ne of the important cards in Avacyn Restored from a story standpoint is Defy Death.
Defy Death shows a time when the angels start to win the fight against the demons. The creative team decided to show the pause just after an angel has been brought back, and just before the fight with the demon continues.
Here's the art description that was given to Karl Kopinski.
Color: White spell
Action: This is an artful shot of an angel who is about to rejoin the fight with her sworn enemy. We see her from about the mid-thigh down, in a resolute stance, facing away into the distance (maybe we're looking into the distance between her legs, or she could be standing off to the side of the frame). We can see her hand gripping her sword, held down at her side, and we can see the tips of her white-feathered wings hanging down into the frame. She's standing on top of a stone tomb or mausoleum -- some kind of somber granite structure. In the distance, we can see what she's looking at: her foe, a winged demon, whom she is about to attack -- and kill.
Focus: The angel's determined stance.
Mood: An epic fight is about to begin -- and end.
The first sketch Karl submitted was this.
Defy Death sketch | Art by Karl Kopinski
That's a good piece, but the creative team felt that the focus was too much on the demon. They asked Karl to show more of the heroic angel, pushing the demon into the background. The final version still has the demon, but it's clearer that we're seeing a battle about to happen. And if you look at the bottom of the image, you can see that the angel is levitating out of a grave!
Defy Death | Art by Karl Kopinski