Magic: the Gathering
By Leon, 09/10/19
Oko, Thief of Crowns, I believe I wasn't the only one who thought "What a different card!". And isn't it quite different? Usually planeswalkers have a +1 ability that gives card advantage, a -2 or -3 that is removal and an ult that wins game. But we found none of this in this new card.
Food Token. A +1 that turns any creature or artifact into a 3/3 without skills. And lastly, a -5 that swaps a creature or artifact of yours with an opponent's creature with power 3 or less.
Why would we play with this card?
Planeswalker with +2 ability are extremely difficult to kill. +2 means the opponent must have at least 3 power on the other side of the field to decrease only 1 loyalty. Also, Oko comes to play with 4 loyalty, that's a lot! The moment he enters he goes to 6 loyalty, hardly anyone will kill him in 1 attack.
Oko also has the ability to be artifact removal. We see many artifacts in Modern, legacy or vintage. He can deal with the following cards from his opponent:
Chalice of the Voidand
Aether vial. Of course the opponent wins a 3/3 at the end, but nothing compares to losing a game because
Ensnaring Bridgedoesn't let you attack.
It decreases large or skillful creatures.Modern is currently full of
Thing in the Ice,
Death's Shadow. We currently see many combos involving creatures as well as Elves or Devoted Evolution. The new planeswalker is able to mitigate these threats and put them within reach of
It turns any creature or artifact of yours into a
Wild Nacatl. It means that a midrange deck can play with creatures that are supposed to be useless in late game like
Birds of Paradiseor
Noble Hierarch. Especially combines well with cards that exile opponent's cards such as
Tidehollow Sculler, the exile becomes permanent. Also with artifacts that draws cards when entering the battlefield as
Arcum's Astrolabe. Another point:
it has to be killed fast! His +1 does not appear, but it means that he inflicts a clock of 3 damage the moment he enters, 6 damage in the second turn and 9 damage in the third. It's 18 damage up to two turns after he enters. Not only that, his ult is also very valuable as we trade an opponent's useful creature for your own Food Token.
Lastly, it gives you access to lifegain.But paying two manas for 3 life is not very efficient in everlasting formats, which is almost a dead card to be dealt to your opponent when using Oko's -5.
Which deck suits Oko, Thief of Crowns?I imagine Oko with Midrange decks: trying to get value by increasing your creatures, decreasing your opponent's creatures and gaining life and time in the game. It matches cards that do something the moment they come into play and have a small body, so they can grow in size or be exchanged for the opposing creatures without losing much value. I thought of the following deck:
Ice-Fang Coatlare great on their own and can still grow with Oko, even to
Snapcaster Mage. The only one who doesn't make sense with Oko on this list is
Tarmogoyf, but he's too much value to pass up. We can use that same idea and make a Temur deck with more card-drawing artifacts.
Tidehollow Scullerhas incredible synergy with Oko that makes the card exiled forever! The
Stoneforge Mysticpackage also allows you to get more value from Stoneforge by being able to put the sword on our flying creatures.