A Magic: The Gathering card has a lot of information on it: ranging from unnecessary info to stuff that is needed during gameplay.
- The name of the card. This is used to distinguish cards from one another.
- This diplays the amount and type of mana needed to play the card.
An illustration that fits the card's name and abilities/effects.
- The item found before the type that describes a class that the card belongs in (not all cards have super types). Common super types are "Legendary" and "Basic."
What type of card it is. This is usually "Creature", "Enchantment", "Artifact", "Sorcery", "Instant", and "Land", or "Planeswalker".
The item found after the type, preceded by a dash. There are hundreds of subtypes that can describe a card, most of which are creatures.
A symbol that shows what Magic: The Gathering expansion the particular card came from. Cards printed in core sets prior to 5th Edition do not have symbols.
How "rare" a card is. Rare cards are designated by gold symbols, uncommon by silver, and common by either black or white. Recently, the Time Spiral expansion introduced a purple symbol for reprinted "timeshifted" cards. Rarity is determined by how many times per sheet a card is printed.
The rules text tells the abilities of a card. This is arguably the most important part of Magic: The Gathering cards.
Reminder text reminds people of different rules and keywords in the rules text for players' reference. Reminder text is italicized and enclosed in parenthesis.
Flavor text is italicized text found under the rules text of a card. Flavor text usually has no impact on gameplay, but is rather just some flavorful text that goes along with the card.
The power and toughness are featured only on creature cards. These are usually represented by numbers separated by a slash (/), but some creatures might have an "X" or a "*" to show a value that is either set when the card is played or that can fluctuate while the card is in play, respectively.
The artist credit typically consists of a paintbrush image followed by a name. This usually has no effect on gameplay.
The copyright information shows the copyright of a card and has no effect on gameplay.
The collector's number shows the place of a card in a set followed by how many cards were in that set. It has no impact on gameplay.
The color of a card. Current colors are "colorless," "white," "blue," "black," "red," "green," "multicolored" (gold), or "hybrid multicolored." The color of a card usually reflects the colors required in the mana cost.
The border around the outside edge of a card. There are four current borders: black, white, silver, and gold. Black-bordered cards are from expansion sets, white are from core sets (premium core set cards have black borders), silver borders are from spoof sets (Unglued and Unhinged) (basic land from these sets have black borders), and golden borders are from "world" decks. Only white and black bordered cards may be used in official DCI tournaments, as silver bordered cards are meant to break the rules and gold bordered cards have a different back.