Exploiting Art Descriptions

Posted in Arcana on April 22, 2015

By Blake Rasmussen

Blake is the content manager for DailyMTG.com, making him the one you should email if you have thoughts on the website, good or less good (or not good). He's a longtime coverage reporter and hasn't turned down a game of Magic in any format ever.

"Fated for brain harvest."

That, from an art description you'll find below, is why I love writing about our internal art descriptions. They always reveal something I hadn't noticed before, a fine point that often flips the meaning of an image on its head or grants it meaning I hadn't fully understood before. In this case, that line above was just one of several things from one of the descriptions below that made my eyes bug out.

Then again, when you check out art descriptions for cards with exploit or for the highly exploitable, eyes bugging out seems about par for the course.


Silumgar Sorcerer | Art by Jeff Simpson


Clan: Silumgar

Color: Blue creature

Location: In swampy Silumgar territory

Action: We see a FEMALE HUMAN WIZARD of the Silumgar clan. She is using magic to fly, with her robes swirling dramatically around her. She has the SKULL of a YOUNG OJUTAI-BROOD DRAGON (skull about the size of a horse's) held suspended between her hands. The skull is cracking, and purplish magic flares from the crack as well as the eyes of the skull.

The mage is staring defiantly at the viewer.

Focus: The wizard

Mood: Try me.

Youthful Scholar | Art by Cynthia Sheppard


Clan: Silumgar

Color: Blue creature

Location: In a library/treasure vault within a Silumgar palace

Action: The Dragonlord Silumgar has established a system of raising "pet" mages in luxurious captivity to learn as much as they can. When their brains have reached their physical peak they are sacrificed and fed to the dragon as a feast of knowledge. Show a MALE HUMAN SILUMGAR-CLAN YOUTH. His head is shaved, garb is rich, and he is bedecked with jewelry. He is reclining on soft pillows and surrounded by scrolls and books, several of which are open. An ornate goblet and platters of food are nearby. The scene looks like a dream existence—except for the dashed lines drawn across his bald head. Like a butcher's diagram of a cow, they show the dissection cuts to be made.

Focus: The sacrificial youth

Mood: Fated for brain harvest.

Profaner of the Dead | Art by Vincent Proce


Clan: Silumgar

Color: Blue creature

Location: On a bridge outside a Silumgar palace

Action: A FEMALE SILUMGAR-CLAN NAGA SORCERER faces away from us on the bridge. She grips an ornate staff in one hand, and in the other she raises the SEVERED HEAD of an OJUTAI-CLAN HUMAN MONK, which she holds by its long queue. The head is of a revered master; its hair is white, and there might be a long beard. It is also really decayed-looking, suggesting that the corpse had been raised as a zombie before it lost its head.

Focus: The naga and severed head

Mood: A horrific act that demoralizes the enemy.

Rakshasa Gravecaller | Art by Jakub Kasper


Clan: Silumgar

Color: Black creature

Location: In the desert outside a distant Dromoka fortress

Action: A FEMALE SILUMGAR-CLAN RAKSHASA stands amid several fallen DROMOKA-CLAN SOLDIERS. The rakshasa has markings like that of a leopard on dark fur. She is raising her arms as though pulling on the strings of puppets. In response to her magical command, two of the Dromoka dead are rising as zombies.

Focus: The rakshasa

Mood: You have failed in life. Now you will serve in death.

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