Expansion symbol

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200. General
201. Name
202. Mana Cost and Color
203. Illustration
204. Color Indicator
205. Type Line
206. Expansion Symbol
207. Text Box
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210. Hand Modifier
211. Life Modifier
212. Information Below the Text Box
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The expansion symbol is a small icon found on the right side of the middle line or type line on a Magic card and is a characteristic of that card. Each expansion symbol is unique to a particular expansions, identifying a card as belonging to that set. Every expansion and all Core Sets since Sixth Edition have used expansion symbols.

Expansion symbols were black-and-white through the Stronghold expansion. Since the Exodus expansion, expansion symbols have incorporated colors to identify the rarity of each card: common cards have black symbols, uncommon cards have silver or black-to-white fade symbols, and rare cards have gold symbols. A fourth expansion symbol color, purple, was introduced in Time Spiral to represent the 121 bonus Timeshifted cards in the set. Mythic Rare was added with Shards of Alara, its symbol is red-orange.

The Chronicles expansion consists entirely of white-bordered reprints. It is unusual because it does not have its own expansion symbol and instead uses the expansion symbols of the cards' home expansions.

From the Comprehensive Rules (Born of the Gods)

  • 206. Expansion Symbol
    • 206.1. The expansion symbol indicates which Magic set a card is from. It's normally printed below the right edge of the illustration. It has no effect on game play.
    • 206.2. The color of the expansion symbol indicates the rarity of the card within its set. A red-orange symbol indicates the card is mythic rare. A gold symbol indicates the card is rare. A silver expansion symbol indicates the card is uncommon. A black or white expansion symbol indicates the card is common or is a basic land. A purple expansion symbol signifies a special rarity; to date, only the Time Spiral® "timeshifted" cards, which were rarer than that set's rare cards, have had purple expansion symbols. (Prior to the Exodus™ set, all expansion symbols were black, regardless of rarity. Also, prior to the Sixth Edition core set, Magic core sets didn't have expansion symbols at all.)
    • 206.3. Previously, a spell or ability that affected cards from a particular set checked for that set's expansion symbol. These cards have recieved errata in the Oracle card reference to say they affect cards "originally printed" in a particular set. See rule 700.6 for details.
    • 206.4. Players may include cards from any printing in their constructed decks if those cards appear in sets allowed in that format (or those cards are specifically allowed by the Magic Tournament Rules). See the Magic Tournament Rules for the current definitions of the constructed formats (Wizards.com/WPN/Events/Rules.aspx).
    • 206.5. The full list of expansions and expansion symbols can be found in the Magic Products section of the Wizards of the Coast website (Wizards.com/Magic/TCG/Article.aspx?x=mtg/tcg/products/allproducts).

Expansion symbols matter

There are three expansion hosers:

There are three cards from Unhinged that mention expansion symbols:

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