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In Magic's early days, artifacts were considered "TURNED OFF" if they were tapped. This led to some confusion since none of the artifacts actually said that. Later rules changes removed this feature, with some erratta so cards like Winter Orb would retain their functionality. Many of a player's early control decks featured an Icy Manipulator + Winter Orb combo for a one-sided advantage.
Posted By: markarmor (7/23/2010 8:11:46 PM)
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It was in the rules. Poly & continous artifacts shut down when tapped, mono artifacts didn't. That's why Mana Vault worked correctly.
Posted By: tavaritz (4/21/2011 1:47:53 PM)
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Don't let Wizards bully you. Play this card like it was originally designed... tap off, untap on.

If Wizards wants to change how it was designed, they should simply ban it in formats and print a similar version to Winter Orb. That's what they usually do... why didn't they do it this time?
Posted By: Kragash (1/11/2012 1:47:36 PM)
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And now Winter Orb has been so it is no longer turned off by being tapped.
Posted By: A3Kitsune (5/4/2011 8:30:26 PM)
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Really good card. That being said you will lose friends if you play this in casual games. I love the face on the polar bear in the background.
Posted By: DivineNocturnus (8/15/2012 1:11:45 PM)
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@tavaritz:
Actually the rule applied to all non-creature artifacts, even mono artifacts. There were exceptions for artifacts having untap costs (Mana Vault, Basalt Monolith, Time Vault) or specifically doing something when tapped (Mana Vault). Of course it didn't usually didn't matter with mono artifacts, since they needed to tap to activate.

EDIT: Just for clarification, the rule of non-creature artifacts not working if tapped existed even during Revised and Fourth Editions, maybe even longer, and at that time, there were no more mono, poly, or continuous artifacts. But as mentioned, Time Vault and Mana Vault and similar had exceptions to still having to pay for untapping.
Posted By: mtkaim (9/16/2013 3:26:23 AM)
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