17, Mar, 22

*UPDATE* WotC Makes a Strange Announcement That Could Backfire

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UPDATE: Wizards of the Coast has issued a statement in clarification around this. They state that Halo is not a drug. It’s akin to Aether or even mana. It’s powerful and even though it’s a pure and good thing, it’s still something that wants to be controlled by the criminals in New Capenna.

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The release on Magic’s newest set, Streets of New Capenna is fast approaching. During these times, Wizards of the Coast gives their Wizards Play Network (WPN) stores some early information regarding upcoming events, such as Prereleases and Game Days. Well, in the announcement for New Capenna, Wizards put out a suggestion for stores to try that’s strange, and it could pose issues.

Halo

Halo is a magical substance that exists on New Capenna, and “rules the underworld”. It’s something that everyone uses as it has magical enhancing powers. Sounds great right? Yeah, well… not exactly. Here’s the text from the WPN Announcement.

Halo is the magical substance that rules the criminal underworld in New Capenna, sought after by all for its magic-enhancing qualities. It comes in many forms, such as crystals, liquids, and vapors, and you may consider adding your own to your in-store events.

You might present this ethereal substance by adding stones or crystals as part of your decorations—but if you’d rather serve it as a snack or beverage, you can get creative by using treats like rock candy or a fruity punch.


Remember, please do not serve in beverageware commonly associated with alcoholic beverages (i.e., martini glasses). Remember, Magic is for all ages and everyone should feel welcome!

From this announcement, the community’s minds immediately gravitated towards the idea that Halo is some form of drug, and that Wizards was encouraging a mock version of this substance to be used at prerelease.

While I’m sure that isn’t what WotC intended, it definitely came across that way. I think the intention is that Halo is supposed to be akin to Energy from Kaladesh, as a daily used resource for the inhabitants of the world.

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Possible Troubles

The info above may seem harmless, but there’s a lot more harm than can come from this than good. For one, there could be potential liability issues with the stores having to deal with. I don’t know if service self made rock candy or fruit punch requires a food service license at all, but that could be a consideration.

Additionally, there’s always a chance of real drugs or alcohol making it’s way unknowingly into the mix of things and can cause serious health risks.

There’s also potential brand risk that comes with this move. While many Magic players understand that this is set takes place in a world filled with undercity crime and such, non-Magic Players and spectators may not and this could give a negative connotation towards the game and Wizards.

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Did this really need to be put in official communications to stores? No. Halo is probably a key part of the set, and that information could have been presented in a stream about the set. Frankly, this seems like a silly mistake with poor wording at best. While we don’t expect anything to go down at prerelease, we urge anyone to keep an eye out if you see any fishy behavior. Keep your fellow Magic players safe.

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