Saying Doom

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The letter L!et's talk about Thraben Doomsayer.

Thraben Doomsayer's role in the story of Dark Ascension is to rile up the citizenry and convince the townsfolk to fight. And when things get bad, he inspires them to fight even harder. Here's the art description that the creative team put together to describe their vision for the card.

Color: White creature

Location: A village square

Action: Show a fanatical mage who is preaching about the glorious angel Avacyn to an eager audience in a village square. He is a large, muscular man with a commanding physical presence. He holds a staff topped with a silver holy symbol in one hand. The holy symbol glows with silver light.

Focus: The powerful mage

Mood: We must join together to fight the evil menace!

Notes: Design clothing that fits the tone of the world. This isn't a priest or a warrior, but a firebrand mage who recruits others to his cause.

They chose John Stanko to illustrate the card. He'd done four Magic cards coming into Dark Ascension, and he's got six cards in this set. And here's an interesting tidbit from his website: he's currently an assistant professor of visual communications at University of Nebraska at Kearney. Neat!

The first sketch John submitted looked like this:

Thraben Doomsayer Sketch | Art by John Stanko

The creative team liked it, but felt that the Doomsayer could be a little more active in his pose. They asked John to make him look more like he was in the act of preaching. Here's what came back:

Thraben Doomsayer Sketch | Art by John Stanko

Great! The creative team dug this direction and gave John the go-ahead, with one final note. They asked that the scar over the Doomsayer's eye be removed. And here's the final scarless version:

Thraben Doomsayer | Art by John Stanko

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