Ultimate Masters Art Descriptions

Posted in Feature on December 4, 2018

By Chris Gleeson

Chris is the copy editor for DailyMTG. If the Ts are dotted and the eyes are crossed, he dun goofed.

Ultimate Masters is a reprint set, meaning it contains zero brand-new cards. However, that doesn't mean there isn't new art! These all-new artworks breathe renewed life into many fan-favorite cards.

Let's take a closer look at a few of these in larger-than-card form, along with the art descriptions used to commission each piece!

Bitterblossom

Setting: Lorwyn
Color: Black spell
Intent: Lorwyn faeries are devious tricksters who love to play pranks on their victims. This card represents a magical glen where these faeries emerge from their hiding places among the flowers.
Location: An overgrown sea of wild purple, magenta, and blue flowers in a magical glen
Action: Imagine entering a beautiful glen in the woods that's alive with blossoms in purples and blues. Now imagine that a wasp-like, dragonfly-winged little faerie has emerged from among the flowers, buzzing by your head with a barbed spear. And as you glance again, you notice that the flowers all around you are teeming with these malicious little faeries! Show that scene, with at least one prominent faerie in plain sight and more lurking among the blossoms.
Focus: The foreground faerie
Mood: You're in deeper trouble than you first realized.

Dark Depths

Setting: Dominaria
Color: Land associated with black mana
Location: The dim water under an ice shelf
Action: We'd like you to create a scene of the same icy location shown in the reference, but reversed, so that we're underwater with the eldritch entity, looking up through the ice at the tiny figure. Imagine floating near that dark tentacled thing, its unnatural mass rising toward the ice-crust, and the figure walking across the ice above hasn't yet noticed what is just below them.
Mood: The evil that lurks just under people's feet

Frantic Search

Setting: Dominaria
Color: Blue spell
Location: Tolarian Academy interior
Action: This scene shows a desperate search underway in the workshop of a Tolarian wizard. The wizard is digging through books, papers, and doodads, clearly looking for something important. Perhaps a trained bird watches quizzically or assists.
Focus: The search
Mood: It's 5 minutes before class and you can't find your term paper.

Life from the Loam

Setting: Ravnica
Color: Green spell
Location: An underground/undercity space
Action: This spell represents nature rapidly reclaiming an urban area. Show brash new plant life that has burst forth from the husks of abandoned undercity buildings. Oversized woody trunks bend out of broken windows. Cascades of bright ferns tumble down staircases. Pillars have been broken by climbing vines and carried up with their reckless growth. Whatever you can think of!
Focus: The scene
Mood: Exhilarating. A dead, forgotten place has transformed into a new living realm.

Slippery Bogle

Color: Green and blue creature
Location: Damp, spooky forest
Action: Here's a chance to do a little creature design. This is a small BOGLE, which basically means "weird beastie." It's about half a meter tall and appears SLIPPERY, with slick or slimy skin. It's skittering among gnarled roots, or maybe crossing a small stream.

We've sent this card's original art for reference, but you can deviate from it significantly. We're inclined to keep the basic anatomy of a big head with two legs, and those weird, hand-like feet. But even that is up for negotiation if you've got a different weird beastie design—just make sure it isn't humanoid and doesn't look too much like any particular real-world animal or myth creature.

Focus: The slippery bogle
Mood: Creepy yet cute, but also kind of gross

Through the Breach

Setting: Innistrad
Color: Red spell
Location: Drownyard Temple
Intent: This piece shows a moment that was illustrated for the Shadows over Innistrad story guide but that we never quite got to see on cards: the moment when Emrakul emerges from the space between worlds and rises out of the ocean.
Action: We'd like to stay pretty close to the story guide illustration here, with a couple key differences to account for this specific context:

  • Maybe a little more of the lightning effect, since this is now a red spell.
  • A sense of coming through from somewhere else, not just rising up. (This can be subtle.)
  • The addition of Nahiri very small in the foreground, her glowing sword upraised, facing away from us.

Focus: Emrakul's emergence
Mood: Eldritch

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