Does proliferation work on creatures with shroud who alread have counters?

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If a creature has shroud and at least one counter on it, can it be chosen when proliferating?  Or does that count as targeting the creature? 

Example:  My friend plays Inkwell Leviathan, I play Contagion Engine and target my friend with its first ability.  Inkwell isn't protected from getting the -1/-1 counter from Contagion Engine's first ability because it doesn't specifically target it, it targets all creatures my friend controls. 
Then I pay 4 and tap Contagion Engine to proliforate and I want to choose Inkwell.  Can I do that and will that add -1/-1 counters to Inkwell? 
As you correctly deduced, proliferate doesn't target, and as such a shrouded creature can be given an additional counter.
I'm all about super-control in MTG. If you're able to stop my shenanigans, then there aren't enough shenanigans. Lv 1 Judge Current Decklists Sweeping Beauty (Casual) A Vision of Clones (Casual) Coming soon... more decks! :-O
Example:  My friend plays Inkwell Leviathan, I play Contagion Engine and target my friend with its first ability.  Inkwell isn't protected from getting the -1/-1 counter from Contagion Engine's first ability because it doesn't specifically target it, it targets all creatures my friend controls.


Note that Contagion Engine's first ability targets only a player, not any creatures.  The ability targets your opponent (and, for example, Leyline of Sanctity would prevent you from targeting your opponent, forcing you to target yourself!), though it affects his/her creatures.
So the proliferate part is the old "even though you choose thus trageting, it doesn't say traget" loop hole?
So the proliferate part is the old "even though you choose thus trageting, it doesn't say traget" loop hole?

It's the old "if it uses the word 'target' then it targets, if it doesn't use the word 'target' then it does not target" paradigm. I'm not sure i would call this a "loophole".
114.9a Just because an object or player is being affected by a spell or ability doesn't make that object or player a target of that spell or ability. Unless that object or player is identified by the word "target" in the text of that spell or ability, or the rule for that keyword ability, it's not a target.


So the proliferate part is the old "even though you choose thus trageting, it doesn't say traget" loop hole?

It's the old "if it uses the word 'target' then it targets, if it doesn't use the word 'target' then it does not target" paradigm. I'm not sure i would call this a "loophole".
114.9a Just because an object or player is being affected by a spell or ability doesn't make that object or player a target of that spell or ability. Unless that object or player is identified by the word "target" in the text of that spell or ability, or the rule for that keyword ability, it's not a target.





I tend to think of it as more of a loophole as its more intuitive to think if you are picking something (such as with this ability) that "can't be targeted" would not be able to be singled out for an ability or spell.  Maybe you would say it is more of being "less intuitive" or a technicality?
I disagree on it being less intuitive. The rules state that something targets if it says it targets, or if it is the equip ability of an equipment or an aura spell on the stack (which the rules both state target). They say that if something else doesn't say it targets, then it doesn't. So it's pretty intuitive to come to the conclusion that as proliferate doesn't say it targets, it doesn't.
I'm all about super-control in MTG. If you're able to stop my shenanigans, then there aren't enough shenanigans. Lv 1 Judge Current Decklists Sweeping Beauty (Casual) A Vision of Clones (Casual) Coming soon... more decks! :-O
I disagree on it being less intuitive. The rules state that [...]

Players who havn't been exposed to the rules as much will often think that "target" is a synonym of "choose", which it isn't. Because they make that association, they view it as unintuitive when they encounter a choice that is unrelated to targetting. 
I disagree on it being less intuitive. The rules state that [...]

Players who havn't been exposed to the rules as much will often think that "target" is a synonym of "choose", which it isn't. Because they make that association, they view it as unintuitive when they encounter a choice that is unrelated to targetting. 




Which is more of the side I am coming from.  With viewing and contributing to this MB for a while I might catch the "doesn't say target" part or might not if I wanted to use it.  New players and people who don't check out the MB and players who don't get exposed to the situation with others who do know around would not know. 
Thanks guys. 
Your responces brought up a new question though.  If a card doesn't actually use the word "target" then it doesn't target?  So if I play Safe Passage, which says, "Prevent all damage you and creatures you control would take this turn" could Shunt be used to change the target from me ("you") to another player?  Or is "you" not actually a target by the current rules? 
I'm looking at the massive rules PDF and thinking no, despite it really seeming like it should, Safe Passage can't be Shunted.  ... Though something like Pillory of the Sleepless can?  Because Auras are targeted without having to say "target." 

