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Artwork of "Toll", an example of a card that imposes a cost on players.
Artwork of "Toll", an example of a card that imposes a cost on players.



Japanese (romanized)




To pay (Japanese: はらHarau) is to give up LP for a card effect or cost. Typically, paying LP is a cost, although some cards involve paying LP for an effect.

A player cannot pay more LP than they have left. If paying LP is a requirement to activate a card or effect and the player cannot, that card or effect cannot be activated. If paying LP is part of a maintenance cost and the player cannot, that card is destroyed (even if the payment is mandatory).[1] "Destructive Draw" is the only exception to this rule, which states in its card text that if its controller cannot pay its maintenance cost, instead that player's Life Points become 0.

In the OCG, a player can pay LP equal to their current LP.[2] As such, if a mandatory maintenance cost (such as that of "Terrorking Archfiend") requires the player to pay the exact amount of LP they have remaining, that cost must be paid and that player loses the Duel.

"Spell Economics" allows the player to activate Spell Cards that normally require Life Points to be paid as a cost, such as "Dimension Fusion" and "Brain Control", without paying those Life Points.

See also[edit]


  1. "Individual Card Rulings [A-C]". UDE. Archfiends. Archived from the original on 17 February 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  2. Konami. Yu-Gi-Oh! Official Card Game - Perfect Rulebook 2015. p. 39.