With that in mind, it makes sense that the monster has gotten eight different artworks over the years. Today, we're going to be taking a look at all of them, and ranking them worst to best. Let's get right into dissecting the look of a wizard that could destroy us all with ease.
8 Second OCG Style
The first OCG art is great, because it paints the Dark Magician as a threatening force that you don't want to mess with. The second OCG makes him look like an angry weeb. He's a skinny legend sure, but he's really not fulfilling his promise of being the ultimate wizard in terms of attack and defense.
Even wizards need some bicep or something. He's also got green skin and blonde hair, which doesn't go with his purple outfit. The whole color scheme is just atrocious. This art-style should really just belong to some other magician, it doesn't do our dark boy any justice at all, which is why it takes a spot at the bottom of the list.
7 Sixth OCG Style
The sixth OCG artwork of the Dark Magician is second-to-last on the list, but it's not bad really. It just isn't doing anything too interesting with the Dark Magician. It's better than OCG two by quite a bit, but that’s all really.
The fact that the Dark Magician is actually in the process of summoning the Dark Magic Circle that surrounds him is a nice touch. It helps to illustrate the power that he has as a wizard. This one does the magician justice, but it doesn't do anything beyond that. A firmly mediocre Dark Magician artwork.
6 Fourth OCG Style
We're getting into the middling area of the Dark Magicians, this one isn't bad at all. We're sticking with the green blonde combo, unfortunately, but he's portrayed better than he was in the first green artwork, so we're doing alright.
This Dark Magician looks ready to fight. Along with that, he's got the stone tablet featured in the anime as a background piece. Considering he's on the tablet, this certainly makes sense. This green boy is better than the original by far, and enters the top five portion of this list.
5 Eighth OCG Style
The newest OCG art isn't actually out in the TCG, which is a shame, it's some pretty good artwork. This once again features our blonde and green boy, but shows him in a different light than any of his previous artworks have before.
The framing and camera angle put the Dark Magician in a position of power that the other cards (save for one that we'll get to in a bit) don't quite do. Other than that, it follows the conventions of the other cards, and is generally a nice one to look at. While the best is definitely yet to come, hopefully we get this one in the TCG soon.
4 Fifth OCG Style
Oh? Maybe we're not sticking to the blonde green combo? Fantastic. This Dark Magician could snap any of us in half over his knee. The power that he radiates is kind of hot, let's be real. We're all attracted to the Dark Magician.
This started a completely different art path for the Dark Magician, one that was eventually used in the Dark Side of Dimensions movie. It does do something really different with the card, and once again, it's not blonde and green, we really won with this one. As such, this takes a respectable fourth place on the list.
3 Third OCG Style
Now this, THIS is some Dark Magician art! If you aren't a fan of the anime, you might not recognize this as Arcana’s Dark Magician. This card marked the first and only time that Yugi had to go against another Dark Magician, and also marked the first appearance of Dark Magician Girl.
This Dark Magician looks clearly evil, and is different from the original magician in just about every sense. This artwork is so radically different, and paints a different picture of the Dark Magician, that we had to place it high on the list. Also remember when the dub changed an entire saw into a dark energy disc that was fun.
2 First OCG Style
The first OCG artwork of the Dark Magician is the all-time classic, the OG of Dark Magicians. This was the version of Dark Magician that we saw in Yugi’s deck in the anime. This version features the usual Dark Magician with not green skin (because ew), posing with his hand on his hat with his knees bent.
This version of the Dark Magician actually shares a pose with Dark Magician Girl in her first release, he's just a bit more clothed than her, naturally. This card art obviously holds a big place in our hearts, as we saw our large-haired protagonist use it time after time. It's not as interesting as some of the others on the list, of course, but we're biased so it's fine. Anyway moving on.
1 Seventh OCG Style
The seventh iteration of the Dark Magician is far and away the best version of the monster. This variant once again uses the black and white design, but in an overall more dynamic and interesting way. It uses a lot of blue, and has an electric feel to it. If we're talking about power levels of the Dark Magicians, this one definitely takes the cake.
The serious style, powerful pose and use of color just go together so, so well. Without a shadow of a doubt, this is the best version of the Dark Magician that we've received so far. Hopefully, we receive more artwork with these colors soon.