Does tapping an artifact like Raugrin Crystal for mana count as a spell? In particular, I have a Forsaken Monument on the battlefield which gives life each colorless spell I cast.


1 Answer 1


No, tapping an artifact for mana is an "activated ability" which is different from a spell. Quoting from the Basic Rules:

To cast a spell, you must pay its mana cost (located in the upper right corner of the card)

You are not paying the cost in the upper right corner of the card, so you are not casting a spell.

If you ever want much more detail on all this, you can read Comprehensive Rules 601 "Casting Spells" and 602 "Activating Activated Abilities" but that level of detail is not necessary to play a casual game of Magic; do not feel the need to understand everything in there.

  • 1
    What's hilarious is that the basic rules don't actually really say that spells come from cards in hand (it's only implicitly hidden in that part you quoted), nor do they seem to describe activated abilities at all, apart from mentioning them under tapping with "You [tap a card] when [...] or when you activate an ability that has the symbol as part of its cost".
    – ilkkachu
    Sep 11, 2022 at 17:06
  • @ilkkachu What about 113.3b? Sep 12, 2022 at 2:55
  • 1
    @Acccumulation It's the lack of explanation of activated abilities in the basic rules ilkkachu is commenting on. Sep 12, 2022 at 6:14

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