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 Post subject: Land ho!
PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 11:08 pm 
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I felt like this might be an interesting topic to bandy about. Put a little art back into the forum.
So, let's talk extraordinary vistas! That is to say, nonbasic lands.

While we could theoretically expand the discussion to include our favorite iterations of basic lands, that seems like it would end up being worth its own thread. And also really hard to narrow down the appropriate land in question.

That's why I've elected to just talk about the nonbasics. Feel free to share whatever you want about what you like about the art.

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 Post subject: Re: Land ho!
PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:55 am 
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I'm not sure if this is exactly what you're looking for, but one of my favorite bits of art on a land is that of Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth.

I think it does an excellent of conveying what Urborg became after the Apocalypse, and the art just has that sort of ethereal feel to it. I love the wispy, unnatural fog, the constant lightning that seems to bounce off the ground, and of course the alien structure that serves as the primary focus. I just really like this art.

Also, as I was typing this up, I remembered Nephalia Drownyard, which is also one of my favorites for similar reasons. Also, that ship looks awesome.


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 Post subject: Re: Land ho!
PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 7:38 am 
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Like the Amonkhet swamps. Other than the awful one with the Bolas horns, they look pretty naturalistic.

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 Post subject: Re: Land ho!
PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 12:09 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Land ho!
PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:49 pm 
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I cant believe the art they used to put on old magic cards. :P

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 Post subject: Re: Land ho!
PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:54 pm 
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LilyStorm wrote:
I cant believe the art they used to put on old magic cards. :P

Sorrow's Path - Best card, best art...

:huh:


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 Post subject: Re: Land ho!
PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:31 pm 
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I was joking about how cky's art is very much in the old style of low detail high style magic cards.

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 Post subject: Re: Land ho!
PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:32 pm 
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I'm very attached to the RtR block Breeding Pool and Steam Vents, especially the giant things swimming in that pond.

(...How do I link to specific editions of a card? Just a url?)

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 Post subject: Re: Land ho!
PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:09 pm 
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I like the KTK/FRF common duals, they are cute. I would totally live in the little Abzan town in Blossoming Sands


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 Post subject: Re: Land ho!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:40 am 
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astarael7 wrote:
I'm very attached to the RtR block Breeding Pool and Steam Vents, especially the giant things swimming in that pond.

(...How do I link to specific editions of a card? Just a url?)

Yeah, you can't autocard specific printings. (I mean, you can, but our autocard plugin can't.)

I could probably find some nonbasics I like if I went out and looked, but nothing sticks out in my mind. Fetid Heath (EVE) looks nice, as does Port Town, and Godless Shrine (GTC) also appeals to my aesthetic preferences. A lot of the UB duals are quite solid, such as River of Tears, Secluded Glen, Waterveil Cavern and Temple of Deceit. I guess I'll also mention Foreboding Ruins because the scenery is pretty radical, and Blooming Marsh because I'm fond of the swirly Kaladesh themes.

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 Post subject: Re: Land ho!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:56 pm 
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Some favorites of mine...

The Future Sight Duals: Nimbus Maze and River of Tears were the strongest for me, but I feel that River is kicked up not just by its art but by the flavor text that's a place I'd still want to explore (Could it be the same plane as Nix and Second Wind? I only hope). The other three, Horizon Canopy, Grove of the Burnwillows, and to a lesser extent Graven Cairns, are pretty neat too though I feel that Horizon Boughs got the wonder of Pyrulea a little better than did Canopy. The commonality between these is that they're all strange, magical places. They reminded me of when I first got into magic, back around Visions, and I would open up Ice Age, Fallen Empires, or Fifth Edition product and find these slices of worlds that seemed like half-remembered dreams brought to life. I think that was possibly the greatest strength of Future Sight in general, recapturing a sense of wonder, and this cycle of lands did it extremely well.

Halls of Mist: Speaking of old wonder, limiting what creatures can attack has never been so beautifully creepy! Halls of Mist is one of my all-time favorites in Magic art for lands: It's weird and evocative without really telling a story so to speak. Is the robed skeleton one lost and prisoner in the halls about to join the bones around them, or is he you, the master of the cursed halls, run ragged trying to sustain such a hideously creepy place in which creatures become so lost? I don't know, and frankly I don't care. It's one of those examples of old Magic art that seems to exist in its own little universe that's not really connected to the setting it's from (Would you EVER have guessed "Ice Age"?) but that works all the same.

Maze of Ith, classic version: Most of what I said for Halls goes for Maze too. This one fascinated me as a kid. We're told it's a maze but it looks like it's a whole world. Or a cell. or both. I wasn't exactly disappointed to learn more about Ith himself and find that there was no extradimensional labyrinth inside a sphere with tentacles, but sometimes I want to revisit a multiverse where that sort of thing seems plausible. I wonder if it's next door to the cave where Chaos Orb hangs out?

