This entry is part 2 of 14 in the series Massive Art Attack

Posted by Chris-B


Welcome back to Massive Art Attack.  As I mentioned in last weeks article, this week I will be reviewing the art of Ice Age.  The year was 1995, “Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?” by Bryan Adams was sitting atop the charts, people were flocking to see Batman Forever, and WotC was just releasing the Ice Age expansion.  To promote the new 383 card set they treated us to this gem:

Playing a Moor Fiend has never been so entertaining.  If the video is any indication, we should have some impressively bad art pieces to look over from this set.

First off I’m going to go ahead and ignore anything by Phil Foglio.  Love him or hate him, hes not trying to make a badass illustration.  There are plenty of other cards where the artist appears to be making an attempt to be serious and completely falling on their face.  I now present to you the top three worst pieces of art to grace Ice Age:

Fear: Fear goes all the way back to Alpha, where the card originally featured a woman being mildly surprised by a wall of skulls.  Ice Age upped the ante:

This just doesn’t make any sense.  First off the sources of fear appear to be some floating plastic halloween teeth and rubber dish gloves.  Lutraphobia is the fear of otters.  Consecotaleophobia is the fear of chopsticks.  For the life of me I can’t find a named phobia for the fear of gloves or plastic teeth, so I’d say they miss the mark by a seriously wide margin.  What really tops the whole thing off is the dude.  Those boots go all the way up to his nipples!  Did he shrink?  If he shrunk why are his hands the size of tennis rackets?  Then just throw in an incoherent red background to tie it all together.  Just what happened here?  We’ll probably never know because Rick Emond never illustrated another card outside of the Ice Age expansion.








Chromatic Armor:  There is missing the mark and then there is Chromatic Armor:

I almost want to put this in my Bruna deck for style points.  Sure I just crushed you in one swing, but I did it while equipped with froot loop armor.  If there is one card that absolutely NEEDS a foil reprint, its this one.  It would be a blinding disco ball.  Well, that is until all those sleight counters begin to obscure his Cincinnati Bengals helmet and laser pants.  From the Vault: Rainbows.  Make it happen Wizards.













Fanatical Fever:  This gets my vote for the absolute worst art of Ice Age.  Looks like the great Cornholio is foaming at the mouth from eating too many nachos:


















The Sloppy Seconds award goes to Leshrac’s Rite:

The famous stuffy doll has graced some iconic cards like The Rack and Black Vise where he’s pictured getting ripped in half or smashed in a vice.  That actually makes some sense.

What does stuffy doll have to do with swampwalk?  Absolutely nothing.  Do you need to test your swampwalk spell on a crash test dummy to make sure you don’t botch it on the real deal?  I theorize this art was left over from another card that never saw the light of day.












Its not all disco pants and disaster with the art of Ice Age.  There are certainly some cards that I think look pretty sweet even by todays standard.


Pit Trap: This is pretty spectacular.  The perspective of a dude who just fell into a pit trap and has a bloody pit spike through his chest is most excellent.  Plus this card is totally playable in commander.  I could definitely see it being used in Glissa where you can recur the trap.  If you are going to run Pit Trap, definitely run the Ice Age version.















Thought Leach: This is the style of MTG art that I miss.  That grotesque puss oozing creature just wouldn’t have the same impact if it was done digitally. 

That thing looks like its straight out of a horror movie with the claw going into that poor guys ear.  Its unfortunate that the card is pretty much unplayable.















Necropotence: I’ll admit, part of the reason I rate this highly is because the art is so iconic.  Nostalgia counts for something right?  Nostalgia aside, this necromancer with shoulders bigger than a 1980s JC Pennys coat is actually pretty badass.  What’s that blue swirl hes casting?  Best not to ask since he probably just blew 10 life to find it.   Also it goes without saying that it is very playable in commander.  Card advantage is king and with the inflated life totals you can dig and dig until you either get your wincon or die trying.













Its that time to take a gander at some sweet Ice Age alters from across the dot net.  We shall kick it off with Necropotence:

Credit: Oneiros of – A sweet subtle alter that brings in a new color palette.



Credit: Sandreline of – A very cleanly executed full art Necro alter.



Credit: Terese Nielson of – Ya its technically an Alliances alter, but its a Mark Tedin homage from Terese, thats pretty sweet!


Credit: Benetnash of – A very well done Jace Brainstorm



Credit: Sandreline of – And I’ll leave you with an amazing set of swords from the talented Sandreline.


I hope you enjoyed this weeks look at original art and that of the altered variety.  As always I’d love to share your favorite alters that reside in your commander decks.  Send pictures or links on over to and I’ll be sure to have them featured.  Thank you for reading!


Series Navigation<< Massive Art Attack 01 – Horses of GlassMassive Art Attack 03 – Make War Not Love >>