The next Magic: The Gathering set, Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, is set to release next month, but in light of the outbreak of COVID-19/Coronavirus, Wizards of the Coast is making accommodations for players and retailers for the prerelease and launch of Ikoria.
MTG prerelease weekends usually take place one week before the official release of a new Magic set. The Ikoria prerelease weekend taking place on April 17-19 won't require in-store events, according to the announcement from the Wizards Play Network website. Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, governments around the United States are asking everyone to practice social distancing, so gatherings for MTG events like prerelease and Friday Night Magic (FNM) are affected badly. Because of this, WotC is adjusting its rules, so customers will be able to buy Ikoria pre-release kits during that weekend at local stores without requiring them to participate.
“We hope that with the following accommodations in place, organizers are enabled to choose what’s best for their store and their communities,” WotC said in a news release. “We will continue to monitor the situation and take additional action where appropriate.”
WotC went on to say that it will take a "snapshot" of player communities at each of its affiliated stores, and will allocate Promo Packs, exclusive products, and other merchandise based off either the snapshot or the stores' realtime numbers —whichever is higher.
Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths