Articles - Ravnica Allegiance Set Review
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February Review


Hey guys, welcome back to the series. If you’re new to my review articles, essentially, I gather alters that tickle my fancy throughout the month, and then I post them here with some thoughts on each for your viewing pleasure.

The community is growing at such an alarming rate that it’s difficult to keep up with all the cool stuff happening daily. A few key finds recently would be the new Facebook group that Donnie Dana (awesome airbrush artist and alterer) has started up as a one-stop alter eBay alter shop. Basically, anyone can go to the group and post a link to his or her eBay auction of an altered card, and then those wishing to purchase decent cards (not crap, mass-produced alters) can see all the active auctions in one place.

Another interesting thing was brought to my attention by a former Magic-playing friend of mine. It’s um . . . well . . . Magic cards with googly eyes. Just go there and scroll through it—so very worth it. If this is the future of alterations, though . . .

Now that you’re all googlied out, it’s time to get to the real alters; enjoy!

Feb 1

We start the month off with arguably the card most often altered: Force of Will. Having done a play set of FoWs with a blue theme last year, I’m instantly drawn to versions given similar makeovers. The description Terese Neilsen was given by the WotC art director at the time was for a red card, so we can’t blame the artist for the awkward coloring. We can, however, fix it with our paintbrushes, and that’s exactly what Robiichi did here. The smoky wisps of white and blue came out really well—especially on the left hand side.

Feb 2

Another Terese Nielsen original, but this time completely, it’s covered over by BlackWingStudio. Although I’m over my Star Wars: The Old Republic kick, how can one not love Star Wars–themed alters? This is among the classic scenes from the movies in which you discover the limitless potential of the force. Very well done; the detail on Yoda is awesome.

Feb 3

I go simian-turd for well-executed extensions, and this Sword of War and Peace from Ammy is as good as they get. The borders are blended into the art expertly, and the sky continues to color-fade quite nicely. The top of the central tower matches the color and positioning of its point of origin, which can sometimes be challenging. Love it—hope to see more like this!

Despite not being the most amazing of paint jobs, I decided to throw it into the review for sentimental reasons. When I was a young lad, Jokulhaups was a wicked one-of in the deck I piloted in my very first one-hundred-plus-person tournament. I was using Olle Rade’s Spiders that had just won him the second ever Pro Tour title in Columbus 1996. By the way, kids, there wasn’t netdecking back then really; I read about it in a copy of Inquest magazine. That’s how old I am.

Kool-aid, oh yeah. Thanks for the memory trip, Biohazardous.

Feb 5

One of my favorite things about my Commander deck is that it features a Sandreline-altered Forest. I can’t imagine the happiness that her full-art extension of Karakas would bring to a chap. I love every piece you produce and hope you never lose the passion for altering magical cards.

Feb 6

The first of four pieces I’ll be showcasing by Demonium this month features a lovely Liliana sticking it to her stuffy nemesis Garruk in his usual creatively colorful style. There are many reasons why one should love Demonium’s work: pure artistic ability and amazing use of color . . . but what I enjoy is how his art usually reflects the name or key workings of the card it’s painted on. We can clearly look at this and say, “Yeah, that’s Stuffy Doll”.

Feb 7

The king of duals returns—this time with a ridiculously well-painted kitty! Look at the shading detail in this one; it’s insane! We all bow to you, master Poxy.

Feb 8

A Demonium double-header day! First up is this bitchin’ Back to Basics that is just fun to look at.

Then, we have my favorite piece of his this month by far in the form of Ponder. Brainstorm throwback, obviously, but check out the dude’s expression! Man, this alter is off the charts.

Feb 10

Klug is all up in the time machine this past year. You’d figure the guy would get sick of seeing Jaces in his queue and just refuse to do them at this point. Nope—he just keeps making them better and better. This particular piece is interesting, though; it seems oddly familiar, yet I can’t look at it for too long to figure out what it is because there’s a naked guy. (This is a joke, btw; don’t send me mail telling me what it is or calling me homophobic.)

Feb 13

So many planeswalkers are altered, and people never seem to get the bottom quite right, and folks even criticized Adunakhor’s Liliana here for being disproportionate or something. I think they’re crazy, though; this Lily is fantastic. I really like the fiery balls around her hands that he’s extended; they really become the focus of the piece.

Feb 14

Happy Valentine’s Day! What says love more than a dual-lightsaber-wielding bald chick wearing some dope robes? Meh, I can’t think of anything either.

This Teysa is another piece by BlackWingStudio, who has been churning out some wicked stuff as of late. It’s about time you did one for yourself, man—you need to do that once in a while to keep your sanity. It’s nice to play with your alters once in a while, too!

Feb 19

Remember everything I said about blue FoWs earlier? Good, that saves some typing.

Sandreline has done many space-themed alters in the past, and she does a brilliant job of it. Her blue space background almost looks airbrushed, and I love the fact that our braided buddy here is forcing his will on an entire solar system.

Feb 21

See, he did it again! Hymn to Tourach: She’s playing on her deathly harp while she prays to her dead master. How is it that Demonium can make black cards colorful and beautiful while still keeping them very dark-feeling? Demo, you’re the flag-bearer of alterations; nobody can keep up to your quality and creativity currently.

Feb 24

I can’t tell for sure from this picture, but I think if you were to set this on the table and sit back, it would do that pop-up thing that has become popular in street art. It’s a really fun piece from Blackbull, and I don’t know if it’s new or maybe just gone unnoticed by me so far, but is that a new little bull signature at the bottom? Cool.

Feb 25

It’s another beautiful multi-card landscape piece from Marta Molina. A lot of her alters are these multiple-card spreads, and they’re all equally stunning. She puts a lot of work up on eBay, so chances are, you can find something from her there.

Feb 27

Now, that’s how you truly go for the throat Rambo style!

This awesome depiction of Stallone going for the submission is brought to us by Dewil.

One of my favourite cards when it was a Standard staple, Journey to Nowhere, has been given an interesting makeover by OndalTheFool. Ondal always produces crazy, interesting pieces with a plethora of line work, and this is no exception. This alter kind of reminds me of Stargate. It’s as though there’s this mysterious, ancient door at the end of a nigh impossible journey just sitting there, daring you to enter.

Feb 28

The last piece of the review is this frightening, zombified Elesh Norn lusting for your brains. She knows she’s in a piece of cardboard; you can’t trick her. She’s coming to get you!

The perspective given to Elesh here by Toni Micol is great. It really does look as though she’s coming out of the card to get you. Scary stuff!



That concludes our look back at some key happenings in the alteration community this past month. If you’re antsy for more, check out the Salvation forum thread or the Alter Club Facebook page.

Until next time!

Jeremy Froggatt