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Spell Type
(Subtype for instant/sorcery spells)
20 cards
{W} 15% {U} 25% {B} 15% {R} 25% {G} 20%
as of Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths
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Trap is a spell type which is only used on instants. It was introduced in Zendikar, and also featured in Worldwake.[1][2][3]


Traps may be cast as for their regular mana cost, but also have an alternative cost should specific events occur. Usually, traps have abilities that undo whatever has made their alternative cost possible; for instance, a Trap that was enabled by two lands entering the battlefield under an opponent's control would destroy two lands.

New traps were designed for Zendikar Rising, but they didn't make to the final product.[4]


From the Comprehensive Rules (April 29, 2022—Streets of New Capenna)

  • 205.3k Instants and sorceries share their lists of subtypes; these subtypes are called spell types. The spell types are Adventure, Arcane, Lesson, and Trap.



Whiplash Trap {3}{U}{U}
Instant - Trap
If an opponent had two or more creatures enter the battlefield under their control this turn, you may pay {U} rather than pay Whiplash Trap’s mana cost.
Return two target creatures to their owner's hand.


  • The card Pitfall Trap was based on the artifact Pit Trap.[5]
  • Trap was originally an artifact subtype in original Zendikar design. You played the card face down in exile informing the opponent(s) that you’ve laid a trap. Then if the opponent did a certain action you could flip it up and put it into play. Usually, it would negatively affect the opponent or their creatures in some way.[6] Zendikar Rising attempted to bring back artifact Traps, simplifying the face-down exile aspect to an ability to put it into play from the hand without casting it. As mentioned above, it was later cut. [4]


  1. Mark Rosewater (September 14, 2009). "Achieving Zendikar, Part II". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Tom LaPille (September 11, 2009). "You Just Fell For The Trap". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater (October 19, 2020). "Original Zendikar Design Hand-Off Document, Part Two". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. a b Mark Rosewater (September 28, 2020). "Zendikar Rising Vision Design Hand-Off". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Magic Arcana (November 9, 2009). "A Trap's Inspiration". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Mark Rosewater (June 25, 2021). "I was wondering if I could get some production history of the 'Trap' card type?". Blogatog. Tumblr.

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