New From the Vault: Annihilation Art

Posted in Arcana on August 13, 2014

By Bonnie Bruenderman

Bonnie Bruenderman is a visual designer for DailyMTG. The authors write the articles; the editors edit; then she gets to add cards, images, funnies, charts, graphs... whatever the article needs above and beyond the text. She has a very nerdy sense of humor. (Someday, her illustrated mutant amalgamations shall take over the Multiverse! Patience, my pet. Patience.....)

I'm sure you've noticed from our articles this week that From the Vault: Annihilation got some new art, and one card, Living Death, got the Magic Online art in print for the first time! Let's take a closer look at the descriptions and art itself. Here we go!

Armageddon | Chris Rahn

Action: This spell un-does the world. We want an overly dramatic painting of a landscape of nothing, under a fiery red sky. The land isn't littered, it isn't burning, there are no bodies on it…it is just a flat, decimated expanse. The ground can be parched and cracked, there can be remains of rocks which seem to have somehow melted and there can be very low tree stumps that do not look cut or fallen, the rest of the tree just inexplicably isn't there.

Focus: the scene.

Mood: unimaginable catastrophe.

Notes: this piece is all about mood and emotional impact. the end of the world happened, and this is what is left.

Cataclysm | Eric Deschamps

Action: This is a shot of a lone figure trying to escape the carnage of the world literally blowing up around him. He is trying to run toward the camera while in one arm carrying some armor he was able to grab and in the other hand pulling the reins of a clearly panicked horse as he tries to lead it to safety with him. The background is a solid wall of explosions of various types and sizes, but they are not fire, they are a pure, cool white. He is trying to stay in front of them as they close in.

Focus: the scene (we know the figure and horse will be small, this is about the scope of the drama).

Mood: run for your life as the world explodes behind you.

Firespout | Raymond Swanland


Action: Show a swirling tornado of fire that has engulfed a mage, we can tell because we can see the mage's silhouette within the fire. Outside the upper area of the tornado we can see a number of birds trying to fly away from it. They look perilously close to the flame—as though they could catch fire if it got any bigger. We are looking up at the maelstrom of flame. It's big, at least an EF3.

Focus: The tornado of fire.

Mood: Powerful magic.

Living Death | Mark Winters

Action: This is like a "glamour shot" of a team of three badass fantasy heroes—except they're also undead zombies who have risen from their graves. Maybe there's a big bruiser fighter-type with his trusty axe. A sneaky thief clutching her bow or a runed stiletto. A hooded mage with arcane symbols stitched into his cloak, blown by a dramatic wind. But their faces and bodies have rotted, exposing bone and decaying insides beneath. Maybe the big bruiser is missing most of his arm, and the mage's stringy hair dangles from a bare skull. Their costuming looks cool but faded, as if relics from another time.

Focus: The scene

Mood: Revenge of the dead. The really *badass* dead.

Smokestack | Daniel Ljunggren


Action: Show an immense Phyrexian factory complex that has multiple smokestacks coming out from it. The building is horrible, with organic elements such as ribs, jointed legs, and the like. See Omen Machine for an example—it need not look like that building; inspiration only. The chimneys might resemble windpipes or tentacles. They are twisted and point in many directions.

Billowing clouds of black smoke are belching forth from all of the chimneys. The ground around the complex has turned sickly gray and sludge is covering the lake.

Focus: The smokestacks

Mood: Eco-nightmare.

Wrath of God | Willian Murai

Setting: THEROS

Action: We are looking up into the sky at the face of HELIOD, god of the sun. The god is angry! He is stabbing down at a temple with his signature spear and destroying both it and the flat-topped hill it is built on. (The camera needs to pull back a bit from the view on the temple's card to show the hill.) Chunks of rock and building are flying into the air, surrounded by white light from the god's spear.

Focus: The destruction and white light.

Mood: The wrath of a god.

Notes: this is a wide, dramatic shot of utter destruction by the god of the sun. This spell kills all creatures.

And there we have it! Six new pieces of art for your consideration!

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