Godzilla is coming to the Magic: The Gathering trading card game, Wizards of the Coast has announced. 16 Godzilla-themed cards will be available in the English-language version of the upcoming Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths card set, featuring monsters like Mothra, King Ceasar, and Rodan. They’ll be available in Magic’s digital version, Magic: The Gathering Arena, on April 16th, with a physical release following on May 15th. Three additional cards will be exclusive to Japan.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that one of the 16 cards, Spacegodzilla, isn’t going to be around for long as a physical card, after its full name ended up being pretty insensitive in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Spacegodzilla’s primary attack is the “Corona Beam,” so the card’s full name is “Spacegodzilla, Death Corona.” In the current climate, that’s not a great look.
The design of the cards was finalized months ago, so Wizards of the Coast hasn’t been able to stop the Spacegodzilla, Death Corona card from making its way into the initial print run. However, it says that the card will be removed from future reprints of the set. It’s also changing the digital versions of the trading card game. The card will not be distributed within Magic Online, while in Magic: The Gathering Arena the card will be renamed to Spacegodzilla, Void Invader. Meanwhile, Void Beckoner, the card that Spacegodzilla is based on, will not be affected.
While it’s absolutely the right move to pull the card, I can’t help but think this is going to turn the card into a bit of a collectible in future years. If you’re interested in getting your hands on the cards, Wizards of the Coast says that every sealed draft booster pack display will contain a random Godzilla Series Monster card, while Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths Collector Boosters will contain two. However, the cards will not appear in draft booster packs.