The Strange, Strange Story of Consecrate Land's Artwork


Back in Time Spiral, one of the bonus sheet reprints got a complete overhaul -- artwork and all (well, technically).

Back in 1993, Consecrate Land was one of the original Magic: The Gathering cards.

A one white mana card proclaiming "All enchantments on target land are destroyed. Land cannot be destroyed or further enchanted until Consecrate Land has been destroyed." It was a very narrow card that, really, was never all that good.

Nevertheless, it was included on Time Spiral's "Timeshifted" bonus sheet in 2006. Though, it wasn't an exact reprint as the rest of the Time Spiral Timeshifted cards had been.

There were now two major differences: One was simply an update to the card text, which now read "Enchanted land is indestructible and can't be enchanted by other Auras." The other was...well, look at the two and see if you can spot the difference:

See it? It's the artwork.

Original artist Jeff A. Menges created brand new artwork for the card that looked a LOT like the original.

Why? Well, for that, we need to go back to 1992.

That year, Menges made some art for Richard Garfield's Garfield Games. That included a piece showcasing monk with the raised arms. The art itself was used in Beta. But, soon after all originals of it were gone. Menges did have a sketch, with Magic having smaller images on the cards, but that is it.

So, when the artwork was needed again for Time Spiral, they just didn't have the art on hand to reuse -- and that included the original.

So they did the only reasonable thing. They contacted Menges and commissioned him to paint it again.

According to Menges, he was basically making a forgery of one of his own artworks, but he did it. The differences between the two are subtle, with one being a little more colorful and the other a bit more detailed.

In the 2010s, Menges actually found the original 1992 sketch and eventually sold in in 2020 for over $5,000. As for Magic, they learned their lesson and now have the second copy ready to go in case they ever do another reprint.

So, if you own both cards and ever thought you were going crazy because you swore that there were really differences between the two, you aren't!

Evan Symon

Evan Symon is a graduate of The University of Akron and has been a working journalist ever since with works published by Cracked, GeekNifty, the Pasadena Independent, California Globe, and, of course, Magic Untapped.