Magic: The Gathering – Party Hard, Shred Harder

by Cole Larravide

042721A-300x157 Magic: The Gathering - Party Hard, Shred HarderAlthough not technically posters, today’s article will look at a different collectible that has recently tapped into the concert poster genre. In 2020, collectible card game, Magic: The Gathering released “Party Hard, Shred Harder“. This box set of five trading cards featured exclusive new art and layouts based on the aesthetics of heavy metal concert posters.

Secret Lair Drop Series

secret-layer-2-300x300 Magic: The Gathering - Party Hard, Shred HarderWizards of the Coast released the set through their Secret Lair Drop Series. For those out of the loop, that means the cards were printed to order, but only available to purchase on their website for a short window of time. The window for this specific product was November 30th until December 14th, 2020. The set was priced at $29.99.

The Secret Lair series lets Wizards of the Coast experiment with unique arts and styles outside of their usual look. “Party Hard, Shred Harder” took this even further. The entire layout of each card was drastically different than that of a normal Magic card. This adds to their uniqueness and collectability.

Fittingly, artists with backgrounds in designing concert posters illustrated these cards. Here’s a look at each card, the artists behind them, and some actual concert posters they’ve designed as well.

Anguished Unmaking

Anguished-unmasking-215x300 Magic: The Gathering - Party Hard, Shred Hardermastodon-225x300 Magic: The Gathering - Party Hard, Shred HarderArtist Rafal Wechterowicz (Too Many Skulls) designed the art for Anguished Unmaking, a three-mana black/white removal spell.

For fans of Magic’s lore and storyline, Wechterowicz included references to the card’s original art/printing from 2016’s “Shadows Over Innistrad”. Sorin’s sword, Avacyn’s symbol, and angel wings can all be found in Wechterowicz’s art. In this way, the artist found a way to incorporate the card’s in-game background while also creating a concert poster design that can stand up out of context.

Wechterowicz has designed many actual concert posters. Some of his work includes posters for Marylin Manson, Slayer, and Ghost. One stand out is this poster for Mastodon’s 2017 concert in Spokane, WA.

Assassin’s Trophy

assassins-trophy-215x300 Magic: The Gathering - Party Hard, Shred HarderMozart-226x300 Magic: The Gathering - Party Hard, Shred HarderArtist Scott Buoncristiano illustrated Assassin’s Trophy.  One of the wordiest cards in this set, Buoncristiano incorporated the large block of text as venue/performance details or a long list of tour dates, often found at the bottom of many posters.

Besides working on  various Harry Potter projects, Buoncristiano has designed concert posters for many bands, including Dirty Heads, Melvins, and Mastodon.

He also has a series of designs for classical composers. With these, he imagines what the concert posters of Mozart, Chopin and Haydn may have looked like in a modern setting.


decimate-215x300 Magic: The Gathering - Party Hard, Shred Hardersumeru-218x300 Magic: The Gathering - Party Hard, Shred HarderArtist Illustranesia designed the art for Decimate, a four-mana green/red spell that lets you destroy target artifact, enchantment, creature and land.

Illustranesia has created art for many metal bands and musicians.

This gig poster he designed  in 2018 for Sumeru is a great example of his work.




Dreadborne-215x300 Magic: The Gathering - Party Hard, Shred Harder

journey-1-226x300 Magic: The Gathering - Party Hard, Shred HarderArtist Vance Kelly designed this art for Dreadbore. Again for Magic fans, this card includes references to the original printing. As a red/black card once released in a Ravnica-themed set, Kelly has incorporated the Rakdos symbol into the new art. It fits perfectly and easily looks like it could be the logo for a metal band.

Kelly has created concert posters for many high profile bands, such as Evanescence, Avenged Sevenfold, and Slayer. A prime example is his poster for Journey’s 2012 performance in Evansville, IN.


Thraximundar-215x300 Magic: The Gathering - Party Hard, Shred Hardertool-225x300 Magic: The Gathering - Party Hard, Shred HarderThe only creature card included in the set, Thraximundar was illustrated by artist Robbie Trevino.  He had the added task of incorporating the creature-type text and power/toughness box. The words “Legendary Creature” and “Zombie Assassin” are creatively positioned in the design as if they’re opening acts or venue details. The “6/6” power/toughness in the bottom corner can easily be interpreted as the imaginary concert’s date.

Posting about the card on Twitter, Trevino stated: “In the 8 years I’ve been doing cards this is hands down my favorite assignment to date. Being the metal head I am I was glad I got to contribute to this set!”

Besides his many previous Magic illustrations, Trevino also designs actual  concert posters. One stand out is his poster for Tool’s 2019 performance in Detroit.

More to come…

Though this set has already passed, it seems that Wizards of the Coast will continue to release future drops with concert poster aesthetics. In my next article, I’ll take a look at “Our Show Is On Friday, Can You Make It?“, a new Secret Lair drop containing five cards in the style of psychedelic concert posters.

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