Art Fight Part 1: White

In this series, I’m going to go through my cube, section by section, and compare the available printings of each card. I’ll give my opinion on which is the coolest/prettiest/most charmingly old-school, but since this is a side by side comparison of art and version, it should be a useful reference even if you don’t agree. If I missed something, let me know! Note: I’m working on the general rule that I would like cards to be foil, but I’d rather have nice art than foil if that’s the choice.

I like the Duel Deck version here. Her hand placement is a little awkward, but it’s so much less ’80s.

Frame preference aside, the Planechase version is a hell of a lot brighter and clearer. That’s my choice.

Man, these are all so nice! I’m a big fan of Kev Walker, and I think his Judge Promo is my overall pick. I love the super glossy FTV foil though, and the art is really pretty. Couldn’t fault anyone for preferring the Alpha version as well- it’s like a suit of armor using a classy kitchen scale! I enjoy the fact that the text is different on all three. Nothing is more charming than old templating.

Same artist, same text- here I like the composition of the Gateway promo with the more prominent teeth.

I think the M11 version – with no text at all – is pretty sweet and classic. I don’t love or hate either piece of art, but I think the normal version reads a little better.

The composition is pretty similar on these two, but it bugs me how dark the Judge Foil is. I prefer the original.

Holy crap, Disenchant! Can’t make up your mind? Some are so deeply random. What is going on in 7th edition- a dude fighting a snow bank? If you like textless stuff- I avoid it because I want my cube to be friendly to new players, having recently been one- that art seems fine. Otherwise, I like the ABU version with the insane wording.

I never thought that a new Elspeth art could approach the old one in quality, but I like the sense of action and badassery in the Duel Deck version. Heresy, maybe, but I’m going with the new one.

True story- I started playing constructed to get this promo. It’s obviously the sickest, and gets a shoutout in the Admonition Angel art if you’re into inter-cube tie-ins.

This is a hard one- I love Adam Rex and Justin Sweet, and the original art is pretty evocative. The Pro Tour foil is a little dopey- I call it the Baby Milk Cow for reasons shrouded in mystery – but I love it deeply. When I find one of these, it will be in my cube. Or I guess when I decide to pay the $30. You know what I mean.

I admit it, I love the morph without reminder text, but the bustier-and-thigh-highs is a little too Exalted Angel as sexy Exalted Angel on Halloween for my taste. I’ll hold out for sweet sweet reprints, or FTV: Angels.

Duel Deck, all the way. I don’t like the busyness or the palette of the original.

Both are nice, but I think I prefer the regular version. The watermark on the promo bothers me a little.

Besides possible nostalgia, literally any art would have been an improvement. Mine is in the mail- I’m super excited.

This of course is the same art, but I prefer the new border, so the FNM is my pick.

I like the FNM foil here. Actually I can’t say no to a pastel dragon-thing made of goo, in general.

The Exodus version is kind of adorably lame- he’s just posing for the camera, I guess? – but there’s something l don’t like about the 9th version. It reminds me of a diorama, I think. My pick is 10th for objective prettiness but Exodus for nostalgia. When I find a foil from 10th, I’ll probably use that. There’s a pre teen girl inside me that likes the fancy horse, you know.

I don’t love everything Rebecca Guay does, but this is cool- kind of Klimt-y. Promo!

Yes and yes. I love me some SerraVeng, and I’m assuming that this is finally what I’m getting for my birthday this year, right?

Again, the same art, different frame. But Scourge has old foiling, so if you want new foil, it’s gotta be the FNM version.

The original art is so much nicer, and actually reads as something more than kind of orangey. Definitely original/FNM for me. He’s also standing in front of the Erratic Portal- again with the cube tie-ins!

Mistral Charger loses here on flavor text alone.

I think the Prerelease version is slightly more terrifying/badass, though I like the sense of scale on the regular version. I’m going Prerelease.

I like the Ice Age version- I think it actually represents what the card does, but if I had the $50 FNM one, well, I’d probably run that.

Oh, Legions version. I’m pretty sure it’s detrimental to your level of play to have to parse this kind of art. Avoid. I love the original art, and it’s a sweet FNM foil if you can find it.

The Portal one seems ok, if you are into that sort of thing, and has the old hilarious reminder text bonus. The Alpha one is textbook visual assault, Ron Spencer makes everything look vomity, and Kev Walker is not to be trifled with. And all his stuff is beautiful in foil. Case closed!


