From the MTG rules:

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.

Do I correctly understand then that other abilities, such as the Gnawing Zombie's ability can be used immediately after being placed onto the battlefield?

{1}{B}, Sacrifice a creature: Target player loses 1 life and you gain 1 life.

  • 2
    I don't think this is a duplicate. This question is asking whether a creature's activated ability without {T} can be activated even if that creature has summoning sickness. The other question is asking whether "tap an untapped creature you control" costs can be paid by tapping a creature with summoning sickness. Those are unrelated and orthogonal questions.
    – murgatroid99
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 2:15
  • 2
    Answer by counterexample: if summoning sickness prevented you from using a creature's non-tapping activated abilities, then Flinthoof Boar's "{R}: this gains haste until end of turn" ability wouldn't be very useful.
    – Kevin
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 16:49
  • @Kevin Ah, touche!
    – svidgen
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 16:52

3 Answers 3


Correct. Activated abilities may be used whenever you have priority as long as you can pay the cost and aren't forbidden to. The tap/untap symbol as part of the cost can prevent you (from summoning sickness). Having to use an ability restricted to sorcery speed can prevent you. Other than that (less any other restrictions), it's fair game.

  • Minor fix: "Can't" trumps "can".
    – ikegami
    Commented Jul 3, 2015 at 16:37
  • Minor fix: It has to actually have the tap symbol to be affected by summoning sickness. For example, you can tap Heritage Druid as part of the cost of activating its ability even when it has "summoning sickness".
    – ikegami
    Commented Jul 3, 2015 at 16:38
  • Minor fix: Your comments only apply to activated abilities.
    – ikegami
    Commented Jul 3, 2015 at 16:39
  • Minor fix: "You can activate an ability as long as you can pay the cost" is rather key information. It's why you can't normally use Llanowar Elves's ability more than once per turn.
    – ikegami
    Commented Jul 3, 2015 at 16:39

Yes, any activated ability with no "Tap" symbol in the cost is fair game, as JonTheMon's answer states.

I also wanted to mention, however, that if it's a targeted tapping, you can still tap that creature while it's summoning sick. For example, Heritage Druid states

Tap three untapped Elves you control: Add GGG to your mana pool.

You can tap summoning sick Elves, including Heritage Druid, to activate this ability.


Activated abilities are formatted something like this:

[Costs]:Effects. Additional Restrictions.

Creatures (without haste) have summoning sickness, which prevents you from paying the tap cost of its own activated abilities, as well as from declaring that creature as an attacker during the Combat phase. Because of that, you cannot pay the cost of tapping the creature, and so you cannot activate the ability.

Like Skyl3lazer mentioned in their answer, there are abilities that have the cost of tapping unspecified creatures of your choice, usually with a requirement like a creature type(i.e. Tap 7 untapped wizards you control, Tap 3 untapped Elves you control, etc).

In the same way, you can use creatures with Summoning Sickness to pay the costs for cards with the Convoke ability, which allows you to tap any untapped creatures you control to pay for 1 generic mana, or for one mana of any of that creature's colors.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .