Behind the Pit-Fighters

Posted in Arcana on January 16, 2003

By Wizards of the Coast

Rei Nakazawa, a member of the Onslaught creative team, was kind enough to provide us with some concept notes on the Pit-Fighter Legends. Here's what Rei has to say about his part in the creation of these powerhouses...

Arcanis The Omnipotent: This wizard's name comes from the word "arcane," meaning obscure. The character was concepted as something dark and mysterious—so mysterious, in fact, that no one knows whether "he" is male or female or even human! Justin Sweet did a great job with the artwork, communicating just how sinister the unknown can be. Arcanis the Omnipotent
Rorix Bladewing: This dragon's first name comes from the word "roar." We wanted something different for this draconic legend than the tall, beefy dragons we normally do, so we asked for a serpentine dragon with knife-like wings (to make sense out of "Bladewing") that could fly very fast (thus the haste). Note the spectators watching from the special platform at the Grand Coliseum in the art. Rorix Bladewing
Jareth, Leonine Titan: I chose the name "Jareth" because it sounded white, soldierly, and cool. The original concept was a powerful, heavily armored human soldier, but that seemed too mundane for such a powerful creature, so it was altered into a lion-like living stone statue. We asked that his only weapon be a nasty-looking shield, in keeping with his defensively oriented abilities. For those of you who haven't looked closely at the artwork, he's carrying the head of a lizard-like creature (maybe Viashino, maybe not). Its headless, twitching corpse—cropped from the card image—lies at Jareth's feet. Jareth Leonine TItan
Visara The Dreadful: This nasty creature's name comes from the word "vision." My first attempt at a name for her was "Gazera," from "gaze." She was originally concepted as a Vampire, which was appropriate when she had the additional ability to gain +1/+1 counters for each creature she killed with her tap ability. But when R&D removed that line (thank goodness!), being a Vampire seemed less appropriate. That's when we remembered Masked Gorgon. Since Gorgons turn people into stone, that seemed to be a more interesting creature type. (Note that Masked Gorgon can't destroy creatures because her eyes are, well, masked.) The only change we requested from the Matthew Wilson's Masked Gorgon art was that Visara have wings made of the same shell-like material the Masked Gorgon's claw is made of. Visara the Dreadful
Silvos, Rogue Elemental: This huge critter's name comes from "sylvan," meaning "characteristic of the woods or forest." His concept went through the most changes of the five, even as R&D continued to increase his power. One of the more amusing ones was a giant, King Kong-like gorilla, but this struck some people as a little too silly. Finally, we settled on a fungal elemental along the lines of such creatures as Fallen Empires' Thallid Devourer. Silvos Rogue Elemental

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