11 responses to “Art Fight Part 1: White

  1. griffenvalentine

    Having trouble choosing cool art for your Cube? Here is a really quick and easy method for getting the sweetest art possible:

    Step 1: Look at the artist credit line.

    Step 2: See if one of those names is Ron Spencer, if it is, choose the other one.

  2. This is something I’ve been meaning to do with my cube, at least with staple cards I won’t move out. I’ve sort of been doing it slowly, but I think the all at once process you are doing is more efficient.

  3. Blake-
    In reality, this has been a slow process for me as well. I’ve gradually been trading for some things, and occasionally I get so freaking sick of not having a full-art Voidslime that I just buy it (my life is tough…). My cube doesn’t have every card in the version I like the best, but I find it helpful to know, for example, that I don’t want to trade for a foil Serra Avenger because I really want the full art one eventually- that sort of thing.

  4. This is a fantastic article…just FANTASTIC. Sometimes I feel like a really sad sap oogling cube foils on ebay all day, so it’s nice to know that I’m not alone.

    ***Really hoping you cover the other colors as well***

  5. I’ll give my picks as well…because that’s what the comments section is for…right? 😛

    Akroma – Duel Deck – I prefer the foil even though I love fantasy art that looks like it’s from the 80’s.

    Akroma’s Vengeance – Old boarder, great memories of ripping this card in Onslaught limited.

    Balance – I prefer the BB old school Balance, but I recently bought the judge foil online because I want to impress my friends.

    Calciderm – I agree with Thea on this one. Awesome shot of ferocious teeth ftw.

    Day of Judgement – What is going on in the alt. art version? Terrible. Original one for SURE.

    Decree of Justice – I like the judge foil here. I just wish they would print this card without any angels on the picture. When has this card ever been hard casted?

    Disenchant – I have the textless one in my cube, but I would MUCH rather have the original one, just for that wording. Classic.


    Emeria Angel – Full art is beautiful. It deserves to be framed instead of sleeved.

    Eternal Dragon – Judge foil is fantastic. It looks like a dragon that I’d hang out with in a second. We’d totally be best dudes.

    Exalted Angel – I’m happy with both of these. It’s very hard to choose. The original has a lot of awesome memories attached to it, so I guess it wins, but the judge foil is really hott (w/ 2 t’s).

    Faith’s Feathers – Reprint. The original is too boring. White doesn’t need help being boring.

    Honor of the Pure – Promo. What are those soldiers wearing? Ridiculous and awesome.

    Land Tax – Original art FOR SURE. That dude in the art is so sketchy, holding his sack of money. Hilarious.

    Mother – FNM foil. I prefer the old boarder, but I’d rather the card say “FNM” on it.

    Obvlion Ring – The FNM foil looks stellar and the artwork is an improvement.

    Paladin En-Vec – This isn’t in my cube anymore, he’s really slow. “The Exodus version is kind of adorably lame- he’s just posing for the camera.” – heheh

    Path to Exile – Promo for sure, might be the best Rebecca Guay art I’ve ever seen.

    Serra Avenger – Full art. I love all of the full art cards that have text.

    Silver Knight – LOOK OUT, HE’S GETTING CLOSER! It’s like a Monty Python and the Holy Grail reference. lol. FNM, obv.

    Soltari Priest – FNM foil. The original art is pretty solid.

    Mistral Charger – I like the Mistral Charger over the Stormfront Pegasus. The charger reminds me more of the movie, “Brazil”.

    Sun Titan – Promo, even though it looks more like an artifact creature than a white creature…I hope Scars of Mirrodin brings in an artifact titan.

    Swords To Plowshares – I have the original art foil one, so I definitely run that. 🙂

    White Knight – LEGIONS! TRASH CAN MAN! The original is classic and that’s the one I would go with if it was in my cube. I wish I owned the original art for that card.

