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I played Magic a long time ago, and I remember activated abilities on creatures were considered instants. Reading through the rules today, it isn't quite clear to me. The reason I am wondering is for the combination of Prodigal Pyromancer and Fire Servant. The does the Fire Servant's doubling apply to the Prodigal Pyromancer's "tap: Prodigal Pyromancer deals 1 damage to target creature or player."?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

No, the doubling does not apply. Creature abilities are fast effects, a class which includes instants. But instants, like sorceries, are a distinct spell type.

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This is substantially correct, though the term "fast effect" was dropped from Magic a loooong time ago. Most creature abilities do happen at the same speed as an instant, but that doesn't make them instant spells, not by a long chalk! – thesunneversets Mar 27 '11 at 23:28
I was afraid this was the case. Thanks! – Jim McKeeth Mar 28 '11 at 7:09

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