Magic artist John Stanko talks about his favorite MTG art pieces

Magic: The Gathering artist, John Stanko, singles out his favorite art for the collectible card game and tells the story behind each one.

"Prismatic Ending is one that I most recently did and that one was because it was...a very complex card," he says.  "When I read it, I had no idea how I was going to do it and I felt like it was a real challenge, visually, to put that one together."

Stanko says trying to figure out just how to put together the artwork for the card was insane as it involved a lot of research.

"It's stained glass, and it's not like you can throw a model through stained glass and try to figure that out," he tells.

Another piece of Magic artwork that Stanko says is important to him is seen on the card Magister of Worth from Conspiracy.  It's a piece of artwork that he packed with symbolism.


"With that one [the art director] really let me go crazy with some really subliminal elements in there where you have life and death," Stanko explains.  "A lot of times, people can't see that the arm is decaying on the actual angel."

Stanko also highlights some of the pieces he did for the set Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate including the cards Lae'zel, Vlaakith's Champion and Nalia de'Arnise.

"I'm a huge D&D fan and the ability to put D&D and Magic together is like peanut butter and jelly to me," he confesses.

And, after 13 years of creating artwork for Magic: The Gathering, Stanko says he's not done as he has multiple pieces already in the pipeline for future releases.

Barry White

Barry White is a longtime Magic: The Gathering player, having started in 1994 shortly before the release of 'Fallen Empires.' After graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno, he went on to a 15-year journalism career as a writer, reporter, and videographer for three different ABC affiliate newsrooms.