Can planeswalkers use their abilities while tapped

Asked by gdog9819 8 years ago

If I play Frost Titan and tap Ajani Goldmane, can he still use his +1 ability? (I'm sorry if this is a ridiculous question. I just started.)

MagnorCriol says... #1

No prob, this is what the Q&A is for. =)

Yes, he can still activate his abilities. Planeswalker abilities only require you to add or subtract a certain amount of loyalty counters to activate them; that's their cost. Tapping, on the other hand, isn't. Therefore the abilities don't care one way or the other if Ajani is tapped or not.

January 24, 2011 11:01 p.m.

gdog9819 says... #2

Thanks. Unfortunately, that made my opponent get a 45/45 token. :(

January 24, 2011 11:09 p.m.

gdog9819 says... #3

Thanks, though.

January 24, 2011 11:09 p.m.

MagnorCriol says... Accepted answer #4

To elaborate just a bit:

Any ability that has a colon in it - for example, Llanowar Elves ' "Tap: Add G to your mana pool" or Contagion Clasp 's "4, Tap: Proliferate" - is an activated ability.

Using activated abilities means that you have to pay the cost for that ability first, then its effect goes on the stack. The cost is anything on the left side of the colon; the effect is anything on the right.

Tapping is not something you always have to do to activate an ability. Many have tapping as a cost, but some many don't, as well.

The format of Planeswalker cards hide a lot of extra rules text. If you were to extrapolate Ajani Goldmane , that first ability would actually read "Put 1 loyalty counter on Ajani Goldmane: You gain 1 life."

That's an activated ability, and the cost to activate it is putting 1 loyalty counter on Ajani. Tapping never enters into the equation at all, so it doesn't matter if he's tapped or not.

January 24, 2011 11:14 p.m.

MagnorCriol says... #5

No problem. Sorry about the massive enemy avatar, though. =p

January 24, 2011 11:15 p.m.

xo2 says... #6

your opponent can only use the +1 ability on their turn though. does Frost Titan keep the permanent tapped for the next upkeep too?

January 25, 2011 9:04 p.m.

MagnorCriol says... #7

Not quite certain what you're asking.

Permanents untap during untap steps, not upkeep steps. But if you're asking if they stay tapped through the next untap step, then yes, they do - if Frost Titan enters the battlefield and taps your opponent's permanent, it stays tapped when it becomes their turn and they untap everything else. Then it's your turn, and when they get their next turn, they get to untap that permanent (assuming you didn't attack with Frosty and target that same permanent with its ability again).

But even if he's tapped and stays tapped, Ajani can still work his life-gain (or vigilance, or avatar) mojo. PW abilities just plain don't care one way or the other.

January 25, 2011 10:07 p.m.

gdog9819 says... #8

Wait. Does that mean if my opponent attacks with a creature and I use Sleep , that creature still doesn't get to untap?

January 25, 2011 11:41 p.m.

gdog9819 says... #9

The creature does not have vigilance

January 25, 2011 11:55 p.m.

MagnorCriol says... #10

Yep, exactly. That's what the second line of text signifies.

However, note that Sleep is a sorcery, so you usually won't be able to cast it in response to them all attacking.

Now, if you mean your opponent attacks, and on your turn after that you cast Sleep , then the answer's still yes. The way it's worded is a mite confusing, and could be read to mean that creatures already tapped won't be affected by the spell, but this isn't the case - all creatures your opponent controls stay tapped through their untap step.

January 26, 2011 1:25 a.m.

gdog9819 says... #11

Thank you for explaining that. Someone told me that they would untap, but I guess not. Also, back to the planeswalker stuff, if I tapped a Gideon Jura with Frost Titan , would Gideon Jura still be able to attack?

January 26, 2011 10:05 a.m.

MagnorCriol says... #12

No problem. I don't blame that person for reading Sleep that way, it does seem like that's what it's doing but because of the way it's worded, and because of the highly specific way Magic cards care about specific wordings - they're practically legal documents nowadays =p - it affects all of them.

If you want proof of that to tell your friend beyond "some guy on the internet said so," go to the Gatherer (the card search engine on the MtG site) and search for Sleep . It has official rulings at the bottom of the page for each card, and Sleep 's page mentions this directly.

As for Gideon Jura versus Frost Titan , Gideon would be kept from attacking. This is because attacking isn't a planeswalker ability or anything - it's just a thing that creatures can do. And in order to attack, the creature has to be able to tap. It's almost like tapping is part of the cost to attack, though they don't word it like that.

Some creatures have vigilance, which means that they don't tap when they attack, BUT they still have to be untapped in order to initiate an attack.

This was set in place to force a choice - you can use that creature's tap-activated ability, or you can attack with it, or you can keep it as a blocker, but you can't do all three.

As a side note, Gideon's controller could still activate Gideon's ultimate and turn him into a 6/6 soldier if he wanted even if he was tapped. He just couldn't attack with him (unless he had a way to untap Gideon separate from the untap step).

January 26, 2011 10:44 a.m.

This discussion has been closed