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: Elves vs. Inventors!
Classic Genius vs. New Hotness, who will emerge victorious?
I'm not really a big fan of either of these images. The original art is simply too dark to enjoy. I understand that they were trying to hint at there being more elves in the background, but they went a bit too deep in that end of the pool.
The new art has almost the opposite problem, with an offsetting yellow tinge and some perspective and anatomy issues that make's the main figure's arm seemingly disappear. While I think it could be vastly improved with a few changes, at least I can tell what's going on in the art. Win for New Hotness.
I'm usually pretty harsh when it comes to random energy tendrils being shoehorned into artwork, but I actually quite enjoy the effect in the Scourge art.
I can see a tiny bit of that in the new art, around the hands on the tree trunks, but with the amount of mana this guy pumps out, it makes sense that it would be arcing all over the place.
I also enjoy the contrast light blues that Matt included in the background. The "all green, all the time" that we see in the updated version just isn't as engaging.
These are two very good and very interesting takes on the same idea, a master of green mana generation. Someone that's been doing this for a while and knows what they're doing. Raymond includes his mandatory sharp edges and hard textures, while Karl delivers a weathered figure, that has stood the test of time and has the scars and wrinkles to show for it.
Raymond did a fine job, but this is one of Karl's best pieces made for the game. Don't take my word for it, it's one of his only pieces that his wife won't allow him to sell.
Beyond the different background and longer shot in the new art, these pieces are fairly close to each other.
I could see people disagreeing with me quite easily, but I think Victor took Karl's initial idea and improved on it.
Just like with Elvish Aberration, the wider color palette makes for a more interesting piece. Also, the facial experission on the original art is much more "fierce", as are the angled wedges in the background.
Not even close. Love you, Victor Adame, but Scott's friendly little tinkerer will never be unseated.
Not only does the original art have a call back to Nikola Tesla and his coils, but the direction of the "energy flow" is much more indicative of an epiphany.
Epiphany is often illustrated as a light bulb appearing above one's head, not a nebulous cloud of energy smoke swirling around your feet. Not the direction I would have gone with.
While it is definitely due to the harsh aesthetic of the Phyrexian invasion, this is a clear win for the Kaladesh inspired Assembly. Not only are the Kaladesh thopters, and their endless filigree, a joy to look at, but the background is much more interesting.
While we here at OMA score it a 5-3 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!