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The card frame or card face is printed onto the front of a Magic card and gives a structural property to the card. The card face includes the illustration and the text box; the card frame is literally everything around the illustration and text box. Several components are capable of expressing story elements.[1]

Tool for design[ | ]

Over time R&D has come to see card frames as a resource for design.[2]

"Card frames have a couple important elements to them. First, there's a functional aspect. They can allow you to do things that might not normally fit on a card by using design elements to convey something that would take a lot of words to communicate, or they could serve as a means to track information that might be a memory issue on a normal card. Second, they can convey a lot of flavor to the card, helping sell the theme of the set. Third, they can be splashy, making the cards more appealing for the players. All of this means that frames are an important tool allowing the designers to make cards and mechanics that they couldn't have ever made in the past."

— Mark Rosewater (2019)[2]

History[ | ]

Original frame[ | ]

Since its inception, the game had a card frame separated into two halves. The top half was dominated by the artwork of the card while the lower half was dominated by the text box. Other features such as name, cost, type, rarity, and power/toughness for creatures were printed directly onto the frame, which at times, especially in earlier editions, made it hard to read. Though some changes were made over the years, such as color-coding the expansion symbol to reflect the card's rarity or the introduction of a collector's number (both changes introduced with Exodus), the frame stayed unchanged for a long time.

The Magic brand team was considering a change to the card face as early as 2000.[3] In 2021, Wizards of the Coast started printing cards with the original frame for Booster Fun and started to refer to it as the retro frame.[4]

Modern frame[ | ]

With Eighth Edition a new card frame was introduced in which the name and cost, types, and expansion symbol, as well as the power/toughness, were given their own boxes to elevate them from the card frame and enhance readability. Card names were printed in a more modern font (Matrix Bold, rather than Goudy Medieval).[5][6] However, critics noted that some individuality of colors was lost with the card frame, e.g. the textbox of black cards no longer looking like old parchment.

An early problem with the modern frame was that frames of white and artifact cards were hard to tell apart with a quick glance, which leads to the darkening of the frame of artifact cards with Fifth Dawn.[7] Another problem with artifacts was that the symbols for colored mana on artifact cards were gray in the textbox of artifact cards. This was corrected with Ravnica: City of Guilds.

With the exception of Timeshifted cards in Time Spiral, two cards from Unhinged, and some rare promotional cards, the old frame was not reused and older cards that were reissued as reprints in new products or in promotional settings were changed into the new card frame. However, the new Mystery Booster product featured reprints of the card as old as Mirage, in the same frames those cards were originally printed. These are "straight pick-ups", meaning that Wizards of the Coast literally used the original card file to print them. That is a different thing than printing a new card, with updated rules text, which is how they normally reprint cards.[8]

M15 frame[ | ]

With Magic 2015, another update was made to the card frame. This concerned the introduction of a special Magic font (Beleren), a holofoil stamp, revamped collector info and a decreased border size.[9] The main reason for the change was the facilitation of digitized printing, so that the machine could read the card number and rarity.[10]

The casual format Frontier exists based around this card border, similar to that of Modern and the Eighth Edition border.

Structure[ | ]

Name[ | ]

The name of a card is positioned in the title bar[11] at the top left corner of the card and is the primary method of identification.[12][13][14][15][16] Each English card name is unique,[17][18] though some other languages have used the same name for multiple cards. Also, translated cards with super-long names have been typeset using a different font — either the normal font compressed, or an actual smaller point size.[19] Because of language issues, Creative tries not to change the gender when reprinting a card with new art.[20]

A small subset of cards refers to other cards by name in the rules text.[21]

Casting cost[ | ]

The casting cost is in the top right corner of the card and specifies how much and what type of mana needs to be spent to play the card. The types of colored symbols in the cost decide the color of the card.

Illustration[ | ]

The Illustration is a visual representation of the card in the middle of the top half of the card[22][23] and has no in-game function except during acorn games.

Type line[ | ]

To the left of the center box of the card is the card type, possibly preceded by one or more supertypes and/or followed by one or more subtypes. This builds the type line. The type specifies when and how a card can be played. The supertype gives additional game rules while the subtype is just a method of categorization with no rules specific to them, though other cards may refer to subtypes or are dependent on subtypes.

