How works Perplexing Chimera when its ability is on the stack but, before it's resolved, Chimera leaves battlefield?

For example.

Perplexing Chimera is already in control of my opponent. Then I cast something like Drown in Shapelessness and target it. Then Chimera's ability would activate and put on the stack, exchanging control of this instant and Chimera. Before it is resolved, I could use another Drown in Shapelessness on it. It would not be wise for my opponent to not activate the ability again to return another creature of mine to my library, then I would gain control of Chimera and my opponent would return another creature of mine to my library.

But I can't think of a properly example and I ask: if my opponent doesn't activate the ability on the second instant, then Chimera would return to my library (because I am its owner). What would happen then to the ability of Chimera that is next on the stack?

2 Answers 2


If Perplexing Chimera is not on the battlefield as its ability resolves, the ability does nothing.

Rule 701.10a says

701.10a A spell or ability may instruct players to exchange something (for example, life totals or control of two permanents) as part of its resolution. When such a spell or ability resolves, if the entire exchange can’t be completed, no part of the exchange occurs.

  • Example: If a spell attempts to exchange control of two target creatures but one of those creatures is destroyed before the spell resolves, the spell does nothing to the other creature.

Official rulings for cards can be found on gatherer.wizards.com. Your question is answered in the rulings for the card, found here.

If Perplexing Chimera leaves the battlefield or the spell leaves the stack before the triggered ability resolves, you can't make the exchange.

So if Chimera leaves, it's ability won't work and the first spell will go through.

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