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: Explorers of Ixalan!
Classic Genius vs. New Hotness, who will win the race to fame and fortune?
The new art has a great perspective. Fish eye at ground level? Love the approach. The original, though, is much more evocative and tells a better story.
You can almost hear the Bird Man say "Gimmee that!", instead of the depiction in the new art, of the moments after the theft, as the original owner attempts to retrieve the stolen goods.
While I applaud the style of the new art, the original fits better flavorwise and wins the round for Classic Genius.
At card size, I can hardly tell what is going on in the new art. even once I tracked down the full scale image, I still couldn't really make sense of it.
A bunch of old mast heads on a cliff face? Even in the world of Ixalan that is a stretch to consider it a Necropolis. While the original art is a bit generic, it at least communicates what is required.
This one is pretty close to a push, but I like Wayne's take over Rob's. The original is a bit more unfinished and overgrown, which makes more sense for a Jungle Shrine.
New Hotness all the way for this one. Instead of a generic red glowing eye effect, you have a crew turning against their captain? This one is almost a gimmee.
Jesper's art has more color, detail, and character. I get that Slawomir was likely hamstrung by an art direction that required a bunch of mist, but the new art loses the evocative shapes that made the original so great.
The new art is very interesting, as it doesn't really indicate whom is being "Preyed Upon". The original three images, all have the larger figures being the implied predator, while the implied motion and flavor text of the Ixalan art leaves it up to your interpretation, with the edge going to the smaller Merfolk attacking from above.
With Merfolk and Dinosaurs both sharing the color green, you still can't be sure, which makes the art even more interesting.
In all honesty, the more I look at the Ixalan art, the more I like it. Alexander usually makes a color study/sketch of all of his Magic art, I'll have to pay close attention when and if this one comes up for sale.
Neither of these are really illustrating what I would consider "Zealous Persecution" without out outside information, but the new art looks great.
We're I to nitpick, I think the helmet placement on the male vampire is a bit odd, is it resting on just the tippy top of his head? Otherwise, it's much more engaging and interesting than the generic "glowing thing of doom" of the original.
While we here at OMA score it a 4-3 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!