03/02/2011 StF: "Mirrodin Besieged in Paint and Pixel"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Savor the Flavor, which goes live Wednesday on magicthegathering.com.
Magic has some great art, and getting to see them enlarged only increases my appreciation for it.
There should be a ready source of these. Every Gatherer page should have a link to a bigger copy of that card's full art.
I'm happy that Magic exists if only to provide an outlet for this level of fantasy art.



This.  For all my kvetching about the utter uselessness of cards like Deathcurse Ogre, at least they get pictures; ultimately, that's what makes them worth the paper they're printed on, let alone 25c each.  Now if only we got to pick and choose our favorites instead of buying blind....

I have to disagree with DAB's assessment of Razorfield Rhino, though.  The piece is blurry and ill-detailed, and I don't think it conveys any sense of momentum at all - a couple blades of razorgrass may be flying away, but the rhino itself doesn't seem to be moving at all.  I also question the sense of deciding Accorder Paladin should be iconic; every time I see him I get hung up on that goofy helmet he's wearing over the top half of his face.

Glissa:  The Sexy Elf Zombie.  It's not clear whether her svelte belly is green from Elfishness or from tissue putrescence.  I find this ambiguity profoundly disturbing.

Glissa's Courier - I love how he has test-tube alien babies on his back (and one in his crotch; I could have done without that one).  Neverminding the yet-unresolved question of why this set has a green mountainwalker and a red forestwalker, I like this card's picture because it seems to show off that the most defining trait of Phyrexia green is its plague-like fecundity.  You can almost imagine him "birthing" those little terrors in mid-battle so they can latch onto the opponent and start gnawing him to death.  (Yes, I'm disturbed; this is a matter of public record.)

I'm sad we didn't get the lifelink artifact creature, even if it had a black activation cost (it would have been a vast improvement over Dross Ripper and Flensermite.

Totally agree on Priests of Norn - there's your iconic!  I just wish we had equally compelling representations for the other colors of phyrexia - particularly black, since it's not made especially clear what parts of Phyrexia are especially black now that the whole shebang no longer is.
My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi
Had to post because I simply must know what Gigeresque means.
Had to post because I simply must know what Gigeresque means.



I was wondering the same, at first glance the word made me think of a Geiger counter, but evidently there is a spare e in that name, although radioactive mutilation and a someone turning phyrexian somehow seems fitting. However a quick Google search revealed it has to do with this guy:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H._R._Giger

www.google.nl/images?um=1&hl=en&biw=1003...=

 
Yes, I have to agree that Razorfield Rhino kinda sucks, but Beyer neglected to point out that the little Auriok gentlemen is Accorder Paladin.
I agree that the Priests are just... Wow. Seriously, wow. This is what looking at an Eldritch Abomination must feel like. Im just blown away by them.

I LOVE the Vatmother. Its the friggin Alien Queen, thats what it is. LOVE it.

Giger is the Guy who invented the Aliens. You know, these guys known as Xenomorphs, withe their Facehugger/Chestbuster Lifecycle. What the Alien Queen is the Queen of.
The Background in the Picture is definetly Giger, but Glissa herself - nah, not for me. Her Midriff is too humanlooking.
[c]Forest[/c] gives you Forest
I love big art day .

Priests of Norn was, to me, the most arresting card shown in the big batch of Besieged preview art a month or two ago.  Every time I look at it, I'm just drawn into wondering how they work, how they think.  Somehow the scariest Phyrexians are the ones that aren't drooling, aren't oozing, don't have fangs, and don't have mouths.  (The only thing I regret is that the artwork shows them towering over the viewer, but the card is only a 1/4 - that was kind of a disappointment, since I saw the artwork first.)

Titan Forge always makes me think of The Big O.  Something about the giant machine, clearly designed with a singular vision, possibly mute (at least, it doesn't appear to have a mouth), being created via some gigantic tech from beneath the sea, and used for fighting the good fight.  Magic doesn't usually stray into 'mech territory too much, which is why I really appreciate it when it does.
Yeah, Priests of Norn will be the most iconic card from this set to me. It has storyline significance (Phyrexia advancing into white), it's incredibly compelling art, and it was a card that I actually got to play with (due to being a common) and was rather effective for me at the prerelease. (I was somewhat surprised to find myself, as a white-blue-red fan, selecting Phyrexia at the prerelease, but all the most interesting white and blue cards were Phyrexian. Priests of Norn is really solid for my preferred style of gameplay, and its Vorthos significance and awesome art just solidified my liking for it.
Thanks for the art Doug.
Will JJ or Cavotta write more of these in the future? Just curious.
Priests of Norn is one of my favorite pieces from recent history. We still haven't gotten a wallpaper, have we?

