This entry is part 3 of 14 in the series Massive Art Attack

Posted by Chris-B

Help kick that post V-Day hangover with some terrible Magic art and awesome alters.  Its time for Massive Art Attack.  Last week we took a look at the Ice Age expansion where we found that Beavis pumps a creature and that Wizards marketing has come a long way.  If you haven’t had a chance to check out my first art set review, head over and take a look.  Its light on text and heavy on pictures, like a children’s book so you’ll blast through it in no time.  Besides its Friday before a three day weekend for those of us in the US, what else are you going to do?

This week we leap a year ahead to catch up on the progress of art in Magic with the Alliances expansion.  Debuting in 1996, Alliances was a breath of fresh air after the debauchery that was Homelands.  Home to the infamous Force of Will, this expansion contained actual playable cards.  As far as the art of Alliances is concerned, let’s just say things are going to get worse before they get better.

Modern Magic sets have consistent quality illustrations that feel tied together.  As we will see these older sets were characterized by 10% being a shit storm of awful, 10% being pretty impressive and 80% being unremarkable.  Lets dive into the shallow end of the bottom 10% to start.  This week I’ll start with 4 honorable mention pieces:

Lame of Thrones


Art purchased at Ren Faire for $13.99


Lim-Dul was the first necromancer to embrace 80’s fashion.


Rejected art for Jace the Mindsculptor


Now for the worst of the worst.  Here are the two worst pieces of art I could find in Alliances:


















Diseased Vermin:  He’s either screaming at that one unfortunate rat in his hand or he’s about to take a big bite out of it like an apple.  Either way, he’s really screwed because he has nowhere to run.  Those houses don’t have windows or doors. Is this an actual card, a poster for a terrible new Jim Carrey animal comedy or a magazine cover for Man’s Life?  I can’t tell, you decide.  Frankly, I think Jim Carrey should have stuck to talking out of his butt and wearing bright orange suits.


















Balduvian War-Makers:  My vote for worst art of the set goes to the war makers.  They are making something but I don’t think its war.  I’m convinced the two guys on the right are riding on the third one.  They aren’t going to have much time for war making after spending all day applying orange tan.  Everyone raise your tiny arms and tiny clubs to salute this masterpiece.  Thankfully there was a second version of this card printed in the set with a different piece of art.  It can’t be worse right?




























Now that those mangled works of half formed ideas and poor execution are out of the way lets have a look at some of my favorite art from Alliances.

Heart of Yavimaya: A lot of contrasting color and a unique perspective makes the art for Heart of Yavimaya pop.  The plant definitely has a memorable and creative design to it that grabs your eye.  Also, you better grab your copies now because its on the reserved list!  It will certainly skyrocket in price as the “reverse ramp” strategy increases in popularity.















Phyrexian Boon: Its a huge fleshy construct with glowing tentacles.  It harkens back to a time when Magic art could be the thing of nightmares.  I miss that.
















Winter’s Night:  My favorite art in Alliances is Winter’s Night.  Its a really nice and crisp landscape that conveys the mood of the Ice Age block better than most cards accomplished.  I just wish this thing was playable.  If they had printed a card that turns your opponents lands into snow I could see this working.  Or hey, maybe your friend pimped out their deck with all snow lands and you want a hilarious way to hose that deck.  It could be a one sided Storm Cauldron in the right situation.














Finally its time to look at some amazing alters from the Alliances expansion.  As always if you want altered cards from your own deck featured on Massive Art Attack, shoot me an email at  I’ll make sure that I feature them in a future article.

Credit: iplaythisgame of – I love the burn through style Forces.





















Credit: demonium71 of – This has to be one of the most detailed eye ball tickling alters I’ve ever seen.


















Credit: BGaltered of – Whats better than RKF insanity? Extended RKF insanity.




Credit: Sandreline of – The talented Sandreline knocks this playset of buring FoWs out of the park.
























Credit: diemwing of – And we finish off this week with a top hat wearing purple hippo. Enjoy!





Series Navigation<< Massive Art Attack 02 – Nachos RuleMassive Art Attack 04 – Like a Boss >>