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    Renowned Castlevania artist tapped to do art for Magic: The Gathering’s latest set

    Squint and you'll see Alucard.

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    On point for Halloween, Magic: The Gathering wraps up another Innistrad arc storyline with their upcoming expansion Crimson Vow. This set concludes the events happening in Midnight Hunt with bloody fashion that I’m sure players are dying to sink their teeth into (no apologies for that pun). Crimson Vow will have everything from werewolves, and vampires and, just like its namesake… A wedding nonetheless!

    Before we dive a bit into the fluff, check out Wizards of the Coast’s latest promotional video showcasing all the blingy little rectangles we all love to collect:

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    A quick refresher from Midnight Hunt to keep you up to speed:

    Last we checked on this set, Emrakul – MTG’s version of H.P. Lovecraft’s great old ones has been imprisoned in the moon. With one of Magic’s greatest adversaries seemingly defeated and exiled (?) the event somehow let to some strange phenomenon where the days are getting shorter and the nights apparently getting more screen-time than usual… Much to the delight of the common nocturnal denizens that are abundant in the plane.

    Katilda, a powerful human warlock sets to restore the day/night balance and to do so she asks the help of Arlinn Kord, a tormented werewolf who protects the area (who also happens to be a planeswalker). Arlinn needs to track down a certain artifact known as a the Moonsilver Key to help Katilda in her finishing her ritual which, unsurprisingly involves humans that need to participate in a festival. Easy enough for a werewolf to track down right? Not when you have to get it from one vampire planeswalker named Sorin Markov.

     

    Speaking of Sorin Markov… Since our favorite vampire boi is so heavily featured story-wise in both Midnight Hunt and Crimson Vow, it would really do justice that he gets featured in many different art styles! One particular piece that really caught my eye is coming from their showcase style Fang Frame, variant. See picture below.

     

    Squint your eyes enough and you’ll see Alucard there.

    This particular design replaces the normal frame with curved fangs on the top and bottom of the card near the text areas. While the frame aesthetic gives a nice vampire-y vibe, I gravitated almost immediately to the art because it looked really familiar…

     

    True enough, if you’re a fan of anything related to Castlevania, you would surely recognize the art as it comes from a very well-renowned artist Ayami Kojima.

    But don’t take my word for it, check out her impressive track record that spans decades of Castlevania games, which dates back to Symphony of the Night, arguably the best title of the lot. (source creativeuncut.com):

    1997 – Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PS) (character design & illustration)
    1998 – Söldnerschild (SS) (character design, promotional illustrations)
    1998 – Ishin no Arashi Bakumatsu Shishiden (PC, PS) (character design, cover illustration)
    1999 – Chou-Denki Card Battle: Youfu Makai – Kikuchi Shuugyou (WS) (card design)
    2001 – Castlevania Chronicles (PS) (character design & illustration)
    2002 – Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance (GBA) (character design & illustration)
    2003 – Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (GBA) (character design & illustration)
    2003 – Castlevania: Lament of Innocence (PS2) (character design & illustration)
    2005 – Castlevania: Curse of Darkness (PS2, XBX) (character design & illustration)
    2005 – Sangokushi TCG (card illustrations for Zhou Yu and Zhuge Liang)
    2007 – Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles (PSP) (character design & illustration)
    2009 – Samurai Warriors 3 (PS2, XBX) (illustrations for Mitsunari, Nobunaga, Nouhime, Ginchiyo, and Muneshige)
    2010 – Castlevania: Harmony of Despair (PS3, 360) (character design & illustration)
    2011 – Dynasty Warriors 7 (PS3, 360, PC) (illustrations for Lu Xun and Zhen Ji)
    2013 – Dynasty Warriors 8 (PS3, 360) (illustrations for Sima Shi and Zhuge Liang)
    2019 – Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (PS4, XB1, NS, PC) (special packaging artwork)

     

     

    This feeling surely takes me back 2 years ago when they released War of the Spark. The set that invigorated my love for Magic: The Gathering. Because other than WAR being a planeswalker-focused expansion, it also showcased the work of various Japanese artists like Yoshitaka Amano of Final Fantasy Fame. (Unboxing video here).

    So yeah, if I’m going to get one card from this set it would surely be Sorin The Mirthless.

    With Ayami Kojima’s art.

    In foil.

    With Japanese text.

     

    Innistrad: Midnight Hunt is available NOW at your friendly local game stores. It’s follow-up set – Crimson Vow, launches November 19.

    Here’s Magic: The Gathering Store locator to help you find a game area near you. Alternatively, you can play the new set of cards digitally over at MTG Arena.

    Related links:

    Magic: The Gathering Store locator

    First look at the Magic: the Gathering animated series from Netflix

    [FULL RECIPE] Let’s recreate a dish from Magic: The Gathering’s Underworld Cookbook

    Everything you need to know for Magic: The Gathering’s upcoming D&D-themed expansion

    D&D’s ‘Drizzt Do’Urden’ enters the world of Magic: The Gathering

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    Brian Papa
    Geek gamer extraordinaire who constantly continues to champion the cardboard cause one uninitiated muggle a time! Meeples love me. Dice hate me.

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