Ikoria Lair of Behemoths release date in Magic: The Gathering Arena will be on April 16, 2020.
The paper card set will be released on April 17, 2020 for Asia and May 15, 2020 for North America, Europe, Latin America, and Australia/New Zealand.
Themes & Mechanics
Ikoria Lair of Behemoths themes and mechanics are:
- Returning mechanic Cycling
- Returning mechanic Hybrid Mana
- Keyword counters
- Mutate ("building your own monsters")
Mastery Pass Controversy
On April 6, 2020 Wizards of the Coast published the reward structure of the Mastery Pass for Ikoria Lair of Behemoths which led to plenty of negative feedback from the community. Users pointed out that the possible rewards were significantly inferior in comparison to past sets. An analysis on the MTGA reddit showed that players would be able to unlock approximately 17% less packs and 42% less gems than during the Mastery of the previous set, Theros Beyond Death – which by itself already had a lowered reward structure than Throne of Eldraine.
Shortly after these numbers were posted, Wizards officials replied and admitted that there was a typing error regarding the amount of packs which were listed in the original article. The amount of Ikoria packs was then subsequently increased from 25 to 30 packs. All other adjustments, according to Wizards, were indeed intentional due to the shorter timespan of the set duration (70 days) and in hindsight rewards of the Theros Mastery Pass were "unintentionally more generous" mistakenly granting players a Draft token for a Traditional Draft (Best-of-three match) instead of Ranked Draft (Best-of-one match).
Players' questions why rewards were cut matching the set duration while the price of the Mastery Pass was left untouched – although it could only be aquired by spending premium game currency – remained unanswered.
However, on April 9, Wizards officials explained in another reddit thread that "[...] the Ikoria Mastery Pass is consistent with [their] baseline value, with the length of the set being the main difference." An explanation about the mentioned "baseline value" affecting (or not affecting) the price of Mastery Passes was not given. Players who preordered Ikoria's "Lukka Play Bundle" ($49.99/€49.99 including levels for the Mastery Pass) and felt unsatisfied, were advised to contact Magic Arena support to request a refund.
- Changes to the Release of Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, wizards.com, March 26, 2020
- Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths Mechanics, wizards.com, April 2, 2020
- Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths Mastery System, wizards.com, April 6, 2020
- IKO Mastery Pass Value Analysis, MTGA reddit, April 6, 2020
- WOTC_CommunityTeam, MTGA reddit, April 6, 2020
- WOTC_CommunityTeam, MTGA reddit, April 9, 2020