Expansion symbol[ | ]

To the right of the Type is the expansion symbol, unique to each set, and shows which set that card belongs to. Early core sets used no expansion symbol. Since Exodus this symbol is color-coded to represent what rarity the card is; black for common cards, silver for uncommon cards and gold for rare cards. Shards of Alara introduced the fourth rarity, mythic rare in orange. A unique purple color was used for the Time Spiral expansion symbol on timeshifted cards included in that set.

Color indicator[ | ]

Some cards printed from Innistrad forward are printed with a color indicator, which is a small circle inlaid into the frame directly before the type line. This is meant to identify the color of cards that have no printed mana cost or have a mana cost of {0}. Color indicators have been retroactively added on the Oracle database to past cards without mana costs or mana costs of 0, such as Evermind, Restore Balance, Kobolds of Kher Keep or Intervention Pact, where the cards were previously printed with rules text identifying their color. The Amonkhet Invocations reprints of Slaughter Pact and Pact of Negation use mana symbols in place of a colored circle as a color indicator, as their frames are largely monochrome.

Text box[ | ]

The text box dominates the lower half of the card and contains all relevant rules text as well as all possible flavor text. Flavor text is always the bottom-most and italicized in the text box and has no functionality on the card except during acorn games. Some sets and blocks, such as Ravnica block and Scars of Mirrodin, and promotional cards utilize watermarks and background textures to further distinguish the cards or enhance the flavor of the card or set.

A separator bar appears between rules text and flavor text on cards with both to make each more distinct.[11] This practice was first utilized by cards in the Portal sets but was not carried over to premier sets until the release of Dominaria.

Power/toughness, loyalty or defense[ | ]

If the card is a creature card the power/toughness of the card is printed on the right side below the text box. It specifies how much damage a creature deals in combat and how much damage is needed to destroy that creature respectively. Vehicle cards also have power/toughness printed on the right side of the card, below the text box, but it only applies to the card if an effect makes the card a creature.

If the card is a planeswalker card, a shield-shaped box denotes the number of loyalty counters the planeswalker enters play with.

If the card is a battle card, a star-shaped box denotes the number of defense counters the battle enters play with.

Information below the text box[ | ]

Below the Text box there is a series of information outlining the credit for the illustration of the card, collector's number, rarity, set code, language and the legal text, including copyright information for the card.

Starting with Magic 2015, a series of letters and numbers in the lower left of the card will indicate the card's collector number (e.g. 122/269), rarity (e.g. R), set (e.g. M15), and language (e.g. EN). Between the set and the language is a little dot or a star on premium cards. Promotional cards feature a P. The black background for this updated collector's information makes it machine-readable by recognition software at the production plants to help eliminate the rare packaging error.[9]

Kaladesh introduced Story Spotlights for cards that convey the broad strokes of a set's storyline. Each card also shows the web address for Magic Story,, where the complete narrative can be read.[24]

On most modern cards, illustration credit, collector's number, rarity, set code and language are positioned on the left side of the card while the legal text is positioned on the right side. Some older card layouts position this information under the text box in the center of the card.

Background and box borders[ | ]

The background of each card is dependent on the casting cost and type of card. White, blue, black, red, and green have backgrounds in these respective colors. A golden background represents multicolored cards. Lands and artifacts, usually colorless, have their own background. Starting with 8th Edition, the borders between the boxes are also in a color akin to the casting cost of the card. If the card is multicolored between two colors, the borders in between boxes will blend from one color into the other. However, the background of the card is golden. If the card is of three or more colors the box borders are gold as well. An exception to this is hybrid cards, the background, like the borders of the boxes, fade from one color into the other.[25] It should also be noted that the main card frame was radically changed in 8th Edition, such as the text box becoming wider to align with picture box, mana symbols getting slightly redesigned, and artist and copyright information format being changed. All those traits might be useful in recognizing cards from earlier expansions. Of all the magic cards, non-basic lands will probably have the most widely varied card frames through the years - from striped textbox in Limited edition to differently colored text boxes in early expansions (like brown in Antiquities and snow-like in Ice Age) to color-blended textboxes and borders reflecting the color of mana said land could produce in later editions. In cases when that mana is colorless, the textbox is grey, and when more than 2 colors of mana can be made (e.g. any of the 5), then it is golden. Also, other special frames have been introduced: colorless non-artifact spells and creatures have semi-transparent white frame showing artwork. Colored artifacts appear in frames that have elements of both artifact cards and colored cards.[26] Multicolored artifacts have gold box borders and artifact background.

