Over the years, Magic players have come to understand one constant: Prerelease is when you get the new cards, but release weekend is when you can “officially” play with them. However, that has all changed thanks to a surprise Tuesday morning announcement, Wizards of the Coast has decided that new cards will now be tournament legal on Prerelease Weekend.
This comes following several relatively recent changes to when and what product stores can sell. In the past stores could only sell Intro Decks during prerelease events, then they were allowed to sell draft/set boxes during the weekend of prerelease, and finally with BRO they were allowed to sell the full line of product during prerelease weekend. So, perhaps going forward we will see Prerelease Weekend Events simply be rebranded as Release Weekend Events.
While quite the switch up for longtime players, changes like these are beneficial to the community at large. By changing Prerelease to be when cards become legal game stores no longer have to bend the rules for Sanctioned Events taking place in the week following Prerelease. Plus, as pointed out in the announcement, this new release legality is old hat for digital players.