MTG Wiki
Ability Word
Introduced Unhinged
Last Used Unhinged
Typical Text Gotcha — Whenever (event), you may say "Gotcha!" If you do, return CARDNAME from your graveyard to your hand.
11 cards
{W} 18.2% {U} 18.2% {B} 18.2% {R} 18.2% {G} 27.3%
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Gotcha is an ability word which has only been seen in Unhinged.[1][2] It allows for recursion when the player says "Gotcha!" in response to a specified action of the opponent. It is now considered a bad mechanic for Un-sets due to making the game less fun and social by punishing player actions and interactions, making it the namesake of the Gotcha Scale.


The mechanic groups together triggered abilities on cards which allow the player to return a card from the graveyard to their hand when its owner says "Gotcha!" in response to something an opponent is doing or saying. There is a cycle of five cards with two-word names related to common game terms, which trigger upon the opponent saying either of the words in the name. Another cycle uses a wider variety of physical or verbal action triggers. And the card Name Dropping essentially gives all cards in the graveyard Gotcha by triggering off their names and returning them to the owner's hand - the only Gotcha that doesn't apply to the card it's on.

Mark Rosewater considers Gotcha a design mistake, because the most efficient way to avoid getting Gotcha'ed is to clam up and not talk or interact. This isn't appropriate for a light, fun, friendly format.[3][4]



Stop That {B}
Target player discards a card.
Gotcha — Whenever an opponent audibly flicks the cards in his or her hand, you may say "Gotcha!" If you do, return Stop That from your graveyard to your hand.


  • Carnivorous Death-Parrot forces a player to say a sentence that features one word from each card in the “don’t say this word” cycle.[5]
  • Unlike other ability words, Gotcha isn't italicized.