The launch of Magic: The Gathering next set, Streets of New Capenna, will celebrate a slightly subdued launch at the end of April thanks to a logistical hiccup affecting stock of the five themed Commander decks that were planned to accompany its next batch of cards.
Publisher Wizards of the Coast explained in a March 14th blog post that the initial availability of all Commander decks will be limited “due to supply chain issues”. This means local game stores will sell out of their stock quicker than usual when the gangsters and art deco-festooned set drops on April 29th. All other products, including the three types of booster packs and prerelease boxes, won’t be affected by the same delay.
In light of this setback, Wizards has allowed physical stores within the Wizards Play Network to schedule their Commander Launch Parties through May 8th. This could mean the shortage will be alleviated within a week’s time, as Wizards says “additional … product will be available after release” - Dicebreaker has reached out to the publisher for more information but did not immediately receive a comment.
The Commander Launch Parties will help advertise Streets of New Capenna but also bring attention to the five Commander decks, one each focusing on the ruling syndicates, crime families and powerful organisations claiming dominance on parts of the plane’s titular metropolis. This release is larger than the conventional pair of related decks because it will take the place of the annual core release meant to support the fan-favourite format that uses 100-card stacks of single cards from across nearly all of the game’s history.
These core releases offer a chance to reprint staple cards seen in many deck builds or those singles that fetch inordinately high rates on the secondary market. Past bundles have focused on other contemporary planes, such as 2021’s visit to the magical academy of Strixhaven or 2020’s exploration of Ikoria and its dangerous hybrid beasts.
Wizards has been attempting to increase its dedication to Commander-focused events over the past couple of years but keep being hampered by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on production and shipment of physical goods. The beginner-friendly Commander Party associated with, and announced alongside, Innistrad: Double Feature would tell a broad story over the course of the evening and have attendees align with a faction - their victories in matchups would aid their choice of allies as the narrative progressed.
By comparison, Streets of New Capenna’s Commander Launch Party will be a more casual affair, though a recent WPN Network article encouraged stores to promote cosplay competitions and food and drink featuring Halo, a crystalline substance unique to the plane with “magic-enhancing qualities” that sits at the heart of the city’s criminal underworld. That same article does stress the importance of not associating Halo with alcohol or other illicit substances by serving it in martini glasses, highballs or other specific drinkware.
That seems a bit of a foregone request given New Capenna’s overt allusions to Prohibition-era rum-running and other black market activities that helped cement the power of organised crime in America’s past, not to mention the aesthetic inspirations of “the Roaring ‘20s” popularised by works such as The Great Gatsby, Boardwalk Empire and Chicago.
Streets of New Capenna will launch physically on April 29th after a prerelease event planned for the weekend before. Magic Arena and MTG Online players can access the new cards digitally on April 28th.