It’s that time of year when things get pushed to the background, especially here on the page. But, I remain committed to updating as often as possible. And, so, MTG vs. Hearthstone Part 2 and Part 3 becomes Part 2 only. Who knows? I actually think this works better.
Again, similar to my previous article in this series, a direct comparison between the two feels ridiculous. Wizards of the Coast takes their art and story very seriously. They also worked tirelessly recently to clean up some loose ends and make the story more consistent and coherent. Blizzard went the route of making their stories sillier and their art less realistic. Being someone who likes that style less, I side with Magic the gathering on both.
Showdown in the Badlands Art
As if proof of concept, I found no art in the new Hearthstone set that impressed me other than the new Reno. And, honestly, I think that’s just because I like the card style of the hero cards. The art itself leaves much to be desired. It’s simply a portrait of the hero. Some of the new Druid dragons look cool, too. Other than that, though, the set art is very plain.
Showdown in the Badlands Story
From the Blizzard Hearthstone site:
“The Bloodrock Mining Company found powerful Azerite in the Badlands. They’re digging deep and bleeding the land dry, disrupting the Badlands and awakening slumbering elementals! Now mysterious outlaws are riding into town to set things right. Tumbleweeds roll by and high noon looms. Grab your horse and your hat, it’s nearly time for a Showdown in the Badlands!”
I mean, that’s not a terrible set up for a decent story. But, after that, the pay off lacks some punch. Some of the cards and the mechanics mention the Azurite and other parts of the storyline. However, Blizzard doesn’t weave their story into the game as much as Wizards. So, while I like the story, I wish they gave fans like me a little more to work with.
Lost Caverns of Ixalan Art
I picked these three cards for a reason. The only one I genuinely like as art is Hurl into History. The art matches the card description perfectly. It also gives a great sense of motion. I picked the dragon to give a comparison in art styles between the two games. The Fabrication Foundry does the same. Even when they come up with some ridiculous idea of a being, they still make it seem like it exists in a real and living world. That adds to my enjoyment and appreciation of the art.
Lost Caverns of Ixalan Story
I can’t hope to include the entire story here like I did with the Hearthstone excerpt. The story on the official Wizards page scrolls for thousands of words and follows several different characters. But, what I remember from Ixalan before, it features dinosaurs and pirates. What more can you ask for?
As far as I’m concerned, nothing. But, as Billy Mays always said, “There’s more!” WotC also gives us gods in this set. Unlike some other planes, these gods aren’t explicitly immortal. Rather, when they die, they transform into temple lands with a mana ability that allows the god to reascend later in the game. I like that twist because you can remove the god from the board for a time without having to use an exile spell.
Again, without directly comparing the two, I need to wrap up this MTG vs. Hearthstone Part 2 article. The art for Showdown in the Badlands doesn’t impress me at all. The story, on the other hand, works well enough. I always love looking at old Magic the Gathering sets to revisit the art. I keep track of the story when it’s interesting. Other than the pirates and dinosaurs, I don’t find Ixalan particularly compelling.