Krovikan Plague

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Krovikan Plague's oracle wording reads "Tap enchanted creature: Krovikan Plague deals 1 damage to target creature or player. Put a -0/-1 counter on enchanted creature. Activate this ability only if enchanted creature is untapped." under what other circumstances would you be able to pay that cost? is it possible to tap a tapped creature? I was under the impression that the fact that you couldn't was why twiddle and pals needed to gain a "you may".

 
120.6. Some effects replace card draws.
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120.6. Some effects replace card draws.
You can always tap a permanent, even if it's already tapped. Normally when you must tap as a cost the ability will specify that you need to tap an untapped permanent, but for some reason Krovikan Plague is worded differently to get pretty much the same effect.
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You can always tap a permanent, even if it's already tapped. Normally when you must tap as a cost the ability will specify that you need to tap an untapped permanent, but for some reason Krovikan Plague is worded differently to get pretty much the same effect.


this seemed wrong, so I went to the CR. to quote:

701.17a To tap a permanent, turn it sideways from an upright position. Only untapped permanents can be tapped.

as I recall, the clock of omens-style wording is functionally reminder text. it makes sure everyone knows, and it only costs you one word.

120.6. Some effects replace card draws.
Huh, I stand corrected. I suppose Krovikan Plague also just has it there as reminder text.
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under what other circumstances would you be able to pay that cost? is it possible to tap a tapped creature?

None so far as I can tell, and no, respectively. That text is there for pretty much the same reasons as 'untapped' on Clock of Omens.

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Is there a difference in tapping something as a cost, and something getting tapped on resolution?
It's not specific to tapping.

If a resolving spell/ability contains an impossible instruction, you just do as much as possible. If a cost contains an impossible instruction, that cost can't be paid (which means, for example, that an activated ability with that cost couldn't be activated).
Is there a difference in tapping something as a cost, and something getting tapped on resolution?



Absolutely, it's the difference between doing as much as possible, and being able to do something at all, as adeyke said. Hypothetical ability:

"Destroy a creature you control: Draw a card." Can only be activated if you control a creature, and if that creature can be destroyed. You must be able to pay the cost; if you can't "destroy a creature you control", then you can't activate the ability (for example, you wouldn't be able to activate this if all your creatures were indestructible).

": Destroy a creature you control. Draw a card." Can be activated regardless of whether or not you have a creature, and you still draw a card even if all your creatures are indestructible. The game does as much as possible. You (try to) destroy a creature you control during resolution, and then draw a card.
This is why if your opponent activates the ability of Soul Ransom, you can sacrifice the creature (causing Soul Ransom to go to the graveyard) in response and still get to draw 2 cards.
It's not specific to tapping.

If a resolving spell/ability contains an impossible instruction, you just do as much as possible. If a cost contains an impossible instruction, that cost can't be paid (which means, for example, that an activated ability with that cost couldn't be activated).


I should have been more clear. I understand there is a difference, I meant is that difference part of whats requiring this card to have the clause. As I look at it more, it seems no.


Is the card so old that the distinction between tapping as a cost and as an effect was not as established?   

Is the card so old that the distinction between tapping as a cost and as an effect was not as established?

No. Wizards specifically added that clause later as a reminder so that players could easily figure out how it works. All similar cards have that same clause.
The following seem to be the only cards that require the tapping of a specific permanent in order to activate an ability (other than those using , of course):
Earthlore
Krovikan Plague
Nature's Chosen
Tourach's Gate
Veteran's Voice

All of them have that extraneous text. I think zammm has it right. It's effectively just reminder text.
The question, then, is why not make it actual reminder text? On Clock of Omens and friends leaving the word "untapped" there is shorter than the reminder text would need to be, but here you could really just put parentheses around the same text.
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Is there a difference in tapping something as a cost, and something getting tapped on resolution?

I think you're asking about the difference between a cost of "tap" and an instruction to "tap".

It's impossible in both cases, and cannot be done in either case. In that regard, there's no difference.

The consequence of it being impossible is different though. You cannot pay an unpayable/impossible cost (so it would prevent you from activating the ability, for example), but you merely ignore impossible instructions in effects (allowing the rest of the effect to happen).

The question, then, is why not make it actual reminder text? On Clock of Omens and friends leaving the word "untapped" there is shorter than the reminder text would need to be, but here you could really just put parentheses around the same text.


or make all reminder text rules text.

 
120.6. Some effects replace card draws.