Reminder text is parenthesized text printed in italics that follows a keyword or some other ability that might be confusing to players. Reminder text summarizes the basic function of keywords, or provides other information on how the rules affect the preceding ability.
While it is intended to illustrate the rules to players, reminder text does not define the actual mechanics gameplay, and though it may illustrate the general meaning of a keyword, it is often not completely accurate, sacrificing technical accuracy for ease of understanding. This can have some interesting implications; for example, changing the reminder text of Fear to 'this creature cannot be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or green creatures' with Mind Bend does not actually change the ability to reflect the new reminder text. The Unhinged card Duh destroys creatures with reminder text.
Reminder text was introduced in the Mirage set. The first Core Set to feature reminder text was Fifth Edition. Some players thought of this as 'dumbing down' the game. This was expanded upon when in the Eighth Edition even flying gained reminder text. Since then, most keywords printed on cards in a Core Set are followed by reminder text. However, in Tenth Edition, foil cards don't have reminder text, and may feature flavor text instead.
Creature — Dryad
Forestwalk (This creature can’t be blocked as long as defending player controls a Forest.)
: Target creature gains forestwalk until end of turn.
- Reminder Text
- Parenthetical text in italics in the text box of a card that summarizes a rule that applies to that card, but is not actually rules text and has no effect on play. See rule 207.2.
- Mark Rosewater. (March 1998). Jogging your memory, Mark my Words, The Duelist #23
- Randy Buehler (June 09, 2003). "The Future of Reminder Text". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Editorial staff (July 12, 2007). "The Premium Foils of Tenth Edition". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana (March 12, 2002). "What is the example?". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.