Magic: The Gathering Hall of Famer and reigning World Champion Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa (PVDDR) has been immortalized in a new art featured on the card from the upcoming Strixhaven: School of Mages set, and before the Kaldheim Championship Finals, Wizards of the Coast has revealed it to be Elite Spellbinder, a three-to-cast rare 3/1 Human Cleric creature with Flying and an ability that reads “When Elite Spellbinder enters the battlefield, look at target opponent’s hand. You may exile a nonland card from it. For as long as that card remains exiled, its owner may play it. A spell cast this way costs 2 more to cast.”
Elite Spellbinder is Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa!
Its flavor text also reads: “Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa, World Champion XXVI” to remind us that this card was designed because PVDDR won last year’s MTG World Championship. Several players from previous Magic World Championships have also been featured in cards before. Before PVDDR, the previous Magic World Champion Javier Dominguez was immortaled in the art of Fervent Champion from Throne of Eldraine.
The Spellbinder art was illustrated by Ryan Pancoast, who showed PVDDR the sketch before finalizing its design.
PVDDR explained the process of creating this card in an article published on Star City Games, and he shared his thoughts on Pancoast’s fantastical depiction of him. “I’ve been in unofficial tokens and products before and I always felt like they were passable imitations of me, but this card I could immediately identify as myself,” PVDDR said. “The one thing I didn’t quite get was the strand of white hair, which I felt made me look a bit older than I look in real life, but he explained that this was to show affiliation to my school, so I thought that was cool.”
Strixhaven: School of Mages is set to release for tabletop on April 23, and it will be released on Magic: The Gathering Arena and Magic Online on April 15. Check out the important dates here.