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Card Description
Perilous Forays (Ravnica: City of Guilds) Color: Green Spell (no guild affiliation)

Location: labyrinthine city alleys
Action: Show the moment when a flustered urban ranger, map in hand, in a complex maze of dark, ominous alleyways. The look on his/her face should be "THIS is the place? This map has got to be wrong..." Glowing eyes and long shadows closing in indicate that he may soon be a late night snack for something wicked.
Focus: the doomed ranger
Mood: ominous[1]

Cleansing Beam (Ravnica: City of Guilds) This is RW-guild 'purging' magic -- a way to clear out an area real fast. Show a number of creepy critters like the ones on styleguide pg. 23. They were skulking off to do someone's dirty work, but now each one of them is being incinerated by a white-hot column of flame from the sky.[2]
Scab-Clan Mauler (Guildpact) [Gruul Berserker]

Color: Red/green (R/G guild)
Location: A once-decent neighborhood, soon to be a smoldering wreck Action: Show a charging "Morlock" rider team (one large guy blind and a smaller guy on top with no legs). Focus: the "Morlock" berserkers Mood: What's yours is mine. As of now.
This card represents what the Gruul do best: raid and pillage areas of the city for food and resources. And this team is one of the frontline raiders. They should look frenzied and brutal.[3][4]

Hunted Troll (Ravnica: City of Guilds) Color: Green, but associated with the red/green guild

Location: Amid tall buildings
Action: Show an enormous overgrown troll stomping through city streets like King Kong. Use the sketch of the BG-guild troll, but apply the RG-guild look/feel. In the air around the troll, four blue-aligned, urbanized Pixie 'hunters' (tiny humanoids with dragonfly wings, but these have city clothing) try to stop the troll with tripwires, arrows, whatever you like.
Focus: the gigantic troll
Mood: Like a monster movie, but replace Kong with a troll and the helicopters with pixies[5]

Skeletal Vampire (Guildpact) Color: Black

Location: The sky at night
Action: Show a vampire drifting through the sky (wingless). This isn't just any vampire, though -- this vampire has been reduced to a skeleton. He's all bones except for some kind of metal that encases and protects his undead heart. To show that he's a vampire and not just a floating skeleton, give him long, creepy fingers and be sure the fangs are showing. Also, two bats flutter behind him in the air like escorts.
Focus: the skeletal vampire
Mood: You can strip him of flesh and sinew, but you can't kill him.[6]

Goblin Spelunkers (Ravnica: City of Guilds) Location: The complex, stony rafters of a dark towering spire.

Action: Show 2 or more goblins clambering about in the rafters using ropes, straps, and grapples. One of them should have a torch or lantern.
Focus: The climbing goblins
Mood: check us out with all our cool equipment[4]

Souls of the Faultless (Guildpact) This card represents a last-ditch battle tactic of the Orzhov: a cluster of undead young women and men, well preserved in their zombiehood. These are the reanimated bodies of heroic martyrs. They stand tightly grouped with looks of innocence and even hope on their pale grey faces.

Focus: The undead phalanx of martyrs
Mood: We would give our lives again to protect what lies behind us.[7]

Thunderheads (Guildpact) Color: Blue-Red (U/R guild)

Location: Outside an U/R Izzet foundry
Action: This spell has the 'repeat' property -- the wizard can repeat the spell by feeding more mana into it. This particular spell creates floating guardian faces made of cloud and lightning to stop trespassers. Show at least two such faces floating 10' off the ground in a line (one more prominent in the foreground), stoically guarding the entrance to an Izzet foundry. Perhaps you can see a small indication of the would-be trespassers cowering from the cloud-faces that have appeared suddenly before them.
Focus: the cloud-faced guardians crackling with lightning
Mood: "You are not authorized."
Notes: This spell goes on again, again and again[8]

Blind Hunter (Guildpact) Color: Black/white (B/W guild)

