegal, the spell or ability doesn’t resolve. It’s removed from the stack and, if it’s a spell, put into its owner’s graveyard. Otherwise, the spell or ability will resolve normally. Illegal targets, if any, won’t be affected by parts of a resolving spell’s effect for which they’re illegal. Other parts of the effect for which those targets are not illegal may still affect them. If the spell or ability creates any continuous effects that affect game rules (see rule 613.10), those effects don’t apply to illegal targets. If part of the effect requires information about an illegal target, it fails to determine any such information. Any part of the effect that requires that information won’t happen.

So the information for the copy effect will be missing, and that effect will not happen. The Servo will still be a Servo.

  • Interesting... looks like my answer is wrong, but I want to understand specifically why 608.2g does not apply in this case. Does 608.2g only work for objects that are not targets? – GendoIkari Aug 15 at 19:28
  • @Gendolkari, It's not that surprising. Targets already get special treatment in a number of other similar aspects. – ikegami Aug 15 at 20:54
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    @GendoIkari Yes, I read it like the text in 608.2b is an exception to 608.2g that applies to targets specifically. – CALEB F Aug 15 at 21:06

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