My Worst 10 Flavor Texts in Magic History

Flavor texts have been part of Magic: The Gathering history since the game was born. This time, I list down my least favorite texts, the ones I personally find most meaningless, senseless, and useless.

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about my Top 20 Flavor Texts in Magic History that included mighty and celebrated cards with epic flavor texts. The article was well received and even prompted a few debates, which I appreciated. As always, taste can differ per individual and among thousands of cards, some texts could be missed.

To continue the fun we all had, this time, I tried digging out the worst flavor texts in Magic: The Gathering history and let me tell you: It was more difficult than gathering the best 20!

Why? Simply because some of the best flavor texts have always been in my mind – part of legends and MTG lore, and from other players bringing them up as well. Meanwhile, the worst are never quoted and are hardly remembered by anyone.

The Criteria for My Ranking

Just like the last time, please remember that this is not a competition or some sort of "non-award"; these are my personal selections because I must admit, I haven't read all the flavor texts of all the Magic cards in existence. These are personal choices, although some are suggestions from friends.

Again, I tried to avoid texts that referred to specific names and characters, such as planeswalkers, etc. My picks are flavor texts with a "General Value" and phrases that are "out of time and context" making them relatable even outside of the world of Magic and the game.

Last but not least, many flavor texts are bad and somewhat useless. The ones I picked below also have a certain "senselessness" to them.

Now, and for those who don't want to bother with introductions, let's begin! The last card will be my least favorite.

The Countdown to Blandness

#10 Atogatog

Atogatog

"It relishes old-fashioned family meals."

Yes, I know… It's bad to start with an Atog – a family we all love, but this flavor text is just terrible. Sorry Atogatog.

#9 Anthroplasm

Anthroplasm

"I never metamorphosis I didn't like."

In all honesty, I had to read this sentence four or five times and I still don't understand its real meaning. Maybe someone can explain this to me in the comments? So for now, Anthroplasm stays right here.

#8 Nacatl Hunt-Pride

Nacatl Hunt-Pride

"We must hunt and kill the dragon before it can return to raze our ancient city."

What?! Are you serious?! Nacatl Hunt-Pride thinks he can hunt and kill a dragon as a NON-FLYING 5/4 Vigilance at CMC 6? I think that his ancient city has already been razed a long time ago…

#7 Goblin Chieftain

Goblin Chieftain

"It's time for the 'Smash, Smash' song!"

Just awful… Can you imagine the Goblin Chieftain talking about a song? What is the 'Smash, Smash' song anyway? I demand more respect for goblins!

#6 Goblin Offensive

Goblin Offensive

"They certainly are."

What?? Who?? Why?? What's really offensive is Goblin Offensive's flavor text. It's at least a perfect match with the Chieftain.

#5 Spell Snare

Spell Snare

"With practice, the measurement of magic can lead to its mastery."

Have you ever heard a flavor text more BORING than this? We all know that no one enjoys practicing... Could Wizards of the Coast at least sign Spell Snare's quote "by Captain Obvious"?

#4 Ingot Chewer

Ingot Chewer

"Elementals are ideas given form. This one is the idea of 'smashitude'."

There's no other word to describe Ingot Chewer's flavor text except for "disappointing". Smashitude? What? Smash what? A rat that can eat artifacts was the "idea given form"?

What's the Opposite of "The Podium"?

#3 Gorilla Titan

Gorilla Titan

"I want a banana this big!"

Do you see the banana…? Because I certainly don't! Oh, and I didn't know bananas grew in Dominaria! Also, that honestly looks more like a monkey than a Gorilla Titan… unless that tree is huge, I guess. Just buy a playset of Leyline of the Void and combo off!

#2 Root Greevil

Root Greevil

"The root of all greevils."

LOOOL!! Is this terrible reference to the song The Root of All Evil by Dream Theater or to the famous phrase, "Money is the root of all evil"? Root Greevil is also the first card with a flavor text that is basically the same as its card name.

#1 Werebears!

Werebears ODY Werebears EMA

"He exercises his right to bear arms."
"To become is to understand."

Too many elements here for Werebear to NOT win. Folks, here are two cards of different editions with two senseless flavor texts. First, the use of "bear" as a verb in a card named "Werebear" and second, the incredible motto "To become is to understand." Seems like Wizards had already planned for this card to win this non-award!

Post Scriptum

I just realized that there are many green (and red) cards in my top 10, zero black cards, just one white, and one blue… I must admit, I love black cards and zombie-necro-horror themes... I also dislike dull green beasts… Let me challenge you then in the Comments section to invade me with senseless flavor texts from black cards!

In the meantime, my apologies to all (were)bear lovers!

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.

17 Comments

gossher(2019-08-27 13:42)

"I want a banana this big!" its a reference to the gorilla's arms position in the card illustration... Its funny!

