"The Champion", with illustration by Sorcery: Contested Realm artist Vincent Pompetti is a very special card in Sorcery TCG, and one that holds a special place in my heart.
This story starts on February 6th, 2022. A few members of the official Sorcery TCG Discord and I were having a conversatiwith Erik about his Alpha MTG collection. I had noticed that he had named his grading registry "Holmganger" and did some research on the meaning of the word. A quick google search surfaced a definition: Holmgang is a duel practiced by early medieval Scandinavians. It was a legally recognized way to settle disputes.
I asked Erik if we will see a "Holmgang" card in Sorcery then, and he replied that he had art for a “Ormfjord Holmganger” card, but was not sure if he would find a fitting design for it in the base set. Shortly after he revealed the image of the stunning water color painting by Vincent Pompetti. I immediately fell in love with the artwork and reached out to Vincent to inquire about the piece. It was still available; but being as though I was unsure if it would be in the Alpha set (or used at all in the game at that point), I reluctantly delayed the decision to purchase it; something that I very much regret to this day as it is now no longer available!
During the Kickstater campaign, the fate of "Ormfjord Holmganger" was revealed. During a campaign update, the Erik's Curiosa team revealed that the card had been renamed to "The Champion", and that this would be the first ever prize card for Sorcery TCG. Twenty four copies of the card was added to the Innkeeper pledge level tier, which is reserved for Brick & Mortar stores.
I asked Vincent if he could share some insights into the art direction from Erik and Vincent's development of the design concept. This is what he shared:
Yes I recall and still have his direction :
"Holmganger: A muscular barbarian viking standing on a small island. His opponent is lying dead at his feet".
A description perfectly fitting of a prize card, and an illustration that masterfully captures the essence of a victor or 'champion' in Holmgang battle! And a card that you can envision as perfectly fitting of a champion of the realm in LGS competitive play.
True to form for Sorcery, the art direction was simple and just enough for the artist to apply their own creative ingenuity to the concept. In this case, Vincent has an extensive portfolio of water color paintings with barbarian, viking, and warrior elements; both within Sorcery TCG and certainly beyond.
What follows is an exclusive reveal of Mr. Pompetti's initial sketch concept, which Erik overlayed on a card frame to evaluate card spacing and demonstrate how it would appear with text box overlays; an an image of the beautiful final piece...