Numbers and symbols

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Several numbers and symbols are used on Magic cards.

Symbol Description Notes
, , , , , and so on. Expansion symbol The symbol indicates to which set the card belongs.
0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and so on.‎ Numerals The only numbers the game uses are integers.
X The letter X A placeholder for a number that needs to be determined.
{W}, {U}, {B}, {R}, {G} The colored mana symbols Colored mana in costs can be paid only with the appropriate color of mana.
As part of a mana ability the symbols show which color of mana is added to your mana pool.
M, N, O, and so on. Any specific color Design shorthand for a specific, arbitrary color.
{C} Colorless mana symbol Colorless mana in costs can only be paid with colorless mana.
As part of a mana ability it shows that colorless mana is added to your mana pool. Cards before Oath of the Gatewatch used the generic mana symbols instead.
{0} Zero mana Placeholder for a cost that can be paid with no resources.
{X}, {1}, {2}, {3}, {4}, and so on. Generic mana symbols Generic mana in costs can be paid with any type of mana.
{W/U}, {W/B}, {U/B}, {U/R}, {B/R}, {B/G}, {R/G}, {R/W}, {G/W}, and {G/U} Hybrid mana symbols A cost that can be paid in one of two ways, as represented by the two halves of the symbol.
{2/W}, {2/U}, {2/B}, {2/R}, and {2/G} Monocolored hybrid mana symbols A cost that can be paid with either one colored mana or two mana of any type.
{W/P}, {U/P}, {B/P}, {R/P}, {G/P} , and {P} Phyrexian mana symbols A cost that can be paid either with one mana of its color or by paying 2 life. The last symbol is used in rules text for any of the five Phyrexian mana symbols.
{S} Snow mana symbol Generic mana that can be paid with one mana of any type produced by a snow permanent.
{T} Tap symbol An activation cost that means "Tap this permanent."
{Q} Untap symbol An activation cost that means "Untap this permanent."
Loyalty symbol start.jpg Loyalty symbol A planeswalker enters the battlefield with that many loyalty counters on it.
Loyalty symbol up.png, Loyalty symbol neutral.jpg, and Loyalty symbol down.png Loyalty ability symbols Loyalty ability are activated ability with a cost of modifying the loyalty counter on the permanent (usually a planeswalker). A positive number means add that many counters. A negative number means remove that many counters. A zero means don't do any modifications. An ability with a negative loyalty cost can’t be activated unless the permanent has at least that many loyalty counters on it.
Level up 2.jpg and Level up 3.jpg Level symbols Both symbols check the number of level counters on a creature. As long as the creature has an amount of counter within the indicated range, it has a certain power and toughness as well as abilities.
Tombstone icon.jpg Tombstone icon Indicates a card with abilities that are relevant in a player's graveyard.
{instant symbol}, {sorcery symbol}, {creature symbol}, {enchantment symbol}, {land symbol}, {artifact symbol}, and {Multiple symbol} The Future Sight symbols Due to the special frame used in Future Sight every card type received a symbol.
The symbols are from left to right: Instants, Sorceries, Creatures, Enchantments, Lands, Artifacts, and cards with multiple card types.
{PW} The Planeswalker symbol Symbolizes Planeswalker cards and is also used to Planeswalk in the Planechase format.
{CHAOS} The chaos symbol Exclusively used in the Planechase format.
Front: {Sun symbol} / Back: {Moon symbol}
Front: {Origin symbol} / Back: {Ignite symbol}
Front: {Eldritch moon symbol} / Back: {Emrakul symbol}
The transformation symbols The sun indicates the front face of a double-faced card, the moon indicates the back face (transformed side).
In Magic Origins a rising sun is the front side, and Planeswalker symbol denotes the transformed side.
In Eldritch Moon the full moon is the front side, and Emrakul denotes the transformed side.
{E} Energy symbol The refined aether that is the primary power source for most of Kaladesh. Used on cards to represent a cost of an energy counter.
{CI_W}, {CI_U}, {CI_B}, {CI_R}, {CI_G} Color indicator Some cards have a color indicator to the left of their type. The color of the symbol defines the card's color or colors.

Rules[edit | edit source]

From the Comprehensive Rules (Aether Revolt (January 20, 2017))

  • 107. Numbers and Symbols
    • 107.1. The only numbers the Magic game uses are integers.
      • 107.1a You can’t choose a fractional number, deal fractional damage, gain fractional life, and so on. If a spell or ability could generate a fractional number, the spell or ability will tell you whether to round up or down.
      • 107.1b Most of the time, the Magic game uses only positive numbers and zero. You can’t choose a negative number, deal negative damage, gain negative life, and so on. However, it’s possible for a game value, such as a creature’s power, to be less than zero. If a calculation or comparison needs to use a negative value, it does so. If a calculation that would determine the result of an effect yields a negative number, zero is used instead, unless that effect sets a player’s life total to a specific value, doubles a player’s life total, sets a creature’s power or toughness to a specific value, or otherwise modifies a creature’s power or toughness.

