The Art of Magic: The Gathering - Innistrad (Magic the Gathering) (英語) ハードカバー – 2016/7/5
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“Grab an axe and defend the gate! Your despair is an extravagance we can ill afford.” —Thalia, Knight-Cathar
Terror falls from the skies on blood-spattered wings, and nameless horrors lurk in the shadows. These pages, lavishly illustrated with the award-winning art of Magic: The Gathering™, are your entry into a world beset by terrible evils on all sides and betrayed by the hope it held most dear. Tread lightly as you follow the heroic Planeswalkers of the Gatewatch as they investigate these dark mysteries, for the nightmare they will uncover is a threat to the whole Multiverse.
The mysteries of Innistrad—its peoples, provinces, and monsters—await your arrival. But be careful as you peer into the darkness, for you might find something staring back.
James Wyatt is a Senior Game Designer on the creative team for Magic: The Gathering®. Over the course of more than 14 years working on the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game, he wrote five novels and contributed to dozens of game sourcebooks, including Oriental Adventures, the Eberron Campaign Setting, and three different Dungeon Master’s Guides.
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For those who have been following the lore of Innistrad, this book further adds details you won't get from Wizards site thanks to James Wyatt's contribution to the details (for example:"Nahiri has played on their discontent and given them new masters to serve."). I really think Wyatt's deep background from the early days of D&D was invaluable for the book. In fact, the book reads like a classic D&D Dragon Magazine article which further expounds on the general lore.
Back to the artwork, there are many two-page spreads of cards from SOI and even Eldritch Moon! Perhaps they timed the release intentionally! I read some reviews that the previous artbook for BFZ block had low resolution but that's nonsense after seeing the prints in this book. The details are amazing.
The appendix is really fantastic as it delves into how and why Innistrad mechanics are so special. Unfortunately, upon initial look, it doesn't include Eldirtch Moon's mechanics like Meld but it's still a fascinating look into how Wizards R&D operates.
All in all, this is one of my favorite M:TG item of all time aside from the cards themselves.There is so much flavor and information about the Innistrad plane. I hope Wizards will continue this tradition with Kaledesh and beyond to satisfy the hard-core lore lovers like myself!
Plus: I love the fresh smell of the book, it has a very much a "new car" smell.
As with all the other's in this series of looks into the multiverse of M:TG, Ravinca is an excellent book of art put together from across the main two sets of the current story arc in the card game. As with the rest of the books the artwork is the best feature as well as the accompanying world building lore that you get only the briefest scraps of in the cards themselves. The most of the chapters focus on each of the ten Guilds of the Cityscape plane of Ravinica.
After the usual M:TG explanations of the colors of Magic, Planeswalkers etc come the brief overview chapter of the world of Ravnica at large. The the meat of the book begins with each of the Guild focused chapters.
The Azorius Senate. the Blue/White Lawmakers of the Plane.
The Orzhov Syndicate, a White/Black "church" front led by the greedy spirits of the long dead preying on the living followers
House Dmir, The Black/Blue spymasters guild. spies, informants, assassins and others that the other guilds hire to get the dirt on each other, all the while keeping enough for themselves to make their own power plays.
The Izzet League, a group of Blue/Red research magicians and artificers making what they can because "FOR SCIENCE!" led by an ancient dragon.
The Cult of Rakdos, Black/Red demon worshiping sadists who praise their master by offering up the most entertaining show they can.
The Golgari Swarm, Black/Green denizens of the deep city, sewers, and decayed areas. Life and Death are the cycle they believe in.
The Gruul Clans, Wild groups of Green/Red savage tribes who detest the city and destroy all vestments of civilization they come across.
The Boros Legion, White/Red Army and righteous law enforcement of the Plane. Led by Angels into glorius battle against the forces that would threaten the peace of the plane.
The Selesnya Conclave, Green/White the ones at peace with Nature who wish to return the city to a more beautiful natural state led by a trio of dryads who interpret the voice of the World Tree.
And then the Simic Combine the Green/Blue biomancer opposites of the Izzet league. Willing to experiment on themselves with combining each other with other lifeforms to improve themselves.
The next chapter then go into some of the backstory of the underlying plot the game at large has told with the chapter "Claws of the Mastermind". Diving into the plot and machinations of Nicol Bolas as they come together on Ravnica leading into the next "War of the Sparks" set.
Lastly we end at a short look at how each of the Guilds have changed over the last 14 years in the three major visits to Ravnica we have seen.
And that's kind of the issue I have with the Artbooks on returning worlds. It makes sense for the books to primarily focus on the newer sets to promote them, but for worlds like Dominaria and Ravnica with so much previous to draw from it would be great alone to draw more from the older sets as well to see how much things have changed. But overall the book is another great look at the art and lore of the current world the game is set in now.