Magic: The Gathering Officially Suspends All In-Store Play

Prior to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Magic: The Gathering had been gearing up for the release of its latest and greatest set, Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths. Previews for the new set are still expected to start in early April, but according to Wizards of the Coast, all in-store play has officially been suspended for over a month in response to COVID-19. That just so happens to include the initial release date for the new set, which all but means paper Magic has been cancelled until May.

"In response to COVID-19, Wizards has made a number of announcements and policy changes to enable [Wizards Play Network] members to best serve their communities, navigate the disruption, and, above all, remain safe," Wizards of the Coast said yesterday. "[W]e are announcing that in-store play is suspended in North America, Europe, and Latin America until at least May 10."

Largely, this impacts the release of the upcoming set Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths and all of its traditional promotional events. Ikoria is set to release on April 24th, which means there would normally be various prerelease events and promos running in the near future. Thanks to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, that is no longer the case. This policy went into effect today, and as mentioned above, goes through May 10th. Notably, Wizards also indicates in its statement that there is the possibility that Ikoria's launch could be rescheduled entirely.

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What do you think of paper Magic essentially being cancelled until early May? Would you want to see Ikoria's release date rescheduled? Let us know in the comments, or hit me up directly on Twitter at @rollinbishop to talk all things gaming!

Magic: The Gathering's most recently released set, Theros: Beyond Death, is available wherever such things are sold. Magic: The Gathering Arena continues, however, and remains unaffected by the pandemic beyond some new promotions for folks to play in the meantime. You can check out all of our previous coverage of the popular card game right here.

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