I'm new to Magic: The Gathering, so I am not familiar with the rules yet.

The person who taught me says land cards do not enter tapped, unless the card says otherwise, meaning I can have land enter the battlefield, tap it and use it to summon a creature onto the battlefield.

According to others I played with, ALL CARDS enter tapped, even basic land, and says I have to wait until my next upkeep to untap, then re-tap the mana in order to use it for summoning a creature. Which is correct?

  • 12
    A minor correction that could trip you up if you keep playing with more complex cards: You don't untap during your upkeep; untap is a separate step that happens before upkeep.
    – GendoIkari
    Sep 19, 2022 at 18:37
  • 21
    It sounds like your friends are confusing summoning sickness with entering tapped. Although a creature can't attack or tap to activate abilities the turn it entered, it is does not enter tapped. Tapping summoning-sick creatures could be a common way for new players to remember which creatures just entered, but this is bad practise Sep 20, 2022 at 0:19
  • 1
    @MatthewJensen Tapping creatures to indicate summoning sickness is not just bad practice, it's wrong, according to the rules.
    – NotThatGuy
    Sep 21, 2022 at 10:13
  • As an aside, for getting used to the basic rules the introduction and color challenges available to new players in Magic:Arena are in my opinion very well scripted and do a good job of teaching core mechanics and giving a taste of what strategies might look like. Granted, there are many more interesting card effects and situations with sometimes very nuanced rules which it cannot cover in such a format but it should at least get you comfortable with the basics of the game. I recommend giving that a go as a supplemental learning tool.
    – JMoravitz
    Sep 21, 2022 at 13:27
  • 1
    Other commonly mixed up rules are "Only one land per turn", how "Regenerate" and "Vigilance" works, and how damage is split among creatures.
    – T. Sar
    Sep 22, 2022 at 10:41

2 Answers 2


All permanents, including lands, enter the battlefield untapped unless an effect says otherwise.

This is stated in the rule book, in rule 110.5b:

Permanents enter the battlefield untapped, unflipped, face up, and phased in unless a spell or ability says otherwise.

  • 4
    Just as an example Grasslands will enter tapped (since its written on the cart) Sep 20, 2022 at 13:01

As murgatroid99’s answer states, per rule 110.5b from the comprehensive rules, everything enters untapped unless something says otherwise (as well as unflipped, face up, and phased in).

However, it's possible that the statement that everything enters tapped may have been true at that particular point in that particular game. There are a couple of cards that actually have this effect (though none are currently standard-legal), such as Orb of Dreams, or a tapped Archelos, Lagoon Mystic. These further highlight though the fact that normally things enter untapped, because otherwise they would be pointless cards (and WotC generally does not print truly pointless cards).

It’s also possible that the players who told you everything enters tapped are confused about rule 302.6, commonly known as ‘Summoning sickness’:

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 their most recent turn began. A creature can’t attack unless it has been under its controller’s control continuously since their most recent turn began. This rule is informally called the “summoning sickness” rule.


  • This only affects creatures, not other permanent types.
  • This does not tap the creature, it just prevents it from attacking or using it’s tap (or untap) abilities.
  • Creatures with summoning sickness can still block (as long as they are untapped.
  • Creatures with summoning sickness can still be tapped by other effects. For example, if you had a Merfolk creature enter your side of the battlefield this turn, you could still tap it to pay for one of Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca's abilities.
  • 12
    One key point is that creatures without haste can't attack the turn they entered the battlefield under your control, but they can still block. Tapped creatures can't block.
    – AlexC
    Sep 20, 2022 at 12:30
  • Another good example is Azami, Lady of Scrolls. She can tap herself for her ability the turn she entered the battlefield, assuming she didn't lose her creature type somehow
    – Ivo
    Sep 21, 2022 at 7:52

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