Starting with Magic 2015 the bottom of each card was made black to accommodate the updated collector's information.[9]

Borders[ | ]

The card's border is the outline around the card itself, the outer part. The borders of a card denote legality to play. All cards prior Aether Revolt have borders in one of four different colors: black, white, silver, or gold. With Magic 2015 going forward, the width of the border was reduced by almost a millimeter all the way around.[9] Originally only black and white bordered were tournament legal. In April 2017 this was changed to “non-silver” due to the introduction of non-regular border cards.[27] Unstable has a small "border-matters" theme.[28]

Black border[ | ]

Black borders were originally restricted to cards that were released for the first time, i.e. cards from the Limited Edition and expert-level expansions. Later, the decision was made to use them also for Core Sets from Tenth Edition onward and to include reprints.[29][30][31]

White border[ | ]

Duelist 1 Revised advertisement

Advertisement in Duelist #1, announcing gray borders

White borders were used for cards in Core Sets between Unlimited and Ninth Edition. This denoted that they were reprint sets.[32] An early advertisement in The Duelist #1 stated that Revised cards would be gray-bordered, but they ultimately became white-bordered like the Unlimited Edition.

In 2002, some card vendors inaccurately claimed that white-bordered versions of regular black-bordered cards were sold as exclusives. It turned out it was possible to “erase” the border off of a card using transparent tape and a good eraser.[33]

It is highly unlikely that white borders will return. They tend to wash out the art and make the cards less aesthetically pleasing.[34]

Set-specific border[ | ]

Cards from Amonkhet Invocations do not carry a standard colored border, however, the regulation redefinition accompanied with the release of the set made them legal in tournament play.[27]

Extended-art[ | ]

The extended-art frame extends the art on a card all the way to the edge of the card on the left and right side.[35] It loses the frame and border in that part, but keeps them for the rest of the card. The text box can be pushed down a little, depending on the amount of text there. This was the treatment that was first used on the box toppers for Ultimate Masters. Starting with Throne of Eldraine, some rares and mythic rares in collector boosters had this extended-art frame, as well. Originally, the art on the extended-art frames is the same as on the normal versions of the cards, just with a different aspect ratio. The rules text is identical. Extended-art cards fall under the "non-silver" rule and thus are legal for tournament play.

As extended-art Booster Fun became more and more common, the art briefs started to ask for a composition of the illustration to fit cropping for the standard aspect ratio and to fill the extended margins with additional fun details as Easter eggs for cards printed with the extended aspect ratio.[36]

Borderless[ | ]

Borderless cards have been seen in selected reprinted cards (including basic land) from Unstable onwards.[37][38] This treatment was also used the three Mythic Editions of the Guilds of Ravnica block. They feature "full-art" that extends through the full edge of the cards (including the top and sometimes also the bottom). Part of the illustration can be seen behind the text box.[39] Borderless cards fall under the "non-silver" rule and thus are legal for tournament play.

The Contraptions and some tokens in Unstable were borderless. Starting with Throne of Eldraine, collector booster packs include borderless planeswalkers.[35] The main set will still have the normal planeswalkers. Note, that while the rules text is identical, the borderless planeswalkers have alternate art.

Silver border[ | ]

Main article: Silver-bordered

The Un-sets (Unglued, Unhinged, Unstable, and Unsanctioned) are self-parody sets. They were silver-bordered to denote they are not tournament-legal. Most of them feature mechanics that would be impossible/very difficult to print in a normal expansion.[40] Silver border is also used for certain promos like the Holiday cards and the HASCON promos. For Unfinity, silver border were replaced by acorn-stamped cards.

Gold border[ | ]

Gold borders are used for commemorative sets:

While gold borders aren't explicitly banned by tournament rules, all three categories of sets have non-standard card backs, making them illegal nonetheless.[27]

One promotional Treasure token is printed on gold metal and is categorized as gold-bordered by the third-party Scryfall database. As a token card, it is of course not legal in any deck.

Colored border[ | ]

Colored borders were introduced in 2024 in the Secret Lair product range.

Holofoil stamp[ | ]

Main article: Holofoil stamp
Holofoil stamp close up

Holofoil stamp close up

Magic 2015 introduced a small, holofoil stickers in the bottom center of all rares, mythic rares, and promotional cards, regardless of their original rarity. This was done to make those cards feel more special, as well as to guarantee authenticity.[9] As such, it makes counterfeiting more difficult. Normal commons, uncommon cards, and basic lands do not feature this security stamp.

