The expansion symbol is a small icon found on the right side of the middle line or type line on a Magic: The Gathering card and is a characteristic of that card. If a card is copied, the copy will therefore have the same expansion symbol. 
Description[edit | edit source]
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.
Rules[edit | edit source]
Requirements[edit | edit source]
A designer must infuse recognizable fantasy flavor into an expansion symbol while also fulfilling these tough requirements:
- Hold up at about 4 millimeters high and 8 millimeters wide.
- Can't look too much like any other expansion or game symbol.
- Has to work in solid black, as well as in silver, gold, and orange-red.
- Has to be a scalable, vector-based design (because sometimes it will also be seen really big).
Expansion symbols matter[edit | edit source]
- Apocalypse Chime hoses cards from Homelands.
- City in a Bottle hoses cards from Arabian Nights
- Golgothian Sylex hoses cards from Antiquities
There are three cards from Unhinged that mention expansion symbols:
- Greater Morphling, for this card's expansion symbol becomes the symbol of your choice until end of turn.
- Symbol Status puts a 1/1 colorless Expansion-Symbol creature token into play for each different expansion symbol among permanents you control.
- World-Bottling Kit lets you choose a Magic set for . Remove from the game all permanents with that set's expansion symbol except for basic lands.
References[edit | edit source]
- Monty Ashley. (December 01, 2010.) "The Status of the Symbol", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
- Mark Rosewater. (January 08, 2016.) "For purposes of Symbol Status, does Mirrodin Pure count as a separate expansion from New Phyrexia?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
- Matt Cavotta. (December 12, 2011.) "Before, During, and After", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast. [dead link]
[edit | edit source]
Brady Dommermuth. (October 2, 2006.) “Have you ever listed anywhere what all the different expansion symbols represent/mean?”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.