One of our favorite aspects of Hearthstone is its spirited, enchanting artwork and with brand-new expansion Saviors of Uldum only a few days away from its official release, we decided to reminisce one last time with some of our most-enjoyed card art from Rise of Shadows.
Soldier of Fortune
Art: Rafael Zanchetin
No need for a Sleepy Dragon to guard this colossal gold pile. Was a spell of sentience cast on this by Kirin-Tor mages (as the glowing Kirin-Tor emblem would suggest) in an attempt to ward off the likes of Heistbaron Togwaggle and Hench-Clan Burglar?
Togwaggle puts it best during the introduction to the Gold Elemental boss from the Dalaran Heist (who also uses Soldier of Fortune’s artwork): “Is worst nightmare — loots that loot back!”
Art: Steven Prescott
“This is not your home, invader.”
Although Heal Druid is an archetype still struggling to find its footing, the card artwork for Lucentbark by Steven Prescott hardly has that problem.
Prescott makes Lucentbark look every bit the Ancient who just lumbered out of Crystalsong Forest, ready to trample any invaders foolish enough to cross his path under a massive, wooden foot.
Big Bad Archmage
Art: Mauricio Herrera
Hearthstone doesn’t shy when it comes to card art featuring big bad wolves (See: Big Bad Wolf) and Big Bad Archmage is no exception.
But Archmage, what big, green eyes you have. What a terrible big, mouth you have. And what luxurious, Dalaran-styled, royal purple mage regalia you sport.
“The better to channel a scorching hot skein of orange-red fire magic from my claws with, my dear!” — Big Bad Archmage, probably.
Overall, artist Mauricio Herrera makes this lycanthropic mage look commensurately cerebral, grandiose and menacing with its razor-sharp sneer, mid-spell paw wave and complementary color palette to make the whole piece pop.
Art: Maria Trepalina
You’re looking for a place to kick your feet up for the night in Dalaran; maybe enjoy a nice plate of Mead Based Caribou and a hot cup of Honeymint Tea by the fireplace.
You find your way to a cozy little inn on the Silver Covenant’s side of the city. A soothing voice greets you: “Bal’a dash, malanore.” You look over and see a beautiful, blue-eyed High Elf innkeeper standing behind the service desk. Her nametag reads “Isirami Fairwind.” She seems awful friendly. You ask her if you can get a room. She doesn’t say anything, just flashes you an impish smirk and reaches for a nearby broomstick. Maybe she has to tidy the place up real quick before she checks you in, you think.
You catch a glint of light from the corner of your eye and then WHOA, hey! What the hell is Isirami Fairwind unsheathing some surreptitious broom-sword in your face for? And why does she have a look of crazed glee on her face the entire time she’s doing it?
I thought this innkeeper was supposed to be heroic? Notwithstanding, the mystery of “What the hell got Isirami pissed off enough to pull a sword on a prospective patron?” alongside the dynamic perspective, vibrant coloring and Isirami’s cunning facial expression make this card worth checking out. (Even if Isirami doesn’t want you to check in.)
Art: Luke Mancini
Luke Mancini’s depiction of this Dalaran defender is striking; from the ice-blue lighting dancing off the eponymous Spellsword’s face to the way the flowing robes unfurl around her the opposite way of her inky-purple hair to the way the floating, magenta-pink crystalline pauldron ornaments levitate to the look of calm determination on her face — we have to wonder what poor League of E.V.I.L. member is in for the fight of his life against this resolute femme fatale.
Blessing of the Ancients
Art: Steven Prescott
“Forest Critters, assemble!”
Blessing of the Ancients looks like a watercolored, children’s book squadron of forest critters amassing after suddenly invoking their super powers. Which is to say, pretty bad-ass.
Call to Adventure
Art: Eva Widermann
There’s a lot to love in Call to Adventure. The mystic blade lodged in the split stone; the electric blue, cyan-tinged detailing on the sword-blade teeming with energy; the tangle of plant-growth suggesting this mysterious weapon has been sitting there undiscovered for some time before this wide-eyed (with wonderment) blood elf came along and reached for it with a mix of hesitance and wonderment.
But what happens when she picks it up? (Surely something more intriguing than drawing the lowest Cost minion from your deck and buffing it, right?)
Art: Jakub Kasper
Eye of murloc? Fish bones replete with caudal fin and tattered head (with the eyes X-ed out)? Rotten apple cores? Tentacles of N’zoth? Some garbage-green liquid whose stench we don’t care to accurately predict? Whatever the ingredients in this Witch’s Brew, I’m thoroughly revolted.
Art: Tod Harris
“Don’t you dare close your eyes! Now that we’re way up here, Dalaran’s crystal clear!”
Who wouldn’t want to be the Azerothian Aladdin or Jasmine analogue commandeering this magic carpet for a whimsical ride above Dalaran?
Awesome perspective which makes the grid of Dalaran below look miniscule.
Flight Master (and Gryphon)
Art: Evgeniy Dlinnov
Smug little bastard, isn’t he? I suppose we would be too if we had a Hearthstone card-art equivalent of a Renaissance-era portrait to our name. Nobody tell him that his gryphon looks far more majestic, however:
On second thought, go ahead and tell him. Tell him he wouldn’t have made the list if he hadn’t rode his gryphon’s coattails, er, tail feathers. That oughta wipe that haughty smirk right off his face.
Art: James Ryman
What horrors has this frantic draenei mage wrought? The panic on the guards’ faces and the urgent concentration of the mid-incantation mage make this card a frenetic, yet delightful mystery.
Art: Matt Dixon
And the award for most adorable card art of the expansion goes to Hench-Clan Hogsteed. Which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, considering the artist is Matt Dixon, one of the game’s most prolific artists and composer of such card-art favorites as Snowflipper Penguin, Kobold Librarian, Sir Finley Mrrgglton, Whizbang the Wonderful, Dr. Boom, Mad Genius and Bog Creeper.
Add another notch to Dixon’s belt with this buck-toothed Murloc surfing atop a raging warthog’s back.
Art: Konstantin Turovec
He’s a big guy, for… wait, what the hell is a n’raqi doing in Dalaran? You figure a city full of prominent mages would be cognizant of the fact that one of the Old Gods’ faceless heralds is wandering around, right?
Notwithstanding, Konstantin Turovec makes this hulking faceless one perhaps the most menacing one we’ve seen yet in Hearthstone.
Which card art from Hearthstone‘s Rise of Shadows was your favorite? Did we miss any? Sound off in the comments.