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What happens stack-wise when Stream of Thought mills Creeping Chill?

My understanding is that the triggered ability of Creeping Chill gets put on the stack but doesn't happen until Stream of Thought is finished resolving. So if you choose to shuffle back Creeping Chill with Stream of Thought, then would the triggered ability fizzle?

Any thoughts?

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    Note that you can only have Stream of Thought put Creeping Chill back into a library if you're targeting yourself with Stream of Thought's milling. If you're targeting your opponent, and they mill a Creeping Chill, then you can't, because Stream of Thought only allows you to place cards from your own graveyard into your library. – nick012000 Nov 5 at 14:00
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Creeping Chill's ability triggers and goes on the stack if Stream of Thought puts it into the graveyard. If you then shuffle it into your library, the ability will still resolve (it won't "fizzle") but it won't do anything because you can't exile the Creeping Chill. The Handling Triggered Abilities rules section has these rules:

603.2. Whenever a game event or game state matches a triggered ability’s trigger event, that ability automatically triggers. The ability doesn’t do anything at this point.

603.3. Once an ability has triggered, its controller puts it on the stack as an object that’s not a card the next time a player would receive priority. See rule 117, “Timing and Priority.” The ability becomes the topmost object on the stack. It has the text of the ability that created it, and no other characteristics. It remains on the stack until it’s countered, it resolves, a rule causes it to be removed from the stack, or an effect moves it elsewhere.

Then rule 118.12 says

Some spells, activated abilities, and triggered abilities read, “[Do something]. If [a player] [does, doesn’t, or can’t], [effect].” or “[A player] may [do something]. If [that player] [does, doesn’t, or can’t], [effect].” The action [do something] is a cost, paid when the spell or ability resolves. The “If [a player] [does, doesn’t, or can’t]” clause checks whether the player chose to pay an optional cost or started to pay a mandatory cost, regardless of what events actually occurred.

The bolded part matches the wording on Creeping Chill:

When Creeping Chill is put into your graveyard from your library, you may exile it. If you do, Creeping Chill deals 3 damage to each opponent and you gain 3 life.

This is a choice you make while the ability is resolving, so the ability will start to resolve whether or not Creeping Chill is still in the graveyard, but if it's not in the graveyard to be exiled, you can't pay that cost and the rest of the effect won't happen.

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    So you're saying that it can only be exiled if it's in the graveyard? Or that it can't be exiled from the deck? You have a leap of logic that I can't follow, can you make that explicit in your good answer, and make it great? :) – ANeves wants peace for Monica Nov 5 at 11:19
  • I mean, I read it like this: "when A/goes-in-graveyard", A happened, "then you may B/exile-it", can't they exile it if it goes out of the graveyard? (e.g. into play, or into the deck), "if you do, C/activate-ability", and if they do exile it it triggers. – ANeves wants peace for Monica Nov 5 at 11:22
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    @ANeves you can't exile it from the deck because cards in the deck are not visible. – Taemyr Nov 5 at 13:46
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    @Taemyr More accurately, you can't exile it from the deck because the card that is in the deck is not the same object as the one that was in your graveyard; and the object that was in your graveyard is the only object that the instructions are telling you that you may exile. Even if the library were not a hidden zone that wouldn't change things. – GendoIkari Nov 5 at 14:26
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    It is a cost in the MtG rules sense. That is exactly what the quoted rule 118.12 says. – murgatroid99 Nov 5 at 21:33
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If you self-mill Creeping Chill and immediately shuffle it back with Stream of Thoughts, you can't choose to exile Creeping Chill, and you won't get its effect.

That is because Creeping Chill is a triggered ability rather than a replacement effect on a static ability.

603.1. Triggered abilities have a trigger condition and an effect. They are written as “[When/Whenever/At] [trigger condition or event], [effect]. [Instructions (if any).]”

The ability does not fit any replacement effect wording pattern:

614.1a Effects that use the word “instead” are replacement effects. Most replacement effects use the word “instead” to indicate what events will be replaced with other events.

As you correctly note, by the time Creeping Chill's ability resolves, the object it's referring to (the object represented by the card in the graveyard) is no longer in the expected zone (graveyard), because the card was already shuffled back into the library.

As for technicalities: First, Creeping Chill's ability triggers, but does not yet go on the stack while Stream of Thought is still resolving. It goes on the stack once SoT has finished resolving and the next player would get priority.

603.2. Whenever a game event or game state matches a triggered ability’s trigger event, that ability automatically triggers. The ability doesn’t do anything at this point.

603.3. Once an ability has triggered, its controller puts it on the stack as an object that’s not a card the next time a player would receive priority. See rule 117, “Timing and Priority.” The ability becomes the topmost object on the stack. It has the text of the ability that created it, and no other characteristics. It remains on the stack until it’s countered, it resolves, a rule causes it to be removed from the stack, or an effect moves it elsewhere.

Second, Creeping Chill's ability would not "fizzle". A spell or ability fizzles if all its targets become illegal between triggering and resolving. Since Creeping Chill's ability has no targets, they can't become illegal. The ability will resolve normally, you just can't choose to exile the card.

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. [..]

As an aside, if Creeping Chill's triggered ability was worded as a static ability with a replacement effect, it could be made to work with Stream of Thoughts.

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