Summoning sickness

From MTG Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Summoning sickness is an informal term for the rule that a creature cannot attack or use activated abilities either with the tap ({T}) or untap ({Q}) symbol if it has not been continuously controlled by a player since the beginning of that player's most recent turn. The logic behind the term is that a creature is so disoriented by the experience of being summoned that it has to rest before it can do anything more than defend itself or use simple abilities.

Rules[edit | edit source]

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (July 3, 2020—Core Set 2021)

Summoning Sickness Rule
Informal term for a player’s inability to attack with a creature or to activate its abilities that include the tap symbol or the untap symbol unless the creature has been under that player’s control since the beginning of that player’s most recent turn. See rule 302.6. See also Haste.

Usage on cards[edit | edit source]

The term actually appeared on cards from Mirage through to Urza's Legacy, where it was used in the phrase "{cardname} is unaffected by summoning sickness", with the same meaning as the modern keyword ability haste (for example, see Viashino Sandscout). Summoning sickness stopped appearing on cards in 6th Edition when the Haste keyword was introduced. However, as the term summoning sickness is highly flavorful, had been widely popularised through appearing on cards, and because the rules no longer gave a proper term for the effect, summoning sickness still remains in use as a colloquial expression.

In recent times, the term "summoning sickness" is seen on the Future Sight card Dryad Arbor, which is a land creature, though only in reminder text, which does not have to be a "rules-tight" explanation.