New Phyrexia Art Preview at

Today, published a great gallery of New Phyrexia preview art (which I might have had something to do with). The art is great and there are nice hi res versions of them, so you should go there and check it out. Meanwhile, we’re going to talk about Surgical Extraction.

One of the first New Phyrexia cards to be leaked was Surgical Extraction. When first revealed, it looked like this:

That’s a pretty interesting card in terms of effect. You can cast it for free (life loss of course being easily mitigated) and use it in any color deck. It has drawbacks, like not affecting the board in any way and requiring you to get your intended target into the graveyard before it will do anything. But wow does it make [card]Duress[/card] really good. Imagine turn 1, Duress your Jace, then Extract it. It’s obviously best against combo decks. I think it’s going to have a pretty big impact on older formats were combos are more common. As an instant, it can shut down any combo as it tries to go off, and you don’t even need to keep mana up for it.It’s also pretty crazy to imagine what else might be done with Phyrexian mana in this set. A new Force of Will?

The art shown on the card is fine, but nothing to write home about. It’s the art for the buy-a-box promo version. The art below has been described both as the “final art” for the card, and as the “full, uncropped” art. I really hope there will be a full art promo using the entire image, because it is truly amazing, possibly one of the best pieces of Magic art I have ever seen.

Click for full size.


4 Responses to New Phyrexia Art Preview at

  1. So, how do commissions for MTG card art work? Does an artist get a list of card names and given free reign within the block’s theme? Or are they told to illustrate a specific scene that the development team determines would sell the card?

    I’d be interested to know, among the card artist community, is there certain blocks that were more appealing than others?

    I can’t draw worth a damn, but I think the art on many MTG cards is fantastic to look at.

  2. @Gavin: From what I understand, the creative team sends out brief blurbs describing a general idea of what the art is supposed to be depicting, the artist then makes a quick sketch of his or her idea, and if it’s ok’d by creative, then turns it into a full blown piece.

    Also, I want a print of that Surgical Extraction art. Man.

  3. It depends on the card, I think they’ve got a pretty good feel for their stable right now, so generally people get assigned things that fit their style. Rebecca Guay does faeries in watercolor, and occasionally surrealish spells because those look good in water color, but has had no dragons, that I can recall, and her style is very distinctive. other cards they’l give art descriptions to a very small group of artists for a bit of a sketch off, but that’s usually reserved for high profile cards, I’ve only heard of it a couple times because it’s a lot more work than just assigning. once things get assigned it’s just like Zizhou sadi.

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