    Wrath of God – I run a collector’s edition original art one, I used to have the portal one and I now regret trading it. 😦


  6. Pingback: Art Fight Part 2: Blue | Masked Admirers

  7. Akroma: I go with the Chippy Version also.
    Akroma’s Vengeance: Don’t play it anymore but I would go with newborder also (until I found a foil one)
    Balance: I’ve run revised, Judge, and FTV. I went with the FTV because I like angels.
    Calciderm: I’m all for consistant frames, so gateway promo is what i’m running.
    Day of Judgment: I’m torn on this one. But I’m currently running a lame non foil Zen one. I might try to updrade to BaB promo.
    Decree of Justice: I’ve run Scourge, altered, and Signed Judge. I don’t have my judge one on hand but I don’t think it looks too dark in person.
    Disenchant: In the 7th one he is smashing his sword and that whiteness is the force comming out (I think). But I run Timespiral Foil. I would run Urza’s Foil if they would just make one.
    Elspeth: I’m buying a Duel Deck for a foily one. I really like both though.
    Emeria: I don’t run it, but I would have to get a Zen one. The art is so much better.
    Eternal Dragon: Judge promo all the way.
    Exalted Angel: The Judge promo is my favorite magic art. I own two despite the fact I only cube.
    Faith’s Fetters: Gotta go with chippy again.
    Honor of the Pure: I was so disapointed with the BaB promo. Hopefuly one day we get a new one.
    Land Tax: Neither are good, but as you said Anything would be better than the original.
    Mom: I want a FNM but I haven’t bought one yet.
    Oblivion Ring: I seem to be the only person who likes the alara one, but I’m running a promo.
    Paladin: Yeah I went with Xth also.
    Path to Exile: Guay hit it out of the park with this one. Most of her stuff has been fairly mediocer lately.
    Serra Avenger: Oh how I wish you were cubable.
    Silver Knight: Need to buy a FNM one.
    Soltari priest: Get a FNM one if you buy one. The TSP one is impossible to read.
    Mistral Charger: Always go with Nielsen
    Sun Titan: I agree the promo is better.
    STP: The alpha one is a bit truer to the bible verse it’s refering to. That scythe he is using is made from his sword. That said going with a TvE STP when I get mine.
    White Knight: The Alpha is best but I’m running a M10 foil.
    Wrath: If they would make a new border Hoover art wrath I would love it. I’m running a foil 9th though.

  8. Akroma – Definitely prefer the Duel Decks version (again, if only it weren’t foil). I actually like the curious posture in this take, as it suggests that she is unnaturally powerful – unnatural in the sense that she isn’t so much brawny as she is simply a divine presence, so she can, Metratron-like, do that little “bless my soul” gesture and then flip that giant sword around over her head and smite the crap out of someone.

    Balance – The FtV one, by far (with the usual “WHY, FOILS, WHY?” caveat). I do love me my classic Balances, too (heck, I remember the days of playing four of those in my tournament deck…ah, with Zuran Orbs), but it honestly looks like he’s the knight who got stuck with evening lamp-lighting duty or something. The Kev Walker one feels like a Danzig album cover, which is not exactly my thing.

    Day of Judgment – The non-promo version. The Buy a Box Day looks like some wacky Mirrodin tornado rather than a good Old Testament beatdown.

    Decree of Justice – I prefer the art on the judge promo, but you’re right about the darkness.

    Disenchant – The original still has the coolest art, even if it doesn’t really give any impression of anything being disenchanted.

    Elspeth – The original. In the new one, she’s about to get that sword knocked out of her hands because someone in the SCA told her to hold it that way. On the plus side, the various Elspeth images coming along on Scars look pretty good.

    Emeria Angel – I could go either way on this one. I love how the angel’s wings are sort of merging with the color of the sky in the original, but the full art one is pretty badass.

    Exalted Angel – Seconded. One of the two is badass, and the other one is embarrassing herself at the Comic Con Masquerade.

    Faith’s Fetters – Gotta go with the original. It’s busy, but it at least suggests faith in some way. The DD version just feels like a red spell.

    Oblivion Ring – I’m not fond of any of these, really, but I play the Lorwyn O-Ring because it’s the coolest.

    Path to Exile – I pretty much do love everything Rebecca Guay does (precisely because she does feel as if she could have been contemporaneous with Klimt…and wouldn’t Klimt have been an amazing Magic artist?), but this is still a hard choice, because the original Path is so poetic. I want both. 🙂

    Sun Titan – Meh. I don’t really like the art on any of the titans. For whatever reason, “big dude” doesn’t engage any fantasy elements in my brain. Just makes me feel like someone forgot and brought their old cloth G.I. Joes to our 3/4″ event, or something.

    Swords to Plowshares – Hey, I just posted about this! Kaja’s version, all the way. I need to round out my set.

    Wrath – Kev Walker. That is clearly a grumpy deity right there.

  9. I’m rocking the Coldsnap Theme Deck version of Swords to Plowshares all the way.

    Classic art. New frame. Job done.

    (E vs T version looks like a random Holy Strength art, to me. Not seeing any plowing!)

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