Magic The Gathering: Check Out New Ikoria: Lair of Behemoth Card

Godzilla's King Caesar becomes a Legendary Creature for the latest set.


The latest Magic The Gathering set, Ikoria: Lair of Behemoth, which launches in April, is doing something really cool. Wizards of the Coast is working with Toho Co. LTD--the minds behind the Godzilla franchise--to bring the world-famous kaijus into the world of MTG. GameSpot has an early look one of the cards from the new set, Snapdex, Apex of the Hunt.

However, these new Legendary Creatures from Ikoria also have a Toho equivalent from the various Godzilla movies. For instance, Snapdex, Apex of the Hunt has a Godzilla twin version that is King Caesar, a kaiju seen in 1974's Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla and 2004's Godzilla: Final Wars. Check out the Godzilla Series Monster, the Apex Showcase Version, and the Apex Regular Version of this card below.

King Caesar from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoth
King Caesar from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoth

The only difference between the Godzilla Series Monsters (GSM) and its Ikoria variant is the art. Everything else about the card remains the same. They're functional and will be allowed to be used in tournaments. The new Ikoria set will consist of 274 cards. There will be 16 GSM cards in English, with three more only available in Japanese.

There are a few ways to get your hands on these GSM cards. Each sealed draft booster pack display will have a random GSM card in it; however, GSM cards will not appear in draft booster packs. Ikoria: Lair of Behemoth Collector Boosters will have two random GSM cards. Additionally, GSM cards will appear on digital platforms as well.

Because of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, Wizards of the Coast is staggering the launch of Ikoria: Lair of Behemoth. Here is what the release schedule looks like.

  • April 16: Ikoria released on Magic: The Gathering Arena and Magic Online
  • April 17: Prerelease/release in Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong
  • May 15: Prerelease/release in North America, Europe, Latin America, and Australia/New Zealand

Additionally, May 15 will also be the launch for Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam.

As for Godzilla and company's inclusion in the latest MTG set, it was a fun sandbox dream that quickly became a reality. "When the team started work on this world, we set out to create our own take on the giant monster genre--what would Godzilla-sized action look like through the Magic lens?" explained Mark Heggen, Product Architect for Magic The Gathering. "Then one day the team at Wizards of the Coast who oversees our Japanese business came to us with a pitch: let's find a way to put the actual Godzilla in the set. It sounded amazing, but at first, we just didn't think it could be pulled off, to be totally honest. But the Japanese team got on a plane, flew out to Tokyo to introduce themselves to the Toho Company, and before long, we'd forged this great relationship with the absolute legends of giant monster action."

There will be a new mechanic in the game called Mutate as well. "We wanted to go all out showing how awesome Godzilla in Magic would be, so we made sure to bring the new Mutate ability onto these cards," explained lead product designer of Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, Mike Turian. "Then when you combine Magic and Godzilla, there are so many evergreen abilities that fit perfectly so we mixed in those also. Who doesn’t want to have an amazing Godzilla that tramples over all of your opponent’s puny creatures?"

It's all about utilizing creatures in a way that makes them an amalgamation of terror and destruction. "The set introduces a brand-new mechanic called Mutate which allows you to combine multiple creatures into one supersized smashing machine," explained Heggen. "As you play you'll discover this huge range of combinations and options that open up as you come up with new mix-and-match options."

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