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Amonkhet Key Art

Happy Thursday MTG peeps,

In yesterday's post, linked here at MTG Realm, we had covered off the announcement of the next 'The Art of Magic: the Gathering' art book offering from Wizards of the Coast and Viz Media.  Scheduled for release in July 2017, 'The Art of Magic: the Gathering - Amonkhet', is timed to correspond with with the second set in the Amonkhet block, called 'Hour of Devastation'.  

If you have followed MTG Realm since we first started blogging about Magic: the Gathering in 2008, then you will know we love Magic spoilers and speculation and definitely revel in the storyline (vorthos) and incredible art that Wizards of the Coast uses.  To the point now - After yesterday's post by WotC, Viz Media followed up with their own news release.  This post not only provided some tantalizing descriptions of the Plane of Amonkhet, but also delivered a a bonus - the full key art, illustrated by Titus Lunter in the form of a 1920 x 1080 px wallpaper which expands the art book cover image.  We definitely need to talk about this.  First, let's go through the official blurb for the book and accompanying commentary.

Wizards of the Coast and VIZ Media have jointly announced plans to expand THE ART OF MAGIC: THE GATHERING® collection with THE ART OF MAGIC: THE GATHERING – AMONKHET, scheduled for release in July 2017.

The fourth and latest release in the ongoing series of impressive hardcover editions featuring artwork from Magic: The Gathering will present scores of full-color illustrations from an array of talented artists, including Cliff Childs, Winona Wilson, Christine Choi and Adam Paquette. Additional insights and lore on the dangerous and beautiful world of Amonkhet are provided by bestselling author and Magic: The Gathering Senior Game Designer, James Wyatt. Amonkhet is the latest expansion game for Magic: The Gathering and is set for retail release by Wizards of the Coast in April of 2017.

In THE ART OF MAGIC: THE GATHERING – AMONKHET, the Second Sun creeps across the sky, growing ever closer to the horns of the God-Pharaoh. These pages, lavishly illustrated with the award-winning art of Magic: The Gathering™, will introduce readers to the people of Amonkhet, whose life is a series of trials meant to prepare them for the great God-Pharaoh’s return. The glorious hope and desolate despair of Amonkhet awaits readers as the final hours draw near!

“THE ART OF MAGIC: THE GATHERING – AMONKHET reveals a world of harsh beauty and incredible contrast. While withering sandstorms rip across barren and treacherous deserts, a thriving city-state worships the God-Pharaoh who protects their verdant oasis,” says Elaine Chase, Senior Director of Global Brand Strategy and Marketing for Magic: The Gathering. “Of course, beneath this utopian surface lies a darker truth, and James Wyatt guides fans through the lore of Amonkhet masterfully.”

“The vibrant yet deadly world of Amonkhet comes to life in vivid illustrations, and we invite players and fans of fantasy art to celebrate their love of Magic: The Gathering with this beautifully detailed and comprehensive new release,” says Beth Kawasaki, Senior Editorial Director, VIZ Media. “Explore the desert oasis of this sun-drenched plane ruled by the infamous Elder Dragon, Nicol Bolas, and savor all of the strange and wondrous inhabitants of this unique world.”


Let's float out some interesting objects from the Titus Lunter Amonkhet key art :

• There is a gigantic monument dominating the image background showing "the horns of the God-Pharaoh" of the infamous Elder Dragon, Nicol Bolas.  

• The "Second Sun creeps across the sky" and we're quite certain that as the second set 'Hour of Devastation' arrives, there will be an alignment heralding the return of Nicol Bolas to Amonkhet.

• Thre is a massive Stargate in the right side background.  Expect to see an exploration of soldiers and scientists from Earth popping through this portal to reboot the television series and movie.  (no - not really)

• To image left and image right there are very large monuments to implied therianthropic deities.  In ancient Egypt, these deified forces included the elements, animal characteristics, or abstract forces.  Watch the movie 'Gods of Egypt' to get a feel for the the landscape.

• The monument on the right shows a form with the head of a Jakal (the god Anubis) symbolizing mummification and the afterlife while the monument on image left shows a form with the head of a  Crocodile (the god Sobek) symbolizing the power of the Pharo and military strength.

• on the bottom left of the image, there appears a group of individuals, again with some therianthropic qualities or perhaps just ceremoinial headress.  One with a ram's head (perhaps the god Khnum associated with water and fertility), another with wings (perhaps the god Isis associated with wisdom and health) and another with the form of a Jackal.

• On the river in the image is shown a large barge with the prow of this boat stylized after the head of Nicol Bolas.  We will take the liberty to call this the Nicol Boat-las.

We love the preview image and the opportunity to whet our appetite for speculation for Amonkeht and Hour of Devastation and hope that WotC posts more teasers like this.

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