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Nils Hamm’s work first appeared in the Future Sight set. His style is quite different to many of the other artists being commissioned by Wizards of the Coast. This makes his work stand out. His work has a harsh yet ethereal style that I find compelling. Of all the Magic: the Gathering artists, this is one where I have decided to collect one of every card he’s illustrated.
Five of the best magic cards by Nils Hamm
1. Grave Titan
This powerful giant creature creates zombies in the game. Here’s the artist has concepted this as zombies crawling out of and falling from the monster.
2. Henchfiend of Ukor
This was Nils Hamm’s first magic card. A monster with clearly defined musculature, and of course three rows of eyes. No doubt there are three rows of teeth in that mouth to complement the eyes.
The resonance for me here is subconscious, but Briarhorn reminds me of something from old English legend. A hideous monster at first glance, but look closely and it is clearly caring for and nurturing the natural world around it. Fantastic. I am also reminded of Hannah’s beast from Penny Arcade’s Lookouts.
Basic lands are like the unsung heroes of Magic: the Gathering. They do a lot of work, but get very little credit. Here is one of Hamm’s; a Plains showing a cloudy sky with wild grass blowing in the wind benath.
5. Elderwood Scion
This one for me epitomises the etheral style I love. This is a forest elemental, like Briarhorn, but quite different in appeareance. Like a stag formed from brambles, with the requisute glowing eyes and a coat of flowers.
You can see all Magic: the Gathering cards illustrated by Nils Hamm here. What are your top 5?