Acorn stamps were introduced in 2021 for Unfinity, to replace silver borders.[42] On common and uncommon cards, the acorn stamp is printed in silver on the card rather than embossed.

Back[ | ]

Main article: Card back

Special card frames for mechanics[ | ]

Planeswalkers[ | ]

While the text boxes of normal cards have an opaque white background, the text box of planeswalkers are translucent and show additional parts of the artwork. The border around the art shows a slight curve outwards. Often the artwork also protrudes outside the borders of the Illustration box and into the box for the name and casting cost. Additionally, small shield-icons on the left side of the text box represent the change in loyalty to activate one of the planeswalker's abilities.

Battles[ | ]

Battle cards have a horizontal format similar to that of Planes with the title bar on the left, the type line bar down the middle, and the text box taking up the right half. The artwork for battles fills the entire remaining card space, up to the border with no frame. Additionally, a small eight-pointed star icon on the bottom-right side of the text box (top right if aligned vertically, like other cards) represents the starting defense of the battle.

All battle cards thus far are also double-faced cards, and have the standard front-face icon to the left of the card name.

Legendary cards[ | ]

Starting with Dominaria, all legendary cards except planeswalkers have crown-like flourishes on the title bar.[11]

Colorless[ | ]

Colorless cards which aren't artifacts or lands feature a transparent frame, allowing the art to run all the way to the border. The primary cards to feature this frame are Eldrazi and spells related to them, though a few non-Eldrazi creatures and other spells feature this frame as well. Karn and Ugin planeswalkers feature colorless planeswalker frames.

Devoid keyword[ | ]

Eldrazi-related cards that are devoid have an additional molding at the top, similar to the carvings on the hedrons. The color from the mana cost fades away downwards. This coloration is intended to aid deckbuilding and gameplay.[43]

Miracle keyword[ | ]

Cards with the Miracle mechanic have a standard card frame with some slight alterations. They have radiant spokes on the texture of the frame on the side of the artwork and on top of the name and cost box. Additionally, the name box has an arrow-like outcropping pointing up.

Split cards[ | ]

While usually cards are oriented vertically, split cards such as Fire//Ice are oriented horizontally and print two normal card frames next to each other.

Split cards from Dragon's Maze feature some special design elements in regard to the fuse mechanic. Split cards with Fuse have arrows protruding from the name and type boxes of each half pointing at the other. Additionally, they have one small textbox for the Fuse mechanic including its reminder text at the bottom spanning both halves.

Split cards from Amonkhet feature look quite different to display the aftermath mechanic. The half you can cast from your hand is oriented the same as other cards you'd cast from your hand, while the half you can cast from your graveyard is a traditional split card half, though slightly narrower than the exact half-split as otherwise the "normal half" artwork ratio would be more compressed than it already is. This allows players to have the aftermath half arranged sideways from the graveyard.

Flip cards[ | ]

Kamigawa block introduced so-called flip cards, e.g. Nezumi Graverobber. These cards have an illustration in the middle and a structure consisting of a name/cost box, a text box and a type-box with a box for power/toughness on the right side on either side. Both boxes are oriented inward on the card so the bottom box is upside down. Below the bottom of the box is the artist credit, copyright information and collector's number as well as the expansion symbol.

Leveler cards[ | ]

Rise of the Eldrazi introduced the level up mechanic which makes use of a special card face. It is nearly identical to the regular card face, except the textbox is split horizontally into three sections. The topmost section has a regular white background, with the other two an increasingly darker shade of the color of the card. Each of the sections also has a power/toughness box on the right and an arrow-like symbol on the left with the level description in black font inside it.

Double-faced and meld cards[ | ]

Innistrad introduced double-faced cards which have two functional card faces. Later Eldritch Moon introduced the aesthetically similar looking meld cards.

The front of the card is almost identical to a regular card frame, except it features a symbol on the top left corner next to the name, and if applicable has the power and toughness of the other card face on the bottom right of the text box above the regular power/toughness box and small notch of the card border next to it. The symbols used are: the sun from Innistrad, the dawn symbol from Magic Origins; the full moon symbol from Eldritch Moon; the compass rose from Ixalan; the closed fan of Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty; and a sparkling hourglass for The Brothers' War March of the Machine uses the upward pointing triangle similar to that of the MDFCs, and will be the standard for DFCs going forward.

