Rolling for Initiative is a weekly column by Scott Thorne, PhD, owner of Castle Perilous Games & Books in Carbondale, Illinois and instructor in marketing at Southeast Missouri State University.  This week, Thorne looks at Wizards of the Coast's delayed release of Magic: The Gathering's Unfinity and their decision to offer Dungeons & Dragon's Monsters of the Multiverse as a standalone product.

This week, Wizards of the Coast announced that Unfinity would get pushed back to the second half of 2022 due to supply chain issues (see "Pushes Back 'Magic's' 'Unfinity'").  Most retailers are likely pretty happy with this as the Magic calendar was getting just a wee bit crowded with three sets releasing within the space of three months.  The battle for the Magic players’ hard-earned cash had gotten just a little bit tight, leaving me wondering if it is supply chain problems or WotC taking another look at its release schedule and thinking that the company has piled just a bit too much Magic here.

Streets of New Capenna and Commander Legends’ Battle for Baldur’s Gate are releasing at about the same time (see "2022 'Magic: The Gathering' Standard Sets"), and WotC may have decided that Unfinity was the set that would most benefit from a later release date, giving WotC more time to promote it.  The industry has seen enough supply chain issues that no one will bat an eye at WotC’s moving the set to a later date, and as I noted earlier, most retailers are happy to have the release schedule spread out.

As it is, we are seeing the release of both Commander Collection Black and Double Feature (see "'Innistrad: Double Feature'") on January 28. Quantities on both are limited and stores receive an allocated number of them.  Stores can cut product from their order, but can't adjust their quantities of product upward.  I haven't heard any store saying they would decline their allocation of Commander Collection Black, but I've heard several stores say they didn't plan to take their full allocation of Double Feature.  If stores still have large quantities of Midnight Hunt and Crimson Vow on hand, cutting back on Double Feature makes sense, since there are no new cards in the set, just special treatments of selected cards from the two prior sets meshed into one.  With the emphasis WotC has put on Set and Collector boosters over the past couple of years, I do find it interesting that Double Feature will only release as a draft booster set.

In the meantime, on the WotC RPG front, the D&D Rules Expansion Gift Set releases January 25 (see "'D&D Rules Expansion Gift Set'").  D&D players can buy this set now for $160 to get the Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse or wait until May 17 to get a copy of Monsters of the Multiverse without buying the gift set (see "Monsters of the Multiverse'").  Since the gift set will have new covers, completists will likely want a copy to go along with their copies of the previous versions.  I would also not be surprised to see stores breaking open copies of the gift sets to sell the books individually. Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything and Xanathar’s Guide to Everything still sell steadily months after their release so opening copies of the gift sets to sell the individual copies makes sense, especially as our store has seen surprisingly low interest in the D&D Rules Expansion Gift Sets, likely because of the price.  Breaking open the sets makes sense, as most stores don't want too many gift sets sitting around on the shelves and the individual books sell well on their own.

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The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of