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: Amonkhet!
Classic Genius vs. New Hotness, who will emerge victorious in this trial of endurance? Sides have been drawn, choose your champion!
While I love Rebecca's soft tones and colors, Eric presents a much more imposing figure in this new art. With the amount of annoyance created by the card, I feel that the new art fits much better with the theme.
Both images share many of the same elements. Single figure carrying a very heavy object with relative ease with the implied intention of causing massive bodily harm.
Even with these similarities, each artist is able to bring their style to bear. While I appreciate Nils's efforts to imply the immediacy of the broken obelisk by including a debris cloud, it's the glowing orange runes on Wayne's goblin that have me the most intrigued.
Those runes capture the idea that this feat is only possible due to wizardry, which is extremely fitting in this case. Great job Wayne and the WotC art direction on adding that touch.
Each and every image depicts some variety of spell being cancelled or deflected. With so many options to choose from, and all of them being so generic, I settled on Izzy's MPR illustration, mainly due to the "grizzled wizard" elements he included in the piece.
Come on, it's obviously Classic Genius here. The guy is being torn apart, piece by piece, by BECOMING birds. It's such an elegant and creative way to capture the theme.
With such a generic theme, I had to go with the only artwork that told some kind of a story. It doesn't hurt that Mathias did a good job with this Koth. Grabbing handfuls of lava and flinging it at your enemies it certainly formidable.
While I greatly enjoy the background and figure work in the new Amonkhet Renewed Faith, I feel that Gideon's expression could use a bit of work. Maybe it's due to the small size of the art or the limits of depicting so many elements in the scene, but it doesn't feel like it's translating the appropriate emotion.
The old art, by contrast, focuses much more on the elation of renewed faith and doesn't have anything else to compete with it in the frame. It would certainly be interesting to hear the whole story behind the new Renewed Faith came to be.
In the end, this round came down to the tormenting spirit of Bolas depicted in two planes.
While I love the novelty of mouths appearing on your hands, quite unsettling, the work that Volkan put into the figure of Sarkhan is simply too good. I think the Ugin detracts a little from it, but the emotion captured in that illustration is simply superb.
I don't really think that either of these images cries out "Unburden" on initial viewing, but the new art gets a bit closer. Offering up your own blood (or some mixed in with your enemy's) as a gift to the gods? Works for me.
While we here at OMA score it a 6-2 solid win for Classic Genius, we won’t know the eventual winner 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!