Text box

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The text box is the box that takes up most of the lower part of a Magic card. Rules text and flavor text are both printed in this box. Generally, Magic card text runs between 7.5 and 9 points in font size, and it is the editing department's job to make sure that the text is large enough to be readable, that there aren't unsightly blank spaces, and so on. There are also certain rules about separating abilities and flavor text with blank lines, which prevents awkward text layouts.[1]

Split cards have two text boxes, one for each half of the card and in proportion to each half-card. One text box is chosen to be active when a split card is played.

Flip cards also have two smaller text boxes, one for each flip state of the card. The active text box is found at the bottom of the card and defines how the card can be flipped, activating the second text box and deactivating the first.


From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (August 7, 2020—Double Masters)

Text Box
Part of a card. The text box is printed on the lower half of the card and contains the card’s rules text, reminder text, and flavor text. See rule 207, “Text Box.”

From the Comprehensive Rules (August 7, 2020—Double Masters)

  • 207. Text Box
    • 207.1. The text box is printed on the lower half of the card. It usually contains rules text defining the card’s abilities.
    • 207.2. The text box may also contain italicized text that has no game function.
      • 207.2a Reminder text is italicized text within parentheses that summarizes a rule that applies to that card. It usually appears on the same line as the ability it’s relevant to, but it may appear on its own line if it applies to an aspect of the card other than an ability.
      • 207.2b Flavor text is italicized text that, like the illustration, adds artistic appeal to the game. It appears below the rules text.
      • 207.2c An ability word appears in italics at the beginning of some abilities. Ability words are similar to keywords in that they tie together cards that have similar functionality, but they have no special rules meaning and no individual entries in the Comprehensive Rules. The ability words are adamant, addendum, battalion, bloodrush, channel, chroma, cohort, constellation, converge, council’s dilemma, delirium, domain, eminence, enrage, fateful hour, ferocious, formidable, grandeur, hellbent, heroic, imprint, inspired, join forces, kinship, landfall, lieutenant, metalcraft, morbid, parley, radiance, raid, rally, revolt, spell mastery, strive, sweep, tempting offer, threshold, undergrowth, and will of the council.
    • 207.3. Some cards have decorative icons in the background of their text boxes. For example, a guild icon appears in the text box of many cards associated with the guilds of Ravnica, and a faction icon appears in the text box of most Scars of Mirrodin™ block cards. Similarly, many promotional cards include decorative icons. These icons have no effect on game play.
    • 207.4. The chaos symbol {CHAOS} appears in the text box of each plane card to the left of a triggered ability that triggers whenever {CHAOS} is rolled on the planar die. The symbol itself has no special rules meaning.


  1. Wizards of the Coast (March, 2002). "Ask Wizards - March, 2002". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.