Location: sky over Orzhov area
Action: Show a very large albino bat, perhaps with some gold armor plating to show that it's a trained animal of the Orzhov guild
Focus: the large bat out for the hunt
Mood: It would suck enough blood to drain a man dry.[9]

Experiment Kraj (Guildpact) [Eksperiment Kraj]

This is a legendary Simic aberration, a huge shapeshifting mass of stuff that takes on the attributes of whatever other creatures are nearby. It's up to you to decide what this monstrosity looks like, but it's at least 20 feet tall. Think of jellyfish, dermoid cysts, bioluminescence, giant microorganisms, slimy marine plants ... this should be one giant, bizarre, amorphous ooze-shifter thing. [10]

Goblin Flectomancer (Guildpact) [Goblin Furcomancer]

Show a goblin wizard poseur in over-the-top wizard garb. He's wearing a strange helmet that looks like it has a large tuning fork atop it. This little wizard wannabe is the apprentice to a real Izzet mage, but the mage will eventually just channel a powerful spell through the goblin, likely killing him in the process.[11]

Omnibian (Dissension) Color: Green-Blue (G/U guild)

Location: Your choice
Action: Show a huge slick-skinned frog creature, about the size of a cow, with three bulging eyes instead of the usual two. This strange Simic mutant has the ability to transfer its own genetic pattern through its long elastic tongue. Creatures that it hits with its tongue temporarily assume the frog's general size and shape.
Focus: The three-eyed frog mutant
Notes: You may also choose to show the frog transforming another creature. If you do, it would be best to choose a creature that is in definite contrast to the size and shape of the frog.[12]

Stalking Vengeance (Dissension) This is basically a "revenge elemental" -- a large creature that delivers the rage of the fallen to those who cut them down. Design this creature how you see fit. Perhaps it's a giant cat-like creature whose fiery hide consists of faces of all kinds twisted in anger, for example. Let your imagination drive this one.[13]
Celestial Ancient (Dissension) Location: Ravnica "skyline" at night

Action: Show a strange winged creature of your design, maybe 12' tall, that looks like it's “made of night.” Show it perched on the top of a spire, wings spread. It's darker than the night (or dusk) sky behind it, and its body contains many stars of varying brightness.
Focus: the winged "starry night" elemental[14]

Necromantic Thirst (Ravnica: City of Guilds) Action: Show a White Black-guild 'penitent' -- a crazy cleric who has had the corners of his/her mouth cut back to his/her ears, then neatly sewn shut again (not in styleguide, but use WB-guild look/feek). The cleric is in some dark evil palace, and is catching a thin stream of blood from an unknown source between his/her cupped hands.

Focus: The spooky blood-collection spell[15]

Macabre Waltz (Dissension) Action: This spell uses a big pool of blood as a magical locus for raising the dead. See art ID 88973 -- we'd like to see what else is in whatever place this piece is set in. Show two human figures with their arms entwined around each other, slowly levitating out of a big pool of blood.

Focus: the vile spell that raises the dead (two of them, to be precise)
Mood: An unholy, after-death baptism[15]

Protean Hulk (Dissension) Color: Green

Location: Emerging from an algae-covered canal or reservoir in the city, lumbering into a street
Action: This is one bizarre creature -- it's a colony of giant frog-egg-like objects in the shape of a six-legged behemoth of your design. To picture it, first imagine what frog eggs look like while greenish tadpoles are wriggling inside them. Now imagine that frog egg 2 or 3 feet across. And finally imagine a huge monstrosity of a creature composed of these things.
Focus: the bizarre "spawn elemental"
Mood: Like a cross between a dinosaur and a huge microorganism
Notes: Here's the reason this card is so bizarre: Mechanically, it's just a large green creature (6/6). But when it dies, you get to pull a bunch of creatures out of your deck and put them into play, as though destroying the creature "birthed" them[16]

