If I cast City in a Bottle, what cards are affected? I remember hearing something about a rules change revoking the set symbol as a characteristic, meaning that cards like this would affect all cards first printed in the Arabian Nights set, is this correct?

I cant find anything in the rulings or on gatherer to that effect

  • 1
    Just looking at the card text on Gatherer seems to make it pretty clear.
    – bwarner
    Oct 22, 2013 at 13:01
  • @bwarner it did to me too, which is why i asked, because i had heard differently (as Lyrion has pointed out for us, gatherer is just out of date currently)
    – Patters
    Oct 22, 2013 at 13:19
  • I meant that the Oracle text specifically says "Cards that were originally printed in Arabian Nights".
    – bwarner
    Oct 22, 2013 at 13:38
  • @Rawrgramming I did have to do some searching but Bwarner is slightly right aswell, under cardtext in gatherer it says: "Players can't play cards originally printed in the Arabian Nights expansion." Which is the new rule, only the rulings haven't been updated yet.
    – Lyrion
    Oct 22, 2013 at 13:41
  • good point, I didn't notice that. The rulings do directly contradict the oracle text though, so I doubt I would be the only one scratching their head as to what to believe following a gatherer visit.
    – Patters
    Oct 22, 2013 at 14:31

2 Answers 2


According to the rule 109.3 which states:

109.3. An object’s characteristics are name, mana cost, color, color indicator, card type, subtype, supertype, rules text, abilities, power, toughness, loyalty, hand modifier, and life modifier. Objects can have some or all of these characteristics. Any other information about an object isn’t a characteristic. For example, characteristics don’t include whether a permanent is tapped, a spell’s target, an object’s owner or controller, what an Aura enchants, and so on.

Which means that the expansions symbol on the card is no longer a characteristic.

This might explain it more: https://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/feature/255c&page=3


Expansion symbols are no longer a characteristic. Magic cards are recognized as individual game pieces by their English card names. One of the central tenets of that system is that all cards with the same name are considered the same for deck building and play purposes. This system lets us reprint cards, print promo cards, and have cards appear in many languages. But three older cards referred to cards from a specific expansion, and that runs contrary to the system. The Arabian Nights Bird Maiden and the Fourth Edition version should be the same, but City in a Bottle says they're not. In fact, it makes the original version worse!

So, cards will no longer refer to expansion symbol as a characteristic. The three cards that used to do this (City in a Bottle, Golgothian Sylex, and Apocalypse Chime) will receive errata in a future update to refer to cards "originally printed" in the Arabian Nights, Antiquities, and Homelands sets, respectively). This means that City in a Bottle no longer affects any cards named Mountain. It also means that those three cards can affect cards that were in the appropriate set and then reprinted. City in a Bottle will affect the aforementioned Fourth Edition Bird Maiden.


These are the oracle rulings regarding City in a Bottle, found on its Gatherer page:

  • Token creatures and counters created by Arabian Nights cards are not removed.
  • City in a Bottle only affects cards with the Arabian Nights scimitar symbol on them, or permanents that are copies of those cards. It does not affect reprints of cards that originally came from the Arabian Nights expansion.
  • 6
    That second ruling is no longer valid. The Oracle text has changed. See Lyrion's answer.
    – ikegami
    Oct 22, 2013 at 12:55

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