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The rules state that, while those abilities do all stack and all of them can be activated simultaneously, they do require a standard action to activate. I can't, however, find anything saying that the enchantments can't be added pre-activated.

Under normal circumstances, when these are permanent weapon enchantments, it's mostly an unimportant question, as those enchantments can just be turned on and left that way, as they don't actually hurt you or your gear. But the Magus is adding these enchantments mid-combat and they only last for a minute. It feels not only entirely nonsensical but also kind of worthless for the Magus to add those abilities and then have to waste a full 10th of their duration to activate them. Why wouldn't he just add them already on?

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Undefined.

The rules as written do not state which state an enchantment is in when it is added to a weapon. Simply that the user can activate or deactivate them with a standard action. Ergo, it is up to the GM what state a weapon is in after being crafted (or after an ability or spell adds that enchantment to a weapon temporarily).

If a weapon having that ability added to it by a spell or ability is intended to be used while in-combat (and anything with a duration of 1 minute or less is intended for such use), the in-game utility of that action is lowered by requiring an additional standard action to activate the ability, possibly to the point of making the ability not worth using. Especially if the ability that adds the enchantment to a weapon normally costs less than a standard action (in this case, a swift).

Either way it's a houserule, and the individual GM will have to make up his or her mind about whether or not they require the character to spend an additional standard action to activate flaming, shock, frost or other [elemental] enhancements after they have been placed upon a weapon by a spell or ability.

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No. The Arcane Pool class feature only adds the properties, it doesn't activate the resulting effects: the features doesn't say it does it, so it doesn't do that.

There is no provision for applying “pre-activated” enchantments to anything, by a Magus or otherwise. The book even says they can't be “always on” by indicating weapon properties need to be activated with a command (as a standard action). You gotta work with the action economy that exists, not the one that you wish existed.

As a general guideline, reasoning that depends primarily on “the rules don't say I can't…” doesn't work (to the point that it has become a joke). There are literally infinite things that rules don't say we can't do. An argument for being able to do something must have better support than an undisprovable negative.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @Wayne The descriptions of the flaming, frost and shock enchantments are all worded as "upon command, a ____ weapon is sheathed in _____" so you can interpret that as saying their base state is not being sheathed in energy. Otherwise, the descriptions would say "A _____ weapon is sheathed in _____ that goes away upon command" or suchlike. \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe Jan 22 '16 at 2:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ RAW, this answer is correct. But most tables handwave the command word standard action and make it activate upon use (mine included). Magi and paladins get shafted otherwise and will thread towards keen builds, which are much, much worse to handle at the table. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Mar 18 '16 at 12:02

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