#1 Oko, Thief of Crowns
– Throne of Eldraine
December 31, 2019
Commander [EDH]: 4.25
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
This card was #1 on my Top 12 list.
It just had to be Oko. Thief of Crowns, thief of hearts, and thief of formats. Thief of time, thief of desire, thief of almost anything relevant. Like many planeswalkers, his abilities have a clear suggested “order” or story, involving trading Food tokens for more aggressive things your opponent might play, but he’s actually equally good at just turning everything into an Elk until time stops. This may not sound like a great deal until you consider that it’s often easier to protect yourself against a 3/3 creature than Embercleave or Bolas’s Citadel. And when you do need to go on the offense, he can start creating you an army of stompy deer – for no mana investment other than his original cost. That kind of power and versatility is what made him so seductive (various references definitely intended) and also so dangerous; I doubt he’ll be unbanned in Pioneer any time soon, though he may make a lasting impact on Modern and Legacy.
I hope you all enjoyed our 2019 Top 12 retrospective, because tomorrow we’re looking ahead to another much-hoped-for set. Sit well in order and smite the sounding furrows, because big things are coming.
This card was, unsurprisingly, 1st on my Top 12 list.
Oko, Thief of Crowns is not the first planeswalker to draw a Standard ban, but he certainly outpaced Jace, the Mind Sculptor in that regard, not even making it three months before his elk-proliferating ways and shirt-averse shenanigans proved too oppressive for Standard. When a cheap permanent is able to answer almost every creature in Standard that can threaten its controller’s board, that’s a problem. That Oko’s oppressive elkification ability is a +1 makes it even more obnoxious to deal with!
In a nutshell, Oko has a lot of loyalty to protect itself, and both of its abilities are good. Coming down with 4 loyalty, with the ability to immediately go to 6, is very valuable when the most effective burn spell (Fry, which hits blue or white planeswalkers and creatures) can hit it for 5. And the other potential hate cards against it were answered by Veil of Summer, which didn’t hurt! All the while, Oko is free to lounge about, turning anything vaguely threatening into an elk (or making your Food tokens from his +2 into an elk army of your own) and making a lot of Food to nom on. He doesn’t even need his ultimate most of the time, but it’s definitely usable in the right scenario!
In all, Oko was an oppressive force that made it hard for opponents to think about doing anything vaguely rude to his well-sculpted abdominal muscles, he came down ridiculously early in the game (turn 2, usually), and he also did a great job of slotting into an already-powerful green shell rife with protection for him and for all of his little friends. He’s not the fastest planeswalker in terms of closing out a game, but he’s obnoxiously difficult to actually get rid of (thanks to two plus abilities) and wreaks havoc along the way. He ultimately has been banned in Standard, Brawl, and Pioneer, but he’s actually good in other formats, with appearances in Modern, Legacy, and Vintage.
I’d say Oko has definitely earned his spot as the no.1 new card in 2019, even if he’s barely been around for three months. Let’s hope 2020 doesn’t bring a presence as noxious as the shirt-averse fae planeswalker.
Constructed: 5 (for both his “historical” contribution to Standard/Pioneer, and his playability outside of it)
See you next year! which starts tomorrow but who cares
Hello Everyone and welcome back to Pojo’s Card of the Day!
Today we’re looking at the top 12 cards of 2019 and here it is, the #1 card of 2019!
While this card didn’t hit the top of my list, (my #1 card was the Canopy Lands cycle), It was right up there with the other devastating 3 CMC planeswalkers.
Oko is a powerhouse, and rightfully so. In constructed formats he’s one of the most perfect planeswalkers to have ever hit the table. He’s good against the aggro deck by making food tokens and 3/3 elks, and with a gigantic loyalty count that basically adds another 6 life to your health pool.
He’s also great against Control Decks, if you’re able to land this boy down quick enough it’s going to be incredibly hard for them to deal with a seemingly endless onslaught of 3/3 elk army. This guy has been played almost everywhere and he does an amazing job at what he does.
In Commander, this guy is just as treacherous and for the similar reasons why he is good against control decks. Except with the added benefit that he can turn a giant mana-sink creature into a humble 3/3 elk. He can even turn oppressive artifacts into Elks!
I had so much fun using this guy in a Cube Draft, was stuck and dead to rights against an opponents Elesh Norn, but it turns out Elesh Norn is much more bearable when it’s a 3/3 Elk!
Oko should have been callled… OkOprah! Why?
Constructed 5/5 – One of the best planeswalkers to ever be printed.
Commander 4/5 – The power of this guy falls a bit in a more political format, but you can be the hero by Beast Within’ing a big target.
Limited 5/5 – Planeswalkers are normally incredibly powerful in Booster Draft, and this guy makes it a nightmare for a format with limited removal.
Cube 4/5 – A little less powerful here, but you can turn your Black Lotus into a 3/3 elk and swing face!
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