Last updated on April 30, 2024

Ornithopter of Paradise - Illustration by Raoul Vitale

Ornithopter of Paradise | Illustration by Raoul Vitale

We can all agree that creatures have summoning sickness. I mean, haste is a keyword for a reason. But what about other permanent types? What about artifacts?

Summoning sickness causes plenty of Splitting Headaches, and doubly so when permanents have multiple different types. Triply so when they happen to change types in the middle of the turn.

Let's put on our Magic stethoscopes and clarify this ailment through and through!

When Does an Artifact Have Summoning Sickness?

Cultivator's Caravan - Illustration by Mark Zug

Cultivator's Caravan | Illustration by Mark Zug

An artifact has summoning sickness only if it’s also a creature that hasn't been under your control since the start of your turn.

And you can extend that to any permanent that isn’t a creature.

Here's the thing: Of the six permanent types that exist in MTG (namely artifacts, battles, creatures, enchantments, lands, and planeswalkers), only those that are creatures suffer from summoning sickness.

If a game object isn’t a creature, it doesn't have summoning sickness.


If a game object is a creature (besides any other types that it may be), it has summoning sickness when it enters under your control until the start of your next turn.

But if an artifact is a non-creature artifact, it doesn't have summoning sickness.

What's more: If a game object changes types during a turn (like a vehicle becoming an artifact creature when you crew it), then it catches this sickness only when it becomes a creature (and not a moment before). And if at any point it loses the “creature” type, it's immediately “cured” from summoning sickness.

Do Artifacts With Tap Abilities Have Summoning Sickness?


Unless they’re also creatures, or somehow become creatures – then yes.

Objects that have more than one card type (for example, an artifact creature) are affected by all effects that apply to any of their card types. If a permanent isn’t a creature, it doesn't have summoning sickness no matter what else it may be.

On the other hand, if it is a creature, it suffers from summoning sickness regardless of its other permanent types (and unless it has haste).

Do Artifacts That Become Creatures Have Summoning Sickness?


Anything (lands, enchantments, or artifacts) that turns into a creature is subject to summoning sickness if it hasn't been under your control since the start of the turn, and if it doesn't have haste.

This is probably what makes things complicated: The game checks for “summoning sickness” any time that you may want to tap a permanent under your control. Which means that if a permanent gains the creature type in the middle of its first turn under your control, it catches an acute case of summon-itis.

The best example for this is vehicles.

Cultivator's Caravan

Say you cast a Cultivator's Caravan. It enters the game as an artifact that's also a vehicle – since it's not a creature it doesn't have summoning sickness, so you can tap it to add 1 mana of any color the moment it enters the battlefield.

But if you crew it, Cultivator's Caravan becomes an artifact creature – since it's now a creature, it suffers from summoning sickness and you won't be able to tap it (neither to generate mana nor to attack) during this turn.

Flavorful as it is, calling it “summoning sickness” is fundamentally wrong. It doesn't matter if the creature was summoned this turn, only if it's been under your control from the start of your turn.

If you gain control of an opponent's creature, it also has “summoning sickness,” even if your foe summoned it several turns ago.

Claim the Firstborn

That's why effects that steal a creature, like Claim the Firstborn, also give haste to the stolen creature. That way you can attack with it the same turn during which you gained control of it.

Therefore, if you somehow steal your foe's Cultivator's Caravan, you can immediately tap it for mana. But if you crew it and turn it into a creature, it has summoning sickness unless it also has haste.

Do Artifact Tokens Have Summoning Sickness?

Are they also creatures, on top of being artifact tokens?

If yes, then yes.

If no (like treasures or food), then no.

Can You Blink an Artifact to Activate It Again?


Unless they’re also a creature without haste – in that case, they get summon-sick the moment they re-enter the battlefield.

The game treats blinked permanents (the nickname for effects like Flicker that exile a permanent and then return them to the battlefield) as a new object, and new objects enter the game untapped (unless there's some other effect saying the contrary, of course).

Sol Ring

Say you have a tapped Sol Ring; if any effect makes it leave the battlefield and then return, it returns as a new object and therefore untapped. And since this new object isn’t a creature, you can tap it right away if you want – no summoning sickness.

Ornithopter of Paradise

But you can't do the same with Ornithopter of Paradise. It enters untapped, as any new object. But since it's a new object, the game will say “This object has not been under your control since the start of your turn”; and since it's a creature, it will have summoning sickness. Therefore, you won't be able to tap your blinked Ornithopter of Paradise for mana, or attack with it, until the start of your next turn.

Wrap Up

Claim the Firstborn - Illustration by Iain McCaig

Claim the Firstborn | Illustration by Iain McCaig

I'll risk you being sick of me repeating this, but for clarity's sake: only creatures suffer summoning sickness.

Forget about the artifact type. If it's not a creature, no matter what else it may be, it doesn't have summoning sickness; simple as that.

And if it’s a creature, then it does.

I recommend reading about all the details of summoning sickness, especially to dive into other specific cases.

If you have further comments or questions please drop a comment below, stop by the Draftsim Discord for a chat!

And may your artifacts never get sick!

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