Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Alter 53 - Drogskol Reaver

It's interesting what kind of journey you take just by reading a card and piecing together what it actually does. I saw this guy and was like "NOPE, 7-DROP", but after working through what actually happens when you have this card, I changed my tune. Drawing 2 cards, gaining 6 life and hitting for 6 before you even start any shenanigans is just awesome. I hope that after some rotations happen we see a format where we can play this guy, I probably will if I can :)

Alter 52 - ?

See what I did? ;)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Alter 51 - Evolving Wilds

My podcasting co-host and good friend Jon Loucks (@jonloucks) is a man who loves many cards. Most of the decks he builds feature a rotating cast of Reveillarks, 2 power guys, crazy lifegain, or just plain greedy builds. I was trying to decide which of these was the Loucksiest, when I came to the conclusion that made the most sense: Evolving Wilds.

The Loucksasaurus doesn't play mono colored decks, and the fact that this is A) Slow and B) Gets any color of mana means that it perfectly fits into his deck style on both levels. This is the card that Jon wants to have access to the most, in Standard as well as Limited. Also, the artwork is sweet and I just happened to have a Japanese version too :)

I'm happy with how it turned out, and I hope he is too.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Alter 50 - Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

This card has made a bit of a splash. Easy to see why, they clearly pushed it a bit. Giving her the full ability of Thorn of Amethyst along with a very useable and aggressive 2/1 with first strike means that this card sees play all the way back to Legacy.

I like the art a lot, and wanted to make it sort of darker with more contrast overall. I wanted the background to be more brooding, but have some lighter colored highlights on her sash. I also wanted to clean up some of the other elements like the grass.

Normally these are used for framing purposes, but sometimes they can act as distractions, which I felt they did a bit of here.

Well, I made the background more brooding, livened up the sash a bit, and cleaned up the distractions. That said, I'm not really happy with this one.

It was harder than I expected for starters. Beyond that, my vision for it didn't really quite materialize and I was left a bit frustrated. I decided to leave it as is, and I'll revisit this type of project another time I think.

For now, she still attacks, blocks, and messes up their game plan :)

(I will note that the sloppy parts on the edges you see are not in fact me being lazy, but me being a little over-exuberant with the toothpick, marring the cards surface. I haven't done this in a while but it does happen sometimes)

Alter 49 - Earthquake

My buddy Nick (@Hawzzy) loves Earthquake. He eagerly awaits spoiler season to see if they are bringing back this beloved sorcery. I'm not sure which he enjoys more; winning a game off the back of a surprise Earthquake, or getting a draw in a game he couldn't have won otherwise.

I wanted to spice it up a bit so I decided to try for night-time Earthquake. I sketched it out in Photoshop and was pleased enough that I decided to give it a go. I don't normally bite off quite this much with my alters but figured why not, if you don't press on sometimes you get bored anyway.

It came out OK. This is the first time I have tried to go to a black night sky from a very bright one, and I honestly just sort of made it up. I'm sure I'll learn to do night clouds, moons, some patterns and better stars sometime. For now however, the sky is dark while the stars are not.

I'll try this idea on some more cards in the future I'm sure, but for now this will have to be good enough I suppose :)

(I realized the conundrum of having a light source that was above before change to below instead. I had some ideas about glowing lava and changing some lighting around, but realized that it was more than I was able to do for one card)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Alter 48 - Strangleroot Geist

I think this guy is one of those Uncommons that looks good at first, but eventually it will show that it's actually just very very good. He isn't a Kitchen Finks, but it took a while for that to really shine as one of the better creatures ever printed too.

But about the alter, I just liked the artwork and the fact that this is getting play in Standard in some decks. I wonder if this is cubeworthy? It doesn't seem like it would fit in Commander very well, just not enough impact I would assume.

I am also trying to work on improving my edges and borders. After looking closely at some of the work by the master himself, Eric Klug (http://klugalters.blogspot.com/) I realized that while I thought I was being fairly clean around the edges, I A) wasn't and B) was picking different edges for different cards sometimes. So I am attempting to clean that up.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Alter 47 - Endless Ranks of the Dead

I still haven't really gone off with this thing in limited, but a bunch of friends have. It's not really my style but I would certainly try it if the situation arose.

Beyond that, the artwork is just very good on this card. Such a cool scene. I have no clue what I am going to do with this one, (maybe it goes in a zombie themed Commander deck?) but I just wanted this because of the art.

I will note that the non-English cards seem to have a different makeup to them. They are far more fragile than the English ones. When you do these alters you usually use a toothpick to clean up the edges, and I do that on mine. But on these cards you get through the topmost part of the card very quickly compared to English cards. I don't know why. (You can see it on this card where it looks like there is extra paint on some parts but really it's just that the layer is gone there)