One Magic: The Gathering artist is honoring his beloved cat by including her on a new card.
Magic: The Gathering is known for the beautiful artwork featured on each card, with the characters and concepts coming straight from the realm of fantasy. It's rare for a Magic card to show something as simple as a group of cats, but the Charmed Stray card in the upcoming War of the Spark expansion does just that.
There is more to the story of the Charmed Stray than meets the eye, however, as the cat in the center of the card is based on the real-life pet of Chris Rahn, who was the artist of the card.
Chris Rahn shared a picture on Twitter of the cat who inspired the Charmed Stray. Rahn explained in the comments that the cat's name was Willow and that she passed away at the age of 17 last year. Willow was Rahn's beloved pet and her loss devasted him. When War of the Spark was being developed, Rhan was offered the chance to immortalize Willow in the image for a cat-themed card in Magic: The Gathering. Rahn used Willow's picture (seen below) as the inspiration for the artwork he made for the Charmed Stray card.
Here's a better screencap of the story (without the FB pop-up). pic.twitter.com/woK0vlqYlz— Chris Rahn (@ChrisRahnArt) April 23, 2019
The Charmed Stray card is a 1/1 white creature that costs a single white mana to play. The Charmed Stray has the Lifelink ability, which lets it absorb the damage it deals to increase its controller's life points. The other ability possessed by the Charmed Stray grants it a +1/+1 bonus when other creatures named Charmed Stray enter the field, which means that players could use a bunch of them for a small mana cost and make all of them stronger at once.
There was a rule loophole in the third edition of Dungeons & Dragons concerning the common house cat that meant that it could kill a level 1 commoner in a single hit with a good roll. The same will soon be true in Magic: The Gathering when the Charmed Stray hits the field in the future, especially when it starts teaming up with its buddies. Willow might be gone, but she will live on forever as one of the stars of the War of the Spark set.
The War of the Spark expansion for Magic: The Gathering will be released on May 3, 2019.