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Introduced Mystery Booster
Last Used Mystery Booster
1 "static keyword" card
{U} 100%
1 "keyword action" card
{B} 100%
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Ransom are two different mechanics (rule-wise) that have the same name (and they are very similar flavour-wise, and thus might be considered as one) that appeared on two test cards in the Mystery Booster set.


Squidnapper uses ransom as a keyword ability, where it has a cost associated with it. Once the cost is paid, it may trigger an ability, or for Squidnapper's case, will end something. This is a design similar to Soul Ransom. It is unclear if the payment is restricted to opponents - like Soul Ransom - or if that any player may pay it, regardless of effectiveness.

Frogkin Kidnapper uses it as a keyword action, exiling a card from hand until the owner pays {3} to return it to their hand. Unlike similar cards that allows the opponent to pay a resource during resolution to keep the effect from working, like Force Spike, the Ransom cost can be paid as a special action at any time the player has priority.[1] Elements of this can be seen later in Elite Spellbinder.


Example 1

Squidnapper {3}{U}{U}
Creature — Squid Pirate
When Squidnapper enters the battlefield, gain control of target creature an opponent controls until Squidnapper leaves the battlefield or that player pays the ransom.
Ransom — {6} and 2 life

Example 2

Frogkin Kidnapper {1}{B}
Creature — Frog Rogue
When Frogkin Kidnapper enters the battlefield, target opponent reveals their hand. Choose a nonland card from it. Ransom that card. (Exile it. Its owner may pay {3} at any time to return it to their hand.)


  • Paying a ransom cost to end an effect is a special action. That cost may be paid any time if having priority, and players can't take actions in between the time the player announces their intent to pay and the time the special action resolves.
  • In the keyword ability case, if a card with a ransom ability loses that ability, it has no ransom cost. No player may pay its ransom cost.
  • In the keyword action case, the exiled card's owner may pay its ransom cost even if the permanent that ransomed it leaves the battlefield.


  1. Eli Shiffrin (November 11, 2019). "Mystery Booster Release Notes". Wizards of the Coast.