Untap

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Untap
Q.svg
Introduced: Alpha
Last Used: Evergreen
Reminder Text: No official reminder text
Statistics:
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Untap is a keyword action that happens during the untap step. It is the process of rotating a permanent back to the upright position from a sideways position.

Rules[edit | edit source]

From the Comprehensive Rules (Rivals of Ixalan (January 19, 2018))

  • 701.19. Tap and Untap
    • 701.19a To tap a permanent, turn it sideways from an upright position. Only untapped permanents can be tapped.
    • 701.19b To untap a permanent, rotate it back to the upright position from a sideways position. Only tapped permanents can be untapped.

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (Rivals of Ixalan (January 19, 2018))

Untap
To rotate a permanent back to the upright position from a sideways position. See rule 701.19, “Tap and Untap.”

Untapping mechanics[edit | edit source]

Untapping creatures[edit | edit source]

The ability to untap creatures is primary in green and blue and secondary in white.[1] Untapping creatures used to be white's domain, but R&D has moved individual creature untapping off to green to give it more creature answers. White still can untap all your creatures or an individual creature on a spell that's defined as solely defensive. Blue's ability to untap is usually accompanied by its ability to also tap (twiddle).

Untapping lands[edit | edit source]

Green, as the color most in tune with lands and acquiring mana, is the color that most often untaps lands.[1] Blue also does this a little.

Untapping itself[edit | edit source]

Some creatures have an activated ability (or sometimes a triggered ability) to untap itself. This is primary used in blue, but occasionally in white when R&D wants to simulate vigilance because actual vigilance is problematic due to timing.[1]

Untap symbol[edit | edit source]

The untap symbol {Q} was introduced in Shadowmoor where "untapping" was a mechanic of the set.[2][3] By 2010, the introduction of the symbol was considered a failure; players just read the untap symbol as a tap symbol.[4]

From the Comprehensive Rules (Rivals of Ixalan (January 19, 2018))

  • 107.6. The untap symbol is {Q}. The untap symbol in an activation cost means “Untap this permanent.” A permanent that’s already untapped can’t be untapped again to pay the cost. A creature’s activated ability with the untap symbol in its activation cost can’t be activated unless the creature has been under its controller’s control continuously since his or her most recent turn began. See rule 302.6.

From the Comprehensive Rules (Rivals of Ixalan (January 19, 2018))

  • 302.6. A creature’s activated ability with the tap symbol or the untap symbol in its activation cost can’t be activated unless the creature has been under its controller’s control continuously since his or her most recent turn began. A creature can’t attack unless it has been under its controller’s control continuously since his or her most recent turn began. This rule is informally called the “summoning sickness” rule.

Rulings[edit | edit source]

  • The untap symbol is the analog of the tap symbol. Represented as {Q} in rules documents, it looks like a white J-shaped arrow (with the arrowhead pointing up) on a black circle {Q}.
  • The untap symbol appears only in the costs of activated abilities. It means "Untap this permanent."
  • If the permanent is already untapped, you can't play its {Q} ability. That's because you can't pay the "Untap this permanent" cost.
  • The "summoning sickness" rule applies to {Q}. If a creature with an {Q} ability hasn't been under your control since your most recent turn began, you can't play that ability. Ignore this rule if the creature also has haste.
  • When you play an {Q} ability, you untap the creature with that ability as a cost. The untap can't be responded to. (The actual ability can be responded to, of course.)

Trivia[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. a b c Mark Rosewater. (June 5, 2017.) “Mechanical Color Pie 2017”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater. (April 14, 2008.) “Shadowmoor than Meets The Eye, Part III”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Devin Low. (April 11, 2008.) “The Day the Cards Tapped Backwards”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Mark Rosewater. (November 8, 2010.) “Essay What”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.

External links[edit | edit source]