The Brothers’ War is one of the most important stories in MTG, and the art did a great job of showing it off.
When compared to other card games, one thing that makes Magic: The Gathering (MTG) stand out is that each card has its own unique piece of art. Even though the art has nothing to do with how Magic is played. It makes people around the world feel a sense of wonder and sparks their imaginations.
Cards like Serra Angel and Shivan Dragon, which have been popular for a long time, became popular in large part because they have beautiful art on them. Even though Magic players don’t talk as much about Magic card art as they used to, the success of products like Secret Lair drops shows that there are still a lot of art fans in the MTG community. Having said all that, let’s look at some of the most beautiful new versions in Brothers’ War.
The best thing about the art that Magic makes is that it usually tells a story. When it comes to reprinted cards like Evolving Wilds. The story of the set helps an artist decide which way to go. You might think that a card like Evolving Wilds, which has printed many times over the years, has run out of unique art ideas, but Sam Burley shows that this not the case.
In Brothers’ War, a fight between two brothers turns into a world war that changes the setting and planet of Dominaria for good. In this picture of Evolving Wilds, we can see how the landscape changes from lush, green meadows to a crater-filled, pockmarked wasteland as the war destroys the land.
Scatter Ray by Awanqi (Angela Wang) is a great example of how to use colors. That are very different from each other. Not only the colors here beautiful, but the idea of a battleforged machine marching up to a temple of wizards only to be taken apart by a single flick of a mage’s wrist is so interesting.
The white temple in the background that is falling apart also does a great job of giving the drawing both literal and symbolic depth. The shadows on the inside of the temple are a good indication of how old and powerful the spellcaster in the picture is.
A robotic angel sounds a little bit like an oxymoron, but Denys Tsiperko’s drawing does the idea justice. The sharp corners of this machine’s body make it look like angel wings. And the white light coming from its joints reminds me of the light of the sun in the sky.
The halo-like thing on top of the seraph’s body ties everything together. It’s also important to note that the landscape around this angel is just as angular as it is. Which brings out some of the piece’s finer points.
Survivor Of Korlis
When it comes to cards that tell stories, Survivor of Korlis by Julia Metzger a good example of how this can be done well. The rocky cave-like setting of the piece and the broken blade of the soldier tell the whole story of a battle with just a few set pieces.
Also, the looming shadow of the attacking machines on the wall in the foreground is a great way to show how dangerous the machines are while keeping the focus on the soldier who is still alive. The way her sword looks, though, it doesn’t look like she’ll be around for long.
Steve Prescott does it again with this enthralling picture of a huge Wurm machine getting closer to its next victims. With so little space to work with, it can be hard for an artist to show how big these kinds of creatures are. But Steve does a great job of it by showing the Wurm’s body in both the foreground and background of the piece.
The Wurm is also a nice touch because it has the keyword “menace” and is about to attack exactly two creatures. Many of the most memorable cards meet at the intersection of how they look, what they do, and how they taste. Phyrexian Fleshgorger is almost certainly one of these new additions.
This article by Robin Olausson may be the best way to show how the Brothers’ War changed over time. Because of this, it makes sense that the art is on an enchantment. In the foreground of the piece, the soldiers who are ready for battle don’t seem to belong in the smoky gray mess around them. Behind the soldiers, though, the robot warriors marching through the fog look like they belong there.
It’s interesting to note that as time goes on, the human soldiers in the foreground are replaced by the mechanized units in the background. In this way, the piece does a great job of telling the Brothers’ War story in a way that is easy to understand.
Fade From History
Fade from History by Alessandra Pisano shows a much more natural scene many years after the Brothers’ War. This is a strange change from the main theme of this set. Maybe it’s our soft side coming out, but the heavy and sad themes of death, destruction, and weaponized machines need a few funny cards to balance them out.
Fade from History has the most hopeful card art in the set, but it’s not the only one. Even if terrible things happen during the Brothers’ War, Fade from History tells us. That the natural world will keep going, heal, and eventually grow past the horrors of the war. So, that’s why the two young cubs are so happy to play with a piece of rusty metal.
Lay Down Arms
Liiga Smilshkalne’s jaw-dropping artwork is beautiful, but what makes Lay Down Arms the most interesting piece of art in the whole set is that it calls back to the art of the card that came before it, Path to Exile. When you look at both cards in Slope Game, you can’t argue that Lay Down Arms wasn’t made with Path to Exile in mind.
In the art for Path, a Leonin is turning into dust. In the art for Lay Down Arms, the soldier’s past is turning into dust as she moves into a brighter, more alive future. Smilshkane’s ability to take inspiration from the game’s past art on the same card that Lay Down Arms takes inspiration from mechanically is a level of metagame artistry that Magic has rarely seen.