The artwork of Bob Ross is officially coming to Magic: The Gathering. Unofficially revealed via Magic: The Gathering Arena earlier this month, Wizards of the Coast today announced via Vice that it would release a Secret Lair drop featuring land cards using Ross's beloved landscape paintings. The set, called "Happy Little Gathering," is a partnership between Wizards of the Coast and the Ross estate and, like all Secret Lair drops (including the recent The Walking Dead Secret Lair drop), will be available only for a limited time. The set includes two copies of each of Magic: The Gathering's five-basic land cards -- plains, island, swamp, mountain, and forest -- with each card featuring a different Ross painting as its illustration. The set will be available in both foil and non-foil editions. The set is priced at
“I thought swamp was going to be the hardest, but it turned out to be plains,” Tom Jenkot, Wizards of the Coast's Senior Creative Art Director, told Vice. “I did have to cheat a little with one of the plains by zooming in on the painting.”
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Since basic land cards are required to cast spells in Magic: The Gathering, they appear in all but the most niche Magic decks. That makes Happy Little Gathering possibly the most playable Secret Lair drop in the program's one-year history.
The set also includes one non-basic land, Evolving Wilds, which also features Ross's artwork. “While there weren’t a lot of options for swamps, there were some obvious choices. The island, mountain, and forest choices were plentiful,” Jenkot said. “But the biggest achievement was finding a Bob Ross painting that worked for ‘Evolving Wilds!’ The painting has a forest, mountain, water, plains, plus an unearthly glow on the underside of the wave to hit on the evolving aspect.”
Ross was the host of The Joy of Painting PBS series who became an internet-favorite personality following his death in 1995. Ross was best known as a landscape artist, making his work a natural fit for the basic lands of Magic: The Gathering.
The announcement doesn't mention Magic: The Gathering Arena. Given that the lands are already in the digital game, though not unlockable, it seems safe to assume that players will be able to acquire them at some point.
What do you think of the Magic: The Gathering Happy Little Gathering Secret Lair drop? Will you be getting one for yourself? Let us know in the comments. The set will be available to pre-order on the Secret Lair website from November 30th through December 14th.