Sins of the Past (Ravnica: City of Guilds) Color: Black

Action: This is a sorcery that allows you to remove a spell from your graveyard (the netherworld) and bring it back to "reality" to be use it one last time -but- when you do this you’ll have to remove the CARDNAME from the game and you’ll never have a chance to use it again. That spell will be gone forever and never to be used again.
Notes: probably wants to be a symbolic or abstract piece.[17]

Life From the Loam (Ultimate Masters) 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.[18]

Bankrupt in Blood (Ravnica Allegiance) Setting: Ravnica

Guild: Orzhov
Color: Black spell
Location: Unimportant/abstract
Intention: This spell sacrifices two creatures so its caster can gain knowledge. We'd like to show this as an abstract take on a lethal Orzhov religious ritual.
Action: Two humans, one male and one female, sit back to back. Their mouths are open, screaming. (They're tied up, if we can see that far down). The tops of their heads are dissolving into a mixture of coins and blood mist that drifts upward and out of frame from the dissolving heads. The coins and blood mist coming from the two heads should mix.
Focus: The magical transformation of their bodies into coins
Mood: Unsettling, powerless
Notes: Although this calls for blood and for bodies coming apart, we don't want gore or body horror here—we're looking for a sense of being literally transformed.[19]

Captive Audience (Ravnica Allegiance) Setting: Ravnica

Guild: Rakdos
Color: Black-red spell
Location: The audience at a Rakdos performance
Action: This is a crowd shot of the audience of a Rakdos show reacting to something particularly gruesome on stage. Show us a variety of guilded and unguilded audience members with a variety of genders, ethnicities, creature races, and ages. Have fun with what each person thinks of the show—most are disgusted, some are terrified, maybe one is retching, maybe only one person is having a good time.
Rakdos performances are horrifying, violent, and disturbing. How can we get that across by just showing the audience reaction? We do want to get an important gag in here: make sure one of the audiences is Fblthp. Fblthp is a small homunculus with a bad habit of getting lost, and we want to imply that he accidentally wandered into this performance. Fblthp is definitely shocked by what he's seeing—maybe he's covering his mouth in surprise.
Focus: The disgust/shock/terror of the audience
Mood: An amusing glimpse at what a Rakdos performer sees during their shows[19]

Clear the Mind (Ravnica Allegiance) Setting: Ravnica

Guild: None
Color: Blue spell
Location: Abstract; perhaps set in a street scene
Intention: This is an abstract representation of a spell that erases your past but gives you insight into the future. The description below gives some ideas for how to do that, but none of the details in it are as important as getting across that big idea.
Action: Show an unguilded human mage walking through a street scene. Behind them, the scene is fading out or disappearing—perhaps looking like a DaVinci sketch, or an unfinished watercolor, or like it's being literally erased. The scene in front of them, if we can see it, might look supernaturally vibrant, or outlined in shimmering blue, like a vision.
Focus: The abstract magical effect
Mood: Leave the past behind, and look to a beautiful future.[19]

Cult Guildmage (Ravnica Allegiance) Setting: Ravnica

Guild: Rakdos
Color: Black-red creature
Location: Performing in any Ravnica street scene or at a Rakdos environment of your choice
Action: Each guild has its own specialized spellcasters to practice their style of guild magic. This is a guildmage of the Rakdos: a male human who looks like a mad jester and puppeteer. Give him a marionette that's a mocking caricature of the Planeswalker Jace Beleren. Maybe the puppeteer-mage grins unsettlingly as he makes the wooden Jace puppet dance a ridiculous dance.
Focus: The jester
Mood: "Jace the wooden, Jace the blind, Jace got termites and lost his mind! Doot-dooty-dooo, HA-haha-HA!"[19]

Gruul Guildgate (Ravnica Allegiance) Setting: Ravnica

Guild: Gruul
Color: Land associated with red and green
Intent: In the city-world of Ravnica, every guild has two "guildgates"—entrances to that guild's territory. One of them is big and spectacular, and the other that is small and secretive. This one is the small and secretive version.
Action: Imagine a part of the city that has been reduced to rubble, and the only thing left standing is a modest archway with a wooden door that remains intact. For this shot, focus on the door, which has the Gruul symbol painted on it in red paint. The gag here is that you can just walk around the door because everything around it is wrecked.
Focus: The small door
Mood: A savage place; also a bit absurd[19]

