Magic the Gathering Altered Art Cards

An Introduction to Altered MTG Cards

What are altered art cards for Magic The Gathering, & where do they come from?? First let me say these should never be counterfeits! They are legitimate copies, simply painted over to change the picture. Many are changed to extend the artwork, removing those boring black or white borders. Others can end up very different from original image. Artists have added things like flames, cartoon characters peeking out from the corners, or other wacky additions.

Add Flare to Your Deck!

altered-mtg-cards-demon-vampire-art A well made acrylic painted card is a mini work of art! Nobody will have the same one painted the same way. Maybe you’re looking to spice up your deck with something different and original. Or perhaps you want to impress your gaming friends. Then you may consider adding a few alters to your deck. They can also make a neat gift idea for that special magic geek in your life!

What Shops Carry Altered Cards?

Look online for the best prices and availabiliy
altered-MTG-shop You probably won’t see these pieces for sale at your local hobby shop. If you want to buy one you’ll most likely need to turn to
the internet. You can find them easily on eBay, but sites like Etsy also have custom MTG sellers. Some sellers have even created small businesses by painting and selling their creations for profit, as well as taking commissions for collectors with special requests. It’s also becoming more common to see people painting away at the large MTG tournaments and comic conventions, where you may be able to find someone selling their wares to the hungry competitive players.

(Altered “duel lands” (c) Marta Molina)

Cheapest Custom MTG Work Online

FAQ: Are Painted Cards Against Copyright Law?

altered art mtg angel card These cards are perfectly legal to create and own!

Painted Magic cards are 100% legal to create, own or play with as long as they are actually painted on top of the original copies. As you may have already seen examples of, some people get very creative, adding a lot to the original work. The paint changes the look and feel, which in copyright terms is considered a “derivative work” meaning it becomes a new copyright work owned by the painter.

Restoration Angel by “Slatts Alters”

Are Painted MTG Cards Tournament Legal?

altered mtg cards DCI More players are starting to bring these cards in to sanctioned tournaments, and DCI judges have taken notice. There are now
some guidelines to follow if you intend to play in tournaments. One thing is certain, you must ask the head judge to
rule for permission before each tournament or else you risk being disqualified!

The main thing to qualify for DCI tournament play is the issue of the gameplay text. The text must still clearly be visible, showing the name, mana casting cost, expansion set symbol, and rules text cannot be obscured. Which means sadly most full art alters probably won’t be allowed in tournaments, unless you have a lenient judge.

Fear not, as most judges do allow these in to tournaments. While there are a handful who frown upon it, they seem to be in the minority. As long as the gameplay bits remain intact you should have nothing to worry about when playing in tournaments.

What About Additional Card Weight?

altered art mtg force of will Some people worry that these will make it easy to cheat or be cheated against, since surely the painting must make them more heavy. Factors that contribute to added weight are how much paint was used, and what type of gloss it was coated with. When put into sleeves and shuffled into a deck it’s impossible to tell the difference. Nobody can cheat by adding these to the deck, so don’t get any funny ideas!

Share This Post:

Add Comment