Flavor text

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Flavor text is the italicized text (but not in parentheses) on a Magic card that serves to provide a mood or give background information on the game world, but has no effect on gameplay. Flavor text is written by freelance writers, contracted by Wizards of the Coast to submit names and flavor text for cards on an online database. The writers are paid if their submissions are accepted by the creative team.

Real-world quotations (mostly literature, the bible and so on) were a thing in early sets, but nowadays they are mostly avoided. Exceptions may appear in core sets and on promos. A few iconic cards in core sets (e.g. Wrath of God, Lightning Bolt, Disenchant) have no flavor text, even though there is room for it. Flavor text was actually seen as detracting from the overall aesthetics of these staples.

Any italicized text in parentheses is not flavor text, but reminder text.

From the Comprehensive Rules:

  • 207. Text Box
    • 207.2. The text box may also contain italicized reminder text (in parentheses), which summarizes a rule that applies to that card, and italicized flavor text, which has no game function, but like the illustration, adds artistic appeal to the game.

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