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Some Magic: The Gathering cards have two or more versions with different art pieces. When these art pieces appear within the context of the same set, the cards are said to have alternate art.


A few early sets, such as Antiquities, Fallen Empires and Alliances, experimented with alternate art for cards to make common cards more collectible. However, WotC came to believe that this impeded easy recognition of a card and that having multiple versions caused confusion when identifying a card at a glance. Consequently, alternate art is now only used sparingly and mostly for promotional cards. For a time, when older cards were reprinted in new sets (non-Core Sets, and not "timeshifted"), Wizards of the Coast guaranteed that they would be printed with new art to make them more collectible.[1] This rule was nullified with the introduction of the Two-Block Paradigm (e.g. Felidar Sovereign in Battle for Zendikar).[2] Throne of Eldraine is the first set in over twenty years to feature cards with multiple versions of art on non-lands.

Within a set, alternate art generally appears on the five basic land cards, as they are recognizable enough to avoid confusion. Alternate arts are mostly used for reprints, and promotional cards.



  1. Mark Rosewater (April 26, 2004). "Collecting My Thoughts". Wizards of the Coast..
  2. Doug Beyer (September 14, 2015). "Is there a reason why Felidar Sovereign doesn't get new art?". A Voice for Vorthos. Tumblr.
  3. Magic Arcana (August 08, 2006). "Towers of Urza". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Magic Arcana (July 23, 2002). "Two Adnates". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Wizards of the Coast (February 11, 2003). "Planeshift's Legends". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Wizards of the Coast (March 13, 2002). "Chinese Skeletons". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Wizards of the Coast (April 22, 2019). "Japanese Alternate-Art Planeswalkers". Wizards of the Coast.