How Loaming Shaman Got his Back Legs

Posted in Arcana on April 26, 2006

By Wizards of the Coast

As we've seen before, the act of creating a Magic card is a dynamic and protean process that touches design, development, and creative teams in equal parts. To take a Dissension example, graveyard hoser Loaming Shaman started out with this text:

[Graveyard Guy]
Creature
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may shuffle any number of target creature cards in a single graveyard into their owner's library.
1/1

First to change was the creature's ability. Instead of every upkeep, it was changed to trigger once when it came into play, but was allowed to target non-creature cards.

[Graveyard Guy]
Creature
When CARDNAME comes into play, target player shuffles any number of target cards from his or her graveyard into his or her library.
1/1

Meanwhile, the critter got a flavor facelift, giving him the concept of a recycling-minded nature shaman whose compost heap is full of the bones of the dead.

[Composting Shaman]
Creature - Human Shaman
When CARDNAME comes into play, target player shuffles any number of target cards from his or her graveyard into his or her library.
1/1

In line with this concept, artist Carl Critchlow sent in this sketch:

Loaming Shaman sketch by Carl Critchlow
Loaming Shaman sketch by Carl Critchlow

The next thing to change was the critter's power and toughness. It became 3/2 in order to give it some beef after it had performed its graveyard-hosing duties:

[Composting Shaman]
Creature - Human Shaman
When CARDNAME comes into play, target player shuffles any number of target cards from his or her graveyard into his or her library.
3/2

Suddenly, the flavor was off. This guy was too big to be represented by a single Human creature, especially a Shaman. The creative team suggested a switch to the Centaur creature type, and Carl Critchlow submitted this second sketch:

Loaming Shaman sketch by Carl Critchlow
Loaming Shaman sketch by Carl Critchlow

It's tough to see in that sketch, but our recycling shaman does have the centaur back-end. When the final art was in, the card was done:

Loaming Shaman art by Carl Critchlow
Loaming Shaman art by Carl Critchlow

Loaming Shaman

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