The "back" of the card has a card face similar to the ones of planeshifted cards. There is a symbol next to the name box and the type box has a color indicator for colored backs. The corresponding symbols are: the crescent moon symbol for Innistrad; the planeswalker symbol from Magic Origins; the Emrakul symbol from Eldritch Moon; the default land symbol from Ixalan; the open fan from Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty; and the downward pointing triangle from March of the Machine, which is uniquely on the top right of the frame rather than the top left. The Meld pairs of The Brothers' War have no back face symbol. The backs have different treatments depending on set:

  • For the Innistradi sun-crescent, Kamigawan Saga DFCs, Transformers, DFCs from March of the Machine, and Craft permanents from The Lost Caverns of Ixalan the name, type, and power/toughness box are all the same color as the border frame, and the text in them is white rather than the regular black. The textbox has a darker shade of background, but no special texture.
  • For the Origins planeswalkers, there is no appreciable difference between normal planewalkers and these transformed planeswalkers.
  • For Eldritch Moon's moon-Emrakul DFCs, the treatment is the same as those that are non-land, non-artifact colorless, such as the extended art.
    • For the Meld cards, the two cards meld into a larger card combined lengthwise. The card that specifies the melding condition makes up the top half (name, symbol and most of the art), while the other card makes up the bottom half (text box, artist information, card number - the melded card uses the bottom half's card number).
  • Transformed Land cards from Ixalan feature a parchment-inspired frame, with the name on the edge of a scrap and the card type on a small, unfurled scroll. The text box has small details making it look like the coastline of a country.[44] This card frame was originally envisioned for the set's scrapped Masterpiece Series.[45] The card name has a different font and is fully capitalized, the type and name are center-justified, and the set symbol is directly below the middle of the name. For the return in The Lost Caverns of Ixalan, the coastline was changed slightly; while it could still be interpreted as a coast, the jagged edges make it seem like the rock formations of a cave, which is supported by the text box background being lightly illustrated with cave drawings.

Zendikar Rising would later introduce modal double-faced cards (MDFCs). Unlike the transforming double-faced cards, you can choose which side to play rather than fulfilling specific conditions to play the other half mid-game. The MDFCs are identified by their triangle ({dfc-front}) and double triangle ({dfc-back}) symbols on the front and back sides respectively. The bottom left of both sides has boxes with pointed sides indicating each other side's casting cost or land's mana ability as well as the card type or subtype (class for creatures with them, Equipment or Vehicle if relevant, planeswalker type for planeswalkers). The back side uses the same white-title treatment as the Innistrad sun-moon DFCs.

Enchantment creatures and enchantment artifacts[ | ]

Enchantment creatures and enchantment artifacts in the Theros block all have a card frame that shows the starfield of Nyx. The Nyx frame doesn't have any rules associated with it. It's just a reminder that these creatures and artifacts are also enchantments. Other enchantments in Theros use the regular card frame.[46] Enchantment creatures from Kamigawa also use this frame.

Sagas[ | ]

Saga cards, introduced in Dominaria have a vertically aligned treatment.[47] The rules text with the chapter abilities is on the left side, and the art is on the right side. Double-faced Sagas have the "DFC notch" and power/toughness under the last chapter on the bottom left, and forego the usual "sacrifice after III" reminder text line, which is unnecessary for DFCs.

Vehicles[ | ]

Vehicle card, introduced in Kaladesh, have a bronze and grey blocked pattern. Despite being a noncreature, the card frame keeps a power-toughness box as opposed to specifying its size in its abilities.

Host and augment[ | ]

Host creatures from Unstable have a card name in two parts divided by a fissure, a metal bar running vertically through their art and a text box split into two unequal parts.[48] Creatures with augment can be added to the right part of the host creature (hiding the left part). They, therefore, have a layout without a border on their right.[48] Instead, a vertical metal bar finishes off the art, much like the one that runs through the middle of the host creatures. Creatures with augment lack a mana cost and use a color indicator.

Adventure[ | ]

Introduced in Throne of Eldraine, Adventure creatures have their text box split in half vertically. The line that splits the box narrows towards the center to give the impression of a book's pages. The left side has a spell name, text line (invariably with the subtype Adventure) and the spell ability, with white-text in a colored box a la DFC backs. The box color matches the spell's cost. The name bar and text bar also bend downwards towards the middle that casts a shadow over the right-side text box.

