what does and does not count as an activate ability?

Asked by ticked-off-squirrel 2 years ago

i am wondering if certain things count as activate abilities so i can check if Harsh Mentor can ping opponents who do them. i know that an activate ability has cost:effect in it's text but do any of the following count as activate abilities:

paying an equip cost? (i.e. "1: attach to target creature") (variety of equipment)

paying a crew cost? (i.e. "tap any number of creatures with power 1 or greater: this vehicle becomes a creature for the turn") ( Sky Skiff )

paying straight mana? (i.e. "4W: return target creature you control to your hand") ( Aegis Automaton )

sacking the card? (i.e. "T, sack this card: search for a land and put it on the field tapped" ( Evolving Wilds )

mixed payments? (i.e. "3, T, sack this card: create a 2/2 zombie token") ( Cradle of the Accursed )

paying energy? (i.e. "pay 2 energy: put a +1/+1 counter on this card") ( Longtusk Cub )

Tyrant-Thanatos says... Accepted answer #1

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.

The short and sweet of it is anything that is formatted as "Cost:Effect" is an Activated Ability. If it has a : it's almost certainly an activated ability.

October 8, 2017 4:18 p.m.

Tyrant-Thanatos thanks. i was just making sure. and unless i am thinking wrong can Harsh Mentor ping players who crack open Treasure tokens or would that count as a mana ability?

October 8, 2017 6:23 p.m.

DRACULA150704 says... #3

Yes. An activated ability is an ability that can be activated by a player by paying a cost. The cost can be almost anything, such as sacrificing a permanent, paying mana, paying life, or tapping the permanent with the ability (T). Activated abilities are usually found on permanents, but can sometimes be used on cards in other zones, such as the graveyard or a player's hand.Only an object's controller (or owner, if it has no controller) can activate its activated abilities unless the ability says otherwise. Also, you can usually activate an activated ability any time you have priority, unless it says otherwise. Except for those that are mana abilities, activated abilities use the stack.A player cannot activate an activated ability of a creature that includes the tap symbol (T) or the untap symbol (Q) in its cost unless he or she has controlled the creature continuously since the start of his or her most recent turn. This condition is informally known as "summoning sickness".Activated abilities cannot be countered by spells or abilities that counter spells, because they aren't spells. However, there are cards, such as Stifle, Squelch, and Voidslime, that can be used to counter these abilities.

October 8, 2017 10:33 p.m.

DRACULA150704 how interesting. i am glad to know. but as for my question, would cracking a Treasure token count as an activated ability or mana ability?

October 8, 2017 10:45 p.m.

Neotrup says... #5

605.1a An activated ability is a mana ability if it meets all of the following criteria: it doesn't have a target, it could add mana to a player's mana pool when it resolves, and it's not a loyalty ability. (See rule 606, "Loyalty Abilities.")

So, yes, the ability on Treasure Tokens is a mana ability and therefore does not trigger Harsh Mentor.

October 9, 2017 12:15 a.m.

DRACULA150704 says... #6

yes it is an activated ability because (like i said before) An activated ability is an ability that can be activated by a player by paying a cost. The cost can be almost anything, such as sacrificing a permanent

October 9, 2017 1:18 a.m.

Please login to comment