MTG alter gives a classic black card the Dr Seuss treatment

Experienced Magic fans will know the black card Gray Merchant of Asphodel - but one talented MTG alter artist gave it a Dr Seuss style twist.

MTG alters Dr Seuss style - MRB Alters photo shared on Twitter showing the Dr Seuss style Gray Merchant of Asphodel alter, zoomed in

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.

MTG alters Dr Seuss style - MRB Alters photo shared on Twitter showing the Dr Seuss style Gray Merchant of Asphodel alter

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.”

MTG alters Dr Seuss style - Wizards original card photo showing Gray Merchant of Asphodel

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.

MTG alters Dr Seuss style - MRB Alters photo shared on Twitter showing the Dr Seuss style Mystic Remora alter card

“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.”

Since then, they’ve gone, er, ‘ham’ on the format, creating everything from custom Seuss-flavored MTG land cards to Food tokens themed after the famous Green Eggs And Ham.

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.