The creator of some of the most disturbing MTG Phyrexia All Will Be One card art has his own, fully visualised horror sci-fi setting. Concept Artist Mike Franchina‘s original ‘Trench Crusade’ setting will give fans of Phyrexia’s nerve-tingling body horror the shudder they’re after.
A full time freelance concept artist and illustrator, Franchina has contributed art to Path of Exile, Diablo 4, and System Shock 3. His Trench Crusade illustrations imagine a never-ending war between the Church and the forces of hell unleashed on earth. It mixes religious art, body horror, and industrialised warfare to create something both grimy and gruesome.
We’re showing you the shallow end of his portfolio on ArtStation, which is decidedly grotesque and not safe for work. Many of his creations would look right at home in the Warhammer 40k factions, particularly among the followers of the 40k Chaos Gods Khorne, Nurgle, Tzeentch, and Slaanesh.
Franchina illustrated three cards for the MTG Phyrexia All Will Be One set: Gulping Scraptrap, Mandible Justiciar, and Swooping Lookout. We can only describe the latter two as “uncomfortably toothsome”, and the bony plates, raw red meat, and uncountable teeth on his creations are appropriately disturbing for the MTG plane of body horror.
Phyrexia All Will Be One is certainly one of the grossest MTG sets in memory, but it may prove to be more memorable for the impact it has on MTG deck builders – there’s a very real chance of Infect decks running wild in the commons-only MTG Pauper format, not to mention the terrifying mono-colour MTG commanders in the Dominus cycle.
House MTG expert Matt Basil has produced a guide to the best Phyrexia All Will be One commanders, and collaborated with the data gurus behind DraftSim to identify the best cards to draft in the new set.