How To Explain This to a New Player?

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You can tap a summoning sickened creature with other spells.

Springleaf Drum for example.

I don't know how to put into words "why" you can do this but I know you can.
Summoning sickness prevents you from acting with or activating a creature's abilities that have or in the cost unless you've controlled that object since the beginning of your most recent turn.

Since springleaf drum is not an ability of that creature, it isn't prevented by summoning sickness. 
All Generalizations are Bad
I would point out that summoning sickness prevents a creature from doing two things*: 

  1. Attacking

  2. Using its own abilities which have the tap symbol () in the activation cost.

It doesn't stop the creature from becoming tapped by other means (the rule specifically cares about the tap symbol), and it doesn't stop you from using the abilities on other cards.

*ok, it actually prevents three things, but i don't think you want to bring up the untap symbol () to a new player unless it's necessary.
similarly there are also creatures that have tap abilities without that can be used despite summoning sickness

for example Captivating Vampire, Grand Architect or Heritage Druid
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Grand Architect can even tap himself while "summoning sick" in order to generate mana.
Compare his ability to that of a Llanowar Elves, which cannot be used while "summoning sick".
(one doesnt use the symbol while the other does)

~ Tim
I am Blue/White Reached DCI Rating 1800 on 28/10/11. :D
Sig
56287226 wrote:
190106923 wrote:
Not bad. But what happens flavor wise when one kamahl kills the other one?
Zis iz a sign uf deep psychological troma, buried in zer subconscious mind. By keelink himzelf, Kamahl iz physically expressink hiz feelinks uf self-disgust ova hiz desire for hiz muzzer. [/GermanPsychologistVoice]
56957928 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
That makes no sense to me. If they spelled the ability out on the card in full then it would not be allowed in a mono-black Commander deck, but because they used a keyword to save space it is allowed? ~ Tim
Yup, just like you can have Birds of paradise in a mono green deck but not Noble Hierarch. YAY COLOR IDENTITY
56287226 wrote:
56888618 wrote:
Is algebra really that difficult?
Survey says yes.
56883218 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
You want to make a milky drink. You squeeze a cow.
I love this description. Like the cows are sponges filled with milk. I can see it all Nick Parks claymation-style with the cow's eyes bugging out momentarily as a giant farmer squeezes it like a squeaky dog toy, and milk shoots out of it.
56287226 wrote:
56735468 wrote:
And no judge will ever give you a game loss for playing snow covered lands.
I now have a new goal in life. ;)
The key is to examine the cost of the abiliy.

Summoning sickness only prevents the activation of the abilities of creatures with the tap symbol () or the untap symbol () in the activation costs of the creature's own abilities (as shown by its Oracle text).

This means that you can freely tap any untapped crature to pay part of the activation cost of another creature - Selesnya Evangel, for example, requires you to tap two creatures. The Evangel itself cannot be subject to summoning sickness because the activation cost contains , but the other creature, because it is not being tapped for its own ability, can be tapped even if it has summoning sickness.

However, you can also tap a creature to pay the activation cost of it's own ability, provided that the ability does not contain the symbol. The clearest illustration of this is Seton, Krosan Protector, which you can tap for as soon as it enters the battlefield, because (unlike Llanowar Elves) the ability does not contain a .
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After reading all your responses.

The phrase "its own abilities" seems to explain it the easiest.

EDIT with a tap symbol!
After reading all your responses.


The phrase "its own abilities" seems to explain it the easiest.



But not perfect. Heritage Druid can tap itself (together with two other elves) even with summoning sickness.


EDIT with a tap symbol!


That's better and simply true.

[<o>]
I don't know how to put into words "why" you can do this but I know you can.

You can do this because a card says you can (SpringDrum) and no rule (or card) says you can't.
(Sounds like a joke, but THAT'S the real reason!)


As opposed to what your friend believe, the summoning sickness does NOT say you can't, if you read it carefully:
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.
 

As Cyphern pointed out, the TAP SYMBOL is an essential part of that rule,
and it also only applies to the creature's own abilities.

I don't know how to put into words "why" you can do this but I know you can.

You can do this because a card says you can (SpringDrum) and no rule (or card) says you can't.

Remember that the rules are essentially permissive. You can activate an ability because there are rules saying you can activate abilities and how to do it, not just because there isn't a rule that says you can't.

There are some rules (like the summoning sickness rule) that are restrictive, but the absense of a restrictive rule just means you can do the things the permissive rules allow you to, not whatever you want.

All Generalizations are Bad