Almost three years ago to the day, I published my 200th article here in the Mirror Gallery. It was entitled Behind the Brush: Scott M. Fischer, and I interviewed the artist about his return to Magic by way of the Double Masters set. Fischer has illustrated for Magic since 1996, and in the time since those three new artworks, he’s had twenty more new cards including some of Magic’s most popular creatures and powerful Planeswalkers. And now in the last two weeks, he’s added an incredibly impressive artistic crescendo in his second entrance into Magic’s Secret Lair.

Angels: They’re Just Like Us but Cooler and with Wings Deck Art with the Artist, Scott M. Fischer

The Angels: They’re Just Like Us but Cooler and with Wings Secret Lair deck features a heavenly host of new angelic illustrations by Fischer, and I wanted to take some time before getting lost in the woods of Eldraine to look closer at these new pieces. For the majority of these cards, Fischer’s iteration represents only the card’s second artwork. It makes this collection, in a similar fashion to previous Secret Lair decks, essentially an Artist Series Secret Lair. You can just feel the power and the passion Fischer poured into these patrons of the skies; let’s check them out. 

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Bruna, the Fading Light, Brisela, Voice of Nightmares, Gisela, the Broken Blade (Triptych) by Scott M. Fischer. Traditional.

Bruna, Gisela, and Brisela

We begin with the centerpiece of the whole she-bang, the tour de force, the pièce de résistance.

Do you remember the speech Justin Hammer gave during Iron Man 2? This is that. The tale of two Innistrad angels told across three cards has now been painted as a single triptych, a meld made real, and a story realized. Multi-card artworks are still a bit of a rarity in Magic, but when executed like this, three paintings as one, they create a complete narrative. It’s a testament to the beauty found in the beastly, and the capacity of composition to tell new stories. 

You can watch it come to life on his Instagram.

Archangel of Thune

This is Fischer’s favorite in the entire lineup. The Archangel of Thune, queen of the Core Sets and Masters Sets, gets a brand new invigorated iteration for this deck. Thune is a place we still don’t know very much about, and as such, it looks as if Fischer was able to lean heavily into his own designs and motifs. The end result is a whole unique Mythic Rare as we’ve never seen them before, larger than life both literally and within the card frame. 

Court of Grace by Scott M. Fischer, oil on cradled panel, 22” x 28”

Court of Grace

Court of Grace features Fischer’s daughter as the Archangel Radiant, with Fischer and his wife on either side. She’s shown presiding over the realm of Serra in this very literal artistic take on the card name. This is only the ninth (give or take) time Radiant herself has appeared on a Magic card.

I love when artists use these opportunities to paint family portraits or other artists into the game but in a cohesive and thematic way. It’s what makes the Artist Series (which I think this wholly is) special, and unique to that particular person. We’d never know these folks without the insight of the artist, and it’s a special treat you can share across the table for years to come. 

Commander’s Plate by Scott M. Fischer.

Commander’s Plate

This is the only work I’ve not seen the process for, but I must admit it’s one of my favorites, even as a still life. The stained glass armor of New Benalia is instantly recognizable as it’s displayed upon the Dominarian stand, and the background bathed in yellow mimics the dawning of the day. I wish the flavor text told us who this armor belongs to; in my headcanon, it’s that of Lyra Dawnbringer. But, I guess we’ll just have to imagine that for now.



The tokens for this deck were also illustrated by Fischer and were a place where he could call forth those things from his personal work: beautiful ladies, and a little bit of weirdness. The Angel Token is a classic, and the Spirit’s strange and ethereal nature is like something out of a dream. I am 100% going to be getting more of these to use, whether for this Commander deck or otherwise.

I think we owe Scott ‘a big hand’ for the incredible work on this series.

**SPOILER ALERT** If you’ve purchased this deck, have not opened it, and want to be surprised, skip to Wrapping Up!

Sigarda’s Aid by Scott M. Fischer, oil on panel, 24” x 36”

But wait, there’s more! In true Secret Lair fashion, there is a ‘secret’ card with this deck, and it’s the Commander powerhouse Sigarda’s Aid! Once again this is only the second artwork for your Equipment Commander’s favorite pet card, and we see the angel Sigarda, savior of Innistrad, in all her glory. Fischer said on Instagram that “[t]his was unquestionably the most intense and awesome assignment I have done for the game in my 27 years of illustrating MTG,” and we see that challenge undoubtedly well met. 

Wrapping Up

As of the writing of this article, Angels: They’re Just Like Us but Cooler and with Wings is still available from the Secret Lair website. It is a limited product, but at this point, it is shipping immediately and I can’t imagine it will last too much longer. Remember this is not a #sponsored article, but one which comes from a love of the artwork. I have this deck in hand and sleeved up, and can’t wait to play it. I’ve been a fan of Fischer’s work since I was a little kid opening Champions of Kamigawa booster packs, and now knowing him as a friend, it’s unreal to be able to play with what is sure to be a high note of his career with the game.  

Looking forward, we’ll be all about the Wilds of Eldraine for a few weeks, with a Grand Art Tour, a Behind the Brush, and hopefully a 4D article all on the docket. The first trip to the plane is the only time I ever write three Grand Art Tours for one set; Eldraine is one of my favorite worlds, and I’m excited to dig deep back into it once again. 

And just as a heads up, the next handful of Mirror Gallery articles past these might be a little less ‘time-relevant’ than you’re used to: my son is due at the beginning of October, and sometime around that point I’ll be queuing up some things I’ve been working on throughout the year as life gets a little more hectic. I don’t plan to go on hiatus, but when you see me talking about Jor Kadeen, First Goldwarden, you’ll know baby Theo is likely here or close.

As always, thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time.

Donny Caltrider (he/him) is a Senior Writer at Hipsters of Coast writing about all things related to the art of Magic: The Gathering and the larger imaginative realism genre. 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. When he’s not writing for Hipsters or working with artists, you can find him traveling with his wife, petting his two cats, and watching the Baltimore Orioles.

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