Spoiler season is 25% exciting and 75% frustrating. New cards are neat. People’s opinions on them seem a festering combination of meaningless, useless, wrong, and occasionally interesting. Hugh Kramer’s Deathrite Shaman is Going to be Awesome guarantee is the only new card speculation that holds up to the power of hindsight. So, who cares about what new cards do? Not me, not now.

As an artist in a Magic: the Gathering community I often talk about the art of cards and people often tell me what they think about the art of cards. One such person is Josh Fetto-blaster. The other day he IM’d me about some card he thought looked cool so I asked him to give me his favorite Gatecrash cards based solely on their art. Here’s what he came up with and here’re my thoughts on his picks. Super internet hug in your direction, Josh, for taking the time to amass these components.

Josh breaks the set down by favorite arts via the color pie, makes a comment on each card, I sometimes throw up a comparrison image, and say some snarky things in response to all of it.

Let’s start with White.

Josh Fetto: This reminds me of old school Magic art.
Matt Jones: I can see that. It’s like upgraded old school Magic art. For me, Ancestral Recall is a quintessential old school Magic art. Blind Obedience is like a computerized version of old school style and attitude. Similar figure-ground relationship. Simple composition. Computers are more accurate than Mark Poole.

JF: I like Debtor’s Pulpit ‘cuz if I were the poor sap who got assigned to illustrate this card I’d have no fucking clue what to draw and probably woulda jut drawn a room too. Hardest Pictionary clue since Exuberance.

MJ:Yeah, Jame Paick made a potentially boring card look pretty Epic. Magic has a hard time visually dealing with debt.


JF: Smite reminds me of Monty Python.
MJ: I can see that.


JF: There’s an evil spirit in Spirited Away that lures it’s victims with an outstretched hand full of gold before eating them. Syndic of Tithes is the human form. Makes me think about organized religion and how it’s all a trap for the helpless, hopeless and trusting.

Are we related? I think you’re right on.

Then the worst slice of the pie, Blue.

JF: The Keymaster Rogue just looks so pleased to have met the challenge of another lock. I don’t even think he wants to rob the joint. He’s got no bag/pockets to carry away loot. He’s totally gonna pick that lock and leave and the owner’ll come home and think he totally forgot to lock the door.

MJ: This is a blue card and therefore sucks.

Thank goodness that’s over! Now onto our demonic friend, Black.

JF: I like Gateway Shade cuz it looks friggin awesome.

MJ: Meh.

JF: Smog Elemental a.k.a. Cookie Monster.

MJ: I think this card looks crazy. It also brings up some kind of political something. I mean, you feel that too, right? Like environmentalism or something? No? Jeez.

JF: Thrull Parasite freaks me out.

MJ: It’s the Gatecrash version of Ad Nauseum.

Josh doesn’t like any of the Red cards. I like this one because it’s hilarious:

MJ: Look out you Orzhov jerk! Pissed off soldiers are stamping out the corruption of your idolatry!

And now the greatest most bestest color of them all, Green!


JF: I love giant stompy things and that dude is so fucked.

MJ: People run from green creatures, like, all the time!

JF: I like Naturalize for the Japanese feel of turning metal/machine/artifice to vegetables.

MJ: It’s definitely better than most other Naturalize card arts. This card gets the short end of the stick every set.


JF: Verdant Haven, who wears a cloak to a fair? Otherwise totally boring.

MJ: Totally, cloaking is the best.

Everyone’s favorite – Gold cards!

JF: This dude looks awesome. Like a mutant Dr. Venture who has a turquoise fettish.

MJ: I guess.

JF: I don’t have much to say about these cards other than they’re dope.

MJ: They are totally dope, you’re right.

Last but not least, Artifacts and Lands.

JF: I don’t like any of these.

MJ: I dunno, all the shocklands look beautiful. Thespian’s stage is hilarious. I’ll put those up next.

JF: Fine.

Josh and I both left work so our conversation ended. Scrolling through the visual spoilers I’m taken by how consistent all of the art is. I’m actually excited by the art of a single card. It has the special combination of funny and cute. Imagine Camus’s The Stranger written with Fblthp as the the main character! It’d be the funniest book ever!

That’s it. Gatecrash art wrap up over. All the cards look the same. It’s like they hired one artist, said “paint these things” and then put different names on the bottom of every card. Oh well. Every set can’t be Lorwyn.

Until next time,
Matt “The Obliterator” Jones
MTGO: The_Obliterator


1. While purchasing a jacket to replace mine (some very unfashionable holes had surfaced in its shell) I debated for half an hour whether or not I needed to spend an extra $50 to buy a jacket that wasn’t as good as a jacket on clearance that happened to be blue. I thought, “I’m gonna take heat for wearing a blue jacket from my bros at 20SS.” Let it be known that blue is a fine color when not deciding whether or not you get to play Magic: the Gathering fairly. I love my blue jacket.

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