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5E Which Is Better: Regular or Alternate Cover Art For Theros?

Which is better?

  • Regular

    Votes: 90 54.9%
  • Alternate

    Votes: 74 45.1%

  • Total voters
    164
Here's a look at the full art pieces for the covers of Mythic Odysseys of Theros. The first is the regular, and the second is the alternate cover. Which is better?

Screen Shot 2020-03-02 at 11.22.13 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-03-02 at 11.22.32 PM.png


 
Last edited:
Russ Morrissey

Comments

Harzel

Adventurer
Artistically I find both hard to parse. Maybe they look better in print? Very busy and without a lot of contrast in the figures to set things more apart. Hard to get a sense of scale in the first one but it is promising (though the figures feel a little weightless).

The alternate one would make a killer van paint for sure but... why are the gods fighting a hydra with glowing eyes? I guess it makes sense if you play Magic?
The standard cover looks like it’s composed of four or five different photoshop layers that don’t quite work together. The hero seems to be throwing his spear at something in the tree, and the hydra seems to suffer from the same ailment that makes my senior dog wipe out if she takes a corner too quickly. Lovely work otherwise.
I think the spear is supposed to be aimed at the head in the center of the picture; that head just doesn't 'pop out' enough to make it obvious.

And then there's the severe perspective weirdness with the short pillars flanking the steps in the foreground. In general, it sort of looks like the artist changed their mind about perspective between stuff on the right side of the sidewalk vs. stuff on the left.

Not to mention the mystery of what, exactly, is that material draped between the legs of the statue of the archer? Cloth? Feathers? Wood? In any case, ceremonial dress, I hope, as it certainly isn't going to be very practical.

I will say I like the temple in the tree, though. I think that might be my favorite part of the piece.

Too much of the art for D&D and similar products seems to have a don't-look-at-this-too-closely problem. It's cool if you glance at it, but if you look at it... As other examples, I found the covers for the Tal'Dorei Campaign Guide and the Explorers Guide to Wildemount quite disappointing.

IDK, maybe folks are being pushed to crank this stuff out fast?

The alternate cover has fewer realism problems because it's ... less realistic. But as others have noted, it seems more fit for some context other than a book cover. So I voted for the regular cover.
 

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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I have this one nitpick...

On the regular cover they have a blunt tail that cleanly cuts a statue in two, with a very flat plane surface resulting on the stone.

That bugs me. Sorry.
 


Iry

Hero
The second one. Mostly because the hero in the first one is visually messed up. His back is to the hydra, and he's posing heroically while jumping and throwing his spear at nothing.
 




teitan

Hero
SO, I voted regular but that alternate cover I like more and more as I look at it. I am not a magic player but this book could be right up my alley. I wonder how it would work for a classic Clash of the Titans style game or heck, even the new ones.
 


ssvegeta555

Explorer
Hmmm.... One is a jackass hero photobombing a hydra's action shot (perspectives on this one is weird) and the other is overly busy color vomit soup. I guess the first one, since it better conveys what the setting is about.
 

Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
I voted alt, though I'm waffling a bit now. The regular cover is, however, the first one I can remember where the text at the bottom is really hard to read.
 



dave2008

Legend
I like both covers, actually. If hard pressed, I'd pick the regular cover. Hoever, it only wins by a milimeter.
I had a similar thought. I actually like the image of the alternate cover better, but I prefer the art style in the original cover - so that is the one I picked.
 


dave2008

Legend
That would be fine, but he's facing away from the hydra and throwing his spear at nothing.
Just somewhere off to his left
He's getting ready to torque his body to add the rotation momentum to his throw (not as effective in the air though) ;)
 
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Li Shenron

Legend
I like the regular art 10 times more than the alt... basically like all the previous books. The regular cover look gorgeous to me, very consistent with the other covers in terms of style, and somehow it delivers me an appropriate "mythic feel". The alternate cover seems to me to have very weird inappropriate colors, and the left side with the deities posing for the photo is very boring.
 

He's getting ready to torque is body to add the rotation momentum to his throw (not as effective in the air though) ;)
If you look at the illustration carefully, the hydra is drawn with exaggerated perspective, one of it's heads is a lot closer to the viewpoint. The hero could be aiming directly at the side of that head, but without scale reference points it's impossible to tell.
 

dave2008

Legend
If you look at the illustration carefully, the hydra is drawn with exaggerated perspective, one of it's heads is a lot closer to the viewpoint. The hero could be aiming directly at the side of that head, but without scale reference points it's impossible to tell.
It actually looks like his looking right that head. So that makes sense. They flying spear man didn't bother me when I first glanced at it, and it doesn't bother me now that I have "looked" at it.
 

Ghost2020

Explorer
Supporter
The background on the alt cover is too saturated in color. Details are lost.
The first one doesn't drive me crazy either, but the book cover has the image cropped too tight for the actual cover.
I don't know what's happening over at WotC but they're really missing the mark for covers lately.
Wildemount looks terrible and cartoony.
Eberron was not good at all.
Hopefully it's just a phase.
 

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