Two rules questions about immediate actions?

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Can anyone clear up two nagging questions that potentially completely change the play environment for goblin-based warbands?

1 - Does an immediate action that leads to the active creature being destroyed cause the action it took to 'fizzle'?

I've heard it said that if an immediate action causes enough damage to kill an attacking creature then e.g. the damage from the initial attack fails to be dealt.

I've seen the rules reply, but I don't buy it 100%.

I'd like to know if it is from Chris because I have a history of spotting rules that WotC CS misinterpret (like missing some necessary entries for powers in PHB3).

The main reason for doubt though is that everything in the rules talks about actions on the stack resolving in order and checking targets when they resolve, but not checking the acting creature is still alive.

I'd sort of assume that the horse has bolted, the axe is coming down...

It does mention attached cards are removed, but I'm talking about played orders, not attached ones.

Nothing in the rules suggests beyond doubt to me that actions, when played into a stack, are ever removed from that stack, other than when they are resolved.

I get that a riposte or seize the opportunity can kill a creature, that's fine.

But if it can also potentially prevent a 100 damage sneak attack that's a big bonus in it's favour.

It also means goblins can never be certain they will ever cause damage as an enemy can always kill them with a riposte.

2 - Can damage prevention effects be played even if there is no damage to prevent, if the damage cannot be prevented, or if it's on a different target?

e.g. an L1 Goblin attacks one of my creatures (say a War Wizard) - can another of my creatures (assuming it's in melee range) respond with riposte or seize the opportunity to kill the goblin (maybe causing it's attack to fizzle) - or is it only creatures which are being attacked that can play cards that include damage prevention (and counterattacks)?

Likewise, if that same sort of goblin plays piercing strike on my war wizard can an adjacent dwarven defender just seize the opportunity and kill the goblin (thus preventing damage that 'cannot be prevented')?

Can I just play riposte against a goblin, even if it isn't active, because I have DEX 2 and it's next to me? At best killing it, at least causing it to tap by playing an interrupt, or to cower.

If an enemy taps to collect treasure can I seize the opportunity? And if that kills it, what happens to the treasure?

I've played Magic since The Dark, so know a thing or two about timing, but are we really saying that defenders can always get 'first strike' if they have a counterattack?

If so why would any deck ever play without 4 of each (and plenty STR/DEX creatures)?

It seems so open to broken combos, and so disruptive of the goblin faction swarm strategy.

But if so...make mine a bugbear berserker with undaunted surge, a dose or three of poison, and plenty of counterattacks (and cleaves for good measure)...

cheers,
Hi.  I know I'm not ChrisD, but the following link might help ...

community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

It definitely answers Question 1, and may help with parts of Question 2.

Can I suggest you break Q2 down, it's a little hard to follow what your asking. 
Thanks bugging_bear - I thought I'd seen something like that somewhere, and the posts from Chris answer both questions pretty clearly.

1 - if an active creature is destroyed while acting any actions it has left in the stack fizzle immediately when it dies.

2 - was about various potential abuses of immediate action damage prevention counterattacks.

what chris has said sort of confirms that it is possible to play a damage prevention immediate, even when the damage prevention isn't actually going to happen e.g. vs. piercing strike.

my extension of that was - 'can you play one even if there isn't any damage coming your way?'

e.g. you're adjacent to an enemy who's collecting treasure, or the enemy is attacking your ally, not you.

since the dwarf cleric can heal as an immediate at most stages in the game (as long as he can tap) I guess you can just 'counterattack' even when there is no attack against which you can counter?

what that does though is open up the game to a deck style that increments small damage into big damage during the opponents turn, which isn't as good as having two turns in a row, but it's pretty damned good vs. melee decks

e.g. when my 'undaunted' bugbear has run out of enemies to kill I give him poison and hold onto a counterattack or two - I know range is still something I can't stop, but even if an anemy walks up to me to 'feint' me I can just respond to that with a 50 damage riposte, and better still, if that kills him, I get to untap and his feint fizzles  

I can see ray of frost being rather popular

it also means you could get two turns to kill an enemy before they get to attack you properly in melee

e.g. throw a faerie fire on a dragon knight, send in the undaunted bugbear with poison and maybe a goblin war cry - that's 80 damage even without a standard to increase it - then when the dragon knight decides to attack back you just seize the opportunity for another 40 damage, which should kill it, saving you from a killing blow perhaps

I know there's ways round all this, and it's a bit cards heavy, but like I said, 'make mine a bugbear'!

ta