They also remind me of the criminally underutilized and still unidentified race from this creepy masterpiece. 


I have to disagree with DAB's assessment of Razorfield Rhino, though.  The piece is blurry and ill-detailed, and I don't think it conveys any sense of momentum at all - a couple blades of razorgrass may be flying away, but the rhino itself doesn't seem to be moving at all.



At cardboard scale, I had no sense of momentum; the rhino was just sitting there, plodding along. At larger scale, I can see it, but it took him telling me that there was a sense of momentum for me to be able to even see it.

This article made me think though - do you think that the artists particularly care what cards their art is used for? Does Christopher Moeller look at Chimney Imp and think "thanks for wasting my artwork, Wizards", or do they not care much about the playability of the card they are illustrating? At what point do they know whether they are illustrating a waste of cardboard or a highly sought after money rare? It seems like egos could get involved.
Razorfield Rhino has a sense of momentum to me because its angular shape suggests the way cubism depicts movement. See "Nude Descending a Staircase."
There should be a ready source of these. Every Gatherer page should have a link to a bigger copy of that card's full art.

Completely agree.

And if this is not possible, at least post an article in the main page when every new set is released with the full art of all cards. Just what they already do with the sortable spoiler, but instead giving us the bigger versions of the art.
OMG click HERE! OMG! How to autocard and use decklist format
--->
For autocarding, write [c][/c] with the name of the card inside it. [c]Island[/c] = Island For linking a card to Gatherer without writting the name of said card for readers, use the autocard brackets together with and equal sign and right the name of the real card. Then put the message you want inside the tags, like you would do with autocarding. Like this: [c=Curse of the Cabal]Captain Never-resolves[/c] = Captain Never-resolves For using the decklist format, follow this: [deck] 4* Terramorphic Expanse 4* Evolving Wilds ... [/deck] It equals:
Real signature, Sblocked for space:
57817638 wrote:
I like storm crow because I really like crows in real life, as an animal, and the card isn't terribly stupid, but packs a good deal of nostalgia and also a chunck of the game's history. So it's perhaps one of the cards I have most affection to, but not because "lol storm crow is bad hurr hurr durr".
Listen to my SoundCloud while you read my signature. The Island, Come And See, The Landlord's Daughter, You'll Not Feel The Drowning - The Decemberists by vimschy IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/rkvR.gif)IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/L3es.gif) IMAGE(http://dragcave.net/image/m71H.gif)
Quotes
56747598 wrote:
57295478 wrote:
Although I do assume you deliberately refer to them (DCI) as The Grand Imperial Convocation of Evil just for the purposes of making them sound like an ancient and terrible conspiracy.
Now, now. 1994 doesn't quite qualify as "ancient".
56734518 wrote:
Oh, it's a brilliant plan. You see, Bolas was travelling through shadowmoor, causing trouble, when he saw a Wickerbough Elder with its stylin' dead scarecrow hat. Now, Bolas being Bolas took the awesome hat and he put it on his head, but even with all his titanic powers of magic he couldn't make it fit. He grabbed some more scarecrows, but then a little kithkin girl asked if he was trying to build a toupee. "BY ALL THE POWERS IN THE MULTIVERSE!" he roared, "I WILL HAVE A HAT WORTHY OF MY GLORY." and so he went through his Dark Lore of Doom (tm) looking for something he could make into a hat that would look as stylish on him as a scarecrow does on a treefolk. He thought about the Phyrexians, but they were covered in goopy oil that would make his nonexistant hair greasy. He Tried out angels for a while but they didn't sit quite right. Then, he looked under "e" (because in the Elder Draconic alphabet, "e" for Eldrazi is right next to "h" for Hat) in his Dark Lore of Doom and saw depictions of the Eldrazi, and all their forms. "THIS SHALL BE MY HAT!" he declared, poking a picture of Emrakul, "AND WITH IT I WILL USHER IN A NEW AGE OF DARKNESS -- ER, I MEAN A NEW AGE OF FASHION!" And so Nicol Bolas masterminded the release of the Eldrazi.
57864098 wrote:
