7 Most Badass Pieces of Card Art for MTG Commander 2017

One of Magic's biggest draws is the quality of its art. Here are some of the coolest pieces from Commander 2017!

One of Magic's biggest draws is the quality of its art. Here are some of the coolest pieces from Commander 2017!

Art is an integral part to Magic: The Gathering‘s identity. With every set that releases, Wizards of the Coast commissions dozens of artists to create hundreds of unique works of art specifically tailored for Magic‘s new cards.

For many players, the art is just something nice to look at while playing the game. For others, the art is a window into another magical world. And, if you’re like some of my cohorts, the art is the very reason you started playing.

In a week, Magic‘s Commander 2017 supplemental product will hit store shelves, which means we’ll be getting new cards and new art. And because the product was designed specifically for our favorite battlecruiser format, a lot of that new art looks pretty badass.

So, here are seven of the coolest-looking cards from Commander 2017!

Card: Shifting Shadow

Artist: Christopher Burdett

Shifting Shadows by Christopher Burdett tells the story of the little lizard that could — and, ideally, that’s how your games will pan on when you attach this card to one of your little critters.

There aren’t many cards in the game that make the connection between Lizards and Dragons (as they’re considered to be two separate creature types), so to see them come together on a card like this is a bit of a treat. 

Card: Vindictive Lich

Artist: Toma Feizo Gas

To be quite honest, I don’t think that the game has enough liches, so I was happy when Vindictive Lich got spoiled. One of my favorite things about this Toma Feizo Gas‘ piece is the implication that the jeweled amulet in its grasp is a magical, ersatz heart that will injure its enemies.

Traditionally, a lich is a sorcerous undead creature that has achieved immortality by binding its soul to one or more inanimate objects (like a Horcrux, for you Harry Potter fans reading this), which is something Wizards of the Coast explored with Phylactery Lich a while back. If you look closely, there are a couple of other purple jewels in the image, with one placed near where its heart used to be.

Card: Teferi’s Protection

Artist: Chase Stone

Teferi’s Protection is probably my favorite depiction of Teferi himself. The card and image present Teferi as something of a savior, which is quite fitting, given his actions in the Time Spiral trilogy. Chase Stone‘s bright colors and dramatic composition do a great job of reinforcing his tendency toward grandstanding and showmanship.

Card: Licia, Sanguine Tribune

Artist: Magali Villeneuve

Mechanically-speaking, Licia is probably one of my favorite cards from the set, and not only does Magali Villeneuve‘s depiction of the character look absolutely majestic, it really gets you pondering what type of world she’s from.

One of the game’s best-received sets was Theros, Magic‘s Greek-inspired plane, but what about a Roman plane — with vampires? What other cards might hail from that world?

Card: Edgar Markov

Artist: Volkan Baga

As the grandfather of one of Magic‘s coolest characters, I don’t think there was any doubt that Edgar Markov would make this list. And he certainly did not disappoint. Volkan Baga‘s artwork matches the fantasy of the card, with a menacing vampire lord attended to by his vampire servants — very fitting for the founder of the Markov Bloodline.

Also, as Edgar is technically part of the Magic timeline’s old guard (he’s thousands of years old, after all), it’s pretty fitting that the colors and composition of his artwork reminds of a Renaissance painting.

Card: Kindred Dominance

Artist: Bram Sels

Bram Sels‘s Kindred Dominance probably wins the reward for having the most metal art in Commander 2017. Everything about the demons’ position, posture, and size reminds of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse — minus one horseman, of course. But that’s probably okay if everything else is already dead.

Card: The Ur-Dragon

Artist: Jaime Jones

While Shifting Shadow depicted a lizard turning into a dragon, The Ur-Dragon is literally just a dragon. In fact, The Ur-Dragon is probably one of the biggest and baddest of all the dragons in all the Multiverse, and the art really does do it justice.

Sometimes, it can be a little hard to tell the size of a card’s character or monster by its art. But Jaime Jones introduces a very special kind of scale: one where you can measure the character by the size of the other dragons in its artwork.

Pick Your Commander Next Weekend!

As with most supplementary products, there’s no real story or lore behind each MTG Commander deck as a whole. However, each individual card is dripping with flavor, and they’ve all got the art to back that flavor up. To be honest, it was pretty tempting to simply fill this list with Dragon cards, but a quick perusal of Commander 2017‘s spoiler list gave me plenty of reasons not to. 

If you’re keen on certain cards because of their art, just be aware that some of them (like The Ur-Dragon and Edgar Markov) will come as premium foils, so choose your decks wisely!

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