I have a question, is a creature spell already a permanent?

The situation:

I played against a friend of mine, he played a creature, so I played Essence Scatter to counter it. After that he played Turn Aside, an instant that destroyed a spell, that was against a permanent that he controlled. Is this instant valid or is it against the rules?

I thought it wouldn’t work because the instant that I played, is against a spell not a permanent.

  • Welcome to the site, do you happen to remember exactly which cards were played here? The exact wording might matter.
    – Hackworth
    Commented May 17 at 13:14
  • Yes ofc, I played [[Essence Scatte]] and he played [[turn aside]].
    – Steve
    Commented May 17 at 13:19
  • Thanks, that helped. I'm still not entirely clear on the order of events though. You played Essence Scatter to counter a creature spell, and your friend responded with Turn Aside to counter your Essence Scatter, is that correct? And you want to know whether that Turn Aside was a legal play?
    – Hackworth
    Commented May 17 at 13:26
  • Yes correct. I’m not quite sure if a creature spell is already a permanent card. So if the turn aside instant was valid. I counted it, but I would love to know the right answer.
    – Steve
    Commented May 17 at 13:36
  • 3
    I edited the question to remove references to "permanent card". Turn Aside counters a spell that targets a "permanent you control". It does not use the phrase "permanent card", which has a specific meaning that changes the meaning of the question. "Permanent card" refers to any card with a permanent type, such as creature, artifact, etc, in any zone. On the other hand, as the answer says, "permanent" specifically refers to something on the battlefield.
    – murgatroid99
    Commented May 17 at 15:20

1 Answer 1


No, your friend's play was not legal. Turn Aside counters spells that target permanents, but a creature spell is still a spell and not a permanent yet.

A spell is (generally) a card on the stack. It remains there until it has resolved or been countered.

112.1. A spell is a card on the stack. [..]

A permanent is a card or token on the battlefield.

110.1. A permanent is a card or token on the battlefield. A permanent remains on the battlefield indefinitely. A card or token becomes a permanent as it enters the battlefield and it stops being a permanent as it’s moved to another zone by an effect or rule.

A spell is never a permanent, and a permanent is never a spell.

Essence Scatter targets spells, never permanents. Since Turn Aside can only target spells that target certain permanents, it can't target Essence Scatter and your friend's play was illegal.

  • Thank you. Now I know the right answer.
    – Steve
    Commented May 17 at 13:39
  • It might be worth noting that a creature card is still a permanent card, and a creature spell is a permanent spell, though neither is a permanent outside the battlefield. Commented May 18 at 7:26
  • 1
    @MatthewJensen technically true but that was only a confusion of terms. It being a creature card has no relevance to the question and would only muddy the waters.
    – Hackworth
    Commented May 18 at 7:49

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .