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The color indicator ({CI_W}, {CI_U}, {CI_B}, {CI_R}, {CI_G}) is a characteristic of an object. It is printed to the left of the type line directly below the illustration. It consists of a circular symbol filled in with typically one but sometimes more colors. A color indicator is usually found on cards without a mana cost that however have to convey color information.

History[ | ]

The color indicator was introduced with Innistrad to define the colors of the back faces of double-faced cards without resorting to characteristic-defining abilities.[1] With the following Oracle update, some cards (such as Crimson Kobolds and Evermind) received errata, removing a characteristic-defining ability defining the card's color, and receiving a color indicator instead. This produced some functional changes, such as Crimson Kobolds being affected by Muraganda Petroglyphs, and players being unable to splice Evermind onto Arcane spells in order to change the original spell's color.

Multicolored color indicators[ | ]

Multicolored color indicators exist usually when the backside of a DFC is multicolored, which is a narrow intersection of mechanical design. Sets from Innistrad previously held the collective greatest number of these, but March of the Machine's multicolored Battles and Phyrexian transformations put thirty-three in one set, with multiple full complements of color-pairs. Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar is unique in that the name length prevents having a conventional mana cost, making it the only single-faced card with an indicator.

Three-color indicators are rarer, as designing enough three-color cards are already difficult: there are three Premier set cards with a tricolored indicator. Incidentally, all are legendary creatures. Outside of that, the Transformers Universes Beyond product has four cards having tricolored indicators that are colored more by character rather than by mechanical purpose.

Two-colored[ | ]

Allied color {CI_WU} {CI_UB} {CI_BR} {CI_RG} {CI_GW}
Transformers Goldbug, Scrappy Scout Cyclonus, Cybertronian Fighter Flamewar, Streetwise Operative Blaster, Morale Booster
Phyrexians Heliod, the Warped Eclipse Rona, Tolarian Obliterator Ayara, Furnace Queen Etali, Primal Sickness Burnished Dunestomper
Order of the Alabaster Host Gitaxian Mindstinger Glistening Goremonger Plated Kilnbeast Polukranos, Engine of Ruin
Sieges Vertex Paladin Lazotep Convert Ashen Reaper Turga Clliffcharger Bloomwielder Dryads
Ephara, Ever-Sheltering
Teferi Akosa of Zhalfir
Enemy color {CI_WB} {CI_UR} {CI_BG} {CI_RW} {CI_GU}
Transformers Arcee, Acrobatic Coupe
Phyrexians Seraph of New Phyrexia Compleated Conjurer Blightsower Thallid Phyrexian Skyflayer Chrome Host Hulk
Hideous Fleshwheeler Gitaxian Spellstalker Malady Invoker Furnace-Blessed Conqueror Skyclave Invader
Sieges Holy Frazzle-Cannon Aetherwing, Golden-Scale Flagship Winnowing Forces Valor's Reach Tag Team Gargantuan Slabhorn
The Broken Sky
MH3 Flip-walkers Sorin, Ravenous Neonate Ral, Leyline Prodigy Grist, the Plague Swarm Ajani, Nacatl Avenger Tamiyo, Seasoned Scholar

Three-colored[ | ]

{CI_WUB} {CI_UBR} {CI_RGW} {CI_URW} {CI_RWB}
Transformers Soundwave, Superior Captain Ultra Magnus, Armored Carrier
Grimlock, Ferocious King (Acorn)
Optimus Prime, Autobot Leader Megatron, Destructive Force
Nicol Bolas, the Arisen Roar of the Fifth People The Golden-Gear Colossus

Five-colored[ | ]

For a while, Transguild Courier featured a five-colored indicator in Gatherer but was never printed with it. When a five-colored indicator was considered for Sphinx of the Guildpact, no version was deemed suitable for printing. This resulted in the use five-colored indicators to be abandoned in favor of characteristic-defining abilities, and a similar oracle update for Transguild Courier.[2][3]

Rules[ | ]

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (June 7, 2024—Modern Horizons 3)

Color Indicator
A characteristic of an object. See rule 105, “Colors,” and rule 204, “Color Indicator.”

From the Comprehensive Rules (June 7, 2024—Modern Horizons 3)

  • 204. Color Indicator
    • 204.1. The color indicator is printed to the left of the type line directly below the illustration. It consists of a circular symbol filled in with one or more colors. A color indicator is usually found on nonland cards without a mana cost.
    • 204.2. An object with a color indicator is each color denoted by that color indicator.

References[ | ]

  1. Wizards of the Coast (August 28, 2011). "Double-Faced Card Rules". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater (January 15, 2019). "Why isnt there a 5 color color indicator on...". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  3. Eli Shiffrin (January 22, 2019). "Ravnica Allegiance Oracle Changes". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
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