Magic: The Gathering’s upcoming foray into the hyperfascist hyper future of Warhammer: 40,000 will happen a couple months later than originally planned. Publisher Wizards of the Coast announced on June 27th that global shipping issues forced the delay of the Warhammer: 40,000-themed Commander decks until October 7th.
This news comes via Magic: The Gathering’s official website, where the company claimed “ongoing global supply chain challenges and delays in production” forced a shift in the retail release date of the Universes Beyond crossover between its extremely popular card game and Games Workshop’s premier miniatures wargame.
Both the regular and collector’s edition of the four planned Commander-format decks have been impacted, along with the three accompanying Secret Lair premium drops. They were originally scheduled to arrive on August 12th, providing three 100-card decks with a three-Mana colour mixture (titled Forces of the Imperium, Tyranid Swarm and The Ruinous Power) along with the Swamp Mana-focused Necron Dynasties.
In a first for the trading card game, these preconstructed decks would also be available in a fully foiled collector’s edition with all cards printed in a card frame specific to the Universes Beyond product line (and a pricetag to match). The Secret Lair drops, only one of which has been detailed so far, will package alternate art versions of reprinted MTG cards featuring scenes from Warhammer 40,000’s Orkz faction, the fantasy-themed sibling wargame Age of Sigmar and gonzo sports offshoot Blood Bowl.
Pushing the launch back to October 7th is an interesting choice as the release now aligns with another delayed card set launch - Unfinity. An article on the Wizards Play Network, which Wizards of the Coast uses to communicate with affiliated game stores, understands this decision puts the brick and mortar store in the awkward position of splitting what should have been two separate dedicated prerelease events - normally three nights apiece - into one cramped weekend.
But that understanding did not come with a solution. Interested players who want to attend both the Warhammer 40,000 Commander Launch Party and Unfinity’s prerelease event will need to check with their local game store for exact dates, as WotC has left the decision up to individual locations.
Moving the release does open up a rare gap in the publisher’s otherwise busy release schedule for the year. The next main MTG set, Dominaria United, won’t hit tables and Magic Arena until September. The frequency and volume of players expressing a ‘release fatigue’ has increased throughout 2022, thanks in no small part to what feels like a constant spoiler season for main line sets, Commander decks, Secret Lairs and special releases.
It’s also not clear if the rest of the card sets planned for 2022 will suffer from similar delays. Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty and Streets of New Capenna saw initially low stock of certain kinds of booster packs and accompanying preconstructed decks in various regions across the world, but Wizards of the Coast hasn’t yet been forced to delay one of its tentpole releases for the year.