An Interesting Case for Full-Art Lands

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It's beautiful, right? I know it is.
It's beautiful, right? I know it is.

We all love full-art lands. Whether Unhinged, Unglued or Zendikar are more your style (I actually prefer the latter), full-art lands are sweet. We use them to fill our decks, we use them in Draft and we love to keep big boxes of them at home.

I'm convinced one of the reasons full-art lands are so cool is because they're so rare. In 20 years of Magic, they've been done just three times. This certainly drives a lot of the demand for them. If they became too commonplace, we wouldn't care anymore. Wizards' decision to keep them rare, then, makes sense.

Or does it?

This post makes a very compelling case that full-art lands are better for a variety of reasons besides aesthetics. The idea is that full-art lands help both new and experienced players identify the gamestate better, and for that reason make more sense than regular lands that we're used to.

An excerpt:

The benefits to new players would be enormous if all basic lands were full-art: they wouldinstantly be able to recognize which of their cards were basics. This might be a small thing, but it’s a very, very important one. Acquisition is every bit as important as Wizards keeps telling us it is, and acquisition doesn’t just mean changing marketing strategies. It means changing the game visually to make it look better and cleaner.
Way back when, Portal came out, introducing the “big mana symbol in text box” look to make the lands stand out more to new players. They then realized that the same concepts applied to the lands in every set, so they made it the default. Now it’s time for the next logical step.
It's definitely an interesting idea. You can read the full post here.
What do you think? Should Full-Art lands become commonplace, or would that kill the coolness of them?
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Corbin Hosler

Corbin Hosler is a journalist living in Norman, Oklahoma (also known as the hotbed of Magic). He started playing in Shadowmoor and chased the Pro Tour dream for a few years, culminating in a Star City Games Legacy Open finals appearance in 2011 before deciding to turn to trading and speculation full-time. He writes weekly at and biweekly for LegitMTG. He also cohosts Brainstorm Brewery, the only financial podcast on the net. He can best be reached @Chosler88 on Twitter.

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3 thoughts on “An Interesting Case for Full-Art Lands

  1. ….I think the same argument can be said for using ‘Full-Art’ with each and every card, not just real estate. MTG has some of the most unique and creative artwork I find it baffling wotc hasn’t released all cards in this way- it would certainly make the game more ascetically pleasing and be it 40,60 or 100 cards decks would be out of the world cool to play.

    1. I agree that full art cards would be a great leap aesthetically. I see three different strategies for placing enchantments/equipment onto creatures. One style places the attached so that the name is readable. Others use the textbox. Rarely do I see people place them so that they overlap from the left or right, but some people do.

      Full art cards would be more identifiable to players that way. But that would contradict the argument stated by the OP. Full art basics would help out with new players. But then the argument could be made about previous full art releases.

      I for one would sign a petition to W:otC for at least all foil basic lands to be full art…

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