        Example: If a 3/4 creature gets -5/-0, it’s a -2/4 creature. It doesn’t assign damage in combat. Its total power and toughness is 2. You’d have to give it +3/+0 to raise its power to 1.

        Example: Viridian Joiner is a 1/2 creature with the ability “{T}: Add to your mana pool an amount of {G} equal to Viridian Joiner’s power.” An effect gives it -2/-0, then its ability is activated. The ability adds no mana to your mana pool.

      • 107.1c If a rule or ability instructs a player to choose “any number,” that player may choose any positive number or zero, unless something (such as damage or counters) is being divided or distributed among “any number” of players and/or objects. In that case, a nonzero number of players and/or objects must be chosen if possible.
    • 107.2. If anything needs to use a number that can’t be determined, either as a result or in a calculation, it uses 0 instead.
    • 107.3. Many objects use the letter X as a placeholder for a number that needs to be determined. Some objects have abilities that define the value of X; the rest let their controller choose the value of X.
      • 107.3a If a spell or activated ability has a mana cost, alternative cost, additional cost, and/or activation cost with an {X}, [-X], or X in it, and the value of X isn’t defined by the text of that spell or ability, the controller of that spell or ability chooses and announces the value of X as part of casting the spell or activating the ability. (See rule 601, “Casting Spells.”) While a spell is on the stack, any X in its mana cost or in any alternative cost or additional cost it has equals the announced value. While an activated ability is on the stack, any X in its activation cost equals the announced value.
      • 107.3b If a player is casting a spell that has an {X} in its mana cost, the value of X isn’t defined by the text of that spell, and an effect lets that player cast that spell while paying neither its mana cost nor an alternative cost that includes X, then the only legal choice for X is 0. This doesn’t apply to effects that only reduce a cost, even if they reduce it to zero. See rule 601, “Casting Spells.”
      • 107.3c If a spell or activated ability has an {X}, [-X], or X in its cost and/or its text, and the value of X is defined by the text of that spell or ability, then that’s the value of X while that spell or ability is on the stack. The controller of that spell or ability doesn’t get to choose the value. Note that the value of X may change while that spell or ability is on the stack.
      • 107.3d If a cost associated with a special action, such as a suspend cost or a morph cost, has an {X} or an X in it, the value of X is chosen by the player taking the special action as he or she pays that cost.
      • 107.3e Sometimes X appears in the text of a spell or ability but not in a mana cost, alternative cost, additional cost, or activation cost. If the value of X isn’t defined, the controller of the spell or ability chooses the value of X at the appropriate time (either as it’s put on the stack or as it resolves).
      • 107.3f If a card in any zone other than the stack has an {X} in its mana cost, the value of {X} is treated as 0, even if the value of X is defined somewhere within its text.
      • 107.3g If an effect instructs a player to pay an object’s mana cost that includes {X}, the value of X is treated as 0 unless the object is a spell on the stack. In that case, the value of X is the value chosen or determined for it as the spell was cast.
      • 107.3h Normally, all instances of X on an object have the same value at any given time. If an object gains an ability, the value of X within that ability is the value defined by that ability, or 0 if that ability doesn’t define a value of X.
      • 107.3i Some objects use the letter Y in addition to the letter X. Y follows the same rules as X.
    • 107.4. The mana symbols are {W}, {U}, {B}, {R}, {G}, and {C}; the numerical symbols {0}, {1}, {2}, {3}, {4}, and so on; the variable symbol {X}; the hybrid symbols {W/U}, {W/B}, {U/B}, {U/R}, {B/R}, {B/G}, {R/G}, {R/W}, {G/W}, and {G/U}; the monocolored hybrid symbols {2/W}, {2/U}, {2/B}, {2/R}, and {2/G}; the Phyrexian mana symbols {W/P}, {U/P}, {B/P}, {R/P}, and {G/P}; and the snow symbol {S}.
      • 107.4a There are five primary colored mana symbols: {W} is white, {U} blue, {B} black, {R} red, and {G} green. These symbols are used to represent colored mana, and also to represent colored mana in costs. Colored mana in costs can be paid only with the appropriate color of mana. See rule 202, “Mana Cost and Color.”
      • 107.4b Numerical symbols (such as {1}) and variable symbols (such as {X}) represent generic mana in costs. Generic mana in costs can be paid with any type of mana. For more information about {X}, see rule 107.3.
      • 107.4c The colorless mana symbol {C} is used to represent one colorless mana, and also to represent a cost that can be paid only with one colorless mana.
      • 107.4d The symbol {0} represents zero mana and is used as a placeholder for a cost that can be paid with no resources. (See rule 117.5.)
      • 107.4e Hybrid mana symbols are also colored mana symbols. Each one represents a cost that can be paid in one of two ways, as represented by the two halves of the symbol. A hybrid symbol such as {W/U} can be paid with either white or blue mana, and a monocolored hybrid symbol such as {2/B} can be paid with either one black mana or two mana of any type. A hybrid mana symbol is all of its component colors.

