This magic card is an odd card size. It is for the Archenemy Theme Decks and they are all printed in oversize.
I was asked to do a wizard in some kind of artifact shielding machine. How I wanted to portrait him was up to me as long as he looked, like his defenses was the top of the top. In the first versions I tried different orbs and spheres of energi, but they all looked too science fiction. So my last 2 sketches was these; with the wizard actually operating a real machine with a lot of shields. Quite basic and simple but right to the point, I thought.
Jeremy, the art director, liked the one with the little machine body and that one I took to final. I was thinking of an old typewriter when designing the legs of the spider-like machine and its arms.
The lightning was done as a means to get some dramatic light source and to add tension and movement. Also the shield in front has a shadow that suggest a foe in front of the machine.