Next month, U.S. collectible card game publisher Wizards of the Coast is set to release the latest expansion for its flagship franchise, Magic: The Gathering. Titled War of the Spark, the major selling point is the large number of powerful planewalker cards, 36 in total, far more than in a normal expansion.
▼ Trailer for War of the Spark
Obviously, though, the Japanese versions of the cards require Japanese text, and so Wizards of the Coast saw an opportunity to do something special by bringing in a number of Japanese illustrators to create exclusive art for the Japanese edition of War of the Spark, and one of them is the country’s most famous fantasy painter/illustrator of all time, Yoshitaka Amano.
Best known as the Final Fantasy franchise’s original character designer, Amano’s contribution to the War of the Spark expansion is the above portrait of necromancer Liliana Vess.
▼ Liliana as she appears in her U.S.-release War of the Spark card
In total, 28 Japanese artists are involved, including Yuji Kaida, whose resume includes numerous box art illustrations for Gundam and kaiju models. They’ll be producing 36 Japan-exclusive cards, as shown below.
▼ From left to right: Liliana, Jiang Yanggu, Nicol Bolas
▼ Domri, Tibalt, Ob Nixilis
▼ Angrath, Teferi, Ashiok
▼ Arlinn, Jace, Sorin
▼ Davriel, Nissa, Tamiyo
▼ Ugin, Jaya, Huatli
▼ Narset, Teyo, The Wanderer