TheShortestStraw(2019-08-26 09:48)

I guess the 2nd werebear is a Disney - Brother Bear reference... Don't ask me how I know this...

Skymountain(2019-08-25 22:33)

I agree with ProPeanut.

tazelator(2019-08-25 19:56)

The banana is a penis reference. And the root of all greevils is like the scene in Master and Commander.

Don't you know it's the old Navy's custom to always choose the lesser of two weevils?

Mollib(2019-08-25 13:56)

Nacatl Hunt-Pride gets the Dragon by attacking and forcing it to block.

leifw(2019-08-24 22:00)

I would suggest you ask a few English native speakers first before judging puns you don't get.

#10 maybe it's just not funny to you, but family meals are what restaurants serve their workers (had to look that up!) or just meals eaten together with a family, but in this case the Atogatog eats its own Atog family!
#9 see other comments. "I've never met a X I didn't like" is a common idiom
#8 agree, except CMC is not relevant for dragon-hunting-ability flavor :P
#7 well you can guess it's not a very melodic or complicated song... :D
#6 well now you made the pun yourself: the card jokes that Goblins are Offensive - aren't they?
#5 agree, applies to many many counterspells actually!
#4 you probably just don't like the portmanteau, but "-itude" is a normal suffix, so say "smash" + "magnitude" (or perhaps, rhyming less elegantly, "fortitude")
#3 uh, that's the point, you don't see the banana because the Ape wants it, so doesn't have it (and well, such a banana probably doesn't exist). The arms show the desired size. Agree it's silly though :)
#2 you don't need to get so super specific, "the root of all evil" is quite a common phrase, even without "money", and that song (nice taste!) is just one example. And about making a pun with the card name - well with what else?
#1 using "bear" once as a verb and once as a (component) noun is not senseless, it's a pun! The right to bear arms is a fundamental (although hotly debated) right in the US, here with "bear" as a noun it can also be read as the right to have arms like a bear.

hyrule(2019-08-24 17:42)

The old werebear is a fantastic pun. Taking the typical USA Second Amendment phrase "Bear arms" and making it meaning two things at the same time. It could be the verb in the sense of "carry weapons" and also the noun meaning the actual paws (arms) of the bear.

I agree new one is hot garbage.

Shatter(2019-08-24 17:10)

Im not quite sure weather this is an elaborate troll move or if tastes differ that much, but I lol'd hard. For me one could easily switch this list with its counterpart as i love these memey pun-lines and find those blue and black 'look how evil and smart i am' textes extremely edgy (#5 and #8 not included, those are in fact super lame). But its all a matter of taste and i love that magic speaks to many different people. Plus, 'bear' im mind that LSV made a personal top 8 flavourtexts that included at least gorilla and the wearbear so i'm almost a pro i guess :P

petroliereq8(2019-08-23 16:38)

Sorry you're totally right about the Leyline - Gorilla Titan...
As for the Anthroplasm.. I read it varoius times but never at loud voice.. Thanks for delighting me!

Judaspriester(2019-08-23 16:23)

Gorilla Titan + Rest in Peace would work. But the leyline doesn't since it only affects your opponent's graveyards.

LasseBJ(2019-08-23 16:18)

"I never metamorphosis I didn't like"
Read it out loud, "I Never Met a Morphosis I didn´t like"
Its Awesome

Ileach(2019-08-23 15:38)

Hey Pietro Cavalletti, on #9...

Read it like this: I never met a morphosis I didn't like. Still bad though... ^^°

Gistradagis(2019-08-23 15:12)

@ProPeanuts Come on, Gorilla Titan's flavour text looks like a parody version done by a 12 year old, describing the picture with awful comedy rather than the creature.

raziel87(2019-08-23 14:54)

Anthroplasm... Maybe they tried something like a pun.. "I never MET A MORPHOSIS i dind't like." I'm not a native english speaker, so are there sayings that give this meaning?^^

Cattleya(2019-08-23 14:53)

No war of the spark flavortext? Those quips are certainly bad.

Nobre(2019-08-23 14:31)

Just want to point out that Leyline of the Void does not combo with Gorilla Titan - flies away.

ProPeanuts(2019-08-23 14:25)

I totally disagree with the Atogatog, Goblin Offensive (they are offensive!), Gorilla Titan and the original Werebear. I like those half funny half pun intended kind off text.
Atog's eat a lot (hence the sacrifice abilities) and AtogAtog eats Atogs. Family meals actually make a lot of sense.
And to be clear: the Gorilla WANTS the banana that big (look at his arms!), he doesn't have it yet... There are certainly a lot more generic and boring texts besides these you've picked I think. Cool subject though! Keep it up!

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