As we are all well aware, Battle for Zendikar has a special premium subset called Expeditions. The feedback went from initial praise for adding a Hidden Treasures type gem into the set, to backlash for not being actually full art. Whatever your personal thoughts on the frame are, these cards undoubtedly will be coveted for years to come.
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Starting with the actual frame, re-created digitally with the amazing help of @IamNarb for the vectoring of the hedron pattern border.
This is what WOTC gave us;
Not a terrible frame, but loads of wasted space at the top from the curve, and the textbox does no justice to the art.
What happens if we swap the textbox idea for a more familiar one? Let's straighten out that curve while we're at it.
The result certainly feels more like a Magic card. Now let's take it a full step further and see what both frames, curved and straight, look like with no rules text. First up is the curved frame, as imagined by the aforementioned @IamNarb
Now we're starting to see what could have been possible. The art now plays the leading role and the card is far less cluttered then when we started. Here's my take, with a slightly more rounded bottom frame and straight sides.
Very similar result, with just a touch more space at the top for the art.
This next one is straight down the rabbit hole. Creative Director @MattyStudios wanted minimal. Really, really minimal. Make the art jump out. Oh, and make it like Unhinged. So here it is, the Matty version of Expeditions.
The art definitely leads the parade here.
That's it! 4 news flavors of what might have been. Feel free to comment here or on Reddit/Twitter/elsewhere on what you like or don't like about the ideas as presented. I look forward to hearing what you have to say!