Text box

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The text box is the box that takes up most of the lower part of a Magic card. Rules text and flavor text are both printed in this box.

Split cards have two text boxes, one for each half of the card and in proportion to each half-card. One text box is chosen to be active when a split card is played.

Flip cards also have two smaller text boxes, one for each flip state of the card. The active text box is found at the bottom of the card and defines how the card can be flipped, activating the second text box and deactivating the first.

From the Comprehensive Rules (Archenemy: Nicol Bolas (June 5, 2017))

  • 207. Text Box
    • 207.1. The text box is printed on the lower half of the card. It usually contains rules text defining the card’s abilities.
    • 207.2. The text box may also contain italicized text that has no game function.
      • 207.2a Reminder text is italicized text within parentheses that summarizes a rule that applies to that card. It usually appears on the same line as the ability it’s relevant to, but it may appear on its own line if it applies to an aspect of the card other than an ability.
      • 207.2b Flavor text is italicized text that, like the illustration, adds artistic appeal to the game. It appears below the rules text.
      • 207.2c An ability word appears in italics at the beginning of some abilities. Ability words are similar to keywords in that they tie together cards that have similar functionality, but they have no special rules meaning and no individual entries in the Comprehensive Rules. The ability words are battalion, bloodrush, channel, chroma, cohort, constellation, converge, council’s dilemma, delirium, domain, fateful hour, ferocious, formidable, grandeur, hellbent, heroic, imprint, inspired, join forces, kinship, landfall, lieutenant, metalcraft, morbid, parley, radiance, raid, rally, revolt, spell mastery, strive, sweep, tempting offer, threshold, and will of the council.
    • 207.3. Some cards have decorative icons in the background of their text boxes. For example, a guild icon appears in the text box of many Ravnica: City of Guilds® and Return to Ravnica™ block cards, and a faction icon appears in the text box of most Scars of Mirrodin™ block cards. Similarly, many promotional cards include decorative icons. These icons have no effect on game play.
    • 207.4. The chaos symbol {CHAOS} appears in the text box of each plane card to the left of a triggered ability that triggers whenever {CHAOS} is rolled on the planar die. The symbol itself has no special rules meaning.