With Gatecrash newly released and in the lull between rumor seasons, the pace of exciting new developments for Magic should typically be slowing down around this time. But yesterday an MTGSalvation rumor mill user uncovered something very interesting on Tumblr. According to Eldritchguy's thread, DeviantArt artist Robbie "artbatter" Trevino posted a number of his pieces on his blog, which can also be seen here. Trevino described the five pieces he tagged with "MTG" thusly:
A personal piece I did back in 2012 that Wizards liked so much they purchased its publishing rights and will be making it a card sometime later this year. Since it wasn't commissioned I can show this piece as it is not covered under NDA. Keep your eyes peeled everybody. ©Wizards of the Coast 2012
The quality of the artwork certainly looks up to snuff for Magic cards. However, one possible strike against the veracity of Trevino's story is the sheer unusualness of this kind of event. Typically, Wizards commissions fantasy artists to do pieces according to specifications created by the Creative team for a particular set.
Then again, as is pointed out on the MTGSalvation thread, Syphon Flesh was not commissioned for the first official Commander set. Instead, it was, indeed, purchased from DeviantArt user Ironbrush. Buying non-commissioned artwork was once the usual practice during the design phases of Magic sets, but lately it does not happen often - which is not to say it never does or never will.
If Trevino is telling the truth, and not making up this story simply to attract attention to his art, then we just got our first, intriguing glimpses at the world of "Friends," whatever it will come to be called.
The pieces, in the order I have attached them in the slideshow, are:
- An artifact being torn apart by a wave of silvery liquid (possibly for a white artifact and enchantment destruction spell)
- A many-horned Centaur Warrior in a dynamic pose, wielding a pair of vine-covered weapons (definitely a green creature)
- The face of an elderly male sorcerer as he melts into a tree (probably a creepy black-green Aura)
- An Angel or Archon, floating in the night sky majestically with golden weapons and accoutrements (I call mythic rare white flyer on this one)
- A Human or an Angel, with much of the same clothing and weapons as the previous one (probably a rare creature)
What do you think of the pieces and the credibility of the artist's story? Let me know in the comments.