Not Even Spacegodzilla Safe From Corona Virus
Here’s a morbid story for those of you with a pitch-black sense of humor. It seems not even the cosmic King of Monsters is safe from the current global pandemic. Earlier today, it was revealed that the new Magic: the Gathering set Ikoria: Lair of the Behemoths would be coming with a whole host of Godzilla universe crossover cards. Among these cards was Spacegodzilla. There were actually two versions of Spacegodzilla, but we’re only here to talk about one of them. If you look up the visual spoiler for the card, you’ll find the name Spacegodzilla, Void Invader. However, if you open your packs on May 15th, you’ll find the crystalline space lizard has a far more unfortunate name: Spacegodzilla, Death Corona.
The unfortunate swap was addressed just hours after Ikoria‘s unveiling in a post on the official Magic: the Gathering website. Titled simply “Statement on Spacegodzilla,” the official statement from Wizards of the Coast was as dry and serious as can be. It states that, “As we all adjust to a world altered by the spread of COVID-19, the word “corona” has taken on a new meaning. In context, the card we’re about to show you made sense when it was originally conceived—”the Corona Beam” is Spacegodzilla’s traditional breath weapon. However, we were unable to change our printing in time to address the new meaning of corona. The initial printing of Ikoria will arrive on shelves soon and this card will be part of the set, but we are taking steps to remove or change the card where possible.”
Many fans might not be aware that printing the cards happens months before the full distribution. Cards are printed and packaged by a separate company, Cartamundi. While I don’t know exactly how many packs are sent to stores with each new set, over 20 million people play Magic. It’s safe to assume that the demand is very high. Actually going through and pulling out each card would be nearly impossible. And no, they don’t keep track of where every card is in every pack. Or maybe they do. Maybe Mark Rosewater is specifically giving you all the shit pulls because he hates that your favorite color is White. Maybe you should play a real color in Commander.
In any case, after this initial run of Ikoria, all future prints will have the card removed completely. The card has also been renamed in Magic: The Gathering Arena to the less shocking Spacegodzilla, Void Invader. That is also how it shall be referred to in their card database. The card will just flat out not be available in Magic Online. Funny enough, this will probably make the Death Corona variant of Spacegodzilla a collector’s item. Expect real cash dollars if you pull this in foil.
If you want to get your hands on all the Godzilla cards, you can pick up Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths in Japanese on April 17th and the rest of the languages may 15th. You can also stat playing the set online on April 16th.