        Example: {G/W}{G/W} can be paid by spending {G}{G}, {G}{W}, or {W}{W}.

      • 107.4f Phyrexian mana symbols are colored mana symbols: {W/P} is white, {U/P} is blue, {B/P} is black, {R/P} is red, and {G/P} is green. A Phyrexian mana symbol represents a cost that can be paid either with one mana of its color or by paying 2 life.

        Example: {W/P}{W/P} can be paid by spending {W}{W}, by spending {W} and paying 2 life, or by paying 4 life.

      • 107.4g In rules text, the Phyrexian symbol {P} with no colored background means any of the five Phyrexian mana symbols.
      • 107.4h The snow mana symbol {S} represents one generic mana in a cost. This generic mana can be paid with one mana of any type produced by a snow permanent (see rule 205.4f). Effects that reduce the amount of generic mana you pay don’t affect {S} costs. (There is no such thing as “snow mana”; “snow” is not a type of mana.)
    • 107.5. The tap symbol is {T}. The tap symbol in an activation cost means “Tap this permanent.” A permanent that’s already tapped can’t be tapped again to pay the cost. A creature’s activated ability with the tap symbol in its activation cost can’t be activated unless the creature has been under its controller’s control continuously since his or her most recent turn began. See rule 302.6.
    • 107.6. The untap symbol is {Q}. The untap symbol in an activation cost means “Untap this permanent.” A permanent that’s already untapped can’t be untapped again to pay the cost. A creature’s activated ability with the untap symbol in its activation cost can’t be activated unless the creature has been under its controller’s control continuously since his or her most recent turn began. See rule 302.6.
    • 107.7. Each activated ability of a planeswalker has a loyalty symbol in its cost. Positive loyalty symbols point upward and feature a plus sign followed by a number. Negative loyalty symbols point downward and feature a minus sign followed by a number or an X. Neutral loyalty symbols don’t point in either direction and feature a 0. [+N] means “Put N loyalty counters on this permanent,” [-N] means “Remove N loyalty counters from this permanent,” and [0] means “Put zero loyalty counters on this permanent.”
    • 107.8. The text box of a leveler card contains two level symbols, each of which is a keyword ability that represents a static ability. The level symbol includes either a range of numbers, indicated here as “N1-N2,” or a single number followed by a plus sign, indicated here as “N3+.” Any abilities printed within the same text box striation as a level symbol are part of its static ability. The same is true of the power/toughness box printed within that striation, indicated here as “[P/T].” See rule 710, “Leveler Cards.”
      • 107.8a “{LEVEL N1-N2} [Abilities] [P/T]” means “As long as this creature has at least N1 level counters on it, but no more than N2 level counters on it, it has base power and toughness [P/T] and has [abilities].”
      • 107.8b “{LEVEL N3+} [Abilities] [P/T]” means “As long as this creature has N3 or more level counters on it, it has base power and toughness [P/T] and has [abilities].”
    • 107.9. A tombstone icon appears to the left of the name of many Odyssey™ block cards with abilities that are relevant in a player’s graveyard. The purpose of the icon is to make those cards stand out when they’re in a graveyard. This icon has no effect on game play.
    • 107.10. A type icon appears in the upper left corner of each card from the Future Sight® set printed with an alternate “timeshifted” frame. If the card has a single card type, this icon indicates what it is: claw marks for creature, a flame for sorcery, a lightning bolt for instant, a sunrise for enchantment, a chalice for artifact, and a pair of mountain peaks for land. If the card has multiple card types, that’s indicated by a black and white cross. This icon has no effect on game play.
    • 107.11. The Planeswalker symbol is {PW}. It appears on one face of the planar die used in the Planechase casual variant. See rule 901, “Planechase.”
    • 107.12. The chaos symbol is {CHAOS}. It appears on one face of the planar die used in the Planechase casual variant, as well as in abilities that refer to the results of rolling the planar die. See rule 901, “Planechase.”
    • 107.13. A color indicator is a circular symbol that appears to the left of the type line on some cards. The color of the symbol defines the card’s color or colors. See rule 202, “Mana Cost and Color.”
    • 107.14. The energy symbol is {E}. It represents one energy counter. To pay {E}, a player removes one energy counter from himself or herself.

External Links[edit | edit source]