Rhox War Monk just flips pancakes, and if games have told us anything, it's that food = life.
56747598 wrote:
76973988 wrote:
This thread has gotten creepy. XP
Really? Really? The last couple days have been roughly every perverse fetish imaginable, but it only got "creepy" when speculation on Mother of Runes's mob affiliation came up?
76672808 wrote:
57864098 wrote:
57531048 wrote:
Nice mana base. Not really.
Yeah, really. If my deck was going to cost $1000+, I'd at least make it good.
99812049 wrote:
I like to think up what I consider clever names for my decks, only later to be laughed at by my wife. It kills me a little on the inside, but thats what marriage is about.
56816728 wrote:
56854588 wrote:
Of course, the best use [of tolaria west] is transmuting for the real Tolaria. ;)
Absolutely. I used to loose to my buddy's Banding deck for ages, it was then that I found out about Tolaria, and I was finally able win my first game.
70246459 wrote:
WOAH wait wait wait
56957928 wrote:
You know, being shallow and jusdgmental aside, "I later found out that Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates with at least two other people"
56957928 wrote:
"I later found out that Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates with at least two other people"
56957928 wrote:
Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates
56957928 wrote:
OH MY GOD
109874309 wrote:
The only way I'd cast this card is into a bonfire.
82032421 wrote:
The short answer is that there's no rule barring annoying people from posting, but there a rule barring us from harassing them about it.
56747598 wrote:
Browbeat is a card that is an appropriate deck choice when there's no better idea available. "No better idea available" was pretty much the running theme of Odyssey era.
56874518 wrote:
Or perhaps it was a more straightforward comment indicating a wish for you to be bitten (Perhaps repeatedly) by a small yet highly venomous arachnid.
70246459 wrote:
58280208 wrote:
You're an idiot, and I'm in no mood for silliness.
57817638 wrote:
57145078 wrote:
You just... Vektor it.
That's the answer to everything.
70246459 wrote:
58347268 wrote:
I think the problem is that you don't exist.
This would sound great out of context!
56965458 wrote:
Modern is like playing a new tournament every time : you build a deck, you win with it, don't bother keeping it. Just build another, its key pieces will get banned.
57864098 wrote:
57309598 wrote:
I specifically remember posting a thread when I was just a witty bitty noob.
You make it sound like that's still not the case.
58325628 wrote:
Rap is what happens when the c from crap is taken away.
Doug Beyer:
But sometimes it's also challenging. Because sometimes OH MY GOD, WHAT THE HELL IS THIS THING?
141434757 wrote:
Flashforward five thousand years (Click for atmosphere) :
57927608 wrote:
to paraphrase Jeff Goldblum, Vektor finds a way.
58347268 wrote:
when in rome **** AND PILLAGE
143229641 wrote:
I always find it helpful when im angry to dress up in an owl costume and rub pennies all over my body in front of a full body mirror next to the window.
Dymecoar:
Playing Magic without Blue is like sleeping without any sheets or blankets. You can do it...but why?
Omega137:
Me: "I love the moment when a control deck stabilizes. It feels so... right." Omega137: "I like the life drop part until you get there, it's the MtG variant of bungee jumping"
Zigeif777:
Just do it like Yu-Gi-Oh or monkeys: throw all the crap you got at them and hope it works or else the by-standers (or opponents) just get dirty and pissed.
57471038 wrote:
58258708 wrote:
It's true that Alpha and Beta didn't contain any cards like Tarmogoyf, Darksteel Colossus, or Platinum Angel. It just contained weak, insignificant cards like Black Lotus, Mox Sapphire, and Time Walk.
Normally it's difficult to pick up on your jokes/sarcasm. But this one's pretty much out there. Good progress. You have moved up to Humanoid. You'll be Human in no time.
91893448 wrote:
94618431 wrote:
I didn't know Samurai were known to be able to cut down whole armies...
They can when they're using lightsabers!
57129358 wrote:
97980259 wrote:
My wife brought home a baby black squirrel they found on a horse track and cared for it for a few days. We named it Grixis, but it died.
Unearth it!
70246459 wrote:
[/spoiler] And I'm on Magic Arcana. How about you? Oh, by the way, I'm also on From the Lab now. Twice, actually. And now with my own submited decklist!
I think this is among the best Savor the Flavor articles!

