As speculated earlier this week, Wizards of the Coast has announced changes to the release schedule of the upcoming Magic: The Gathering set, Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, as well as relief initiatives for local game stores to help the Magic community and local games stores going during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"As parts of the world recover from COVID-19 while others are still dealing with rising numbers of cases, we've come to accept that we cannot celebrate the release of a set in the uniform way to which we've become accustomed," WotC said in a statement. "For the safety of those working in our distribution and shipping centers as well as in acknowledgement that some places simply cannot open their doors, we will be rolling out the release of Ikoria as such":
April 2 – Ikoria Debut, trailer launch, (7 a.m. PT/10 a.m. ET/2 p.m. UTC) and the start of previews
WotC went on to say that they're combining their Prerelease and Release weekends for Ikoria, and stores can sell any product in those dates, and still let players play Prereelase at home, ideally with Magic: The Gathering Arena.
WotC also announced two things they're doing to help local game stores: they launched a reprint of Mystery Booster and will be giving out these boosters to WPN member stores —at no charge. More details will be announced next week, but they're letting people know that if you buy one of the reprinted Mystery Boosters from your local game store later on, every profit made will be going to the stores. Second, from now until at least June 1, players are allowing local game stores to take admission fees —up to $10—for tournaments they run on MTG Arena.
Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths