Struggles between the new and old are ingrained in the human experience. Magic players see this arise in the form of new cards with each set released for the game. Power level, rarity, creature types, every new card brings up comparisons to the old and conflicts arise in their evaluation.
But what of the reprints? Functionally identical in the player’s hands, they nonetheless introduce new elements to the game with their updated illustrations. Classic images envisioned through the eyes of a new artist come out entirely different, yet whether improvement is achieved is up to the viewer.
Does the original art stand the test of time, or do new images take up the banner of our imagination?
The eternal struggle continues… it’s the Reprint Rumble: Aether Revolt!
Classic Genius vs. New Hotness, which faction will emerge victorious in this revolution? Sides have been drawn, choose your champion!
Conviction is a hard thing to illustrate, especially without outside references. We know from the storyline that both pieces illustrate characters with Conviction, so they both fit thematically.
Paolo's style is quite distinctive, and, while I'm a big fan, I feel that the cleaner presentation by John Stanko is more fitting the subject matter. Win for New Hotness.
Blastoise is looking ripped. I wonder where he works out.
While Zack captured some great emotion in this new artwork, I prefer my counterspell illustrations to be actively countering something within the frame of the artwork.
This water powered Care Bear stare is more fitting for a direct damage spell, as a opposed to counter-magic. It doesn't hurt that Ryan Pancoast absolutely killed it with his Oath of the Gatewatch artwork. Maybe next time, New Hotness.
Many decry the relative simplicity of the artwork from the first few sets. In some cases, they have a point, but in others, especially with Ornithoper, the simplicity perfectly illustrates the idea.
I love the color and design of the Aether Revolt Ornithopter. The framing of the surrounding figures ensures that your eye is always drawn back to the flying contraption, as it should be. That said, it simply can't match the callback to Leonardo da Vinci seen in the original. Classic Genius takes another round.
It took me a while to settle on a winner for this round. I thoroughly enjoy both versions that Dave Kendall created, (kudos again to WotC for the call back in Eldritch Moon) and Ryan continued to impress with the Aether Revolt update.
In the end, I sided with the New Hotness as it illustrates a more one-sided affair. In both of the original illustrations, the fights appear to be much more fair than in the new scene. The distress seen in the expression of the Ibex being devoured is much more fitting of the theme and wins the round for New Hotness.
Is it just me, or could the new Aether Revolt art for Shock be just as, if not better, fitting as an equipment? I wonder if it was commissioned as such and then swapped over once development saw the need for a Shock reprint.
There is certainly a spark being illustrated and I appreciate the work that went into making the shock generator, but the direction on this piece seems a bit off.
The 10th Edition Shock, by comparison, contains everything you'd expect in an electricity based direct damage spell that can target creatures. Going against expectations can work, but in this case I feel that Classic Genius' more literal interpretation is superior.
While we here at OMA score it as a 3-2 close win for Classic Genius, we won’t know who the eventual winner will be until we hear from you so vote early, vote often for your favorite art!
Remember that every piece of art should be celebrated and appreciated. The artists, art directors and everyone involved in the creative team all bring the game to life and their contributions should never go unnoticed.
Each set provides a new chance to tell a story and capture the imagination of the players. Thanks go out to everyone involved in this creative process and I look forward to seeing the contestants for the next Reprint Rumble.
Until next time!