The 25 Funniest Magic: The Gathering Card Descriptions

Image: Wizards of the Coast. Art by Matt Cavotta.

Magic: The Gathering has spent nearly 25 years bringing us to weird, wonderful worlds through its cards, thanks to their gorgeous art but also through the lore-filled "flavour text" on each card. They tell fantastical stories in a mere sentence or two — or sometimes, they just make you giggle. Here's 25 of the funniest.

25) Runeboggle

Art by Ron Spencer

"Ever try to count hyperactive schoolchildren while someone shouts random numbers in your ear? It's like that."

— Geetra, frustrated mage

Set: Guildpact

Magic's counterspell cards have a whole array of explanations for how they stop a rival player for playing card. But the idea of this one drowning them out with sheer nonsense noise is pretty hilarious.

24) Canyon Minotaur

Art by Steve Prescott

"We'll scale these cliffs, traverse Brittle Bridge, and then fight our way down the volcanic slopes on the other side."

"Isn't the shortest route through the canyon?"

"Yes."

"So shouldn't we — "

"No."

Set: Magic 2014

Some Magic flavour text draws on a more serious tone to make its cards seem like intimidating, powerful spells and creatures. Some go another route, much like the adventurers in the description.

23) Break Open

Art by Alex Horley-Orlandelli

There are two ways to resolve puzzling situations: thoughtful contemplation or force. After thoughtful contemplation, most barbarians choose force.

Set: Onslaught

As the name implies, Magic is a game of spells and wizardry, powerful sorcerers pitting an arsenal of magics against each other. So of course it likes to take the piss out of the more physical, straightfoward archetypes of fantasy lore.

22) Dead Reveler

Art by David Palumbo

He's the unlife of the party.

Set: Return to Ravnica

Not every Magic joke has to necessarily be that clever. Sometimes, you just need a good pun.

21) Goblin Raider

Art by Greg Staples

He's smart for a goblin. He can do two things: hit and run.

Set: Ninth Edition

Goblins are Magic's favourite race for joke cards, painting them as perennial idiots, even at their most brutal.

20) The Cheese Stands Alone

Art by Randy Elliot

The meat, on the other hand, has frequent visitors.

Set: Unglued

It's almost unfair to put a card from "Unglued" here, an entirely satirical, zany expansion for the game that leaned on wacky abilities and goofy flavour text. But look at that giant Cheese Man and tell me that's not hilarious.

19) Goblin Piledriver

Art by Matt Cavotta

Throw enough goblins at any problem and it should go away. At the very least, there'll be fewer goblins.

Set: Onslaught

Poor Goblins. Even on their own great cards — this one amps up its attack based on how many other goblin cards you have attacking in a turn — they still get dunked on by the flavour text.

18) Lightmine Field

Art by Eric Deschamps

If you want to kill a lot of goblins, just make sure your defences look like fun.

Set: Rise of the Eldrazi

Another age-old rule of Magic: You don't have to be a Goblin card to make fun of Goblins.

17) Wheel of Torture

Art by Henry Van Der Linde

"I'd like to buy a bowel."

Set: Urza's Legacy

Why yes, that is a Wheel of Fortune joke about someone's digestive tract. Isn't it great?

16) Goblin Grenade

Art by Kev Walker

Don't underestimate the aerodynamic qualities of the common goblin.

Set: Magic 2012

The best kind of joke about Goblins in Magic inevitably ends with a dead Goblin.

15) Wall of Caltrops

"Ow Ow ow ow Oooh, ow, OW"

Set: Legends

Let's be honest: What response would you have trying to get over a wall made entirely out of pointy things designed to really hurt you?

14) Furnace Whelp

Art by Matt Cavotta

Baby dragons can't figure out humans — if they didn't want to be killed, why were they made of meat and treasure?

Set: Fifth Dawn

The best Magic flavour text puts you into the headspace of its subject, whether it's a troll, a horde of zombies, or giant dragons. In this case, the dragon's thoughts are pretty reasonable, at least from its perspective.

13) Impatience

Art by Kunio Hagio

"I'm going to count to three. Three."

Set: Seventh Edition

I have no idea what is happening in this image other than one bearded man is getting ready to punch another bearded man, but it somehow makes the joke even better.

12) Raging Goblin

Art by Jeff Miracola

He raged at the world, at his family, at his life. But mostly he just raged.

Set: Sixth Edition

Magic Goblins are usually either furious or stupid. Both types are solidly funny.

11) Manabarbs

Art by Jeff Miracola

"I don't know why people say a double-edged sword is bad. It's a sword. With two edges."

— Kamahl, pit fighter

Set: Tenth Edition

This one doesn't really go with the card itself, but like I said, good Magic flavour puts you in the shoes of its subject. And what kind of pit fighter wouldn't love a sword with multiple edges?

10) Inspiration

Art by Izzy

"Day 31: I finally succeeded in my time reversal experiment!

"Day 30: I might have a problem here."

— Journal of the Prime Izmagnus

Set: Return to Ravnica

I believe this speaks for itself.

9) Meteor Shower

Art by Rick Emond

"Eenie, meenie, minie, moe . . . oh, why not all of them?"

— Jaya Ballard, task mage

Set: Ice Age

Most Magic flavour text is written as a one-off thing — but over the years it's been used to tell larger stories, and introduce recurring characters in the fiction. Jaya, a wizard who mainly appears on offensive red magic cards and devoted pyromaniac, was one such early recurring figure.

8) Reparations

Art by Douglas Shuler

"Sorry I burned down your village. Here's some gold."

Set: Mirage

Here we see the first and only fantasy adventurer to ever feel bad about burning down some peasants' village.

7) Wall of Swords

Art by Zoltan Boros & Gabor Szikszai

"When I said we needed more swords to protect the realm, this was not quite what I had in mind."

— Olander, tactician of the Northern Verge

Set: Magic 2014

It's the birds flying directly into the wall that really makes this one.

6) Lava Axe

Art by Brian Snoddy

"Catch!"

Set: Eighth Edition

An iconic Magic card. Later versions have had an updated flavour text with a pretty good alternative joke:

A strict upgrade over the cinder hatchet.

5) Goblin Offensive

Art by Carl Critchlow

They certainly are.

Set: Urza's Saga

/rimshot

4) Obliterate

Art by Kev Walker

"The enemy has been destroyed, sir. So have the forest, the city, your palace, your dog . . ."

— Keldon soldier

Set: Eighth Edition

Later versions of this card have a more serious flavour text, befitting its power — it's a card that wipes literally every other card off the field of play, including your own. But when you've just enraged your opponent by destroying everything he's worked for, this is version you want to play to add that final insult to massive, massive injury.

3) Werebear

Art by Carl Critchlow

He exercises his right to bear arms.

Set: Odyssey

I hope the person who wrote this bit of flavour text was promoted instantly.

2) Wave of Indifference

Art by Greg & Tim Hildebrandt

"Darius?"

"Yeah?"

"There's a goblin sneaking up on you."

"So?"

"Just sayin'."

Set: Onslaught

Another flavour text that requires knowing the title and how the card works — it stops a targeted number of your opponent's cards from blocking damage this turn. The conversation's silly, but when you think about it, it's also hilariously grim.

1) Fodder Cannon

Art by Christopher Moeller

Step 1: Find your cousin.

Step 2: Get your cousin in the cannon.

Step 3: Find another cousin.

Set: Eighth Edition

No other card could top this list than a Goblin card, and this is the best of a great lot.


With nearly 25 years' worth of cards to choose from, there's plenty more great bits of funny Magic card descriptions out there. Got a particular favourite? Share it in the comments!

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