My Worst 10 Flavor Texts in Magic History
- Pietro Cavalletti
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
"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.
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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.
"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!
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.