Phyrexian Tower and Volrath's Stronghold: I'm listing these together because they have similar strengths in their use of lighting and color and a good, sweeping scale* that we seldom witness in Magic anymore. The tower is... do you want an "Evil Land"? It's this place. We get some other good vistas of Phyrexia in Urza's block, but this is the one that's on a land and holy hell does it bring the concept to horrifying unlife. I'm not sure what does it -- it doesn't have the visceral skulls-and-doom of Unholy Citadel but somehow I find it more effective. Volrath's Stronghold on the other hand? Mock the Lens Flare all you want, but it's a nostalgic favorite because THIS IS THE PLACE. I don't know how many other people here were playing when Tempest came out, but the Stronghold was really built up -- the lair of the top bad guy, the central locus of all Rath, or as it's flavor text would have it the Seed of a world's evil. The Weatherlight crew had been beaten, had bled, had taken bitter losses to get here. And when they did, the location was worthy of an entire set. So seeing the place itself in a pack, THE Volrath's Stronghold? That art may have had the benefit of a good hype man, but the hype was something it had to live up to and boy did it ever. It's truly monumental, something that looks both like a city and a world and a horrible invention of mad science all at once. Yes, please.


*This is an aside, but before getting into the fiction, how did you view a game of Magic, or a battle of Planeswalkers as you will? For me, it was big, we weren't superheroes trading punchy blows, we were mighty wizards secreted away in our citadels, with colossal libraries of spells to puruse, bending the land itself to our command. When creatures went out... this was in the day of Mons's Goblin Raiders and Grizzly Bears where many of them were plural, so we were forming our armies and assailing the realms of our foe. Turns probably represented at least days, if not weeks or months of conjuring, fighting, and clever maneuvering. To an extent, this is why the Fifth Edition forests remain among my favorites. They aren't the best looking, necessarily, but they aren't just Trees, they're *forests*. The zoom on the mountains helps with some of that too, but there are more mountains that are more than just rocks than there are forests that aren't a lovely picture of a tree. Nowadays, the focus is more on the individual, and fast action rather than sweeping epics, and it's been that way for a while, starting with Weatherlight at the least. And I know that's how things are, but I wish we got a few grander concepts, just now and again. And you know? Sometimes we do.

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 Post subject: Re: Land ho!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:33 pm 
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I'd have to do a lot of browsing to find a favourite, but here are some pretty lands I had on hand:
New Benalia
Rogue's Passage It conveys its idea very cleanly. I respect that.
Vivid Meadow The arc of the rainbow traces out the tapping motion I do with the card. My OCD is quelled.
THey're basic but not in the standard way, so the Kozilek version of Wastes deserves a mention. Looking at that you have to wonder just what crazy world this is.

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CotW is a method for ranking cards in increasing order of printability.

*"To YMTC it up" means to design cards that have value mostly from a design perspective. i.e. you would put them in a case under glass in your living room and visitors could remark upon the wonderful design principles, with nobody ever worring if the cards are annoying/pointless/confusing in actual play

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 Post subject: Re: Land ho!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:05 pm 
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Lonely Sandbar makes me want to swim over, pitch an umbrella and have a beer.

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Others I like are Salt Flats, Rocky Tar Pit, Oboro, Palace in the Clouds, Botanical Sanctum, Lantern-Lit Graveyard, Arcane Sanctum and Coral Atoll.

I find the card frame to be rather unforgiving to art. If I saw pieces outside of the frame, there's probably a ton that would shoot up to the front of the list.


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 Post subject: Re: Land ho!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:53 pm 
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I have always had a soft spot for John Avon's work. And because I started playing in Odyssey, Centaur Garden and Cabal Pit top my list.

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 Post subject: Re: Land ho!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:10 pm 
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One thing I want to mention is how cool I thought it was that the basic lands of Lorwyn formed a connected panoramic mural. That was fun.


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 Post subject: Re: Land ho!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:16 pm 
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I've always thought Keldon Megaliths looked like a nice place to live. There's a wallpaper-sized copy of it somewhere that I used to use.

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 Post subject: Re: Land ho!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:54 pm 
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Seaside Citadel, Jungle Shrine are my favorite tri-lands. Safe Haven with the washed-out mist from The Dark is nice too. All of the original Ravnica shocklands by Rob Alexander look better than their RTR counterparts.

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 Post subject: Re: Land ho!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:11 pm 
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Seaside Citadel, Jungle Shrine are my favorite tri-lands. Safe Haven with the washed-out mist from The Dark is nice too. All of the original Ravnica shocklands by Rob Alexander look better than their RTR counterparts.

I have a print of Seaside Citadel, so it's high on my list.
I also love how it shows up in the background of Elspeth, Knight Errant as well.

Some favorites of mine...

The Future Sight Duals: Nimbus Maze and River of Tears were the strongest for me, but I feel that River is kicked up not just by its art but by the flavor text that's a place I'd still want to explore (Could it be the same plane as Nix and Second Wind? I only hope).
Well, we got the beautiful Lethe Lake to go with the river. I just wish it weren't such a griefer plane because it is straight up one of the best looking planes.

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