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Magic: The Gathering Made A Big Old Oopsie

If you're trying to live life without hearing a single thing about the coronavirus, it's not easy. Alongside news about the pandemic itself, there are boatloads of tangential stories about other other things the disease has impacted. The Last of Us 2 just got another delay; not for polish, but because Sony decided the current health crisis would affect the game's launch. Iron Man VR got delayed, too. So did Wasteland 3.


And some companies are discovering that even the best laid plans — some put together months ago — suddenly need to be changed up. Wizards of the Coast is experiencing this right now with its Magic: The Gathering card game, which is set to get a new expansion called Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths on April 16.

Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths will introduce a number of new cards, as is typical with Magic: The Gathering expansions. One card in particular, though, is now being put on blast by Wizards of the Coast itself. It's not because the company decided the card was too overpowered. This isn't a balance issue, or something that otherwise affects the integrity of the game. Instead, this is more a design issue.


Namely, it's the name of the spell featured prominently on the card. The character's name is Spacegodzilla. Its attack is "Death Corona." You can surely understand now why this might be a problem. Smashing the words "death" and "corona" together is probably not something that'll go over that well with, well, just about anyone.

Here's what the company behind the game had to say.

"Months ago, when Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths was finalized, the world was a very different place," Wizards of the Coast wrote on its website. "As we all adjust to a world altered by the spread of COVID-19, the word 'corona' has taken on a new meaning."

Indeed it has. While Merriam-Webster defines the word "corona" as "a usually colored circle often seen around and close to a luminous body," it was also more widely known — at least until a few months ago — as a brand of beer. It's safe to say that it's a lot tougher to engage in astronomy or order a cold one these days without being reminded of what the word "corona" represents now.

Fortunately, it appears Wizards of the Coast is prepared to take action.

"First, all reprints of Ikoria will remove this card," the company stated. "Second, we'll be renaming the card on Magic: The Gathering Arena to Spacegodzilla, Void Invader. Finally, Magic Online, which will be offering the special Godzilla Series Monster versions of cards only in Treasure Chests, will not distribute this card."


By the sounds of it, the change won't be made in time for the first runs of the Ikoria expansion, which means we could see some of those "Death Corona" Cards out in the wild at some point. If you're an avid collector who can look past this unfortunate mistake, you might want to keep a lookout for the Spacegodzilla card. It'll likely be very hard to come by, which could make it worth a pretty penny someday.

But hey — if you're a fan of Magic: The Gathering, or even if you've never played before, there's probably no better time than right now to play. While the world is trapped indoors and many favorite pastimes are restricted, a good card game could be the way to keep yourself entertained. You could play with family members who are also staying at home. You could play a Magic: The Gathering video game with those you can't meet up with face to face. When this is all over someday, you could have a whole new activity to take part in.

If card games aren't your jam, though, there are still other ways you can fill the void. Video games are a solid way to pass the time, and there's no shortage of titles out there to keep you occupied and help you connected with others. Both Animal Crossing and Doom Eternal released recently to pretty rave reviews, and Final Fantasy 7 Remake is out in just a couple of days.


As far as Magic: The Gathering is concerned, it doesn't seem like there are other unfortunately named cards hitting store shelves anytime soon. Wizards of the Coast hasn't talked about any other snags that could potentially affect the launch of Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, either. We'll definitely have our eye out for any more news on the matter, though, so be sure to check back.