Magic: The Gathering artist Jason Felix is finding himself in hot water as claims are swirling that his art on the upcoming Magic: The Gathering Strixhaven card, Crux of Fate, bears an incredibly striking resemblance to fan art.
The card in question, Crux of Fate, depicts two of the most iconic Planeswalkers in Magic lore: Ugin and Nicol Bolas. With the most recent flavor text, the two are in a struggle on the card, hearkening back to the War of the Spark set's Elderspell which saw Nicol Bolas try to absorb the sparks of all the other Planeswalkers in the multiverse, only to be overthrown himself. The card has always depicted Ugin and Bolas' struggle, with the original coming from the Fate Reforged set depicting the two brothers at odds.
The art on the card bears a striking resemblance to art created by Magic fan artist Scarypet. In a tweet, Scarypet breaks down the different ways the Nicol Bolas art on the Crux of Fate card bears a huge resemblance to his art made back in 2016.
Should I be flattered?hehe.But seriously,#MtG has been a major influence that developed my love for making art. (and I've sent application/portfolio many times to WotC.) Now someone told me my art made it into a Card! Ironically,in a somewhat s?t?o?l?e?n? way #MTGStrixhaven pic.twitter.com/1HvUXOgGZk— ???????????????? (@omgscarypet) March 28, 2021
Wizards of the Coast issued a statement once the controversy was brought to their attention, stating that they have suspended future work with the artist, Jason Felix, until they can "bring this matter to successful conclusion."
"It has come to our attention that the card Crux of Fate from the Strixhaven: School of Mages Mystical Archive may overtly feature Magic: The Gathering fan art and the contracted artist did not receive permission for this incorporation. These actions do not reflect the values of Wizards, and, as a result, we will be suspending future work with Jason Felix until we have been able to bring this matter to [a] successful conclusion."
As far as any changes to the art, or if the team will be compensating the original artist for its inclusion remains to be seen. Additionally, no word is stated as to whether the Magic team would be working with Felix beyond this incident, as the statement leaves it a bit open as to his status as a Magic artist after this matter is concluded.