"activated ability"

  • #1
    quick question, what is considered an activated ability?
    is it like elvish pipers ability?
    would rafiq of the manys exalted or double strike thing count?
    how about bogarden hellkites come into play ability?
    what about landfall?
    or even choosing what modes with cryptic command?
  • #2
    Activated abilities follow the following template:

    Cost : Effect


    Examples of costs are 1, Sacrifice something, T, Q, [+X], and [-X]. Effects generated can be pretty much anything.

    Elvish Piper, yes.
    Rafiq, no, those are triggered abilities.
    Bodardan Hellkite, no, that is a triggered ability.
    Landfall is a series of similar triggered abilities with the same trigger condition.
    Cryptic Command has modes, neither activated or triggered abilities.

    Note that not only permanents can have activated abilities. Cycling and Forecast are activated abilities that you can activate from cards in your hand, and Lightning Storm has an activated ability that can only be activated while it is on the stack as a spell.
    Last edited by Spekter: 10/7/2009 9:08:45 PM
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  • #3
    all activated abilities are written as "cost : effect". so look for the colon, and it's an activated ability. triggered abilities say "when" "whenever" or "at". cryptic command is a spell, not an ability.

    soo...
    1. activated
    2. triggered
    3. triggered
    4. triggered
    5. spell
    MTG Rules Advisor as of 9/29/09
    Quote from Kroma
    Get some manners you ignorant jerks...
  • #4
    thank you,i recently got 4 pithing needles,so i was just wondering what will work for it.
    thank you.
  • #6
    Sorin Markov

    They have a colon Wink

    Thnx to Starkiller2 for the signature Smile

    9 Paulo Vitor D. da Rosa Win 1916
  • #7
    Quote from Camper11
    planeswalker abilities are also activated abilities. they don't have the colon on the card, but it's still activated.


    Which planeswalker doesn't have the colon on the card?
    -= You fight Annorax... and win!
  • #8
    i was looking inside where it had the number, not just outside of it Grin
    MTG Rules Advisor as of 9/29/09
    Quote from Kroma
    Get some manners you ignorant jerks...
  • #9
    I have a question on the subject. Recently, someone played a Pithing Needle naming Blood Seeker. He articulated that the loss of life ability was activated because of the word "may" in the text. I, however, told them it was still a triggered ability because of it lacking a cost and a colon between said nonexistent cost and the ability. He also said that landfall abilities that trigger with the keyword "may" in their texts are also activated abilities, and thus would be negated by the needle.

    Who was right?
  • #10
    @dark: it will still go off. since it is not an activated ability. pithing needle will only stop activated abilities, but not triggered ones..
  • #11
    An activated ability is one that goes:

    COST: ABILITY.

    So even if it's something as akward as putting an ice counter on it, it's an activated ability.

    Almost all triggered abilities are of the form:

    When/At/Whenever X, do Y.

    In the case of blood seeker, do Y is you may have that player lose one life. But it's still a triggered ability so Pithing needle does nothing!
    Posts getting deleted for no reason, why?
  • #12
    What about "equip" on an artifact card? Is it activated ability?
  • #13
    Quote from switch0
    What about "equip" on an artifact card? Is it activated ability?


    Equip is an activated ability.

    It means "Pay the equip cost: Attach this card to target creature you control. Play this ability only when you could cast a sorcery."
  • #14
    Yup, equip is an activated ability.
    702.6a Equip is an activated ability of Equipment cards. “Equip [cost]” means “[Cost]: Attach this Equipment to target creature you control. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery.”
    Rules Advisor as of 03/03/2013
  • #15
    Quote from switch0
    What about "equip" on an artifact card? Is it activated ability?
    Yes.

    An ability is an activated ability if the text of that ability contains a colon. (The : sign is the colon.)

    Keyword abilities are "loaded" - that is, they have rules associated with them in the rulebook. The rulebook defines Equip like this.
    702.6a Equip is an activated ability of Equipment cards. “Equip [cost]” means “[Cost]: Attach this Equipment to target creature you control. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery.”
    As you can see, the definition includes a colon, so that makes Equip an activated ability.

    (If you haven't dipped your toe in the CR yet, Section 702, which defines all the keyowrd abilities, is a good place to start.)
    Lapsed Rules Adviser.
  • #16
    Quote from omaruu
    @dark: it will still go off. since it is not an activated ability. pithing needle will only stop activated abilities, but not triggered ones..


    Quote from TeknoLink
    An activated ability is one that goes:

    COST: ABILITY.

    So even if it's something as akward as putting an ice counter on it, it's an activated ability.

    Almost all triggered abilities are of the form:

    When/At/Whenever X, do Y.

    In the case of blood seeker, do Y is you may have that player lose one life. But it's still a triggered ability so Pithing needle does nothing!


    Thanks guys. ^___^
  • #17
    One thing to add: Pithing Needle will not stop Mana Abilities, even if they are Activated Abilities that generate mana.
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