Covering the Magic: The Gathering community every day, we at Wargamer have come across some fantastic MTG alter cards in our time – but we did a double take and cracked a huge smile when we saw this superb Dr Seuss-inspired alter of classic MTG black card Gray Merchant of Asphodel.
Shared by talented card-altering artist MRB Alters on Twitter / X last week, this whimsical, one of a kind MTG proxy card reimagines Gray Merchant of Asphodel (known affectionately as ‘Gary’ among MTG fans) as a Dr Seuss-style quirky cartoon fellow -and even translates the card text into rhyming verse.
MRB Alters has been creating hand-painted reimaginings of MTG cards for ten years, ever since they spotted an alter at their local game store (LGS) and couldn’t help wanting to make their own.
“I thought it was such a great idea,” they tell Wargamer, “and soon found some online communities that shared alters and tips on doing them.
“I have an art background so it was a good fit for me.”
MRB has a bachelor’s degree in illustration, and took quickly to the challenge of painting customised designs onto MTG cards – but, as they explain to us, it’s a tricky business.
“Painting alters is a bit different than traditional canvas. You have to be aware of how much paint you use and keep it as thin as possible. Not to mention the scale is much smaller.”
The idea of creating altered MTG cards inspired by Dr Seuss characters came just over three years ago, says MRB Alters: “Being the father of 3 young kids, I have read most Dr Seuss books enough times to almost have them memorized.
“The first Seuss alter I did was a Mystic Remora. The fish in the bowl from ‘The Cat in the Hat’ looked like a perfect fit and I decided to come up with a rhyme for the text.”
MRB paints these cards on commission from their website, guaranteeing they are painted onto authentic original copies of the card, and “carefully created to be flat and indiscernible from other sleeved cards in your deck”. But they warn buyers that – as usual for alter cards – “tournament legality is always up to the tournament judge”.
If you’re a fan of both Magic: The Gathering and whimsical storytelling, good news! A brand new MTG set, the long awaited Wilds of Eldraine is coming out in the next week, and we’ll have all the latest news for you on Wargamer – from Wilds of Eldraine draft strategies to the new set’s best MTG commanders.
If you want to get into the new set even sooner, play it on the digital client MTG Arena instead – but if that’s your bag, best also check out our guides to the best MTG Arena decks and the latest MTG Arena codes for free cards and extras.