Heart failure (HF) is a common syndrome related to varied pathophysiologic processes. Individualization of care according to the patient's pathologic and modifiable substrate is of increasing importance. The use of modern cardiovascular MRI (CMR) provides for the centralization of diagnostic testing with the ability to assess cardiac morphology, function, flow, perfusion, acute tissue injury, and fibrosis in a single setting. This offers the potential for a paradigm shift in the noninvasive diagnosis and monitoring of patients with HF. This article outlines a diagnostic approach for the primary use of CMR in the phenotypic characterization, risk stratification, and therapeutic management of patients with HF.