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Author Topic: JSH's True Art Rankings  (Read 93738 times)

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jsh357

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JSH's True Art Rankings
« on: August 11, 2015, 12:53:21 pm »
+34

Many years ago, a great man began a project that would revolutionize our view and understanding of Dominion. He spent countless hours writing about various cards, putting himself out there and hoping only for the respect and toleration of his peers. That man's name was theory, and without him, Dominion Strategy may well never have existed. Let's give him a hand. Not a literal one, though. Ew.

But enough about that guy. Last summer, I began a thread that sought to rank all of the Dominion cards by the quality of their art. Everything started off well enough, but little known fact: by that time, I had already joined the playtester group for Dominion: Adventures. Why did I start a ranking thread, knowing full well that there would one day be more cards to rank? What kind of lunatic would make life harder on himself like that? Apparently this guy. Anyway, eventually the weight of the project got to be too much. Aside from turbulent scenarios on my own life making it harder to care about ranking art, the futility of the whole thing got to be too much once the expansion started nearing release. But then I got to thinking: I could make the project less of an ordeal for myself by simply posting one card a day, sticking to one expansion at a time, and not adhering to a stupid gimmick in my write-ups every post. Sure, it could take a mammoth amount of days, but it would also be easier for everyone, most importantly myself.

At the end of each expansion, a ranking of the overall art cohesion and my perceived quality will appear. I will be keeping numerical scores of each picture private, but will show the 'average' number in those posts. The Promos and Base Cards will have their own separate expansion, and box art/mat art/etc will be evaluated with the expansion they belong in.

As an aside, a common complaint in the last ranking thread was that I was judging the quality of art by how it appeared on the card and not in high-res pictures seen online. In order to continue being a troll to these types of nitpickers I am going to continue judging the art by how it appears on the cards. That is the medium the art is intended to be seen in, and as such it will be in my mind.

As a final note, I want to get this out there to any Dominion artists who happen upon the thread. As an artist, I'm sure you understand the concept of subjectivity and hope you won't take offense if I happen to place a picture you drew lower on the list. This stuff is your work that you put sweat and tears into and I have no intention of putting you down for it. I've been there. Besides, even some art I dislike is loved by others. Also, I am in no way a professional art critic and actually have no clue what I'm talking about! Teehee!

As a true final note because I'm a liar, these rankings are not going to match up with the previous list. Times change, people change, art changes. Even war has changed.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2015, 03:14:25 pm by jsh357 »
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jsh357

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Re: JSH's True Art Rankings
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2015, 01:01:42 pm »
+7

PART ONE: THE BASE SET

This is where it all began. The base set was composed of cards, most simple, some moderately complex, and the art reflects that, only substituting complexity for prettiness.

25. Smithy



There are two men here, one holding an anvil while the other pounds it. The dwarven smith, with his misshapen face and enormous fingers, looks like something out of a fairy tale. Some say Dominion had no fantasy roots until Alchemy, but here it is. Those people had also never heard of Witch. Something about the details on the two men's skin has always rubbed me the wrong way in this art, but it's hard to describe as a layperson. Yes, the anvil holder seems muscular, but he also appears to be made of marble, ill fitting the darkness of the forge the two reside in. Today is the first day I noticed the smith is wearing a green hat. Go me. The anvil (or is it an axe head?) is drawn a bit crookedly, I think. Whatever the minor details are, at the end of the day this art doesn't please me particularly. I always feel like I'm losing fashion points by adding it to my deck. Let's get out of here before these two start looking at me funny.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2015, 08:25:52 pm by jsh357 »
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LastFootnote

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Re: JSH's True Art Rankings
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2015, 01:04:32 pm »
+14

Keep it up, jsh. Just a few more card rankings on f.DS and I can finally post my card ranking ranking.
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liopoil

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Re: JSH's True Art Rankings
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2015, 01:11:24 pm »
+7

Man, you already ruined it. 25 should be council room, did you not learn anything from last time? I can't take this ranking seriously anymore.
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sc0UT

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Re: JSH's True Art Rankings
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2015, 01:30:22 pm »
0

Oh Yes! Oh Yes! He's back.

Have you already seen the summon event card art in "HD" or in IRL? The pixelated image on the wiki can't be a reference for the true promo and base card art ranking.
Do you both rank, the primary base cards and the fancy reworked ones with new illustrations?
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jsh357

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Re: JSH's True Art Rankings
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2015, 01:38:28 pm »
+1

Oh Yes! Oh Yes! He's back.

Have you already seen the summon event card art in "HD" or in IRL? The pixelated image on the wiki can't be a reference for the true promo and base card art ranking.
Do you both rank, the primary base cards and the fancy reworked ones with new illustrations?

By the time I get to promos, the card will certainly be out. I will be looking at the old base card art for the base set, but the pretty base cards art when I get to Base Cards.
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faust

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Re: JSH's True Art Rankings
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2015, 02:22:54 pm »
+1

Even war has changed.

+1 for Fallout reference.
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Re: JSH's True Art Rankings
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2015, 02:33:58 pm »
0

Oh Yes! Oh Yes! He's back.

Have you already seen the summon event card art in "HD" or in IRL? The pixelated image on the wiki can't be a reference for the true promo and base card art ranking.
Do you both rank, the primary base cards and the fancy reworked ones with new illustrations?

By the time I get to promos, the card will certainly be out. I will be looking at the old base card art for the base set, but the pretty base cards art when I get to Base Cards.