Snow[ | ]

Starting in Kaldheim, snow cards have their own unique card frames that show the cards looking like they are frosted. This is most notable in their text-boxes where it looks like it's frozen over - the edges of the text box are clouded with an irregular pattern and the colors are desaturated.

Class[ | ]

Introduced in Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, Class cards have also have a vertically-aligned treatment similar to saga cards. The art is on the left side, and the rules text with the different sections is on the right side.

Prototype[ | ]

Introduced in The Brothers' War, the prototype mechanic has a divided text box split horizontally into two sections. The topmost section has the prototype characteristics of the card – an alternate mana cost, power and toughness – and is bordered by a colored frame matching the prototype's cost. The lower half is identical to the regular card face.[49]

Case[ | ]

Similar to Class cards in design, Cases have a vertically-aligned treatment with the art on the left side and the rules text with the different sections on the right.[50] Unlike Classes or Sagas, there are no elements that distinguish each of the three rules sections, they are merely separated by a line. Cases were introduced in Murders at Karlov Manor.

Spree[ | ]

Spree spells are modal spells that have differing costs for each mode, plus a base cost. A player may not cast it for only the base cost, as this will do nothing. To emphasize this, there is a small white plus icon in a triangle next to the mana cost corner.

Token and emblems[ | ]

While not actually functional cards, token and emblem cards have been inserted in boosters and given out as rewards or promotions. These cards usually have a different box for the name centralized on the top, no mana cost and only a smaller text box denoting abilities if the creature has an ability at all. Older token cards had flavor text in text boxes but newer token cards feature no text box at all if the creature token has no abilities, allowing for a larger illustration.

Special card frames for aesthetics[ | ]

Basic lands from specific sets[ | ]

The basic lands of the Un-sets (the only tournament-legal cards from those sets), Zendikar/Battle for Zendikar blocks and Zendikar Rising set feature different frames, shuffling parts of the cards around and eliminating the text box for a larger illustration. In Amonkhet, 25% of all the printed basic lands use this frame.

Masterpiece Series[ | ]

Masterpieces come with a special card frame unique to their respective home plane.

Showcase cards[ | ]

Main article: Showcase

The Showcase frame was introduced in Throne of Eldraine. Showcase is not one treatment but a catch-all term to cover a variety of different treatments that embody the spirit of the relevant sets.[35] On showcase cards, the art and frame will play into the set's theme. Each set will have its own unique showcase cards. Which cards get the treatment (and usually, it will just be cards from that set), and at what rarity, will vary from set to set. Showcase cards replace cards of the same rarity as the non-showcase card in packs. The showcase cards don’t require a mechanic with a new frame. That just happened to be the case for Throne of Eldraine.[51]

Planeshifted cards[ | ]

The timeshifted cards in Planar Chaos (e.g. Damnation (Planar Chaos)), also known as planeshifted cards, use the same card frame as regular cards but with slight alterations. For planeshifted cards, the type line box and the name/cost box is colored in a hue according to the casting cost and the text in those boxes are white instead of the usual black. Power/toughness, if present, is also printed in white font. Additionally, the background of planeshifted cards is different from regular cards of the same color, and the textbox has a special texture as a background unique to the color.[52]

Futureshifted cards[ | ]

The timeshifted cards in Future Sight such as Tarmogoyf (Future Sight) are significantly different.[53] The artwork is now in a circular frame rather than the usual rectangular. The frame extends behind the name on the top and below the type line box and behind the text box, all of which are now translucent. Starting below the name box on the left side the artwork has a row of semi-circular pockets, six of which are next to the artwork. The casting cost in altered mana symbols is placed inside these pockets. The top left corner of the card has a symbol inside a circle representing the type of the card.[54] The expansion symbol on these cards is housed in a small circle next to the type line box. Additionally the text box on these cards is not rectangular but bends outward on either side and the information below the text box is right-justified.

There is also a cycle of vanilla creatures in Future Sight utilizing the frame which have no text box at all in exchange for a larger illustration spanning the entire card. These cards are Blade of the Sixth Pride (Future Sight), Blind Phantasm, Mass of Ghouls (Future Sight), Fomori Nomad, and Nessian Courser (Future Sight).

Silver-bordered cards[ | ]

Many silver-bordered cards break norms for card frames and artwork that warps the organization of the parts of the card. Examples of this would be Topsy Turvy, Curse of the Fire Penguin, Burning Cinder Fury of Crimson Chaos Fire, B.F.M. (Big Furry Monster) and Greater Morphling. Additionally, the artwork of many un-cards protrudes outside the frame for illustrations.

