Hello folks! I hope that you are having an amazingly awesome day today!
Today I want to look at my favorite art from the latest set, Strixhaven. I really like art as it's a key part of the game, and I own some pieces myself by artists like Richard Kane Ferguson and Lubov. I am not trained as an artist nor a critic so I come to these articles based on my fandom only, and I understand that my view is merely one opinion, and yours may vary from mine.
With that caveat out of the way, want to check out my favorite pieces of art from Strixhaven? All right; let's start the show!
Honorable Mention: Eureka Moment
Check out my Honorable Mention! This is a great common for kitchen table play and it works as card draw and ramp. It's not Growth Spiral, but what is? Look at Anna Steinbauer's art. Check out the emotion coming across quite ably on the central figure's face. Check out the well hewn magic being crafted. Check out the colors on the piece. Check out the details of her outfit. Check out the glasses on her face. Check out the window. Check out the books. It's all good! Anna Steinbauer has done a total of 58 pieces in the canon of the game. Among them are Ajani, Valiant Protector; Blessed Spirits (my favorite piece); Chandra, Acolyte of Flame; Grand Warlord Radha; Jace, Wielder of Mysteries; Liliana, Waker of the Dead; Nahiri, Heir of the Ancients; Rowan Kenrith; Sisay, Weatherlight Captain; and Vivien Reid. Awesome right?
10. Fortifying Draught
We have a lot of Green cards on our list, but the Draught is the only Mono-Green one! Check out Andrey Kuzinskiy's work here! Love it to death! We have a great detailed face and body and the vial looks good with its glowing Green-ness. Cool right? This is a spell set! We need more vials and beakers and draughts in this set! Andrey Kuzinskiy has done just 21 pieces, and this is the first appearance on my list for the illustrator. Andrey's works include Terror of the Peaks; Soulfire Eruption; Joraga Visionary; Hellkite Punisher and Cyclone Summoner. This my favorite work by him!
9. The Biblioplex
Our only land on today's countdown is Piotr Dura's The Biblioplex, another land that sounds legendary but isn't. You could just change its name to Biblioplex, remove "The" and have it fit the nonlegendary status it has. Flavor foul!
But its art? Big hit from where I am standing. My favorite part of Piotr's piece is the clouds. I love how one piece wraps around the top. Love the color, and love the detailing of the sky. And don't sleep on the detailing and wonder of the building proper either. Good stuff Piotr! You also have done a good job on your other 35 pieces from the game as well, which include Alpine Meadow; Doomskar; Idol of Oblivion; the Omen cycle like Omen of the Hunt, Pyre of Heroes and three of the scry Temple lands. This is not his first appearance on my Top Ten.
8. Aether Helix
Swirls for the win. The technique needed to give me the color and design of this piece of art really shows. I also like the figure in the background motioning which appears nice as well. This is one of the prettiest pieces of art in the set, right? I really enjoy it. And Torstein Nordstrand (13 total pieces of art) did it! Other works by Nordstrand include Biollante, Plant Beast Form (the Godzilla version of Nethroi, Apex of Death), Bellowing Saddlebrute, Crippling Chill and my favorite piece Song of the Worldsoul. Welcome to my Top Ten Torstein!
7. Archmage Emeritus
Check out what Caio Monteiro created! Pretty good right? This a detailed and ornate piece of work. It's our second-highest scoring Blue card. The detailing on this piece is amazing and reminds me of the high level of detail often given to legendary folks that are running around and punching people in the face for Commander. But it's not legendary and yet it feels like the art fits one, that's how detailed and pretty the piece is. Just consider the scrolls as a good example of where the piece leaves you. Aren't they nicely created? And the scrolls are just one piece in a very great puzzle where color and detail come together and leave me wanting more. Caio has 28 total pieces for the game. Among them is Annul from Kaldheim; Frost Bite; Kadena, Slinking Sorcerer; Shark Typhoon and Witch of the Moors. My favorite? It's this piece, and then shout out to Hellkite Courser. Enjoy it!
6. Tanazir Quandrix
Our highest-scoring Elder Dragon is Raymond Swanland's! Since he did the whole cycle that was guaranteed! Check out the details of the wings and the color thereof. Check out the fun colors of the sky and the hedges below it and more. The trees and scrubs around it? Great stuff! How can you not love this powerful piece of draconic love? Raymond is also in the 150+ club with 159 pieces of art to his credit, which you can check out here. They include popular hits like Angrath, the Flame-Chained; Domri, Anarch of Bolas; Dragonmaster Outcast; the new Mana Drain; Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God; Niv-Mizzet Reborn; Ob Nixilis Reignited; Ugin, the Spirit Dragon and the latest Vampiric Tutor. Pretty good list, right?
