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Untap is a keyword action that happens during the untap step. It is the process of rotating a permanent back to the upright position from a sideways position.


[edit] Rules

From the Comprehensive Rules:

  • 701.17. Tap and Untap
    • 701.17a To tap a permanent, turn it sideways from an upright position. Only untapped permanents can be tapped.
    • 701.17b To untap a permanent, rotate it back to the upright position from a sideways position. Only tapped permanents can be untapped.

[edit] Untap symbol

The untap symbol Untap.gif was introduced in Shadowmoor where "untapping" was a mechanic of the set. [1] [2] By 2010, the introduction of the symbol was considered a failure; players just read the untap symbol as a tap symbol. [3]

From the Comprehensive Rules

  • 104. Numbers and Symbols
    • 104.5.The untap symbol is Untap.gif. The untap symbol in an activation cost means “Untap this permanent.” A permanent that’s already untapped can’t be untapped again to pay the cost. Creatures that haven’t been under a player’s control continuously since the beginning of his or her most recent turn can’t use any ability with the untap symbol in the cost. See rule 212.3f.
    • 212.3f A creature’s activated ability with the tap symbol or the untap symbol in its activation cost can’t be played unless the creature has been under its controller’s control since the start of his or her most recent turn. A creature can’t attack unless it has been under its controller’s control since the start of his or her most recent turn. This rule is informally called the “summoning sickness” rule. Ignore this rule for creatures with haste (see rule 502.5).

[edit] Rulings

The untap symbol.
  • The untap symbol is the analog of the tap symbol. Represented as {Q} in rules documents, it looks like a white J-shaped arrow (with the arrowhead pointing up) on a black circle Untap.gif.
  • The untap symbol appears only in the costs of activated abilities. It means "Untap this permanent."
  • If the permanent is already untapped, you can't play its Untap.gif ability. That's because you can't pay the "Untap this permanent" cost.
  • The "summoning sickness" rule applies to Untap.gif. If a creature with an Untap.gif ability hasn't been under your control since your most recent turn began, you can't play that ability. Ignore this rule if the creature also has haste.
  • When you play an Untap.gif ability, you untap the creature with that ability as a cost. The untap can't be responded to. (The actual ability can be responded to, of course.)

[edit] Trivia

[edit] References

  1. Mark Rosewater. (April 14, 2008.) "Shadowmoor than Meets The Eye, Part III", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Devin Low. (Friday, April 11, 2008.) "The Day the Cards Tapped Backwards",, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater. (November 08, 2010.) "Essay What", Daily MTG,, Wizards of the Coast.

[edit] External links