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A friend recently wondered, and now I’m curious too: is there any way to search Gatherer for cards that have a quotation mark in the flavor text (or in other fields)?

Putting " in the Flavor Text field seems to just return every card. Using \" to try to escape it just returned no results.

3 Answers 3

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I've tried a couple of other tricks, like percent encoding and a double "", but to no avail.

Scryfall does support your search: https://scryfall.com/search?as=grid&order=name&q=flavor%3A%22

enter image description here

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    Upvoting this one because Scryfall is always going to be less painful than Gatherer in the long run. Oct 17, 2022 at 20:52
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    @PhilipKendall You can upvote more than one, you know. I have upvoted all of them. In this particular case, I accepted murgatroid99’s answer, because it’s the only one that answers precisely the question asked (which specifies Gatherer, and flavor text). The other answers are very useful—possibly even more useful—but they don’t really technically answer the question.
    – KRyan
    Oct 17, 2022 at 20:56
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It looks like a search for """ in flavor text does it.. This search finds 7868 7891 results, which is very close to the other answer's 7870 results from Scryfall.

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    Meanwhile, the same expression does not work in the card name field...
    – Hackworth
    Oct 17, 2022 at 20:22
  • Would be interesting to figure out which 2 cards this one missed and why, but likely not worth the effort... (Just the programmer in me trying to troubleshoot...) Oct 19, 2022 at 16:44
  • The discrepancies are most likely related to differences in the set of cards that are being filtered by the search. For example, maybe the searches include different sets of supplemental cards, or the count DFCs or functional variants of silver-bordered cards differently, etc. Alternatively there could be a data error in one dataset or the other that omits or adds quotation marks.
    – murgatroid99
    Oct 19, 2022 at 17:03
  • Could it be a smart-quotes problem? Oct 20, 2022 at 16:13
  • Well, the number of Gatherer results is now up to 7891, so I'm not going to speculate further about what has caused the difference.
    – murgatroid99
    Oct 20, 2022 at 20:08
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You can include special characters and full regex in your Gatherer search. The correct way to escape them is by surrounding the expression with m/{exp}/

You can use regular expressions in Gatherer, including the backslash escape character for e.g. whitespaces (\s), digits (\d), etc.; you have to enclose the regex with m/{exp}/. Using the m/{exp}/ pattern also allows you to search for special characters that would otherwise break the search if searched for as plaintext, such as quotation marks.

For example, if you add "m/"/" to the name field, you get the 8 cards using quotation marks in their name.

enter image description here

You can find more details at the Gatherer help page.

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    I can’t seem to get it to work for Flavor Text, sadly: flavor=+[m/"/] returns all cards.
    – KRyan
    Oct 17, 2022 at 18:03
  • It looks like regular expressions just aren't supported when searching for flavor text.
    – murgatroid99
    Oct 17, 2022 at 20:09

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