5. Professor Onyx
Check out Liliana's Latest! She's pretty fun, right? She's a great addition to spell and copy-heavy builds. What I like about her art is how lush and... well... lush fits the art perfectly. According to Merriam-Webster.com Lush is defined as "appealing to the senses." Liliana's art definitely appeals to the senses.
The radiant skin tone against the black outfit? The purple chair? The candles in the background? The wall? The staff next to her hand? It's just so appealing to the senses that this art defines lush to me. Kieran Yanner has done 162 pieces of art (in the 150+ club!) and has a lot of great stuff!
You might know Ajani Unyielding; Basri Ket; multiple pieces in the Kaladesh Masterpieces cycle like Chrome Mox and Chalice of the Void, three Dovins, Jace, Cunning Castaway; Kenrith, the Returned King; Liliana, Death Mage; Prime Speaker Vannifar; Queen Marchesa; Ranar the Ever-Watchful; Sarkhan the Masterless; and Wretched Confluence. It's a long list and you can check it out here.
4. Semester's End
Our highest-charting mono-colored card is Semester's End! love the flavor of sending your team and 'walkers out for a turn and then coming back better representing college and the benefits you get; but, how detached from society you are during your tenure there? The flavor is in the art, as you can see the magical celebration that our group is having, and check out the details in the faces and figures of the group! From their poses to their hands, they have great realistic feeling details and forms. Alayna Danner gave us this colorful piece of art. Literally and figuratively. Alayna has also done 44 other pieces of art including Alpine Moon, Archmage's Charm, Diamond Mare, Jeweled Lotus, Path of Ancestry, among others. This is not her first appearance in my list. Her Alpine Moon remains my favorite. Welcome back Alayna Danner!
3. Blex, Vexing Pest // Search for Blex
This is our highest-charting modal dual faced card, and I just have to, "D'awwwwwwww" when I look at Blex. Clearly the artist, Ekaterina Burmak, is trying to make the cutest Pest around with Blex while still trying to show an actual Pest. I think she succeeds! Blex has great detail, like the spines, and the nearby creatures like the centipedes and the spiders are done nicely as well. The color is nice, and the expression of the Pest is well crafted. I also like Search for Blex, with the landscape of the trees and the searching figures, but I consider Blex to the better cuter card. Ekaterina Burmak has crafted 23 pieces of art and they include Akiri, Fearless Voyager; Bruvac the Grandiloquent; Imoti, Celebrant of Bounty; and the Signature Spellbook: Gideon version of True Conviction. My favorite? Blex, and my second favorite may be the Guild Kit Simic version of Zegana, Utopian Speaker. Good stuff Ekaterina!
2. Codie, Vociferous Codex
Codie fans rejoice, I've got your card at our second to last spot and almost hitting #1. A walking text is a great way to bring out the flavor of the academy. I love the art here and how detailed the thing looks. Just spend a moment and wrap yourself in this art's attention to detail and color. From the pages to the legs, there is a lot here to like.
And who gave us this incredible piece of art? Daniel Ljunggren did! This isn't the first time that Daniel hit my top list and hopefully it won't be his last! This art brings him to a spookily even 150 pieces. Some of his pieces you may recognize include Black Sun's Zenith, Darksteel Mutation, Forbidden Orchard, Hall of Heliod's Generosity, Skullclamp, Squirrel Nest, among many others! One of my favorite pieces by him is Gravewaker. Enjoy him a lot!
Our highest-scoring piece of art is Miranda Meeks's Fracture. Love it! She's new to the game and has just 7 pieces of art to her name that are Archaeomender, Elderfang Disciple, Indulging Patrician, Moonlit Scavengers[/card], Teferi's Wavecaster, and Withercrown. This is my favorite piece. Check out the different pieces of facial expression in the broken bits of glass. Look at the talent that must require. The edges of the glass are quite well done as well, and the art doesn't lose itself with an overly busy background either. It knows what it wants to do and does so quite ably. Here's to many more Fractures from Miranda Meeks!
And there we go! So, what did you think of my list? Any art that I missed that you love? Just let me know in the comments below and let's talk about it!