By the time you get to the Promos, there will probably be another expansion out to deal with first.
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jsh357

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Re: JSH's True Art Rankings
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2015, 02:36:21 pm »
0

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jsh357

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Re: JSH's True Art Rankings
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2015, 03:03:03 pm »
+7

24. Chancellor



Chancellor's art is clearly flawed. It seems a little rushed or sketchy, especially in the coat area. One could argue that the card is intended to be goofy-looking, but the image strikes me as unintentionally goofy. There is enough detail on the face, particularly its butt chin, to suggest our favorite cycler was meant to seem like a stern and grumpy man in an old time portrait. Instead, he looks like a guy being forced to poorly cosplay a university professor at graduation. His hat was probably fashionable back in the day, but I think we can all agree he looks like a tool now. So how is this worse than Council Room? Well, it's true that Council Room has a fatal flaw in perspective, but at least it might take you a while to notice that. The Chancellor just looks ridiculous from the get-go.
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sc0UT

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Re: JSH's True Art Rankings
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2015, 06:42:19 pm »
+1

At least the two men printed on the Smithy card are bearded men (without visible butt chin). The smithy even wears four tight fitting golden rings, which ensure nice vertical mustache style by gravity force. I would have ranked Chancellor on 25. ;)
« Last Edit: August 12, 2015, 07:18:44 pm by sc0UT »
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Re: JSH's True Art Rankings
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2015, 07:14:42 pm »
+5

A smithy is a place. The person who works there is called a smith.

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Re: JSH's True Art Rankings
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2015, 10:32:29 pm »
+5

Chancellor: Testes or a chin?  You decide!
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Aleimon Thimble

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Re: JSH's True Art Rankings
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2015, 01:40:22 pm »
+5

"You may immediately laugh at the Chancellor's face. If you do, put your deck into your discard pile."
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jsh357

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Re: JSH's True Art Rankings
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2015, 03:09:36 pm »
+6

23. Woodcutter



Sometimes I think if I stare hard enough, maybe this picture makes sense. Actually, I did some thinking on this not long ago, and I guess it's possible that someone came along and started cutting the tree, then went out on lunch break, and then these two saps showed up and started cutting a new wound. I don't know if the average person wants to go to those lengths to defend the canon of Dominion card art backstories. Instead, I'm just going to assume the artist didn't think this through all the way. As a side note, I wonder if the woodcutter on the right is related to the smith's assistant from Smithy. Maybe they coordinate baldness and beards.
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Re: JSH's True Art Rankings
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2015, 08:05:32 am »
0

I actually think it looks pretty okay, but you're right they're cutting the tree in a slightly roundabout way..
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Re: JSH's True Art Rankings
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2015, 08:24:35 am »
0

Man, that art is actually pretty bad.
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Re: JSH's True Art Rankings
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2015, 08:36:02 am »
+5

It makes more sense when you realize they're scraping vertically, not sawing horizontally.
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jsh357

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Re: JSH's True Art Rankings
« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2015, 03:20:53 pm »
+5

22. Council Room



Despite what some think, Dominion is a very socially progressive game. Here we see that the Council Room has chairs of various sizes; trolls, dwarves, and men of all shapes and sizes can unite to discuss council. There's no human height privilege here. From a distance, this card looks like a chocolate bar. If you don't believe me, try looking at it for yourself. Jokes aside, perspective is the only thing that actually ruins this picture for me, but it's hard not to notice once you're aware of the issue. Boy, these terminal draw cards are unfashionable. It's almost like the artists don't want me to win.


21. Festival



Festival doesn't have a terrible picture, but it's not an inspiring one either. While the perspective work is better than on Council Room, somehow the elf looks too big in relation to what he's standing in front of. On the bright side, there's some nice variety in color here that keeps Festival out of the bottom four. Geez, that elf has quite the noggin. I'm not sure I'd be paying this con artist to get in to this particular festival. There's some kind of street fight going on inside, and a cop standing by to let it happen. Then again, maybe that's not so different from real life.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2015, 05:18:42 pm by jsh357 »
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Re: JSH's True Art Rankings
« Reply #19 on: August 15, 2015, 09:27:32 pm »
0

Boy, have you seen the Festival and Fairgrounds pictures in Dominion Times this morning? Where would you like to go?

Yeah, let's go to the Festival. There are giant colorful elves.
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Re: JSH's True Art Rankings
« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2015, 02:36:50 am »
0

Jsh, sometimes you have to eat your veggies before you can eat desert.
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Re: JSH's True Art Rankings
« Reply #21 on: August 16, 2015, 02:45:46 pm »
+4

Jsh, sometimes you have to eat your veggies before you can eat desert.
veggies>sand any day.
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jsh357

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Re: JSH's True Art Rankings
« Reply #22 on: August 16, 2015, 03:14:06 pm »
+2

20. Remodel



You know what they say. A card doesn't have to look bad to rank this low; it could just be ho-hum. Remodel is some sketch on a piece of paper with some okay lighting work, nothing more, nothing less. I'm sure there are Remodel fanboys out there who will disagree with me, but I'm not giving the thing a merit award for doing an adequate job. I think the real question is, who is 'they' and why do they say all that?
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Re: JSH's True Art Rankings
« Reply #23 on: August 16, 2015, 03:29:05 pm »
+6

I'm sure there are Remodel fanboys out there who will disagree with me

Reporting.
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Re: JSH's True Art Rankings
« Reply #24 on: August 16, 2015, 06:26:56 pm »
0

The candlestick holder is impressively done although I suspect CGI being used for it.
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