On Sunday, June 14, 2020, the magnificent original oil painting for Ryan Pancoast’s Core Set 2021 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon sold for $33,100 on the MTG Art Market. This gorgeous work will be an eternal part of Magic history.

Ugin, the Spirit Dragon by Ryan Pancoast, oil on stretched canvas, 24” x 30”

Ugin, the Spirit Dragon is a work of oil on stretched canvas, the preferred medium and substrate of the artist, and measures a massive 24 inches by 30 inches. It was commissioned as new artwork for the widely played card Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, and is printed in its full glory in Magic’s new borderless frame. It can be found in both Draft Boosters and Collectors Boosters when the set releases on July 3, 2020.

The original artwork was made available for sale shortly after the card was announced, and the auction was run on the MTG Art Market with Vorthos Mike acting as agent for the artist.

The opening bid ask was set at $7,000 alongside a $15,000 reserve and a $45,000 Buy It Now option. The reserve was met within ten minutes, which is not particularly surprising for such an important piece, not to mention a work of this size. Bidding would slow after the opening hours, and capped off at $17,500 by the end of the first day. Although serial bemoaners of long auctions made their points known in the comments, a $20,000 private bid came through on at the halfway point on June 10, setting a new baseline for the auction to climb from on the final day. Even in the age of the Internet, it takes folks a few days to find things and percolate both funds and decided interest.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The final push began with about a half hour remaining, and three different private bidders pushed this work slowly past the $30K mark and into soft close auction overtime. Every few bids would bump the close time five minutes further, until that final bid of $33,100 place by Private Bidder #4, sealed the fate of this work and dropped the final auction hammer.

Two associated color studies were offered beginning June 11 and ending June 15. One “White” and one “Blue,” each is a work of oil on canvasboard measuring 5 inches by 7 inches. They opened at only $100, but carried a $1,500 Buy It Now option as well. Bids came in quickly, but the White version, the closest to the final, had the Buy It Now exercised just over five minutes in. The Blue version would run the duration, and sell for $1,175 late on Monday night.

Ugin, the Spirit Dragon has been a main character in Magic’s ongoing storyline for quite some time, and has been a very playable card almost entire life; this is a great recipe for strong sales for any new traditionally painted Magic artwork that comes to the auction block. Choosing Ryan Pancoast as the artist just brings this illustration and character absolutely over the top, and becomes an instant masterpiece in Magic’s catalog by one of the best artists working today. Pancoast is at the top of his game, and you just love to see it rewarded.

Congratulations to everyone involved. This is one incredible piece of Magic history.

Don't Miss Out!

Sign up for the Hipsters Newsletter for weekly updates.