The FlavOracle

Posted in Feature on March 22, 2002

By Mark Rosewater, R&D senior designer

Welcome to the FlavOracle. The what? Ah, let me explain.

Magic is an ever-evolving game. One of the impacts of this constant change is that rules and templates continually shift. This means that the official text for a card is often not the words that are printed on the card. Now, most of the time these changes are very subtle and have no direct impact on gameplay. But occasionally the changes do affect the way a card is played. To keep track of these changes, a document called Oracle (to see the Oracle, click here) was created. The Oracle is a complete listing of every tournament-legal card in Magic with its latest wording.

That got us thinking here at MagicTheGathering.com. If there exists a document for rules text, couldn’t we create one for flavor text? Thus was born the FlavOracle. This handy little document lists every piece of flavor text from every tournament legal set we’ve ever created (including alternate versions of flavor text from reprinted cards).

But wait, we haven’t got to the coolest part. By compiling the FlavOracle we’ve created a way for us to record official flavor text for cards that initially didn’t include flavor text. For example, let’s take the card Morphling from Urza’s Saga. Morphling is a very popular card. Unfortunately due to space constraints, we were unable to give it flavor text. But now with the FlavOracle, we have a place to put the official text.

How does this affect all of you? Well, we’re busy working on sets for next year. We thought maybe all of you could help us out by creating Morphling’s flavor text. Here’s how it’ll work. You will have a few days to send in submissions and then once our crack external panel narrows the submissions down, you’ll get a chance to vote for your favorite. The winning submission will be added to the FlavOracle permanently, and Morphling will finally have official flavor text. Then every week or so, we’ll give you a different card to work on.

This is a creative exercise, so we don't want literary quotes, no matter how well they "fit." This is all about who can write the coolest flavor text, not who can cross-reference terms in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations. After all, you want your name on it.

I hope you all enjoy this new feature. Have fun!

What are you waiting for? Head to the FlavOracle page and submit your own flavor text!

Mark Rosewater

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