Re-illustrated, Re-imagined

Posted in Arcana on August 23, 2005

By Wizards of the Coast

Magic got a breath of fresh air in Ninth Edition, in more than one way. It's not just that these cards appear into a novel environment, giving them a chance to interact in new ways with other cards that have existed for years, and a chance to find new life together with modern card sets.

It's also about new art. When a Magic card gets its art recommissioned, it's more than a fresh coat of paint. It's an intriguing new perspective on the card. It brings out a previously unexplored aspect of the card's flavor. And it helps bridge the gap between a card's original printing and today's Magic environment.

In Ninth Edition's Inspirit, a soldier looks over his shoulder with new resolve. It's an interesting take on that moment when a war-hardened soldier, spent by battle, catches wind that he is needed, and is filled with renewed vigor to fight again. This has a bit more nuance than the straightforward glory-of-battle feeling of the Inspirit.

Battle of Wits

In Ninth Edition's Battle of Wits, the emphasis is not just on the Battle of Wits, but on the crammed-full library of spellbooks, scrolls and other wizard lore. It is, after all, a card about well-stocked libraries!

In Cruel Edict, an unfortunate soul receives a magical sigil indicating he is marked for death. This re-imagining of the card brings up less of the flavor of a Cruel Edict, and more of the power-struggling, infighting and self-destructiveness of Black.

Cruel Edict
Temporal Adept

Ninth Edition's new art of Temporal Adept focuses on the "temporal" part of the name. The wizard is shown standing over some enormous, mystical timepiece, clearly rolling back time, shifting night to the previous day. This showcases the flavor of bouncing permanents as Blue's direct manipulation of the flow of time rather than on the Temporal Adept.

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