I am willing to reserve judgement on these until I see the finished product in my hands. I expect they will look stunning.
And even if they are not my thing, art is in the eye of the beholder. Someone else will probably like them. I don’t connect with the artistic style of Terese Nielsen or Rebecca Guay, but huge swathes of the playerbase regard them as the finest artists ever to do Magic cards, and I can respect that.
But please Wizards.
Never mess with card name or mana cost readability again.
I think a very good test to run any unusual borders past is the following: “If it were an alteration, would it be legal in a tournament?” This excellent article addresses this.
Note that the mana cost and name cannot be obscured or covered.
The mana cost on these is faded and the ‘artistic’ font choice for the type line and card name are hard enough to read when face up and not foiled. The power and toughness boxes look indistinct too, at least as bad as the 4th edition layout (which was improved at the time of Mirage because P&T needed to be bold).
I will be interested to see how often a player with both Force of Will and Counterbalance Invocations in their hand in Legacy will reveal the wrong one by accident because they look so similar.
The same may happen in Vintage with Mana Drain and Force of Will if Mana Drain is in the set (this is not known at this time, but it is exactly the sort of card that Wizards would include to sell packs).
I’m fine with Wizards experimenting with designs. They should take risks and try oddball designs, especially with products like the Masterpieces. I won’t like all of them but someone will.
But readability should never be sacrificed.
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