Kaya's Wrath (Ravnica Allegiance) Setting: Ravnica

Guild: Orzhov
Color: White-black spell
Location: Inside a luxurious Orzhov treasure room
Intent: This spell shows a key story moment when the Planeswalker Kaya murders the Ghost Council, a group of old dead dudes who run the Orzhov guild. In the game, the card destroys all creatures, so we're going to see some mayhem. Kaya uses a signature purple-white magic to physically interact with ghosts, so anywhere we see her touching one, her body or weapons should turn into that glowing purple-white energy.
Action: This is a cinematic, slow-motion shot during an epic, many-against-one fight scene. Kaya is in the middle of the shot dealing out death to the ghosts who surround her. She might have her knife in one's chest, while another flails backward, his throat slit, spilling smoky "ghost blood" as he falls. Kaya throws small knives of purple-white magic that impale more ghosts, all of them spilling smoky "ghost blood" as their undead life slips away. Really emphasize the action here—every single ghost in this room is dead, dying, or about to die. And through it all, Kaya smiles wide, loving every minute.
Focus: The epic multiple murder
Mood: They had her outnumbered and surrounded. They never stood a chance.[19]

Rakdos Headliner (Modern Horizons 2) Mood: Unrestrained violence in a festival atmosphere.[20]
Combine Chrysalis (Modern Horizons 2) Action: Please design a Simic device that turns smaller creatures into big flying beasts.[21]
General Ferrous Rokiric (Modern Horizons 2) Apperance: A skilled military commander, Ferrous is a new character for you to design.[22]
Lazotep Chancellor (Modern Horizons 2) Mood: We will conquer you.[23]

References[]

  1. Matt Cavotta (November 30, 2005). "Mythbashing". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Matt Cavotta (December 6, 2005). "The Boros Beam". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Wizards of the Coast (January 31, 2006). "Sketches: Scab-Clan Mauler". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  4. a b Matt Cavotta (March 8, 2006). "Card Concept: "Who Is This Unsung Hero?"". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Wizards of the Coast (February 2, 2006). "The Gruul Troll". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Wizards of the Coast (February 14, 2006). "Sketches: Skeletal Vampire". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Wizards of the Coast (March 14, 2006). "Swaps of the Faultless". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Wizards of the Coast (March 16, 2006). "Sketches: Thunderheads". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Wizards of the Coast (March 30, 2006). "Sketches: Blind Hunter". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Wizards of the Coast (April 11, 2006). "Kraj: Sketches and Lore". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Matt Cavotta (April 12, 2006). "Building a Magic Sandwich". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Wizards of the Coast (April 24, 2006). "Sketches: Omnibian". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Wizards of the Coast (June 6, 2006). "Stalking Vengeance". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Wizards of the Coast (July 25, 2006). "Gone but not Forgotten Ancient". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  15. a b Wizards of the Coast (July 26, 2006). "The Necromancer's Pit". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Wizards of the Coast (August 24, 2006). "The Great and Powerful Oz". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  17. Mark Rosewater (July 23, 2008). "Art Appreciation: Jeremy Jarvis". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  18. Chris Gleeson (December 4, 2018). "Ultimate Masters Art Descriptions". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  19. a b c d e f Chris Gleeson (February 15, 2019). "Ravnica Allegiance Art Descriptions". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  20. Flavor text of Rakdos Headliner (Modern Horizons 2, #374)
  21. Flavor text of Combine Chrysalis (Modern Horizons 2, #362)
  22. Flavor text of General Ferrous Rokiric (Modern Horizons 2, #366)
  23. Flavor text of Lazotep Chancellor (Modern Horizons 2, #369)
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