Promotion cards[ | ]

Textless[ | ]

Since 2005, the Magic Player Rewards program has given out special textless cards which feature no type line, expansion symbol or text box but only a larger illustration in an oval frame. So far only instant and sorcery cards have been given out featuring this frame.

Full-art[ | ]

Another rewards program gives out full-art cards that have their card text printed upon a larger, alternate illustration which extends from below the name/cost box to the bottom of the card, occupying the same space as the illustration, type line box and text box of normal cards.

FNM cards (dark frame)[ | ]

Starting with Dominaria, FNM promos featured a dark text box with a planeswalker symbol watermark. The collector number lines up with its place in the main set, where it's also being printed.[55] After the introduction of the Universal promo pack, the FNM frame was rebranded as the "dark frame".[56]

Secret Lair[ | ]

Main article: Secret Lair

Secret Lair cards can have any form of artistic style the artist wishes. The most extreme examples use poster aesthetics that rearrange the relevant text and card objects to wherever the artist found it necessary.

Universes Beyond[ | ]

Main article: Universes Beyond

Universes Beyond cards that are originally mechanically unique have several lightly colored top-right-to-bottom-left streaks in the background that evoke the reflection of a metallic plate.

Special card frames for alternate game formats[ | ]

Wizards of the Coast have printed a number of cards for specific alternate game formats that do not work like regular Magic cards and for that reason have a vastly different card frame as well as different card backs.

Character[ | ]

In the Vanguard format, a player plays with an additional card which represents a character from the Magic storyline meant to represent an ally in the battle against the opponent (who also has an ally). These cards are called vanguard cards though they bear the printed type “Character” (not a regular card type). They are also larger than regular Magic cards. On the top is a golden name box with the name centered, followed by artwork representing the character. Below that is a smaller golden Type box with the word “Character”, also centered. Below that is the text box with the ability of the character. The text box bends inward below that ability to give way for two circles inside ovals on either side. The left circle gives the starting and maximum hand size throughout the Vanguard game when playing with that character. The right circle gives the starting life total when playing with that character. Both values are given as a difference from the regular values, 7 and 20 respectively. In between these is the flavor text. The information below the text box is inside a golden ornamental box with a purple circle at the bottom and the text is centered.

Planes and Phenomena[ | ]

Planes are used in the Planechase format and represent a place in the Multiverse. They are twice the size of a regular Magic card and horizontally oriented. Almost all structural parts of the card face are translucent for the artwork. On top of the card is the name box. On the bottom is a text box that is separated into two halves vertically. On the top is the regular card ability. On the bottom is the chaos ability preceded by a large chaos symbol. The background of the chaos ability is also a slightly darker shade than the regular ability. On top of the text box is a type-line box with the type-line centered and the expansion symbol on the right. The information below the text box is centered. The boxes are all bordered with ornamental copper lines that decorate the rest of the card as well.

Planechase 2012 introduced a new card type called Phenomenon which uses the same card frame.

Scheme[ | ]

Scheme is a card type introduced in Archenemy, representing a large effect that may be a one-time effect or ongoing. Scheme cards are oversized full art cards but overlayed with a rectangular gold and bronze ornament, separating the card in four sections. The topmost has the card name, below it is the actual art frame which is considerably taller than on regular cards, below it is the type box with the textbox underneath. All boxes except the art frame have a translucent white background and black font. Additionally, the art outside the frame appears to be darker than inside the art frame.

Further, the card is decorated with spike-ornaments in the four corners as well as to the left and right of the type box. There is no rarity of Scheme cards so the rarity symbol appears to be black on all of them. The information below the card frame is center-justified. The card back is unique too, featuring the Magic: The Gathering logo and the word "Archenemy" as well as the spike-ornaments also present on the front, connected by a large silver frame.

Conspiracies and draft ability cards[ | ]

Conspiracies and draft ability cards' frames have a circular pattern.

Card frame gallery[ | ]

Default card frames[ | ]

Card frames for mechanics[ | ]

Card frames for aesthetics[ | ]

Main article: Showcase

Card frames from silver-bordered sets[ | ]

Card frames for alternate game formats[ | ]

Token frames[ | ]

Emblem frames[ | ]

References[ | ]

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