This entry is part 12 of 14 in the series Massive Art Attack

Posted by Chris-B
Twitter: 0hn0s3

Staple Remover will not be seen this week, instead I have a mid-season Art Attack update for you. For all Staple Remover fans, if there any out there, don’t worry it will be returning next week. It just so happens to be great timing to check into the world of Magic the Gathering art. Wizards has botched a couple things recently that I couldn’t help but address. The new sliver art that has been revealed so far for M14 is a huge mess. Also, I’ll take a look at Garruk’s slowly distorting body as well as the new black on black planeswalker promos that Wizards just announced. Read on!














First off, slivers. The first card I ever opened in a pack of Tempest was Clot Sliver, so me and slivers go way back. I even owned the Tempest preconstructed sliver deck.

My friends sliver deck from 15 years ago was even rescued recently from the dusty corners of a closet and turned into a Sliver Queen commander deck. For any players out there that aren’t familiar with the old slivers, they were small hive creatures that each granted abilities to the entire hive. Most were pictured with an elongated “Aliens” style head, a single large talon appendage and a couple of long tentacles for moving around.

This time around, things got changed up a bit. The new crop of slivers has updated rule templating. Previously slivers granted their abilities to all slivers on the battlefield, not just your own. The new incarnations only grant their abilities to slivers that you control. To me, this is just a straight forward modern templating change. Sure it changes the feel of the slivers a little, but I’ve been playing a long time and was never compelled to play slivers vs slivers anyways because of the old templating. To me the newly worded abilities make the slivers more fun to play because you aren’t grinding through armies of slivers that mirror each other.

The big miss is the art. What were they thinking?  This is a huge failure on the part of creative. I understand there are only so many variations on the old prototypical sliver body form that you can possibly commission from artists. I can see why the creative department wanted to inject some new life into these xenoforms after many years since their last appearance. Why did they have to be humanoid? Everything in Magic is humanoid. Loxodon (human form elephants), Merfolk (human form fish), Viashino (human form lizards), Nacatl (human form cats), Rhox (human form rhinos) Treefolk (trees with faces and arms), etc. Hell, take a look at the most recent Magic villains. The Phyrexian praetors are all pretty human based, except Urabrask the Hidden, probably part of the reason he’s really the only praetor who isn’t a rocket powered turbo dick. Even some of the Eldrazi looked like big two legged, two armed lumbering humanoid beasts (I’m looking at you Kozilek, Butcher of Truth).

Slivers were decidedly nothing at all human like. So why did the art get what looks like a rehash of the same fantasy inspired humanoid form? They all look awful and it absolutely kills any flavor the slivers had. These new slivers are simply human forms with some head tentacle dreadlock hair. Why does every creature have to have two arms, two legs a torso and a head? Why couldn’t they have had Mark Tedin come in and concept out some big disgusting alien membrane horrors? These all look like Predators, creative gets a big D- for this effort. It almost makes me think some of the art was completed before they decided they would bear the sliver creature type.









Garruk is probably my favorite planeswalker. His various iterations have made tokens, pumped creatures, drawn cards and ramped you, everything a green mage could want. The art for his Wildspeaker incarnation by Aleksi Briclot was well done. The feel of a big burly wild man was clearly conveyed. I for one worry about his health recently. His Primal Hunter art practically doubled his size. It looks like he’s spent too much time with Jose Canseco recently. Primal Hunter looks like a plastic wrestling action figure.

I was even more surprised to see the recently unveiled art for Caller of Beasts. Some of the beef-cake look has gone away but he’s even wider than before. I think Garruk’s spark must be a tree trunk filled with steroid syringes. He’s one planeswalker card away from being a Treefolk. At this rate he’ll be the first walker to burst out of both sides of his card frame instead of the top. The art for both sides of Garruk Relentless look much more true to his original Wildspeaker form. He must have been cursed by Liliana and then cured by being inflating like a Macy’s Thanksgiving balloon, good god. I know the planeswalkers are supposed to be the super cool d00ds that attract younger players to the game, but can we get the body geometry under control?












Back in Black

To finish off this weeks art rant, along with the new Garruk, Wizards debuted a new set of alternate art promotional cards with black on black art. So far we only know what Garruk’s alternate art looks like.

Ignoring the fact that Commander’s Arsenal, Modern Masters and this new promo set are three Magic products released in one year that will prove impossible to obtain for a sane price, I think that this is pretty cool. It’s an all new style of alt art promo for Wizards, almost a nod to some of the card alters being created by many talented artists out there. However, I think these limited print run carts would be even cooler if each walker got their respective color on color. Garruk would be green on green, Chandra red on red, etc. I’m pretty interested to see what the Liliana of the Dark Realms in all black looks like. My Korlash deck would love a copy, but I’m sure they will be fetching higher prices than I’m willing to dish out. After all Korlash is a $0.00 deck!
I hope the limited availability doesn’t spur too much negative backlash and we get to see Wizards experiment more with alternate art cards. Come on, explore that studio space, we need more cowbell, errr or Kormus Bell… whatever.


Staple Remover of the Week

Seriously, I only have a limited time to play Magic these days now that I’m old and cynical.  Go waste someone else’s time with your Armageddons.  Recommended replacement; playing the Bone Flute.









Feel free to drop a comment below or contact me:
email –
Twitter – @0hn0s3

Series Navigation<< Massive Art Attack 11 – Xela, the Alterist GeekMassive Art Attack 13 – Theros Block Storyline Hints >>