One last question based on something that happened the other night, then I promise I'm done. :p 
My friend had Archon of Redemption and Concerted Effort out and played a Phyrexian Colossus.  He thought he should get 8 life because Concerted Effort makes the Colossus a flying creature.  I said no, because the Archon says you get life "whenever another creature with flying enters the battlefield" and Concerted Effort wouldn't give a creature flying until after it was already ON the battlefield, too late to trigger the Archon's ability.  Needless to say an arguement insued and I ended up telling him he could have it this time but I'd look this up so we'd be sure on the rules next week.  So, was I right? 
Safe Passage does not have any targets.

Yes, Pillory of the Sleepless can be shunted when cast, because the rules say aura spells target.

Concerted Effort gives creatures flying during the upkeep, long after the creature enters the battlefield.

Why is my concerted effort card tag doing that? 
All Generalizations are Bad
I disagree on it being less intuitive. The rules state that [...]

Players who havn't been exposed to the rules as much will often think that "target" is a synonym of "choose", which it isn't. Because they make that association, they view it as unintuitive when they encounter a choice that is unrelated to targeting. 


Its not so much that I haven't been exposed to the rules, as I haven't been exposed to the NEW rules.  I got back into magic about 3 months ago.  Before that the sets I had bought the most card for were 4th Edition and Ice Age, when they were new.  I've got an Ice Age rule book right here and its glossary entry for target says its anything at which a spell is aimed.  I mostly don't realize rules have changed until I get a new card that seems either TOO powerful (which is a lot of them compared to the old days) or I see something on the gatherer comments when I'm browsing cards. 
One last question based on something that happened the other night, then I promise I'm done. :p 
My friend had Archon of Redemption and Concerted Effort out and played a Phyrexian Colossus.  He thought he should get 8 life because Concerted Effort makes the Colossus a flying creature.  I said no, because the Archon says you get life "whenever another creature with flying enters the battlefield" and Concerted Effort wouldn't give a creature flying until after it was already ON the battlefield, too late to trigger the Archon's ability.  Needless to say an arguement insued and I ended up telling him he could have it this time but I'd look this up so we'd be sure on the rules next week.  So, was I right? 

Concerted Effort
Archon of Redemption
Phyrexian Colossus

Nope, you were wrong :P.  Concerted Effort has a static ability. That kind of ability is always in effect, and a creature that enters the battlefield (as long as it fits the criteria of the effect) is never on the battlefield without being affected. It doesn't enter the battlefield, then become affected; it enters the battlefield affected. Your friend could indeed gain 8 life in your example.

EDIT : Oops, didn't read Concerted Effort and assumed its ability was static. Your friend could not gain 8 life here because the Colossus could not have flying. Concerted Effort's ability affects only the creatures that are already on the battlefield at the upkeep. It doesn't apply to creatures that enter later that same turn. If your friend controlled Levitation instead, my previous explanation would be what you need to look at, though.

As an aside, please use card tags for future questions, it helps us answer faster and better. [c]Concerted Effort[/c] gives you Concerted Effort. I would not have made that mistake if I could have read Concerted Effort before writing without opening Gatherer.

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Nope, you were wrong :P.  Concerted Effort has a static ability. That kind of ability is always in effect, and a creature that enters the battlefield (as long as it fits the criteria of the effect) is never on the battlefield without being affected. It doesn't enter the battlefield, then become affected; it enters the battlefield affected. Your friend could indeed gain 8 life in your example.


Actually, concerted effort has a triggered ability that triggers at the beginning of the upkeep.
All Generalizations are Bad
Its not so much that I haven't been exposed to the rules, as I haven't been exposed to the NEW rules.

Things like Circles of protection have always included choices despite not targetting, so it's not new to have choices that are unrelated to targetting.

What is new* is that they are now very consistent in using "target". If you see a modern card with the word target, then you can be sure that it targets. Similarly, if the card lacks the word "target", and isn't an aura, then you know it doesn't target. On older cards, they were a bit looser with their wording, and would sometimes mean target without actually saying it (see the printed wording of Ancestral Recall for example).

*by "new", i just mean relative to when the game was released. They've been consistent for many years now.

Actually, concerted effort has a triggered ability that triggers at the beginning of the upkeep.


Damn, I never noticed that before (probably because its not in my decks).  I feel foolish. 
Thanks all. 
I disagree on it being less intuitive. The rules state that something targets if it says it targets, or if it is the equip ability of an equipment or an aura spell on the stack (which the rules both state target). They say that if something else doesn't say it targets, then it doesn't. So it's pretty intuitive to come to the conclusion that as proliferate doesn't say it targets, it doesn't.

This implies that the Equip ability is the only keyword ability that targets.

That is not correct. I can't remember the exact number of targeted keyword abilities, but it's of the order of 7.

Also, keyword abilities that target do say they target; it's just that the place they tell you is in the Comprehensive Rules.

ETA : The full list appears to be Equip, Provoke, Modular, Soulshift, Haunt, Fortify and Reinforce.
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