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BenMaier's avatar

Costly Plunder (Vraska)


Vraska is not a beautyqueen and I like that fact very much about her. 
The card got animated for the Ixalan promotion trailer. You can see her in action at about 0:49 seconds:…

Art Direction: Dawn Murin

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© 2018 - 2021 BenMaier
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I'll be honest, those lips are creepy.
I almost thought that she was foaming at the mouth.
Silverlegends's avatar
Opponent: I use (Insert card name) and destroy your creature.
Me: I play Costly Plunder fist, sacrificing it by myself and get two cards, lol.

I haven't noticed how Vraska is using some poor guy's arm to destroy this chest.
BenMaier's avatar
Yeah.. she first petrified him and then smashed the chest open with it :)
Silverlegends's avatar
I'm just sad Ixalan got the 2 expansions treatment, it had the potential to have a 3rd set with the Sun Empire taking on Torrezon and the Vampire Queen herself.
Aeyolscaer's avatar
I love it when illustrations come to life like that!

And I like the character design. Was that a real arm she uses as a blunt weapon now, I mean, does she have a petrifying skill, or was it part of a statue?
BenMaier's avatar
Thank you! The design was provided by WotC, I just illustrated the piece :)
I am pretty sure that it is the arm of a poor petrified vistim.
HeartCollar's avatar
gosh i really like this character design! <3 Good job!
BenMaier's avatar
Thanks! The design was provided by WotC, I just illustrated the piece :) (Smile)
HeartCollar's avatar
oh i know that, sorry, the second part was for the pic! i really love how you painted it. ;)
Matteo-T-I-F's avatar
It must be pretty cool to see your artwork be turned into animation like that. Could you describe what that process is like? What's required of the artists to make that happen, how much of that is on your end, and how much is on the animators?
BenMaier's avatar
In this case Wizards/the animation team took care of everything. They transformed a flat image into that amazing animated work.

Usually - as an Illustrator working for a range of clients - I have to provide a file with many layers with overlapping hands/arms/legs/ etc., background, midground, foreground, VFX etc. But for that particular one I just had to send in the flat illustration.
Matteo-T-I-F's avatar
Wow that's amazing! That just really goes to show what kind of talented people they've got working in their animated team. Makes me really appreciate their hard work to. Cause it's gotta require a lot of effort to turn a flat painting into an animation.

So I looked on Gatherer at the pieces you've done. Out of the 13 pieces you've done for WotC, which is your favorite?
BenMaier's avatar
I think it is still my first one (, although it is not the best card on an artistic level nor for gameplay. But it is so special to me, because it was my first. 
Strangely enough that card is not listed on Gatherer. Maybe because it was a special card. It is called 'Defiant Bloodlord'
Matteo-T-I-F's avatar
Ah okay. Did you do alternate art for it? The card itself is on gatherer. I have that card to(you're right its not a very good card), but it's listed under
So did you submit the art and then they not use it?
BenMaier's avatar
We did the same card, but I did the version for the starter packs. It was on top of every black starter deck and also used for the packaging itself.
It was already clear from the art order. Craig painted the regular version of the card.
Matteo-T-I-F's avatar
Well hey that means your art got seen more. :D So go you!
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