It's been a long time since I've played Magic. (My "new" cards are from 4th edition.)

As I recall, tokens could be created and destroyed, but they could never be tapped or untapped. In practice, people represented them with pennies or scraps of paper.

Now I'm seeing talk about tapping and untapping tokens, and cards being sold to represent tokens to make this job easier.

When did Magic start tapping and untapping tokens?

Alternatively, if they've always allowed it and my memory and/or understanding of the rules is simply faulty, feel free to make that clear in your answer.

  • 7
    I have a suspicion you've confused and conflated tokens with counters in your memory. Certainly counters don't get tapped, just added or removed, and are also represented with pennies or scraps of paper. Mar 31, 2015 at 5:42

1 Answer 1


Tokens could always be tapped & untapped. They're (usually) supposed to be creatures, after all, and creatures tap & untap.

Exhibit A: The very first token-generating card, The Hive, from Alpha:

enter image description here

Note that the text says "mak[e] sure to indicate when each Wasp is tapped."

  • Could you imagine if cards were still made with this much text? Wowzers!
    – corsiKa
    Mar 31, 2015 at 20:49
  • They shifted a lot of that text into rules for just that reason.
    – murgatroid99
    Apr 1, 2015 at 0:42

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