Robert Bowen November 2nd, 2010

The Fantasy Artwork of Magic

In the early 90’s, the gaming landscape was forever altered by a revolutionary new card game that hit the community and has been making noticeable waves ever since. With millions of players across the globe, this fantasy role-playing game has inspired so many with the often breathtaking artwork that comprises its gameplay library. Though the artwork itself tends to follow along the lines of the old Dungeons and Dragons themes and styles, the Gathering obviously struck a powerful chord with its originality of gameplay making it even more popular than its fantasy predecessors — giving art more reach. [fblike] In today's post, we will dive head first into the deep waters of this fantasy role-playing game for an inspirational recharge. We've poured through the artistic vaults that have helped feed this unique game’s appeal for nearly two decades now, to find some of the most inspired and stunning pieces that have passed through their decks to bring them to you here on Noupe. If you are not familiar with the game, then you might just find yourself in for a treat as you browse through this artistic showcase. If you already know of Magic (the Gathering) then this might be a catalyst to have you reaching for your deck and losing the rest of your day. In which case, apologies. Our bad! Whichever side of the coin you land on, we hope you get a little inspiration from the collection!

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The Showcase

As you might already know, the Gathering has five distinct colors of mana, representing the various lands from which this powerful pool is drawn. Each of the different land types has different values which guide those mages using its mana, and so that is how we have divided up the post for you today. According to the type of mana which powers their magic:

White: Plains

White mana comes from sprawling plains, sunlit savannahs, and windswept meadows. In Magic, white is the color of law, order, and structure. White magic heals and protects and is often a force for justice and honor. When a white mage fights, legions of troops thunder across the battlefield with their banners held high. Enemy hordes are routed outside the gates of a castle. When white unleashes its wrath, the battlefield is cleansed of all life.

Blue: Islands

Islands provide blue mana—the magic of the deep sea and the endless sky. Blue magic is about deceit, logic, and illusion. To a blue mage, information and knowledge are paramount. Blue mages want to know everything, and they'll go to any lengths to do so. When a blue mage fights, tidal waves crash against rocky cliffs, the wind whips out of stormy skies, and an enemy's spells fail as their creatures vanish into thin air.

Black: Swamps

Black mana comes from dank swamps, where things fester and rot. Shadowy wastelands, haunted catacombs, and fetid bogs are all prime sources of black mana. Black is the color of death, fear, and amorality—these are the twisted values of the darkness. Black magic is powerful and easy to wield, but it comes with a high price. Black mages are self-centered and self-serving. They will do anything to get power—no matter what the cost.

Red: Mountains

Red mana flows from rugged mountain ranges, rocky crags and the fiery heart of volcanoes. Red magic is about fury and passion. When a red mage fights, lightning arcs across the blood-red sky, lava erupts from the earth and flash fires consume the land. Red mages can channel their wild emotions to raze a city or to harness flames into deadly weapons.

Green: Forests

The teeming forests overflow with green mana, the pulse of nature. Green magic is about growth, life, and brute force. When a green mage fights, massive creatures crash through the undergrowth, animals enlarge to gargantuan size, and wounds close before blood spills onto the ground.
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Robert Bowen

Robert Bowen is an emerging author, celebrated podcaster and poet, and most recently the co-founder and imaginative co-contributor of the creative design and blogging duo at the Arbenting and Dead Wings Designs.


  1. You forgot Artifacts, Golds, and Legendary Lands. The entire Ice Age saga with the “snow” style art. In fact, this post could probably go on, and on, and on. Glad to see someone in the design world appreciates awesome illustration. K++

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