Sketching the Stag

Posted in Arcana on November 9, 2012

By Monty Ashley

Let's talk about Axebane Stag.

The Creative Team conceived of it as an enormous stag; the sort of thing that you don't want to see in a dark field. I say "field" because it wouldn't fit into an alley:

Color: Green creature (unguilded)

Location: Ruined urban area of Ravnica city

Action: Show a huge creature similar to a megaloceros, a now-extinct giant elk that once roamed Europe. This one stalks through the ruined zones of the city of Ravnica and has tough, armorlike hide. It's huge: about 12 feet (4m) tall at the shoulder, and its massive, battle-scarred antlers are perhaps equally wide.

Focus: The giant stag

Mood: Mean and territorial. A wild creature that has staked out its territory among the buildings of Ravnica.

Notes: This is Ravnica, so be sure there are buildings visible in the scene.

The piece was assigned to Martina Pilcerova, who turned in this sketch:

Axebane Stag | Sketch by Martina Pilcerova

That's a good-looking stag. But the card is a 6/7, and that looks like about a 4/5 at the most. So the team asked Martina to make it bigger. So here's the revised version:

Axebane Stag | Sketch by Martina Pilcerova

Much larger! The Creative Team gave Martina the go-ahead and the final version maintains the stag's scale:

Axebane Stag | Art by Martina Pilcerova

And here's how Axebane Stag looks in booster packs of Return to Ravnica!

Axebane Stag

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