Yesterday at [link](https://twitch.tv/pauperacademus)(my livestream on Twitch) we discussed a bit on the subject of whether [card](Arcum's Astrolabe) or [card](Ephemerate) should be banned or not. It made me reflect on both [card](Arcum's Astrolabe) and [card](Ephemerate). They are strong and changed the format, but are they healthy for the format? [image](https://cdn.cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/mh1-modern-horizons-ephemerate-7.jpg) [image](https://cdn.cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/mh1-modern-horizons-arcums-astrolabe-220.jpg) The artifact [card](Arcum's Astrolabe) allowed for a large color variation in the format. Now we have many 3-color decks variants. A few weeks after it was spoiled we realized a relatively healthy format with a large variation of decks, but mostly gaining value within card advantage, and other decks that try to win the game before card advantage can impact the game. The [card](Arcum's Astrolabe) itself was not so strong, but rather its strong interaction with [card](Kor Skyfisher) and [card](Glint Hawk). I really believe that none of them will be banned as they allow for a greater variation of decks, colors and possibilities. Initially believed in the ban, but this would lower the power level of the format, the best solution is to wait for stronger cards that enable other types of mechanics. [card](Ephemerate) on the other hand has an absurd power level, this is undeniable. The fact that after the re-cast she goes to the graveyard and not exile is scary: it can work on various deck versions that use cards that bring the graveyard back to the deck or to the hand. It has such a high value that it can make a [card](Mulldrifter) draw up to 6 cards or [card](Memonic Wall) fetch several cards from the graveyard including ephemerate itself. Of course his great value is enhanced by the combination of [card](Glint Hawk) + [card](Arcum's Astrolabe) + [card](Ephemerate). In my regard I believe more in the ban of [card](Ephemerate) than the [card](Arcum's Astrolabe), but their combination brought out 100% of the [link](https://cardsrealm.com/metagame/pauper/skred)(Skred) and it has being dominant in the format. Within the analysis via games and possible combinations, it is possible to ban the [card](Ephemerate), but I think [card](Arcum's Astrolabe) remains in the format for a while. Wizards of the Coast normally prefers to lower the power level of the format by banning every time it makes unbalanced cards, but I will say it again that it is always better to create new strong cards than banning others. The next B&R announcement will be on October 7, 2019. What do you expect from it?
The moment I saw [card](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. [image](https://cdn.cardsrealm.com/images/uploads/1567784633.jpg) We see a +2 that creates a [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: [card](Ensnaring Bridge), [card](Chalice of the Void) and [card](Aether vial). Of course the opponent wins a 3/3 at the end, but nothing compares to losing a game because [card](Ensnaring Bridge) doesn't let you attack. *It decreases large or skillful creatures.* Modern is currently full of [card](Primeval Titan), [card](Wurmcoil Engine), [card](Walking Ballista), [card](Thing in the Ice), [card](Tarmogoyf) or [card](Death's Shadow). We currently see many combos involving creatures as well as [link](https://cardsrealm.com/metagame/modern/elves)(Elves) or [link](https://cardsrealm.com/metagame/modern/devoted-evolution)(Devoted Evolution). The new planeswalker is able to mitigate these threats and put them within reach of [card](Lightning Bolt). *It turns any creature or artifact of yours into a [card](Wild Nacatl).* It means that a midrange deck can play with creatures that are supposed to be useless in late game like [card](Birds of Paradise) or [card](Noble Hierarch). Especially combines well with cards that exile opponent's cards such as [card](Tidehollow Sculler), the exile becomes permanent. Also with artifacts that draws cards when entering the battlefield as [card](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: [deck](14448) With 6 "birds of paradise" we can almost always have Liliana or Oko on turn 2. Cards like [card](Ice-Fang Coatl) are great on their own and can still grow with Oko, even to [card](Snapcaster Mage). The only one who doesn't make sense with Oko on this list is [card](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. [deck](14543) In this version, lightning bolt + Oko creates a removal of any creature or artifact. The blood moon can be sped up using mana dorks and Oko comes in later to create a very fast clock! What if you just want to focus on the synergy that Oko creates? We can enjoy that we can play Mana Dork to go 4 colors! [deck](14449) As mentioned above, [card](Tidehollow Sculler) has incredible synergy with Oko that makes the card exiled forever! The [card](Stoneforge Mystic) package also allows you to get more value from Stoneforge by being able to put the sword on our flying creatures. I don't know if the deck will be competitive, but it sounds like a lot of fun! I can't wait for Throne of Eldraine to be released!