Card text (カードテキスト Kādo Tekisuto), also known as the card description, is an area on cards containing effect text that details how a card affects gameplay, or, on Normal Monster Cards, flavor text describing the monster. Card text is located in the Card Description box, which also contains the card's Type, ATK, and DEF (on Monster Cards), and is located beneath the card's artwork.
The flavor text on Normal Monsters almost always only contains lore about the monster (leading to its popular name "lore" or "lore text"); in languages using the Latin alphabet, this text is italicized to indicate that it has no effect on gameplay. In the TCG only, Normal Monsters may rarely contain an archetype condition, which is not italic (as it has an effect on gameplay) and is listed at the bottom of the Card Description box; this only occurs when a card's TCG name fails to include it in an archetype which its Japanese name does.
Card text often receives errata between printings. This is used for a variety of reasons, including to correct mistakes and mistranslations, correct archetype membership, and to improve clarity.
In the Japanese OCG, starting from Starter Deck 2014, various terms such as 「シンクロ」 ("Synchro"), 「エクシーズ」 ("Xyz"), and 「ペンデュラム」 ("Pendulum") have been abbreviated to the single characters 「
Card text standardization and clarification efforts
There have been two major attempts to standardize and clarify the card text in the TCG.
The first was the Simplified Effect Text, which shortened several common phrases by taking out implied words or rephrasing the phrase altogether. The Simplified Effect Text has been used on all cards released since Power of the Duelist, until the introduction of the next text standardization.
The second was the Problem-Solving Card Text, which uses a highly consistent structure for all cards to minimize the need for card rulings. It has been used on all cards released in Booster Packs since Generation Force and all cards released in Starter Decks since Starter Deck: Dawn of the Xyz.