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Thraben Heretic says:

{T}: Exile target creature card from a graveyard.

Undying says:

Undying (When this creature dies, if it had no +1/+1 counters on it, return it to the battlefield under its owner's control with a +1/+1 counter on it.)

So, when a creature with Undying dies, can I use Thraben Heretic to exile that creature from the graveyard before Undying resolves?

  • Wow, didn't even think of doing this. Good question! – adamjford Feb 10 '12 at 16:57
  • @adamjford Mark Rosewater loves balance, I'm sure he got this printed to counter act undying – DForck42 Feb 10 '12 at 20:10
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Yes.

Undying is a triggered ability, not a replacement effect. That means Undying creatures still "die" -- meaning that the card is placed into the graveyard from the battlefield. Then its Undying ability goes on the stack. You can activate Thraben Heretic in response to exile the creature card from the graveyard. The Undying ability do nothing when in resolves because the card it's supposed to fetch back to the battlefield is no longer in the graveyard.

  • 1
    Similarly, Nihil Spellbomb and other cards that move cards from the graveyard to other zones will ruin Undying's day. – Ian Pugsley Feb 9 '12 at 21:34
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    And then you recur the Spellbomb with Sun Titan and keep drawing cards off of it while your opponent cries a little bit. This is basically the reason I play toolsy control decks stuffed to the gills with one-ofs. – Alex P Feb 9 '12 at 23:40
  • It doesn't fizzle (get countered) since it doesn't target. It resolves and does nothing. – ikegami Oct 16 '12 at 2:14

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