Swaps of the Faultless

Posted in Arcana on March 14, 2006

By Wizards of the Coast

The creation of a card is a dynamic and interdependent process. Sometimes a card's art gets swapped when the card concept is revised and the art is no longer appropriate. Sometimes a card gets a new creature type based on a new mechanic or a catchy name. Sometimes flavor text gets changed when the art comes in.

The original art description for Guildpact's Souls of the Faultless was this:

This card represents a last-ditch battle tactic of the Orzhov: a cluster of undead young women and men, well preserved in their zombiehood. These are the reanimated bodies of heroic martyrs. They stand tightly grouped with looks of innocence and even hope on their pale grey faces.
Focus: The undead phalanx of martyrs
Mood: We would give our lives again to protect what lies behind us.

Here was Pat Lee's initial sketch based on that art description:

Souls of the Faultless sketch by Pat Lee
Souls of the Faultless sketch by Pat Lee

The flavor text chosen for this card was slightly different from what you see on the card today:

“More horrible than their rotting flesh are their noble eyes. I dare not strike.”
—Klattic, Boros legionnaire

But then the final art came in, and the "zombies" had more of an ethereal look to them. They picked up the name "Souls of the Faultless" and switched creature type from Zombie to Spirit. Suddenly the "rotting flesh" in the flavor text was inappropriate to the card.

Souls of the Faultless final art by Pat Lee
Souls of the Faultless final art by Pat Lee

The flavor text got a quick revision -- "empty forms" substituted for "rotting flesh" -- but was otherwise left alone. That's how Souls of the Faultless came to be the card you know today.

Souls of the Faultless

Note that the premium foil version of the card has foil "hot spots" over the eyes of the three most prominent ghosts in the art. You'll have to see it for yourself to get the full effect -- noble eyes indeed!

Souls of the Faultless

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