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To set the stage: I play Spy Kit and equip it to my opponent's creature, for example with Magnetic Theft. I then play Eradicate.

Judge rulings generally seem to agree that this does, in fact, remove from the game all non-legendary creature cards from my opponent's library, hand and graveyard, but why?

Eradicate's text states "Remove target non-black creature from the game. Search its controller's graveyard, hand, and library for all cards with the same name as that creature and remove them from the game. [...]". To me, this would mean that by the time the "For all cards with the same name" effect should resolve, the creature with Spy Kit equipped already is removed from the game, and thus can't be still equipped, and does not still have all non-legendary creature names.

What am I missing?

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This works because the game uses the creature's "last known information" to determine what the creature's name is:

608.2h If an effect requires information from the game (such as the number of creatures on the battlefield), the answer is determined only once, when the effect is applied. If the effect requires information from a specific object, including the source of the ability itself, the effect uses the current information of that object if it’s in the public zone it was expected to be in; if it’s no longer in that zone, or if the effect has moved it from a public zone to a hidden zone, the effect uses the object’s last known information.

So the Eradicate requires the information about the creature's name, and that creature is no longer in the public zone that it was expected to be in (the battlefield).

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  • Is my understanding correct that if Eradicate's text would read "remove [...], Then search [...]", it wouldn't work the same, as the "then" keyword would sort of start a new effect? Commented May 7 at 13:11
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    @Themoonisacheese I can't find a good answer to that. This question/answer says it's irrelevant how many separate effects a spell has. I can't find anything that clarifies whether Eradicate has 1, 2, 3, or 4 effects (by the rules definition of "effect", it kind of seems like each of the 4 separate things that happen could be each separate effects. If it is all 1 effect, I think I should have bolded the fist sentence, not the last.
    – GendoIkari
    Commented May 7 at 13:28
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    I think if it's all 1 effect, then the first sentence makes it work ("the answer is determined only once, when the effect is applied"). If it's separate effects, then 400.7 makes it work (the object that's in exile is not the same object that was on the battlefield. And none of the exceptions actually would allow a second effect to find the card in exile that was moved by the first effect. One exception says "other parts of that effect can find the object", so that exception would require it to be all 1 effect.
    – GendoIkari
    Commented May 7 at 13:33
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    So I believe the resulting behavior is the same either way, so adding "then" wouldn't change anything. But the actual reason that it works may be slightly different if the current wording is considered a single effect.
    – GendoIkari
    Commented May 7 at 13:37
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    Very informative, thank you! Commented May 7 at 13:42

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