Glissa's Courier - I love how he has test-tube alien babies on his back (and one in his crotch; I could have done without that one).

That's its belly, not its crotch.  It's squatting down with its knees near its belly and its ankles near its groin.
It's nice to see a close up version of the card art.  I would never have caught the Auriok figure standing in front of the rhino.

Of the peices of art shown, my favorite is Titan Forge.  That large metal titan looks like it can lay the hurt on whatever it decides to go after. 
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
Physics pedantry alert!

"The pure momentum of this charging rhino-like artifact creature comes across—and makes you question the sanity of the little Auriok gentleman who's still in its way. Not a lot of Magic art make me want to solve physics equations, but this piece actually makes me want to multiply mass times acceleration."

Momentum is mass times velocity. (Mass times acceleration is force.)
Physics pedantry alert!

"The pure momentum of this charging rhino-like artifact creature comes across—and makes you question the sanity of the little Auriok gentleman who's still in its way. Not a lot of Magic art make me want to solve physics equations, but this piece actually makes me want to multiply mass times acceleration."

Momentum is mass times velocity. (Mass times acceleration is force.)



Perhaps he suggests he wants to calculate the force it will make on that poor fella
Magic art just seems to get more amazing with each set and Mirrodin Beseiged is no exception.

Have to give a shout out to my favorite art of the set that wasn't mentioned though... Silverskin Armor!

Also +1 for full-art archive.
Magic Judge Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Rules Theory and Templating: "They may be crazy, but they're good." --Matt Tabak, Rules Manager*
wait until you see ACTION.
 
If I had to give a complaint about Scars block art, though, it's that (with the exception of Leonin) they seemed to have really toned down the metal-ness of the Mirrans for this block.  It tends to make the Mirrans less special-feeling than I remember.
"We will all be purified in Wurm. What is good will be used to heal Wurm, or grow Wurm, or to fuel Wurm's path. What is vile will be extruded, and we will be free of it forever." --Prophet of the Cult of Wurm




This article made me think though - do you think that the artists particularly care what cards their art is used for? Does Christopher Moeller look at Chimney Imp and think "thanks for wasting my artwork, Wizards", or do they not care much about the playability of the card they are illustrating? At what point do they know whether they are illustrating a waste of cardboard or a highly sought after money rare? It seems like egos could get involved.



Wow. I can't believe I've never considered that. I'll love cards just for their artwork, and I've railed against bad cards in the past; I can't believe I never thought to combine the two. That really must gall the artists to be stuck on a crappy card, especially when they're intentionally bad. 

And the Priests of Norn is a great bit of concepting. Sometimes having something being plain and featureless can be even scarier than being all tentacle-y and stuff.
Proud member of C.A.R.D. - Campaign Against Rare Duals "...but the time has come when lands just need to be better. Creatures have gotten stronger, spells have always been insane, and lands just sat in this awkward place of necessity." Jacob Van Lunen on the refuge duals, 16 Sep 2009. "While it made thematic sense to separate enemy and allied color fixing in the past, we have come around to the definite conclusion that it is just plain incorrect from a game-play perspective. This is one of these situations where game play should just trump flavor." - Sam Stoddard on ending the separation of allied/enemy dual lands. 05 July 2013
The Priests of Norn are like the Angels from Evangelion. Of course, so were the Eldrazi. I guess there are some fans in the works here.
The Priests of Norn are like the Angels from Evangelion. Of course, so were the Eldrazi. I guess there are some fans in the works here.



