Good morning folks, and welcome back to another art-infused edition of the Mirror Gallery here on Hipsters of the Coast. Much like what happened a few months back, this article was originally intended to be centered around Streets of New Capenna, but in similar fashion there was a brand new Secret Lair Superdrop hiding around the corner that I simply cannot pass talking about.

This SuperDrop is as multifaceted as ever, and features a bit of New Capenna gilt, three different artists series from fan-favorites and legends alike, and even a touch of contemporary art and extra whimsy coming to Magic for the first time. It’s a diverse cross-section of what Magic: The Gathering art can be from folks literally around the globe, and reimagines with new artwork some of the most played cards in the game today.

Let’s take a closer look to see what this is all about. This is Secret Layers of Secret Lair: April SuperDrop!

Showcase: Streets of New Capenna Gilded Foil Edition

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Atraxa, Praetor’s Voice by Tom Robert, Digital; Breya, Etherium Shaper by Julie Dillon, Digital; Yidris, Maelstrom Wanderer by Kelley Harris (krharts), Digital.

We begin in the thick of New Capenna with three cards that seek to show off two of the brand new aesthetic treatments in the new set, both the Golden Age frame and the Gilded Foil treatment debuting for the first time. It features three artists who did a significant amount of artwork to the main set’s alternate art, with more than a dozen between the three of them, and bring three of Commander 2016’s most popular legends back to life in this new setting.

Tom Robert’s Atraxa, Praetor’s Voice is set atop a world of gold and steel. Julie Dillon’s Breya is imbued with such beautiful motion to accentuate her Etherium-driven nature. And Kelley Harris’ Yidirs is through the maelstrom and right into high society, a flavorful take on the wandering ogre wizard. I cannot wait to see these cards in the new Gilded Foil, and sleeve them up to face off in the streets of New Capenna.

Special Guest: Matt Jukes

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Glacial Fortress, Drowned Catacombs, Dragonskull Summit, Rootbound Crag, and Sunpetal Grove by Matt Jukes. Digital Monoprint.

Matt Jukes is contemporary artist hailing from London, UK who, in his own words, seeks to “Capture misremembered landscapes from obscured memories, (where) viewers are invited to share the emotions embedded in each piece.” The results of his crossover with Magic: The Gathering are these serene, abstract landscapes of Magic’s allied Checklands, a fresh, minimalist, and contemporized reimagining like nothing we’ve seen before.

Jukes uses a 200 year old printing press as opposed to more modern screens and plates, creating a unique work marked on the press itself. The resulting works present as timeless and ethereal, and are going to look out of this world when printed at card size. The original monoprints of these works are sold, but you can grab a giclee for your wall in a variety of sizes on his website.

Artist Series: Magali Villeneuve

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Mother of Runes, Death’s Shadow, Elvish Mystic, and Forest by Magali Villeneuve. Digital over traditional pencils.

One of the most popular artists in the game today, Magali Villeneuve has illustrated more than 150 cards in her close to ten year career with Magic, and now gets her very own artist series as she pushes towards 200 cards. This drop includes her very first Basic Land, a Forest, as well as three mightily played cards illustrated in her signature style: Elvish Mystic, Death’s Shadow, and Mother of Runes. She was even responsible for working with the creative team on the flavor text for these three, to further illuminate her artistic process in making these three cards her own. Her figurative work is instantly recognizable, and if nothing else, these four cards show the absolute artistic range of a master at work.

Artist Series: Sidharth Chaturvedi

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Concordant Crossroads, Nomad Outpost, Ghost Quarter, and Island by Sidharth Chaturvedi. Each work oil on canvas, 18” x 24”.

Sidharth Chaturvedi is the embodiment of the Golden Age of Illustration in this new millennium, and has his own four card Artist Series in this Secret Lair Superdrop as well! Working traditionally in oil on canvas, he’s created a story in four parts in both image and text, a dynamic depiction of a monumental ancestral journey, all now at card size. This is a brilliant collection of work, and one that will become a pillar of his artistic career with the game.

Artist Series: Wayne Reynolds

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Sram, Senior EdificerBalthor the DefiledTorbran, Thane of Red FellDepala, Pilot Exemplar. Traditional.

The only thing better than two Artist Series in a Secret Lair is three Artist Series! The final Artist Series of the April Superdrop is for the legendary Wayne Reynolds, who gives us four dwarven legends of his own. These four artworks capture the intricacies and elements of his work as an artist, from the serenity of Sram to the stoicism of Torbran, with a bit of Balthor-sised terror and Depala sized fun. Reynolds also assisted with the flavor text for his cards, and this complete package is set to wreak havoc at many a Commander (and Vintage Artist Constructed) table in the future.

Finally! Left-Handed Magic Cards

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Sisay, Weatherlight Captain by Volkan Baga, oil on board, 35 cm x 45cm (13.8” x 17.7”); Empress Galina by Matt Stewart, oil on ampersand gessoboard, 18” x 24”; Geralf’s Messenger by Chris Seaman, Traditional; Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh by Andrew Mar. Digital; Garruk, Caller of Beasts by Jesper Ejsing, acrylic on board, 12” x 16”.

This is this year’s April Fool’s Secret Lair, featuring new artwork for each of four of Magic’s left-handed legends (and the multi-armed Geralf’s Messenger, best not forget him). These paintings reside in a flipped frame, where names and mana costs, creature types and rarity symbols, have switched sides for the accessibility of the southpaws among us. These are the first new artworks for these five cards since their initial printing, and will provide a fun and flavorful (and cost effective foil option) for players of all formats.

Just Some Totally Normal Guys

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Collector Ouphe, Goblin Settler, Vengevine, and Void Winnower by Roman Klonek. Digital.

These are just four normal guys, trying their best, straight from the imagination of Polish artist Roman Klonek. He describes his work as a “bizarre balancing act between propaganda, folklore and pop,” and these elements ring true in these four creature-iffic creations, most of which are receiving only their second artwork for Magic. They embody the everyday versions of how these four creatures might exist in our world, just doing what they would do, and have a playfulness that can only be derived from Secret Lair and a personality like Klonek.

Klonek resides in Dusseldorf, Germany where he continues to create whimsical woodcuts and other artwork for commissions and museum exhibitions around the world. You can find his work on his website.

Wrapping Up

There are just over two weeks left to pre-order the April Superdrop, either individually as you see them above or in its entirety. As you can well see it’s one of the most artistically diverse drop yets, with a bit of something for everyone. Whether you enjoy the traditional stylings of the Artist Series or something completely different and never before seen on a card, there is something in this set for you regardless of how you enjoy Magic.

Next time in the Mirror Gallery it will be the Streets of New Capenna Grand Art Tour, featuring my favorite artworks from both the main expansion as well as the Commander set. With a bit of extra lead time I should have access to the most high res art I’ve ever had before writing a Grand Tour, so stay tuned to stroll the Streets of New Capenna as we take a closer look at some of these modern masterpieces found in the new set.

Remember, to see original #mtgart and other #vorthos related things, follow me on Twitter. Feel free to ask questions or retweet to continue the conversation. Thanks and see you next time!

Donny Caltrider has been playing Magic since 2002 and collecting original Magic art since 2017. He has an M.A. in Museum Studies from Johns Hopkins University and enjoys telling stories about art, objects, and the intersection of fantasy with real-life. You can find him on Twitter talking about #mtgart, museums, and other #vorthos related goodness. Follow along and continue the conversation!

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