Kraj: Sketches and Lore

Posted in Arcana on April 11, 2006

By Wizards of the Coast

Experiment KrajThis is a legendary Simic aberration, a huge shapeshifting mass of stuff that takes on the attributes of whatever other creatures are nearby. It's up to you to decide what this monstrosity looks like, but it's at least 20 feet tall. Think of jellyfish, dermoid cysts, bioluminescence, giant microorganisms, slimy marine plants ... this should be one giant, bizarre, amorphous ooze-shifter thing.
--from the art description of Experiment Kraj

Yesterday, Mark Rosewater previewed Dissension's Experiment Kraj, a legendary Simic monstrosity capable of "evolving" the strengths and abilities of other creatures. Magic artist top-gun Mark Tedin was aimed at the task of illustrating the thing.

He came up with this:

Experiment Kraj sketch by Mark Tedin
Experiment Kraj sketch by Mark Tedin

These comments from artists are golden — they help the creative team get inside the artist's head, hear that the artist is on the same conceptual page as the art description, and predict what the final, colorized art will look like. Speaking of which...

Experiment Kraj final art by Mark Tedin
Experiment Kraj final art by Mark Tedin

Experiment Kraj Factoids

  • During playtest, Kraj's name was spelled with the Slavic spelling "Eksperiment Kraj," reflecting Ravnica's flavor influences from Slavic Europe.

  • Kraj's creature type was originally "Ooze Mutant Shapeshifter." That's a mouthful, especially after "Legendary Creature—", and "Shapeshifter" was cut in order for the type line to fit.

  • In the lower right-hand corner, you can see an elven figure with his back to the viewer. That's Momir Vig, the guild leader of the Simic Combine. You'll see more of him later.

  • Go to the Dissension Prerelease April 22-23. Okay, that's not a factoid about Experiment Kraj. But do it anyway!

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