I painstakingly assembled a used set of the platinum box set of the series a couple of years ago and I have yet to watch a single episode. 
Proud member of C.A.R.D. - Campaign Against Rare Duals "...but the time has come when lands just need to be better. Creatures have gotten stronger, spells have always been insane, and lands just sat in this awkward place of necessity." Jacob Van Lunen on the refuge duals, 16 Sep 2009. "While it made thematic sense to separate enemy and allied color fixing in the past, we have come around to the definite conclusion that it is just plain incorrect from a game-play perspective. This is one of these situations where game play should just trump flavor." - Sam Stoddard on ending the separation of allied/enemy dual lands. 05 July 2013
I painstakingly assembled a used set of the platinum box set of the series a couple of years ago and I have yet to watch a single episode. 



Nothing wrong with that.  Evangelion is a beautiful, moving work of art, but it's also a psychological weapon constructed by a vengeful insane genius crafted to depress the world.

I love the show, but I still can't watch it without being thrown into a serious depression funk for the next three days. 
"We will all be purified in Wurm. What is good will be used to heal Wurm, or grow Wurm, or to fuel Wurm's path. What is vile will be extruded, and we will be free of it forever." --Prophet of the Cult of Wurm
I painstakingly assembled a used set of the platinum box set of the series a couple of years ago and I have yet to watch a single episode. 



Nothing wrong with that.  Evangelion is a beautiful, moving work of art, but it's also a psychological weapon constructed by a vengeful insane genius crafted to depress the world.

I love the show, but I still can't watch it without being thrown into a serious depression funk for the next three days. 


Is it odd that I consider the very end of EoE a happy ending?
Is it odd that I consider the very end of EoE a happy ending?



I guess it all depends upon whether you would rather sacrifice some measure of individuality in exchange for ultimate happiness, or live in a world fractured by irresolvable loneliness in the name of maturity and personal responsibility.

Either way, you just saw every character you cared about for the past 26 or so episodes get brutally, horrifically murdered, with the exception of a fourteen-year-old boy who is irreperably scarred from (among other things) having killed his closest friend by SQUEEZING HIM SO HARD HIS HEAD POPPED OFF!

Incidentally, I've often heard the way Lost ends compared to Evangelion, and while the last scene is somewhat reminiscent of Episode 26's ending, I was immeasurably relieved when I finally watched it that there was not a giant, naked, glowing John Locke prancing about turning people into man-soup. 
"We will all be purified in Wurm. What is good will be used to heal Wurm, or grow Wurm, or to fuel Wurm's path. What is vile will be extruded, and we will be free of it forever." --Prophet of the Cult of Wurm
Incidentally, I've often heard the way Lost ends compared to Evangelion, and while the last scene is somewhat reminiscent of Episode 26's ending, I was immeasurably relieved when I finally watched it that there was not a giant, naked, glowing John Locke prancing about turning people into man-soup. 



It WAS the first thing I thought of when I saw the episode.
Razorfield Rhino has a sense of momentum to me because its angular shape suggests the way cubism depicts movement. See "Nude Descending a Staircase."



Ah, well that would be the problem.  AFAIC, cubism just stinks, so if the artist was going for that I would naturally fail to be a fan.  I guess it works for some folks.

As to the question about whether artists care about how they're utilized, I'd imagine it depends on the artist.  Some play the game, some don't; obviously if their pic is chosen as booster box art or some similar icon, they're happy about the exposure, but whether their card is an utterly forgettable common or a tournament-staple rare is probably not a big deal, as both involve lots of people seeing the work.  And it'll also vary depending on things like whether the artist is satisfied with his work or if it was the best he could do under a deadline - stuff like that.  (As a "verbal artist" who worked on Action - yes, I never get tired of mentioning that - I can verify that it feels that way, and I'd imagine the effect is similar regardless of medium.)

wait until you see ACTION



JJ is not kidding.  I can't say any more, but I know exactly what he's talking about.

If I had to give a complaint about Scars block art, though, it's that (with the exception of Leonin) they seemed to have really toned down the metal-ness of the Mirrans for this block.  It tends to make the Mirrans less special-feeling than I remember.



I feel the opposite way, I think the more natural and realistic look makes the metalness stand out more by giving the picture more versimilitude.  But I can get why you would feel this way, it's just not the effect on my perceptual mode.
My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi
The real problem is that it's uneven. Most Mirrans look like they're just wearing some metal stuff, but the Vulshok all look like Doomsday.
yes, I never get tired of mentioning that


And you're damned right. If I were in your position I'd mention it all the time as well. (I'm jealous)

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