This entry is part 6 of 14 in the series Massive Art Attack

Welcome back to Massive Art Attack.  This week I battle nostalgia by reviewing the set that really got me sucked in to Magic.  Tempest.  This posed quite a challenge for a couple of reasons:

1.  Nostalgia makes it easy to overlook bad art.
2. Tempest came out around the time the quality of art in Magic was stepped up a notch.  Mirage was probably technically the first block to up the art quality, but the trend certainly continued with Tempest.  That bottom 10% of art that was easy pickings for me to mock in previous sets was weeded out of the multiverse by this point.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t bad art in Tempest.  Read on to see what I found.

Ahhh Tempest, the first Magic expansion that I had eagerly anticipated when I first started playing.  It harkens back to a simpler time.  That time was 1997 and a Kindle wasn’t something you could read a book with.  Tempest gave us buyback, slivers, shadow and its own brand of terrible art.  At this point in the history of Magic art, gone were the days of Reverse Polarity levels of awful.  Magic was catching its stride and Wizards was getting art from places other than a guy that knows a guy who does fantasy illustrations.  Perhaps the execution was now better, but the overall concepts could still use some work.  Let’s see what we have got for the worst of the worst:

Bad Art 

Speaking of decent execution, but a flawed overall concept we have Clergy en-Vec.  Alright so in this illustration we have a clergy member..errr I mean clergyman and I guess hes getting hammered out by the blows of…uhmm I should say the faith’s shield, ahhh fuck it, now we know why the Pope resigned.  This art sucks.















During the Weatherlight saga it was Wizard’s goal to try and tell a very specific narrative through cards.  They eventually gave up on this since it’s difficult to tell a coherent story when players are experiencing cards in a deck completely out of story order.  Anyways that’s why you’ll see a lot of Weatherlight era cards with the Weatherlight crew hanging out and doing their thing.  I guess in this scene everyone’s clothes and hair were turned into wax and Mirri flashed a big waxy cat leg to influence the negotiations with Eladamri.  Ya I told you this story was hard to follow.












Pew Pew!
















At first glance this isn’t so terrible, but then you realize that’s supposed to be Hanna and not David Bowie and it gets a lot less impressive.


This kind of effort might have flown in Ice Age, but it really sticks out like the sore thumb that it is now.  That faerie has a big club hand and no toes.  What is going on with these guys at the bottom.  Are they in disbelief?  Are they helping her to fly with their magical non-expressions?  This club-handed faerie is flying around before their eyes and they look they doing the five dollar foot long gesture.  Needs improvement.













Good Art

This week I’m adding a small twist.  After looking through all the cards in Tempest I was reminded of one of my favorite artists from this period in Magic’s history.  Brom aka Gerald Brom.  For Good Art this week we are just going to look at all things Brom.  Unfortunately Brom hasn’t produced any artwork for Magic since Mirrodin and in total only illustrated less than 50 cards.  Who is your favorite magic artist that had a shorter run than you would have liked to see?  Be sure to let me know in the comments!

To start off lets take a look at some of Brom’s work that appeared in Tempest:

































A lot of his work has an earthy warmer color pallet while still managing to look a bit sinister.  I especially enjoy Phyrexian Splicer.  I think his work would be right at home in a modern Magic set.


Lets go ahead and take a look at some of the other highlights from his brief time doing work for Magic cards:














Aboroth is one my favorite pieces of Brom art.  It has everything you could want, the Weatherlight in the sky in the background, a huge mean looking green beast and cumulative… upkeep… Well almost everything you could want.















I had never seen this card before because its from one of the Portal: We Didn’t Print Any expansions.  Its a pale sinewy she-devil in thigh highs riding some saddled up demon.  Its the stuff of nightmares and I love it.
















Modern artists, such as Jason Chan, are known for their angels in recent sets, but Brom could draw a mean angel back in the day















Hatred is some of my favorite distinct pieces from Exodus.  It’s also one of my favorite cards.  Suicide black for life!…errr death?  Anyways I really need to build an EDH deck just so I can use this card.  Something mono black and devious.  Any ideas?














Let’s not forget he did Bullwhip as well.  Let’s GET IT!

















To finish off my point that Brom is an artistic beast and his work would even stand out by today’s standards, lets take a look at some of Brom’s more recent images (check out for more):





















































I hope you enjoyed this weeks look at Tempest and the art of Brom.  Again, if you have altered cards in your deck or if you do card alterations, shoot me a message at and I will be sure to get your work featured in an  upcoming article.  Next week I will be away soaking up some rays, so I won’t have an article for you, so be sure to check back in two weeks when the art attack will be massive yet again.  We’ll be taking a look at alters once again.





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